Aquaman #0 ReviewOctober 9, 2012
The team behind Aquaman’s stellar reset come through again for the #0 release.
After reading the Aquaman hardcover collection, The Trench Vol. 1, I eagerly snatched up the title’s #0 release for Zero Month. I already highly approved of the New 52’s reboot of this undersea hero, but thought some back story would be nice. In the first six issues, Aquaman literally just popped out of the ground. The initial explanation for his sudden appearance on solid ground was a little vague. The story of how he actually came to be the King of Atlantis was left untold. This book would be the perfect opportunity to tell that tale. The same team who did a stellar job with this title’s reset comes through again for the #0 release.
This title hit the shelves in the final week of Zero Month, September 2012. Taking the helm and directing the course of the story is Geoff Johns (Green Lantern, Justice League, Blackest Night). Working with him are artists Ivan Reis (Blackest Night, Green Lantern, Teen Titans) on pencils and Joe Prado (Teen Titans, Superman, Birds of Prey) handling the inks. The colors are done by Rod Reis.
The plot was exactly what I was hoping for. While some elements of it had previously been touched on in the first few issues of the title, this book brings us to the very beginning of Aquaman. It is driven by quite a bit of emotion for the main character—Johns delivers an Aquaman the audience can sympathize with. Along the way, he also shows us why this guy is a hero to admire. I’ve found myself defending Aquaman’s honor when people start to snicker about him in social gatherings. The dialog among the characters has a good flow, the spoken words coming out unforced and natural. I can almost hear these people speaking to each other as my eyes move from one chat bubble to the next.. Geoff Johns’ talent really shows in this book.
The amazing execution of the art really binds this publication together. Detailed and poignant emotion grace the characters’ faces with fitting reactions to the events happening on the page. The illustrations and colors are done in a mature fashion. While I have nothing against bold and brilliant lines and colors popping out of comic book pages, I have a special appreciation for the realism of the drawings in this book. The artwork doesn’t “pop out,” so to speak. Rather, it is just there: The work is done so well that it reaches the point where it immerses you in the experience of reading a comic book. The flow of the story is showcased within very well-chosen and placed panels. In some pages, the panels themselves are backdropped by beautifully drawn scenery. It really brings the reader into the story. The art is well beyond above-average when compared to most comics and I feel it would stand well on its own, even if the story was crap. In fact, in a lot of cases, I’ve found art to be the saving grace of a book with a weak plot. Such is not the case here. The art is good because of the story, and vice versa.
Aquaman is proving to be a very strong title for DC Comics’ The New 52. I hope this team sticks together to bring what promises to be a very well-rounded and epic storyline to fruition. This #0 release is a must-have for your Zero Month collection. I wish I had access to a variant cover copy; this is the kind of book I would bring to its creators to sign. Very well done and highly recommended reading!