Current Reviews


Aquaman: Secret Files 2003

Posted: Monday, March 31, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell

Writers: Rick Veitch & Scott Conley
Artists: Norm Breyfogle, Rod Haynes, Darryl Banks, Carlos Pacheco, Michael Wm. Kaluta, Tom Nguyen, Sal Velluto, John Totleben, P. Craig Russell, Pete Pachoumis & Yvel Guichet

Publisher: DC

The situation in Atlantis gets a good look, as we see Aquaman's former advisor Vulko begins to notice the new rulers are abusing their power, and Mera may not be the true power that is guiding the course of the undersea kingdom.

Given they're on the expensive side, I'm always a bit hesitant when it comes to picking up these Secret Files issues, but the new direction that Rick Veitch has embarked upon had caught my attention, and I had hoped this book would offer up some new insight into where he was heading. However, truth be told except for reinforcing the idea that the situation back in Atlantis needs to be rectified, this one-shot delivers precious little new information. Oh sure we get our first look at the villain Thirst who is penciled in as the primary threat for the upcoming arc, and based on the opening story one can expect Vulko to side with Aquaman when he attempts to take back Atlantis.

However, I found myself rather disillusioned after reading this one-shot, as not only is Aquaman not a feature player in the main story, but the information that we are made privy to is hardly earth-shattering. I mean we basically learn that the current rulers of Atlantis are a corrupt regime, who are sentencing anyone who questions their actions to be executed.

As for the art, it's always great to see Norm Breyfogle's work, and Darryl Banks is also a welcome name. The who's who pages also feature some fairly prominent artists, with Carlos Pacheco's Aquaman profile being my personal favorite.

Final Word:
Not a lot of bang for the buck here, as while it's probably too late to be of any good, I must say that one could easily leave this one-shot on the shelf. I mean aside from showing us that Vulko is starting to notice the new rulers of Atlantis are "evil", and the debut appearance of a hybrid jellyfish man, this one-shot is pretty skimpy when it comes to new insights. This is even more disappointing when one remembers the book has under taken a new direction, and as such this one-shot could've been used to give us a better look at Aquaman's new role in the DCU, instead of giving us yet another look at how messed up the situation in Atlantis is. Now the new villain Thirst looks like an interesting threat, and I'm looking forward to the next arc based on the information we received on his profile page. However, the rest of the profile pages don't offer up any new and/or compelling information, and the secondary material is devoted to material I was already familiar with.

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