This issue builds Aquaman's backstory in the form of a human antagonist fostering desires to see Atlantis. He and Arthur Curry alias Aquaman share a history. The scientist Dr. Shin helped teach Arthur how to use his powers, but like Adam from Doctor Who, he wasn't satisfied with being part of something big.
It's Under the Sea, Silly
Shin wanted that something to give back. That's why Aquaman will not share the secret. Shin also adds to the story by hinting at somebody seeking Aquaman's trident, a weapon Aquaman uses to deadly effect against the Piranha Men, where our story begins.
They Named a Missile After It
Writer Geoff Johns once again distinguishes the heroes of the New 52 Universe and the old DC Universe. Whereas the previous heroes technically worked hand in hand with the authorities, the establishment, these heroes are willing to do the right thing, legal niceties be damned. Afterall, the authorities aren't always right. One merely has to look to the Pepper Spray Cop for an example.
Just Say No to the Trouble-Alert
At this moment, Aquaman has the chance to cozy into the bed of the government. Instead, the Sea King serves the people, and that is what makes him Aquaman. The pre-Crisis Aquaman didn't give a rat's behind what people thought of him. He just proceeded to take names through Jim Aparo's and Don Newton's illustrative skills.
Ivan Reis, Joe Prado and Rod Reis recoup much of Aquaman's reputation by simply paying him respect. He's muscular. He comports himself with dignity. He has conviction in his eyes. He doesn't need a hook or a beard to be badass.
Very little of Aquaman's costume has been redesigned to produce such a presence. Sure, the scales are more obvious now, but the shirt Aquaman wore was supposed to be a kind of chain-mail not cloth. It was simply a question of artistic license, and as long as the Reises and Joe Prado can produce shots like this…
King of the Seven Seas
…the book is always going to score high.
Ray Tate's first online work appeared in 1994 for Knotted. He has had a short story, "Spider Without a Web," published in 1995 for the magazine evernight and earned a degree in Biology from the University of Pittsburgh. Since 1995, Ray self-published The Pick of the Brown Bag on various usenet groups, where he reviewed comic books, Doctor Who novels, movies and occasionally music. Circa 2000, he contributed his reviews to Silver Bullet Comic Books (later Comics Bulletin) and became its senior reviewer. Ray Tate would like to think that he's young at heart. Of course, we all know better.