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'Aquamen' #1 delivers a triple-A superhero feel
DC

Comic Books

‘Aquamen’ #1 delivers a triple-A superhero feel

Arthur Curry and Jackson Hyde are the Aquamen, but what threat do they face?!

There’s a new Atlantis-themed superhero book out this week and it goes by the name Aquamen. It was bound to happen, especially after Jackson Hyde was on a crash course to become Aquaman in The Becoming, but now Jackson and Arthur Curry get their own duo series this week. Building off the stories from Becoming and Black MantaBrandon Thomas and Chuck Brown continue to do well in fleshing out this corner of the DC universe.

As the preview shows, this issue opens on Manhatten where a few folks waiting to get lunch are complaining about Atlantis heroes. Enter a giant wave followed by a giant serpent and they get their answer. The fight scene pans out to be Jackson and Arthur’s first team-ups as the Aquamen, and it shows. They’re not quite working side by side like Batman and Robin, while Arthur has to unpack his brother’s actions in the attack.

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Sami Basri supplies the art with colors by Adriano Lucas. Together they offer up a thin, detailed line and a bright hopefulness superhero comics tend to lean into. From the creature to the pink skies, Lucas gives the book a pop that suits the story. Size and scale are well crafted by Basri while also supplying easy-to-follow close-quarters fight scenes. There’s a cinematic quality to the art that elevates the entire vibe of the book to that of a primo title.

Although this book is titled Aquamen, it’s actually more about Black Manta and Jackson Hyde than Arthur, who feels more like a third wheel. He’s acting as a kind of mentor to Jackson who is still feeling out this whole superhero thing, but this first issue is much more about Jackson and his dad Black Manta. That’s all well and good, but if you’re hungry for more Curry Aquaman you might be disappointed. He does get to fight in a few scenes, but it’s an odd notion that he’s more of a side character.

DC Preview: Aquamen #1

I think they’re gonna have to demo the United Nations guys. That building is toast!
Credit: DC Comics

Jackson is written well here, not forgetting he’s young, has emotions that can fly off the handle, and he makes mistakes. There’s an interesting juxtaposition between him and Black Manta as Black Manta is super cool under pressure to the point where it’s practically a superpower. The way their worlds collide is also natural and suits the story.

Speaking of the story, there are some interesting subplots working towards a major threat by the end of the issue. Instead of explaining it all to readers upfront, we’re led down a terrible road as a man seems to have lost himself and acts abnormally. It adds a bit of mystery to the book and offers some calmer moments in between the Aquamen fighting bad guys.

If you’re looking for a complex story featuring superheroes in a new configuration, you can’t go wrong with Aquamen #1. It’s particularly interesting to see how the creative team is leaning towards Black Manta being more of a main character over Arthur Curry. You certainly should pick this up since it’s obvious the creators are doing the heavy lifting to create a richer and more complex world for Aquaman stories in the future. Aquamen has the look, feel, and complexity of a triple-A title.

'Aquamen' #1 delivers a triple-A superhero feel
‘Aquamen’ #1 delivers a triple-A superhero feel
Aquamen #1
If you're looking for a complex story featuring superheroes in a new configuration, you can't go wrong with Aquamen #1. This book has the look, feel, and complexity of a triple-A title.
Reader Rating1 Vote
9.3
A strong start that features incredible beasts and complex characters
A subplot slowly builds towards the main threat of the first story arc
Detailed, cinematic art, with a bright pop of color makes this look like a triple-A title
Arthur Curry oddly feels like a third wheel through much of the issue
8.5
Great
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