AQUAMEN #1/ Story by CHUCK BROWN & BRANDON THOMAS/ Art by SAMI BASRI/ Color Art by ADRIANO LUCAS/ Letters by ANDWORLD DESIGNS/ Published by DC COMICS
It’s been some time since we’ve seen a regular monthly Aquaman book, though there have been a number of recent mini-series involving his cast. This includes the Jackson Hyde Aquaman (Aquaman: The Becoming) and Black Manta (Black Manta). Aquamen spins out of both these series, but makes little effort to fill in new readers beyond editor boxes telling them to read the earlier comics.
Thankfully, the references to things we should have read before are few and far between, anchored by a traditional Aquaman scenario in which Ocean Master attacks the United Nations. The action sequences scripted by Chuck Brown and Brandon Thomas are thrilling, though undercut somewhat by the cutaways to what Black Manta is doing in a French café. This becomes particularly aggravating when the panels alternate between fight scenes three times in a single page.
Thankfully, the panel flow and some amazing two page spreads make it worth swimming through the rough scripting. Sami Basri’s does a fine job of using the space allotted and the flow of the characters’ motions feels organic throughout. The colors by Adriano Lucas are as vivid as usual, with subtle shifts in shading punctuating the action panels.
Aquamen #1 may leave some fans feeling like a fish out of water, throwing the reader into the deep end with little exposition to act as a life preserver. Thankfully, the action is engaging enough and the artwork attractive enough to make it worth treading water. Hopefully there will be smoother sailing in later issues, but I’d still say it’s worth diving into Aquamen #1.