Aquaman Vol 1: The Drowning
Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Andrew Hennesy & Philippe Briones
Aquaman’s history in comics has been filled with various characterizations and quite a few ups and downs. With Aquaman Vol. 1: The Drowning, everything about Aquaman feels fresh, exciting, and right.
This volume collects Aquaman Rebirth #1 and issues 1-6 of the new series. As revealed in the Rebirth event, Arthur Curry is now engaged to Mera, and is working diligently to progress peace talks between Atlantis and the dry land nations. His plans are thwarted when he is framed for an unforeseen attack on the United States. Aquaman and Mera must work to diffuse the imminent war between Atlantis and the Unites States, clear their names, and find out who’s responsible for this chaos. This story arc focuses on one of Aquaman’s greatest dilemmas: the conflict between his duty to Atlantis and his duty to the rest of the world.
Dan Abnett’s writing and characterization throughout this book is truly remarkable. I was once again deeply invested in Aquaman as a character before I had even finished the first issue! This is because Abnett presents Aquaman as a unique and compelling character; as a hero worth admiring and loving. But instead of being admired and loved, Aquaman is detested and mocked by the world he spends his life protecting. Art is done by Andrew Hennesy on issues 1, 2, & 6; and by Philippe Briones on issues 3-5. Hennesy’s art works to complete the fresh and unique storytelling in the pages. Aquaman’s armor is changed to be a bit chunkier and less scale-like than it was in the New 52.
It’s worth noting that there have been many attempts in the past to dispel the thought that Aquaman is a lame superhero: this is not one of those attempts. Instead of rejecting the notion that people think lowly of him, it is accepted and used as a story mechanism to show Arthur’s struggle to belong.
Aquaman Vol 1: The Drowning showcases Aquaman’s best qualities while he is confronted with some of his most fundamental challenges. If you aren’t an Aquaman fan now, this book will make you one.