Monday, January 30, 2012
Wrong element, Aquadumbass.
The comic begins:
Other wrong element, Aquastupidhead!
How did Aquaman end up falling from the sky? Did he steal some powerful being's map? Did he get caught up in a water funnel and become his own version of the Fortean falling fish? Was he stowing away in the wheel well of an airplane?
How did this happen, Aquaman?! Maybe Page Two will start with a caption that says, "24 hours earlier."
No Page two doesn't Page 2 & 3 are a gigantic splash page that shows Aquaman in a barren desert with the sun beating down on him. His costume is torn. He has a chunk of metal through one leg. And the title: L^O^S^T!
Is that how he got here? He turned the wheel on the island? So he's in Tunisia?
The fourth page shows him looking around. Then he looks down (at his crotch?) and says, "Uh-oh."
And then, AH HA HA HA, on page five:
So 12 hours earlier, Aquaman is up at night thinking about the Fish Monster Race. He gets a call from the military. They found an artifact lodged in the wall that Aquaman brought up with all the pods of kidnapped people. It looked like Aquaman's belt buckle (the 'A' which Aquaman says stands for Atlantis) and it began emitting a loud dolphin-like chatter.
Aquaman heads in to take a look. He realizes it is a very old data recorder. The kind people of Atlantis used before the island sank. But before Aquaman can figure out any more about it, some jerks in armor bust in and start shooting!
I don't recognize these guys but I bet they're members of Basilisk!
They get away in a helijet and it looks like my stowaway in a wheel well guess was pretty close to the mark as he jumps on and clings to it. Darn, I was hoping he had stolen the Map of Time.
Meanwhile, back in the desert, Aquaman sees a hallucination of his father. It's probably because Aquaman has a serious concussion from falling out of the sky. And because he's dehydrated. And from the loss of blood from the shrapnel in his leg.
Trying to break out of the hallucination, he sends out a telepathic message and a lizard seems to respond.
So did the lizard actually respond to his call? If so, why? It's not a sea creature? If not, what is it that allows Aquaman to telepathically control sea creatures but nothing else? It's not just fish he can control because he often controls other creatures as well, like cephalepods and crustaceans. Why can't he control land animals? He mentions in the diner that he doesn't talk to fish and that 'Dolphins are more complicated.' Well, Dolphins are mammals. So if he has the ability to speak or control them or even to ask for their help via telepathy, why can't he do it with other mammals? What makes his telepathy work only on sea creatures?
Back in his right mind, he concentrates and can hear the Belt Buckle squawking away in the distance. That's because he fell from the sky after the helijet he was on exploded. It exploded because he broke into it and ruptured a fuel line. He also punched the face mask off of one of those guys I posted a picture of earlier and water splashed out. So they weren't Basilisks at all. They were Atlanteans in their Reverse Scuba Gear!
Aquaman finds the Atlantean Belt Buckle and places it in some water from the Reverse Scuba Helmet of one of the Terranauts. A Princess Leia style hologram pops up and tells Aquaman the story behind the crashed Atlantean ship that he found deep in the trench.
They were in search of the enemy of Atlantis. Who is this? Aquaman doesn't know but the hologram seems to speak of the enemy as if the people finding their ship would know who it was talking about. This enemy planned to sink Atlantis and somehow the King and Queen of Atlantis are involved, either in a cover-up or in pissing off this enemy. Before the hologram can say anymore, the Atlantean behind the hologram is attacked and eaten by the Trench Fish Monster Race.
So now Aquaman has an Atlantis mystery to solve! Who sank Atlantis and what did the Atlantean royal family have to do with it?
After this, Aquaman is saved by the U.S. Navy and everybody has a good time making Aquaman in the desert jokes!
This comic continues to be well put together. Because of the foundation Johns has made in the first few issues (the first one in particular, which started nice and slow and didn't introduce a big bad enemy until the last page), this comic can begin to meander. It can take its time because it doesn't waste time. Supergirl is the opposite of this. It's wasting time and not giving anything to care about.
Aquaman has his relationship with Mera, his relationship with his father (which encompasses a whole bunch of issues including his mermaid mother and what happened to her), hell, his relationship with the public. The first storyline left a nice bunch of questions about the Atlanteans and what they were doing so deep in the ocean. This comic follows up on that and also includes some moments with Aquaman and his father. Although it's a hallucination, we still get to see how Aquaman perceives himself through his father's and the public's eyes.
And we get some more jokes at Aquaman's expense to show that the public is ready for Aquaman to just be a giant embarrassment!
And at only 20 pages per comic, Johns has packed a lot of history into this comic so far. History that makes a difference to the character and isn't just mentioned because it makes a good bit of writing and then it's forgotten. I'm looking at you, J.T. Krul and the opening to Captain Atom #3 which would make for a really good starting off point for the character! But noooooo, it's forgotten almost immediately to be replaced by the whole "I'm so fucking lonely" routine.