Thursday, August 30, 2012

Aquaman #12

This jerk was supposed to have been decapitated according to last issue's cover.

It's strange to see Aquaman working in team comics because he's portrayed as such a quiet loner. It's also weird to see Batman in teams as well but he loves pushing people around and flaunting his intelligence so much that he pushes his way into any team comic he can manage. Also, DC knows Batman sells titles. But Aquaman? Why did he join the Justice League? After helping defeat Darkseid and accidentally being a part of that conflict and part of the team, why did he stick around? What motivation led him to hang out with those guys? And how exactly did he pick up all of these Other guys, dragging them into his rivalry with Black Manta? How does a guy with Prisoner-of-War powers get involved with a deep sea expedition to recover ancient relics? Craigslist Atlantis?

The Others get in contact with Mera easily enough since they have the Operative on the team. She joins them by swimming across the ocean in a few seconds and then riding a water spout up into the Operative's plane. From what I've seen of Mera's powers, I'm beginning to think this series has the wrong character's name on it. Mera is a fucking badass.

I have to agree with Ya'wara here. Aquaman has been acting like I'm used to Aquaman acting through all twelve issues. So he must have been different before he met Yoko Mera.

Vostok X and Prisoner of War argue about Arthur's motivations as well. Vostok thinks Aquaman is protecting them. Prisoner-of-War thinks he doesn't give a fuck about anything except killing Black Manta. I think Aquaman believes that The Others will louse up the whole revenge scenario by either killing Black Manta before he gets a chance or by pussing out and stopping him from killing Manta. It's best if Arthur just goes in alone, controlling as many of the variables as he possibly can. He may care for these people in his own way. But he certainly cares more about getting revenge for his father's death.

Meanwhile in the Tomb of the Dead King, Black Manta has uncovered the Scepter of the Dead King which somehow holds the key to humiliating Aquaman. I think it also holds the key to defeating Aquaman but Black Manta seems more keen on the humiliation part. On a ledge high up in the cave, Aquaman watches Dr. Shin refuse to help Black Manta. And even though Aquaman has harbored some intense hatred and blame for Dr. Shin concerning his father's death, he finally sees that Dr. Shin has never meant him any harm. And he remembers a time when things were much easier.

"Go on, Arthur. Don't mind that one Piranha in there. He's cool."

When Black Manta orders Shin killed, Arthur is forced into action and the final battle between Arthur and Black Manta begins. Or at least the final battle between them in this story arc. I hope. Issue #0 is next month so this is probably a good time to end this Others thing.

Arthur doesn't really do much in this fight. He tries to throw Dr. Shin aside and then Black Manta smashes the hell out of everything with one blow of the scepter. Aquaman is pinned under a rock and Black Manta raises the scepter for the killing blow.

At this point, one has to wonder if Aquaman has finally met his match. Is he really going to be beheaded by Black Manta? Is there no one that can save him in this desperate hour of need? Oh, wait! I forgot the other people in the story that Aquaman couldn't quite trust with his life. The guys he abandoned time after time. The guys who lived out the last few years of their lives in desperate pain, agony, and loneliness because Aquaman seemed to have been the one integral person in keeping this group of friends together. I guess they just didn't have anything to talk about once he left. And in The New 52, making fun of Aquaman separates you from the cool, intelligent kids who have always liked Aquaman before it was cool. Otherwise their shared joy of making talks with fish riddles and deep sea knock knock jokes and what good is he on land or in space burns would have kept them together.

Vostok X: "I am so lonely all of the time. But at least I do not go on dates with lobsters!"
Kahini: "Do not feel lonely, Vostok. We are all your friends here. I see many, many years of good Aquaman jokes told together in our future. But I will not ruin the punch lines of any of them!"
Prisoner-of-War: "How many Aquamen does it take to screw in a lightbulb?"
Vostok X: "How many, Comrade?!"
Prisoner-of-War: "None because Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, Flash, or Green Lantern have already changed it!"
Ya'wara: "One time when Aquaman and I were fucking the shit out of each other in a lagoon, he came so hard that all the dolphins in the area came at the exact same moment. The White Tide lasted for the better part of a week."
Everyone Else: *blink* *blink* *gag*

Where was I? Oh yeah! Mera and the Others arrive just in time to save Aquaman's life! Boo! Hiss! I mean, Hooray!

Speaking of a return to making fun of Aquaman! When I first began reading The New 52, Aquaman Shrine began following me on Twitter because I was saying how much I liked the book. But then a few months later when everyone was raving about Aquaman, I tweeted how I was going to be the first one back on the making fun of Aquaman wagon. And they stopped following me. Fuck you, Aquaman Shrine and your super love of Aquaman bordering on the creepy and perhaps bestial! I don't need you! I don't need anybody! I'm going to start making extra fun of Aquaman to balance out your love for him. The Universe demands it!

Apparently the fight against Black Manta and his men is so easy that Mera and Aquaman can have a deep discussion about their relationship during it.

Save it for the counseling session, you guys!

Aquaman still tries driving everyone away. But those assholes still won't go! And because they won't go, Arthur's life is saved yet again by Vostok X when Vostok dives in front of Black Manta's Scepter to block the blow aimed at Aquaman.

If only Justice League International could have made Rocket Red's death half as meaningful.

Well, that just about ate up all the pages left in the comic! So I guess Arthur is going to have to chase Black Manta down yet again. But perhaps Black Manta will go into hiding for awhile. And how is Arthur going to deal with having friends in his life?

But then I turn to the last page which is really just a gigantic waste of space. Although it does tell me that Black Manta will not be going into hiding at all. He'll get to dance with Aquaman in one more issue! Will he die this soon in The New 52? I highly doubt it. I imagine he'll be maimed and near death but somehow slip away.

Seriously? A full page for this? I guess the bigger you make the hero's face, the more serious they are about whatever it is they're saying. Aquaman is super dead serious about this murder plan!

Aquaman #12 Rating: +1 Ranking. A lot of good stuff going on in this comic even though I felt like the narrative fell apart for a bit. The main problem with this comic is the amount of full page and double page spreads. Tone it down a bit and get more of that good dialogue shit in there! That's what's really making this comic work.

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