REVIEW: ‘Future State: Aquaman,’ Issue #1

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Future State Aquaman #1

Future State: Aquaman #1 is written by Brandon Thomas, illustrated by Daniel Sampere, colored by Adriano Lucas, and lettered by VC’s Clayton Cowles. It is published by DC Comics. Years in the future, Jackson Hyde-better known as Aqualad-has taken up the mantle of Aquaman, while Aquaman’s daughter Andy has become Aqualass. They both end up entering the Confluence, an ocean that spans all of space and time and become separated from each other during an encounter with a massive sea beast.

This marks Thomas’ second Future State story following the “Outsiders” backup story in The Next Batman #1. In Future State: Aquaman #1, he explores the impact that legacy can have on people, for better or worse. Jackson is trying to live up to the legacy of his mentor Aquaman-as well as potentially escaping the legacy of his villainous father, Black Manta. On the other hand, Andy chafes at Jackson’s instruction and feels like she has something to prove. The dynamic between the two is a rather interesting one, as they both butt heads over superheroic matters. Under Thomas’s pen, this dynamic feels natural rather than forced and evolves over the course of the issue.

Thomas also delves into the most science fiction-esque concepts of the DC Universe, particularly where the Confluence is concerned. A massive ocean that stretches across space and time feels like something ripped right out of Doctor Who or Star Trek, yet it perfectly fits the Aquaman mythos. His script also features new takes on the Aquafamily’s powers, including Andy inheriting a darker version of her father’s telepathic powers and Jackson having more control over his hydrokinesis.

Sampere is no stranger to illustrating DC’s heroes, having drawn Justice League issues and backups for other DC titles. He gives Aquaman and Aquawoman bold new designs. Jackson is wearing a reverse-colored version of his Aqualad suit, and Andy wearing a sea blue outfit complete with the same scales that adorned her father’s costume. He also draws impressive alien life; the alien beast that Jackson and Andy combat is an unholy fusion of a whale and an octopus, with the latter’s tentacles surrounding a mouth full of razor sharp teeth. Massive patches of growth sprout on its back, giving it the resemblance of an island.

Rounding out the artistic team is Lucas on colors. Lucas presents a vibrant set of colors, especially where the Confluence is concerned. The Confluence is a massive, shifting ocean consisting of various colors, appearing to bleed out of the night sky. The sky shifts color based on the alien world that Jackson and Andy visit; Earth’s sky is presented as a clear blue, while another alien planet has a bright pink sky (which the characters helpfully point out.)

Future State: Aquaman #1 presents a look at the ups and downs of inheriting a legacy and takes a dive into science fiction territory with its story. Unlike the other Future State stories, this issue has no backup story-presenting a breezy yet entertaining read. I’m intrigued to see how this story concludes in its second half.

Future State: Aquaman #1 is available wherever comics are sold.

 

 


Future State: Aquaman #1
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TL;DR

Future State: Aquaman #1 presents a look at the ups and downs of inheriting a legacy and takes a dive into science fiction territory with its story. Unlike the other Future State stories, this issue has no backup story-presenting a breezy yet entertaining read. I’m intrigued to see how this story concludes in its second half.