REVIEW: ‘Aquamen,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Aquamen #1 - But Why Tho

Aquamen #1 is written by Chuck Brown and Brandon Thomas, illustrated by Sami Basri, colored by Adriano Lucas, and lettered by Andworld Design. It’s published by DC Comics. Jackson Hyde has taken a more active role in his partnership with Arthur Curry, as both now share the mantle of Aquaman. However, an attack by Arthur’s brother Orm – better known as the Ocean Master – unleashes a conspiracy that could threaten the entire world. But what does it have to do with Atlantis? And how is Jackson’s father Black Manta involved?

The series spins out of plot points established in Aquaman: The Becoming and the Black Manta miniseries, which Thomas and Brown penned respectively. Both writers, like the titular protagonists, join forces to deliver a story that expertly balances the stories of the two Aquamen. Family issues are at the heart of the series. Arthur, a newfound father, yet again has to deal with his brother wreaking havoc while Jackson buries himself in the superhero life following his mother’s severe wounding in the pages of The Becoming. Add his fractured relationship with his father Manta into the mix and you have a recipe for disaster—especially with the last page revealing a shocking secret.

Basri leans into the duality of the series’ titles, with his artwork crisscrossing between Jackson and Arthur’s battle with a massive sea serpent and Manta encountering an Atlantean sleeper agent. One page even features an alternating series of panels, with one set depicting Jackson battling the sea serpent (and nearly getting eaten) while the other features Manta effortlessly disarming the sleeper agent. Manta also sports a red and black tuxedo and sunglasses that give a very James Bond-ian flair to his sequences, until he dons his signature armor. Both Aquamen’s signature powers are on display, including Arthur’s telepathy and Jackson summoning his water trident. Both are depicted in a bright blue color thanks to Lucas.

Having also served as the color artist for The Beginning. Lucas utilizes bright and eye-popping colors that result in a visual feast; Arthur’s trademark orange and green outfit serves as a solid contrast to Ocean Master’s purple and silver armor. The sea serpent fight takes place in the morning, with the golden sun shining down on the chaos below. And Manta’s fight takes place in a well-lit restaurant with crisp white tablecloths and a pale blue coat of paint covering the walls. Andworld Design comes up with a neat way of depicting when characters are speaking a language other than English. Their world balloons take on a pale blue color and have slightly slanted letters. He also creates an entirely new language for the people of Atlantis, which resembles a more sophisticated version of Wingdings.

Aquamen #1 begins a new adventure for Arthur Curry and Jackson Hyde as its creative team continues to make their mark on the Aquaman mythos. If you loved reading Aquaman: The Beginning or were introduced to the Aquamen via the Aquaman film or the Young Justice animated series, you’ll want to pick this one up.

Aquamen #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Aquamen #1
4.5

TL;DR

Aquamen #1 begins a new adventure for Arthur Curry and Jackson Hyde as its creative team continues to make their mark on the Aquaman mythos. If you loved reading Aquaman: The Beginning or were introduced to the Aquamen via the Aquaman film or the Young Justice animated series, you’ll want to pick this one up.