Thursday, 9 June 2016

Aquaman Rebirth #1 Review (Dan Abnett, Oscar Jimenez)


Wow. Really - WOW. Dan Abnett couldn’t have produced a less energised, less inspired, more generic or pure work-for-hire piece of hackery than he did with Aquaman Rebirth #1. It’s not even so-bad-it’s-good, it’s just bad - I put this comic down twice before forcing myself to power through to the end and it’s just one regular-length issue! 

Granted, Aquaman didn’t appear much in DC Universe Rebirth #1 and what we did see wasn’t very interesting: Arthur proposing to Mera (again? Is their marriage being rebooted too?) and Aqualad appearing. Well, guess what - neither of those story possibilites appear in this issue! 

Instead we’ve got some disposable Aqua-terrorists trying to blow up some seaside town… zzz… yeah, they’re just there for Aquaman to punch (we’re meant to be excited by that) while Abnett drones on, giving the reader tedious pieces of info about Aquaman. Mayhap that’s useful to new readers who don’t know the character but honestly it still feels like you’re being lectured by a bored substitute teacher reading from a textbook!

Geoff Johns’ New 52 Aquaman was one of the success stories of that reboot and it’s almost like DC handed Abnett the first issue from that run and told him to replicate it, perhaps in a delusion that readers will be just as impressed. That means once more we’re told that some people think Aquaman’s a joke, we’re shown him being a badass , and he even winds up in the same fish restaurant from that issue! Abnett’s not nearly as talented as Johns though so the issue reads like a plodding ordeal instead of a slick and bombastic intro. 

The comic ends in the blandest possible way with Aquaman’s nemesis Black Manta explaining to the reader his motivations and plans for revenge against Aquaman. How by-the-fucking-numbers can you get? 

I didn’t have high hopes for Aquaman given his awful last few books with different creative teams, all floundering for purchase on the character somewhere, but this was far worse than I expected. DC/Dan Abnett took no chances with this one and in doing so gave us an atrocious comic no-one could possibly be interested in or a series anyone could be excited about reading - it’s not so much a Rebirth as it is a Retread! This issue stank like rotten fish - the freefall Aquaman’s been in since Johns stopped writing him unfortunately continues.

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