Aquaman Volume 1: The Trench

While many comic fans have always laughed at the idea of Aquaman being anything more than a joke, Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis take this character in a new direction that proves he is no Joke. Between the beautiful art work by Reis and the humour and drama brought on by Johns, this is an easy book to recommend to comic fans, new and old.

The story starts with Aquaman stopping by a restaurant for some lunch after foiling some criminals in a getaway truck. The police and citizens of Boston mock Aquaman the same way that fans have always done. In spite of the other patrons, Aquaman shows a kindness toward the citizens when he leaves the waitress with a tip to help in her personal struggles.  The chapter ends with some type of monster rising from the sea as a threat to the fishermen.

The next chapter provides some insight into Arthur and Mera’s home life, before local police come to their home for help with the area near the water having been attacked by the monsters from the sea. Aquaman and Mera join the fight and learn to fear the unknown of these creatures.

In addition to some flashbacks to Arthur’s childhood and his relationship with his father, the third chapter mainly deals with Aquaman and Mera continuing the fight and driving these creatures back to the ocean. Further investigation reveals the creatures came from the deep ocean.

The final chapter of the opening story sees Aquaman and Mera travel down to the Trench. Here Aquaman struggles with the decision as to whether to seal off the home of these creatures and possibly eradicating the species. Eventually Aquaman comes to terms with needing to save the surface world, yet still feels guilt.

The final chapter of the book showcases Mera trying to deal with a society that doesn’t respect her as the wife of Aquaman or as a woman. She visits town and helps a couple women dealing with sexism and an abusive father. During the story we learn that Mera’s father is trying to influence her to assassinate her husband. We do learn much about her personality and how she is a kickass hero in her own right.

Steve Henderson