Writer: Kurt Busiek
Penciller & Inker: Butch Guice
Art Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10.
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Total Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Aquaman #41 starts with “Aquaman” fighting some green guy. We then flash back three days earlier. “Aquaman” is desperately digging through the wreckage of the lab trying to find his father or any other survivors. There are none. “Aquaman” then passes out because he has been out of the water for more than five minutes. Ooooohkay. Manaue, the King Shark, then drags “Aquaman” back into the water to revive him.
“Aquaman” freaks out because his father is gone and asks the Dweller to help him find his father. “Aquaman” says he had a great uncle in Maine and his family still runs a light house up there. The Dweller says they shall rest first and prepare for their voyage to Maine.
“Aquaman” is then approached by an emissary for the Queen of the people that “Aquaman” saved from the Aurati raiders in issue #40. “Aquaman”, the Dweller and Manaue all travel to Surfaceman’s Grave. There resides Queen Mera. Mera thinks that this “Aquaman” looks similar to the real Aquaman. Mera tells “Aquaman” about the destruction of Atlantis. That it was mere collateral damage during a cosmic war (Infinite Crisis). The real Aquaman has disappeared.
After Mera’s story, one of her warriors, Atsiul, takes umbrage to the fact that “Aquaman” is getting credit for saving their people from the ambush. He claims “Aquaman” is a nobody in league with the foul King Shark. “Aquaman” looses his temper and challenges Atsiul to a duel tomorrow morning.
The next morning the duel begins. “Aquaman” gets his ass kicked up and down the ocean floor. He then looses his temper and in a rage fueled attack, he displays power and speed that was unexpected. “Aquaman” says that he never said he was a hero. Never said he was Aquaman. And never said anything about not killing Atsiul. Suddenly, Manaue appears and tells “Aquaman” to either kill Atsiul or don’t, but either way hurry it up because they have places to be and all the blood from the fight is making him hungry. End of issue.
The Good: Well, we got more information about what happened to Atlantis in the past year. We know that the real Aquaman is missing. We know that this new “Aquaman” is related to the real Aquaman’s father.
Kurt Busiek is a talented writer and I usually enjoy his stuff. I don’t think the issue is poorly written from a technical standpoint. I just don’t find it interesting. I can’t really think of much more positive to say about this issue.
The Bad: Let’s start with the art. I just don’t like it. Butch Guice’s art is simply not my style. I don’t like the “Prince Valiant” style art that Guice uses on this title. I think it is inconsistent from panel to panel and doesn’t create a visually appealing comic.
I’m not particularly impressed with Busiek’s story. I find absolutely none of the characters even remotely interesting. This new “Aquaman”, the Dweller or Manaue. Basically, the story reads like an average fantasy story. Maybe it is just me since I prefer super-hero comic books.
I don’t find any of the storylines to be very interesting. I’m not too interested in the Shark King. The Dweller is too cheesy of a character for me. I don’t really care to find out what is his story. I don’t really care much about this new Aquaman’s past, his search for his father or his “destiny” that the Dweller keeps talking about. As a matter of fact, the only thing I am interested in is where the hell is the real Aquaman and when is he going to come and claim his comic book back from this loser?
I definitely don’t like the fact that the new “Aquaman” can’t be out of water for more than 5 minutes before passing out. I think that most water based characters suffer from being limited in the stories they can be used in. However, characters like the real Aquaman and Namor are more flexible since they can survive just fine out of water. This new “Aquaman” is extremely limited since he can’t survive out of water for more than 5 minutes. It just seems very lame and unnecessarily limiting to me.
Honestly, I hold Busiek to a higher standard than most writers and I expected more from him than what I am getting on Aquaman. Unfortunately, my 6 issue rule on any new titles prevents me from dropping this title like a bad habit. Hopefully, Busiek can make this title a bit more interesting than the past two issues.