Here’s my review for Aquaman Volume 1: The Drowning. Dan Abnett takes the helm of the Atlantean’s book from DC Comics.
The Book Itself
This is a standard Trade Paperback. It collects Aquaman Rebirth #1 and Aquaman #1-6. In the back you’ve got some character sketches and some variant covers as a bonus. The cover and spine designs are quite nice. I really like the aesthetic of all these DC Universe Rebirth books overall.
Now this is just a 6 issue book, so to have so many artists, it is a bit jarring to be honest. Sometimes the styles and looks of the characters change dramatically from one issue to the next, and sometimes within a single issue there are some pages that look awesome and some that are …less awesome. Sometimes Black Manta looks awesome and terrifying, and in another page or panel he looks ridiculous.
Not trying to be mean but I think it was Scot Eaton whose pencil work I liked the least. No offense to the guy but I just didn’t like a lot of the art in this book, especially people’s faces. Brad Walker I believe was also quite weak. I was just not that impressed by the art in this book.
The story by Dan Abnett started well but then took some silly directions I felt like. At first we see Aquaman fighting some fellow Atlanteans, but who were terrorists in rebellion against the Atlantean state. This small part of the story really piqued my interest. I never really read any Aquaman books before, so I thought I was going to be in for an exciting story about all the different leagues and factions living underneath the waves. I was expecting lots of internal conflict amongst the Atlanteans and different groups.
The way the story ends up going though, there is some of that, but it’s a minor part. Instead we get this goofy conflict between Aquaman and the surface world, and even at one point Aquaman and Superman come to blows, and the surface world and Atlantis nearly go to war. I won’t go into all the details, but my initial expectations were not what came to pass.
In the meantime, there’s a classic Aquaman villain, Black Manta, working his own angle to get revenge on Aquaman. This part started really cool, then took a few turns that to me were just not plotted out all that well. The same major plot points could have been cool if it was just done a bit differently.
Overall, I was a bit disappointed by this Aquaman Volume 1: The Drowning. I was really looking forward to my first Aquaman book, and hoping to really get to know the character better and dive in. Ultimately, I did buy Volume 2, which I’ll also review. I hope the future volumes will get better, because Volume 1 started a bit weakly. Maybe Dan Abnett can pull things around as the story develops. If you do decide to check it out, the link is below.
Buy it here: