Aquaman and the Others #1 Review
Dan Jurgens (w), Lan Medina (p), Allen Martinez (i), Matt Milla (c), Rob Leigh (l)
I suppose I should preface this by saying that I am coming into Aquaman and the Others #1 blind. While I read the first handful of Aquaman issues and even found them moderately enjoyable, I don’t have any familiarity with ‘the Others‘. I don’t think that matters – and I definitely think it shouldn’t matter, if the issue is well made – but those of you with some familiarity with these characters already may be more forgiving. Or, you may be furious that you wasted 3$ to be ‘reintroduced’ to these characters in a bland story that doesn’t take much advantage of the numerous strengths of its creators, cast, and setting.
The pacing is scattershot in that way that seemingly every ‘team book origin story’ we see these days is: The issue is a series of vignettes that boil down to, “Character is introduced, attacked by mysterious organization, shows off abilities, wins.” Rinse, wash, repeat through the vast bulk of the issue. It’s a format that I badly wish would die a quick death, because it utterly lacks a point of view, drama, conflict, character, really any basic building block of storytelling. Basically, we get three pages with each character highlighting their name, their gimmick, and their power, and then we move on. It tells us precious little about the world, about the characters. Despite the characters all being attacked by the same villain, it doesn’t even say anything about who they are other than that they are staggeringly incompetent. All it says is, “You are reading a team book.” I already knew that from the Standard Issue Team Book Cover required by law to adorn these things, so, I guess, look at the cover hard enough in the store and you should be able to jump in with #2.
The art looks pretty much like how a post-New 52 DC book looks, fitting in well with the house style they crave. Lan Medina was a solid choice for DC’s newly typical semi-’realistic’ style, making all the leads look and feel like different people – one of the most vital, and difficult, tasks to master this early in a book’s run. The action sequences are a little rushed – there’s that ‘three pages, onto the next’ butting in again – and don’t give me much of an idea as to what Medina can really do, which is a bit sad given just how much of the book is action. Hopefully, Medina is given a bit more of an opportunity to stretch in the future, as the book’s art was the only thing in the issue that really held together for me.
There’s nothing particularly egregious about Aquaman and The Others #1, but there’s nothing in it that stands out as worth your time, money, or attention, either. Well, let me amend that: There’s almost nothing egregious about it. Ending on an advertisement for another book entirely was tacky in the extreme. Everything else about this issue, from the art to the cover to the plot, screams ‘practiced inoffensiveness’, and while the setup provided could one day provide for some compelling stories, Jurgens does little to sell that potential in this particular issue. Anyone looking for something with a semblance of humanity is advised to look elsewhere.
My Rating: 1.5 / 5