Wednesday, July 4, 2012

First 10- Aquaman

Here's the thing about reading the first 10 issues of Aquaman: it's an uphill battle against all the Aquaman prejudice. Even for a relative newbie like myself I'm well aware that Aquaman is widely considered one of the lamest heroes in the DC universe. Yes, I know that he finally gets much more interesting in the late 80's and early 90's, but my First 10 series requires that I read the first 10 issues of a series, not just the best 10 issues. Anyway, what you need to know is that as I read these comics, I was really trying to like them. I scoured them for redeeming qualities because I didn't want to just go with the herd and call Aquaman lame.

All that said, the first 10 issues of Aquaman are completely and totally lame. There's no getting around it: I found these comics to be a total and complete chore to get through. In the first 10 issues of Aquaman you get no sense of what his struggle is, who his enemies are, who his friends are (other than Aqualad, who is basically a lame-o underwater Robin), or anything that gives him any sort of motivation to do whatever it is he does. What you get are a bunch of uninteresting and poorly-written stories that ultimately go nowhere in advancing Aquaman's overall story. Here is the plot of every story in the first 10 issues of Aquaman: 1) a fish tells Aquaman there's trouble 2) Aquaman and Aqualad investigate the trouble 3) Aquaman and Aqualad get trapped by whoever is causing the trouble 4) Aquaman uses telepathy to get some highly-specialized fish to help him escape (seriously, I kept expecting lock-pick fish or safe-cracking fish to show up because some of the fish he called to his aid were ridiculous) 5) Now free, Aquaman uses his enemy's own weapon against him (usually a ray gun, all of which are drawn exactly the same) rendering him incapable of further harm and therefore unlikely to pose a long-term threat and make the comic at all interesting. I just saved you the hassle of reading the first 10 issues of Aquaman.

Oh, one other thing I need to point out before throwing this pitiful series at the bottom of my First 10 totem pole: it seemed the writers of the comic were not confident enough in the stories themselves. Aquaman comics are littered with Beetle-Bailey-ish Navy comics, facts about the sea, water safety tips, and other unnecessary stuff. I would rather see a half-dozen more ads for GRIT or the Olympia Sales Club. If Aquaman was capable of providing stories which stood on their own, all that other crap would be unnecessary. Unfortunately I found out the hard way why Aquaman is the laughingstock of the DC Universe. I'll eventually take a look at the issues which redeemed him as a character, but not before I get this bad taste out of my brain. Anyway, as if it needed saying, here are the current First 10 standings:

  1. Amazing Spider-Man
  2. Fantastic Four
  3. The Punisher
  4. Golden Age Green Lantern
  5. Aquaman
Don't worry DC fans, there are some good DC comics on the docket and we'll get a decent mix going before too long.

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