There was a pivotal scene in Geoff John’s DC Universe: Rebirth #1 where readers witnessed Aquaman proposing to Mera on the same beach where she tried to kill him years earlier. It was a sweet moment, and it exemplified one of Rebirth’s key elements: returning love to the characters of the DC universe. The adventures of Aquaman and Mera continued in Aquaman: Rebirth, where our scaled hero faced radical Atlantean isolationists as well as struggled with his identity as both a surface-born and a king of the underwater city of Atlantis.
The issue drew many parallels from Aquaman’s New 52 debut, where he also had to deal with people questioning his legitimacy as a member of the Justice League and as a hero in general. The concept that nobody takes Aquaman seriously is such an interesting one to play with as it reflects our own reality; how long will people be stuck in the mindset of seeing Aquaman as a fish-riding super-friend? Regardless, It was great to see the rebirth issue mimicking the thematic strengths of its New 52 counterpart.
The issue was the reveal that Aquaman, in an attempt to make his nation a part of the modern world, created a surface embassy for Atlantis in Massachusetts called the Spindrift Station. It’s creation marks a new turn for Aquaman, as this story arc will deal with how the character is trying to balance both his sea and surface life. His own personal struggles reflect those of Atlantis’s. In addition, at the end of the issue we got a hint that his arch-nemesis, Black Manta, is planning a major attack on Arthur and all that he holds dear.
Writer Dan Abnett has discussed how the first story arc will have a focus on the political side of being a king of a nation in the modern world. Given the contemporary political climate, there’s a lot of material for Abnett to work with. We already saw Atlantean isolationists try to commit an act of terror, but what about the Surface radicals? If humans barely trust Aquaman, how will they respond to an entire country of Atlanteans?
The results of the arc will likely have a major impact on the world of Aquaman, as whether or not he can successfully merge Atlantis with the modern world will undoubtedly change the course of Atlantean history.
There’s a lot to be excited about when it comes to Aquaman #1. Brad Walker, the talented artist from the Sinestro series will take over all of the penciling duties for this issue. Although I enjoyed Oscar Jimenez’s work in the previous issue, I’m looking forward to see what Walker’s art will bring to the table.
Given that this is a #1, both Aquaman fans of new and old should feel comfortable picking this one up.
Take a peek at a preview for this issue as well as the gorgeous variant cover by Joshua Middleton courtesy of Comic Vine.