Monday, March 28, 2011

Geoff Johns to Write Aquaman

I think we all knew this news was coming. Geoff Johns will be writing an Aquaman series once Brightest Day concludes.
I personally have a ton of questions; Is it an ongoing or a mini? Who's your artist? Does this mean you aren't writing Flash anymore? What physical limitation are you going to give him (suggestion: table saws for feet)?

Before I answer those questions in an overly "jokey" manner, I want to touch on the news itself.

Johns said in an interview waaaay back in December that he loved the character of Aquaman, and he wanted to see the character return to prominence in some fashion. When prodded whether or not he'd be involved in the character's revitalization, Johns responded "Sure". Glowing endorsement!

Well now here we are, and Johns recently tweeted that he would be writing Aquaman at the end of Brightest Day. We've heard recent news that "The Flash" is being cancelled after 12 issues, coinciding with the Flashpoint event. I'm not sure if that's because DC is revamping their Universe following the event, or because of the monumental delays from the book's conception. With DC being uber-mum about it, it's difficult to say.

I do have my fears about this title, if it is in fact going to be an ongoing. Number one, obviously, is how well the character will be received? Let's be honest, ever sicne Superfriends Aquaman has been kind of a joke. He communicates with sea life, he's king of Atlantis, and he can swin like a mother-fucker. It doesn't necessarily stand up all too well next to Superman, Flash or Green Lantern. Johns has treated the character with the utmost seriousness in Brightest Day, and I think that's the way the character would have to be played. He's a bad-ass underwater guy with a trident and sealife-telepathy. If any in-jokes get made about that, it's curtains... er, fishnets. You know what I mean.

With the character a common pop-culture joke (It's Sea-MAN. Swallow, come!), everything about this re-launch needs to be perfect. That's why I'm also nervous about who the artist paired with Johns will be. My money is on Ivan Reis, since the two have worked together for around half a decade, but don't count out some dark horses. Remember, Doug Mahnke was the artist during Aquaman alongside Will Pfeifer's "Sub-Diego" storyline, and did pretty damn good. I think drawing underwater stuff for Mahnke is a lot like drawing outer-space stuff; just go balls out crazy with it and draw everyone "floating".

Think about it though; Reis and Johns back on Green Lantern after the "War of the Green Lanterns" storyline? Cuuuuummmmm.

With it being Johns, one of DC's very limited superstar writers, the artist most likely will be top-teir. After seeing what Jesus Saiz did with Aquaman in his one-issue Brave and the Bold stint, I wouldn't mind having him try it full time. But with Reis not officially slated for anything in the near future after Brightest Day, my Monopoly money is on a Johns/Reis Aquaman book.

Let's talk themes. A book isn't going to survive long without some sort of hook for the project. The Flash deals with issues regarding time travel (or at least has of late), Green Lantern deals with issues of emotion, war, the creation and destruction of ideals (individually and within a "governing" structure), Batman currently is tackling the issue of "branding" and ideal... they have a hook. I'm curious to see what the hook would be for an Aquaman relaunch, because if it's just a "fish out of water" situation I'm going to shit blood. And it's going to hurt like crazy.

Here's what I don't want; the eco-warrior, fighting to protect the natural wonder of our Earth's bodies of ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ...

The reason I read comics is to escape real-world issues. If I see Aquaman pulling Japanese people out of the water and using sea cucumbers to suck out the radiation, I'm gonna plotz. And I'm not even Jewish. The best comics are ones that deal with real-world issues in a very obscure and abstract way. Look at Greg Rucka's Batwoman: Elegy book. It dealt with homosexuality in the military, and became a big deal after the book came out, but all people cared about was a lesbian bat-character. Compare that to John's "Aquaman vs the oil spill" issue of Brightest Day, and it's a clear distinction; no heavy handed comic book characters.

What's a heavy-handed comic? Behold.

With all this being said, I'm still super-excited for the book, because I've been clamoring for some Aquaman for years now. You just can't blame me for being nervous that they'll screw it all up...

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