New 52 Review – “Aquaman #1”

DC’s King of the Sea is back in the relaunch. This title is a very pleasant surprise.

General Information

Title: Aquaman #1

Author: Geoff Johns

Illustrator(s): Ivan Reis (pencils), Joe Prado (inks) and Rod Reis (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.


Aquaman is as strong and durable as one has to be to survive at the bottom of the ocean. He is the determined, dedicated and quick-acting individual he needs to be to be a king. Unfortunately, nobody seems to recognize that.

High Point

Officer 1: “I can’t believe we just got upstaged by Aquaman.”
Officer 2: “The boys at the station are never gonna let us hear the end of this.”

Low Point

Does he have super healing, or was the wound just left out of the art?

The Scores

This feels original. We’ve got the classic look to Aquaman, but he’s exhibiting all the physical and personality characteristics this type of character would have to possess. The fact that the world sees him as a laughingstock helps play into it, giving a very different tone to the usual “fish out of water” story. I give it 6 out of 6.

The artwork is excellent. Aside from the vanishing wound, which may or may not be a power I’m unaware of, I have no complaints at all. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is surprisingly strong. Something big is brewing, and we get a strong sense of what’s going on in his personal life that he’s going to need to deal with. I give it 6 out of 6.

The characterization is fantastic. The reason I’ve never been an Aquaman fan is that he’s never been the character he needed to be. He’s finally got the power of Sub-Mariner, along with the necessary leadership skills, but without cloning Namor’s personality. I’m very, very impressed. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is amazing. I didn’t know Aquaman could be a good title, but Johns found the needed approach. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow is marred only by the vanishing wound. The script makes it seem like only a minute or so has passed, and yet it’s gone. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this is possibly the most pleasant surprise of the relaunch. At the time of this writing, I’ve read 43 out of 52 titles, and it’s certainly the greatest surprise of that set. I give it 6 out of 6.

In total, Aquaman #1 receives 40 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman