Thursday, November 13, 2003
Let me say this first. I am a fan of the character Aquaman. I own just about every series he's ever been in so it should come as no surprise that I've been picking up the current Aquaman comic. I almost didn't because after Peter David left the previous run of Aquaman I ended up dropping that title from my pull list. It just got too boring and humorless. And I seem to recall the art blowing big, wet chunks.
Anyway, I guess DC, being a glutton for punishment, decided to give the web-footed wonder a new series and they restarted the title at number one about a year go. [No, he doesn't really have web feet I was being alliterative.] I, of course, being woefully behind on my comic reading am just now getting around to reading the year's worth of Aquaman.
I'm on issue #8 right now and I'm beginning to wonder if I'll make it to #11. Rick Veitch is the writer on the revamped Aquaman title and, while I wouldn't call myself a fan of his work I've never gone out of my way to avoid it. He's written some entertaining comics (Maximortal, Bratpack, the Greyshirt tales in Alan Moore's Tomorrow Stories) but Aquaman is not one of them. Okay, I take that back. It's entertaining because I can read some of the more horrible lines of dialogue out loud to Mike and make him laugh. Want a few examples? Well, tough I'm putting them here anyway.
From issue #7:
Speaking of this really lame villain, Thirst, who's stalking all of the world's "fresh water spirits" and draining them dry.
Aquaman: He's out there, Garth. Parched and rasping...waiting to drain each of us.
Garth/Tempest: I feel him too, Arthur. It's times like these that make me think of loved ones...and home. [*sniff* Kinda gets you right here, don't it?]
But wait, it gets better....
The scene switches to the really, ugly evil guys who have taken over Atlantis and deposed Aquaman. They're talking about whacking Tempest's wife, Dolphin and their young son. Why? Well, because they're the bad guys. Duh.
Okay, "conjugal sorcery"? And, "alchemy of ecstasy"?!? What the frick was Veitch smoking when he wrote that?
Hagen: Of course we will take the usual precautions to avoid any suspicions being directed towards the imperial court. Can we count on the conjugal sorcery of Tubold and Skuld to provide us with the necessary means?
Tubold, the husband: To my wife and me, sorcery is the ultimate aphrodisiac, wise Hagen.
Skuld, the wife: Our alchemy of ecstasy will produce a diabolical instrument worthy of your will.
Here's still more...
Tubold: The great smoker bubbles and boils, fair Skuld! [They're referring to a volcanic opening in the ocean's floor. That's evidently where they do the nasty and create these freaky, Lovecraftian monsters to terrorize Atlantis and eat Aquaman.]
Oh, puh-leese. Jackie Collins eat your heart out.
Skuld: How it mirrors my own desire, dearest husband. The ritual spells have been spoken, the victims duly sacrificed. All that is left...
Tubold: ...is volcanic ecstasy!
And from issue #4 which gets the award for the most egregious overuse of fish/sea metaphors ever committed in a comic book. Okay, any comic from the '60s featuring Aquaman probably did it more but...well, just read for yourself.
Aquaman (Arthur) and Tempest are arguing about Aquaman going back and retaking his throne.
Okay, I could go on and on with more cheesy dialogue samples but I'll save your eyes and my typing fingers and stop. Just be assured that my eyeballs get a really good work out when I read an issue. You know, eyeballs. Rolling. Eye rolling. Good. Glad you're understanding that now.
Aquaman: Did it ever occur to you I might just be moving on? It's hard to explain, but the fresh water has put me in touch with something new. Something...mystical.
Tempest: Oh, so that's it. The great man's got bigger fish to fry! He thinks he's a sorceror now! I'm not buyin', Arthur! And you know what? You may have been skipper in the old days, but I'm not going to let you tread water here! You're talking to someone who studied under Atlan himself!
So, the above samples are just one reason why I don't like this comic. Actually they're probably the biggest reason. I guess Veitch's basic premise—Aquaman gets a new mystical hand from the Lady of the Lake that allows him to do all sorts of magic and telepathy and travel into weird other realms—is different. It's at least giving Aquaman something to do since he's been banished from the world's oceans by Hagen and his horny husband and wife sorceror team. But he can't use that hand in violence. It's to be used for healing only. Oooooh. Of course, Aquaman doesn't know this and screws up by whacking somebody with his hand pretty early on which sets into motion this whole silly Thirst storyline.
You'd think the Lady of the Lake would have given old Aquaman an owner's manual or at least shown him how the damn hand worked. What? It was too hard to tell him, "Oh, ummm...I know you're a super-hero and all and you usually like kicking a lot of ass but whatever you do, don't hit anyone with the new appendage. Bad shit will happen if you do, dude." heh I should be writing the dialogue. That reads better than anything Veitch has put in the comic so far.
I don't have much hope that the remaining issues in my possession will get any better. And you can bet I'll be giving that issue #12 some intense scrutiny at the comic shop this week.
posted by Tamara - 1:00 PM -- Link to this entry
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