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‘Aquaman #43’ (review)

Written by Kelly Sue DeConnick
Illustrated by Robson Rocha
Published by DC Comics


This certainly is a big week for Arthur Curry, with his blockbuster solo film hitting the big screen and also a change up on creative teams in his main comic book.

No one actually has any data to back this up (or maybe they do- I haven’t seen it), but based on ‘feelings’ we don’t see a huge jump in readership when a superhero makes it to the big screen. What we do see is an effort by the companies to have a book ready in comic shops for people that just might make the transition from seat to store, and that book this week is Aquaman #43 written by Kelly Sue DeConnick, known for her Marvel work and also Bitch Planet at Image.

Kelly Sue is a fan favorite, with a storied run on Captain Marvel and more. Her book follows G. Willow Wilson being added to the DC roster recently on Wonder Woman, a boon for diverse voices at DC as well as injecting some new voices in general in the DCU. With Bendis finding a new home here as well, It is beginning to look a lot like 2013 House of Ideas over at the Distinguised Competition.

After the events of Dan Abnett’s Drowned Earth storyline and his three year run on Aquaman, we are able to reset. Arthur is stranded on an remote and mystical island with amnesia. A woman Callie accepts him and takes care of his rescue to rename him Arusio. Other villagers are also trying to survive and bring Aquaman back to health, but the sea has not been kind, the fish harvest has been barren, forced to eat potato soup.

Until one day, the fish nets are full – but the fish is dead and rotten!

We learn that – spoiler warning – Callie is the protected daughter of Namma, who seeks revenge on the secluded island she was exiled from. Why is Namma seeking revenge? Will Arthur re-discover what his purpose is and be able to once again talk to fish?

DeConnick is starting with a clean slate here, similar to Wilson’s current Rebirth run on Wonder Woman. Both characters are strongest when dealt with from the ground up and I’m looking forward to seeing Arthur discover himself on this Island with Callie and crew vs the ocean.

I’ll echo desires for a new number one, but the cover is dressed with a gigantic “PART 1” to harpoon some of these movie fans this week! I mean, Jason Momoa does have that swagger!

Kelly Sue’s depiction doesn’t seem to be taking any cues from the cinematic version but the DNA of Geoff John’s origin is there as we embark on a new chapter in Aquaman popularity. Robson Rocha’s art is delightful, great storytelling and the heroes, both Aquaman and Callie look spectacular.

Since we are on a remote island, elements of Themysciran and ancient civilizations show up in Callie’s spectacular design. We only see Aquaman in costume in one panel, but he looks great too.

This is the beginning of the story but I can’t wait to see where it goes! Now what is Marvel going to do? Seems like a lot of creators are finding themselves across the street! Just like the good old days!



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