Convergence: Aquaman #1
Tony Bedard and Cliff Richards’ “Convergence: Aquaman” #1 brings back an previous look for the Atlantean hero. Bedard and Richards’ Aquaman is the Peter David version, an Arthur/Orin who’s married to Mera and has a harpoon as his left hand.
The title of the story, “Fish Bowl,” has a intelligent double meaning. Aquaman is the proverbial fish out of water and he’s discovered a bowl for himself in the city aquarium. The bowl is also an echo of the dome and a mirrored image of how Aquaman is observed from outside by Metropolis residents in addition to Brainiac and Telos.
Within the opening scene, Aquaman jumps into motion yelling “bottom-feeder” at some nameless two-bit mugger, another instance of Bedard’s aquatically applicable word alternative. The remainder black superman shirt number of the scene is much less successful. Aquaman is mistaken for another superhero while rescuing some hapless civilians. This classic blow to the hero’s ego can still be finished effectively, nevertheless it feels off here. The darkish hints about black superman shirt number “something wrong” with Aquaman work in opposition to the inherent humor of mistaken identity.
The writers for the “Convergence” occasion all face an unusually heavy exposition burden, what with having to explain these older characters and the necessity of rehashing the framework of the event. Bedard handles Aquaman’s introduction and a recap of his hand loss with a information report framing method, adopted by a shift into first-individual textbox voiceovers and concluding with extra information announcements. The exposition comes off as mechanical and too obvious with its data dumps, however Bedard efficiently doles out a soundbite version of what’s been going on underneath the Metropolis dome that will get it out of the way. Additionally, his two-pronged exposition approach allows the story to get two views on Aquaman, from exterior and inside.
While I think it’s a wise concept on Bedard’s part to point out some pathos in response to the mass negation of superpowers, Aquaman’s angst is filled with cliches. His self-loathing shower black superman shirt number scene feels like it’s straight out of a cleaning soap opera. Richards does a very good job with facial expressions, especially in conveying Arthur/Orin’s aloof and regal demeanor and a sadness that implies Byronic loneliness and tragedy. Rauch’s colours play up the moodiness. It’s a bit over-the-prime, however so was Peter David’s Aquaman, so maybe it’s best to label the characterization as accurate.
Bedard and Richards handle to power some emotional dimension into an event comic, which is an accomplishment even if it’s overwrought. When Bedard has to get again to the “Convergence” framework, however, the outcomes have much less depth. Deathblow is a strange choice of opponent for Aquaman. The two have no history. Richards has slimmed down Deathblow’s huge 90s physique, which is a wonderful concept, besides that the proportions are off and Deathblow’s head seems too small.
Deathblow is also given brief shrift with characterization. I remember the character from his early Wildstorm days in his personal title and likewise in the Staff 7 miniseries. It’s true that, even at his most heroic, Michael Cray is a killer. Nonetheless, the alarming mass murder that marks his entrance into the comic (notably without provocation or critical resistance by the aquarium employees) and his eagerness to defeat Aquaman as a substitute of combating the prison of the dome are both out of character. Deathblow is an antihero, not a Women’s Print Guardians of the Galaxy stickers Short Sleeve T-Shirt villain. He’s killed lots of innocent folks during missions, but it’s at all times been the case that these deaths weigh on his conscience. The balance between his natural self-interest in survival and his regard for different lives is off in “Convergence: Aquaman” #1.
The way Bedard writes him, Deathblow is a sociopath. No reader is going to root for him in opposition to the “misunderstood” and tormented title character of Aquaman. It is extremely unlikely that Deathblow is going to win this fight, so already there isn’t a real contest and, thus, there’s little suspense.
Bedard and Richards do succeed in giving Aquaman a stage of his own past “Convergence’s” battle to the loss of life. Nonetheless, the “Convergence” framework is closely limiting and contrived and so they don’t overcome it. The story in “Convergence: Aquaman” #1 is struggling in opposition to the occasion limitations, and it exhibits.
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