Reviewer: Daron Kappauff
Story Title: To Die by the Light of the Sea
Quick Rating: Not Great but Not Bad
Written by: Rick Veitch
Penciled by: Yvel Guichet
Inked by: Mark Propst
Colored by: Nathan Eyring
Lettered by: Mike Heisler
Editor: Ran Raspler
Publisher: DC Comics
I have to start this review by stating that I’m not the biggest Aquaman fan in general. I think he has the potential to be a very interesting character, but I think it takes a special writer to really bring him to life. That being said, I picked up the last series when it started, helmed then by Peter David, and read it for a few years, but I eventually got bored with the character. When I heard that Rick Veitch was going to be bringing Arthur back with his own title, I was a little excited.
As many of you may know, Rick is greatly known for his work on various Vertigo titles and other non-superhero books. With this thought I mind I was ready for a whole new direction for Aquaman, and if I remember correctly I think DC even promoted the title as such.
What we are getting however is just subtle variations of the same old thing. Aquaman is no longer the King of Atlantis, as seen in the long winded and overly hyped â€œObsidian Ageâ€ storyline that ran through JLA recently, and now he finds himself stranded, in self imposed exile from his friends, on land in Ireland. And of course he has a new hand, which comes with new powers. (I really hope that this isn’t going to be the norm with this character. Each time he gets a new series he gets a new hand to go with itâ€¦yeeesh!)
I liked the links to Arthurian legend that Veitch set up in issue 1, but not much more has been said about that. This was something I thought would be very interesting for the character, and I really hope this plot thread isn’t dropped or dismissed. But nothing really exciting happens in this issue. It’s a typical superhero trying to fit in with humanity but finds he has to put on the suit and save the day type of situation.
There seems to be a personal battle that is resolved for the main character, but if your not a long time reader or fan, you might read right past it and not even notice. To me it seems like this was suppose to be a major change for the character, but Veitch didn’t give us enough lead up. As I said, a casual reader may not even know what I’m talking about, but I don’t want to give it away for those who haven’t read it.
This title is one that I really had high hopes for, but as of yet it hasn’t delivered. I know it’s only been two issues, but I was hoping for more. If I could say anything about this series, it’s that it seems as though Veitch has a lot of ideas, some very good ones, but he is taking his time in developing them. Normally that wouldn’t bother me so much, but in this market you have to jump in with both feet. You have to catch the reader with the first issue and keep them on their toes or suffer the fate of all to many titles and be cancelled before the first year is over.
I’m hoping that with the revelation of Arthur’s new costume next issue, Veitch will finally get the pacing set for this book. I really want to enjoy Aquaman; I just hope it’s around long enough so that I can.