Review: Aquaman #5 By Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis

Aquaman #5

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Eber Ferreira, and Rod Reis


The short of it:

Aquaman gets dumped in the desert. Short enough for you? Too short? Alright, fine. Aquaman gets dumped in the desert and then through flashbacks we find out why he’s there. He goes to look at an Atlantean rune that came up with the people he saved from the Trench, and winds up attacked by a bunch of armed men in armor. He gives chase as they exit and winds up hitching a ride on their super-tech flier. He figures out their place of origin, but not before he gets dumped in the desert. His trip is filled with dehydration and hallucinations before he finally finds the rune he almost lost and receives hints as to what caused the fall of Atlantis. Arthur winds up being saved from the desert, but he returns home to find something potentially scarier than that…


What I liked:


  • The moment Aquaman realizes that he’s in the middle of the desert? Priceless.
  • The talking to fish “Vuu vuu vuu vuu” sound effect is great. I’m not even a Super Friends guy, but that’s the sound effect that comes to mind when he does his thing.
  • After the last arc it was nice to get an issue light on the action and heavy on the character. Johns has been doing a great job developing Arthur, and really, it was the best part of Brightest Day too. I like that Aquaman is not only relevant but enjoyable to read about. Really, I never thought I’d be hyped for Aquaman, but here I am.
  • I feel like this will be something I say every issue, but how about that art? Ivan, Joe, and Rod are an awesome team that help bring this book to a higher level on a monthly basis.


What I didn’t like:


  • I didn’t really enjoy Arthur’s father being the hallucination of doubt and failure, not enough has been done to build him up for new readers as a strong support structure that helped crafter Arthur into the man he is today. So him all of the sudden being the unhappy voice in the desert really just made him seem more like a dick than an out of character hallucination.
  • For as much as I loved the story, Aquaman in the desert feels like a go-to way of playing up “Oh no! Can Aquaman survive?!”. It would be like putting a pre-Rebirth Hal in a yellow room, or Superman in a room with a piece of Kryptonite.
  • Sure, Aquaman gets stuck in a special Aquaman-only death trap filled with sand, but really, not a ton happens this issue. There’s allusions to future events, but the stuff that actually happens here feels a bit glossed over.


Final Thoughts:


Aquaman in a desert. It’s so…obvious, and yet, it’s the perfect setup. Sure, it’s taking a direct jab at his perceived uselessness away from the water, but like with the Aquaman jokes in the first arc, Johns uses that to his advantage. Aquaman hallucinating in the desert creates some character advancement, and while I can’t imagine that anyone doubted his determination, his refusal to die made for a great story. And all without the reader needing to be reminded just how often Arthur has to get a drink if he wants to stay alive.


So I always thought that A on his waist stood for Aquaman. It stands for Atlantis? You learn something new every day!


The ancient Atlantis stuff is really drawing me in. I mean, about a decade ago someone tried to show the fall of Atlantis in a story that brought Aquaman back from the dead, and it was horrible. So the fact that Geoff Johns is stepping up to do it himself? I have a lot of faith in it. But now I want to know who this enemy was that sank the fabled city! I mean, they have to be major league, and just how could they effect Aquaman in the present if that happened thousands of years ago? Tons of potential.


Next issues preview is awesome. “Mera vs. The World”. I can absolutely not wait for that. Talk about fish out of water!


Overall: 8.5/10

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