Published: October 25th, 2016
Written by: various
Art by: various
DC Comics, 394 Pages
I love when DC Comics puts out massive compilations like this that celebrate big moments from the entire history of a character. Being that I never really read a lot of really old Aquaman stuff made this a big treat.
This goes all the way back to the earliest stories and gives us a good selection of tales from just about every era and decade since.
There are modern stories here but this focuses mostly on the old stuff. Especially first appearances (or very early appearances) of key characters from the Aquaman mythos. We see the debuts of the original Aquagirl, Aqualad, Ocean Master, Mera and some very early encounters with Oceanus and Black Manta.
We also get a lot of cameos from Aquaman’s Justice League allies from different eras. This has lots of cameos but all the stories are very Aquaman-centric, as opposed to wedging in Justice League stories where Arthur Curry isn’t the primary focus.
This is a thick, solid volume. It’s a bit pricey but I got the digital version of it really cheap during an Aquaman sale on Comixology. I think I paid less than $5, which to me, was an absolute steal.
If you want to know more about the Aquaman character’s history, this is a great starting point.
Pairs well with: other recent DC Comics compilations celebrating milestone anniversaries.
Published: August 8th, 2018 – September 19th, 2018
Written by: Rob Williams, Dan Abnett
Art by: Jose Luis, Vicente Cifuentes
DC Comics, 128 Pages
Did you ever want a crossover that features the Suicide Squad and Aquaman? Well, you’ve got one! And while it didn’t start off all that strong, it ended up being a lot of fun and I enjoyed this short four-issue crossover.
The story takes place in Suicide Squad issues 45 and 46, as well as Aquaman issues 39 and 40.
The Suicide Squad team is a bit different after a key member has died, as well as a slight roster shakeup. The important members in this story are Harley Quinn, Deadshot and Killer Croc. We also get Lord Satanis, who ends up being a villain with his own agenda. On the Aquaman side, we get action from him and King Shark. Mera is also heavily involved in the story.
The real highlight of this entire event though, is the battle between Killer Croc and King Shark, a fight I never knew I wanted.
For the most part, this turned out better than the first issue led me to believe. The story was a bit weak and the threat, while somewhat large, was perpetrated by a very minor villain that most people won’t even remember.
I thought the art was good and most of the dialogue was decent.
Now had Harley become Queen of Atlantis, that would have been more entertaining.
Pairs well with: The Suicide Squad and Aquaman story arcs that led up to this.
Published: June 6th, 2018
Written by: Mairghread Scott
Art by: Matthew Clark, Sean Parsons, Jason Wright, Tyler Kirkham, Arif Prianto
DC Comics, 54 Pages
I haven’t picked up a Green Arrow book since before Rebirth but he’s always been one of my favorite heroes since I got a big chunk of the ’70s Green Lantern/Green Arrow series handed down to me in the late ’80s. Plus, I’ve been rewatching Arrow lately and needed an Oliver Queen fix in comic book form.
This story arc is covered pretty briskly in just two issues, numbers 41 and 42. However, this is a story with a lot of solid action and cameos from several villains, as Green Arrow fights his way through a maximum security prison to being Parasite back into custody. The most notable of those cameos are King Shark and Count Vertigo.
I thought the story was pretty good, even if it did get a bit preachy with its message, which was about the general prison state we have in the modern world. Parasite really just wants to go off and die but Ollie is torn between his duty of bringing him back in, as he is a dangerous villain, and allowing the guy to just die peacefully in the sunlight above. A lot of this plot deals with Ollie’s reservations about his duty and how it contrasts with other parts of his personality.
Also, we get a moment between Ollie and the prison warden where Ollie expresses his frustration with how the Parasite has been treated and the warden expresses his frustrations in how the superheroes of the universe just drop of these super powered criminals and expect the system to just be able to handle it with little to no resources.
Well, at least this doesn’t preach too hard in one direction and actually offers up different views and a debate of ideas.
I thought the art over these two issues was pretty good.
Pairs well with: Other Green Arrow stories since the start of the Rebirth run.