Despite the predictable character arc Aquaman underwent, this volume delivered another fun adventure. It packed in a bevy of new characters, but managed to make them all interesting, and somehow gave most enough attention for their own development arcs. The art remained strong and Black Manta’s reintroduction felt smooth and genuine.
Marginally better than the first volume, but still not a lot to write home (or blog) about. I enjoyed the new villain, except he looked like something out of a 90’s Spawn comic. I’d rather they had focused the story on someone more interesting than the League’s handler. They continually showed the aftermath of what looked to be interesting fights and they teased a great sequence with Martian Manhunter, using it as a weak excuse not to add more members. So while the first volume careened along so fast I couldn’t focus on the cool stuff flying by, this volume jumped past the interesting and lingered on the mundane.
Of what I’ve read, the Justice League members’ individual series have been great re-introductions to the characters. But all that new character building and depth is thrown away or ignored in Justice League. It starts with a tired comic book trope, fails to instill much interest in the unlikable characters who act nothing like they do in their own comics, and manages to re-introduce an iconic nemesis without any of the perspective that makes that villain interesting. Some individual panels were fun, and the art was competent enough, but it felt like I was being pulled along past something intriguing that I wasn’t allowed to stop and get a good look at.
Like Wonder Woman, DC has struggled with Aquaman and it knows it. Also like Wonder Woman, they handled the reintroduction of the character for the New 52 admirably. The meta-jokes at Aquaman’s expense set the tone and allow him to prove himself to the characters in the book as well as the reader. The fish monsters are quite cool and Mera the waterbender has amazing potential. I’m totally on board so far.