Author: Geoff Johns
Artists: Ivan Reis, Joe Prado
Release Date: September 11, 2012
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: Bought and Owned
Genre(s): Action, Drama
Review Spoilers: Medium
Oh, Aquaman. It has been a long time coming that you have found yourself a fresh fan base. Before the new 52, he was ridiculed by most comic readers, and big name shows. I mean, ruler of the sea? Just how bad ass can he be? Turns out. Pretty dang bad ass. Be prepared to find that love for Aquaman that you buried deep down.
In The Trench, Aquaman, or Arthur Curry, is a hero living in today’s world where he is scoffed at. He communicates with fish, not exactly something that inspires confidence in the locals. However, he is there doing his best to take down the bad guys, and live a simple life above the sea. This is a lot harder than it sounds when at every turn he is mocked and jeered at. They do soon change their tune when mysterious creatures from the depths of the ocean start attacking the people in the village.
These creatures come up from the depths to seek a new food source. For an unknown reason, their source has been wiped out, so now they are taking people, putting them in pods and dragging them back down to their colony. A local deputy asks Aquaman to step in and save the town from destruction. He does, and with the help of Mera, they dive down to stop the creatures from eating every person they can. Naturally, they are asked where the “real” superheros are, and if Aquaman could just “talk” to them and make them leave.
I’m going to take a moment here and point out that even though Aquaman/Arthur Curry is constantly ridiculed by the people he’s doing his best to save, he doesn’t lash back at them. He walks away. He takes it, and does his best to explain how his powers work. The poor guy has had to hear what a crappy hero he is, all while he is doing some pretty bad ass stuff to save the same people who are mocking him. He flips a car with his trident. He figures out what the creatures are doing, and then finds a way to get rid of them. He could influence all the sharks in the area to eat the locals, but chooses not to. I digress…
Down in the depths, they find the creatures’ lair, they work together to defeat the creatures. While down there, they find a connection to Atlantis which opens more questions than answers. Who are these creatures? What are they doing down there? Why are they now trying to eat people? Why do they have Atlantian ruins?
In the end, Aquaman saves the day. He wins the respect of the locals, and is told by a young boy that he is his new favorite superhero. Mera and Aquaman then return to their lighthouse, with the newly adopted Aquadog, and begin to finally start their new life on land.
This comic is beautifully written. Geoff Johns spins an amazing story, adding in humor, strife and really draws you in to how Arthur Curry really feels about his given situation. Even with minimal dialogue, you know exactly what Aquaman is thinking due to Ivan Reis’ brilliant drawings.They humanize Aquaman in a way that has never been done before, and bring you bits and pieces of his and Mera’s past that flow effortlessly within the main story. Naturally, they leave you with a trailing end to be picked up in Volume 2: The Others. I also love that they add in the sketches in the back and give more details on how they characters came to be. Even if you hated Aquaman in the past, take the time to read this comic. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by Johns’ rebirth of Arthur Curry as Aquaman.