COMIC BOOK REVIEW - Aquaman: Deep Dives
By The Masked Medic
So it’s clearly been a while since I wrote my last review and I had noted that I’d especially not written any comic book reviews for you guys recently, but that’s all changing right now. I’m here in NYC, in the heart of the beginning of so many stories that I couldn’t help but sit down and read something casual. I had recently gotten my hands on a number of the Walmart specials that DC had been doing, and I thought why not return to the World of Atlantis and read the Aquaman special!
‘Deep Dives’ is a collection of several stories, which weave together to give a good look at Aquaman and his supporting characters. It starts with a one-shot in which Black Manta gets his hands on an ancient artefact that he believes will help him finally defeat his nemesis. Unfortunately, Aquaman is always a step ahead. The next few issues see Arthur face a criminal organization called Scorpio who are looking to capture him and dissect him for their own purposes. Despite their best efforts to cause chaos in Atlantis and its surrounding nations, they find themselves continually thwarted by Aquaman. He’s not alone, however, as his wife Mera is by his side, and he acquires the help of the ‘Sea-Devils’, a group of humans who are taking down organisations that are looking to poison the ocean. During one mission together, the Sea-Devils and Aquaman find themselves up against The Trench who have been awakened once again due to the actions of Scorpio. In defeating the Trench, the heroes inadvertently awaken an unstoppable machine that sets its sights on destroying Atlantis. All these episodes eventually lead to a showdown between Scorpio’s leader and Aquaman. The final few issues of the novel deal with Aquaman’s supporting characters. We see an issue focusing on Jackson Hyde, aka, Aqualad and his relationship with his father, Black Manta. Then a team-up issue with Aquaman and Garth, aka, Tempest, before finishing with a final bonding moment between Mera and Tula. The question remains though, can these characters all come together to save Atlantis?
I’ve always believed that Aquaman is one of the most underrated DC characters there is. Sure, Jason Momoa’s portrayal of the character on the big screen has done wonders for his reputation, but I’m talking about the comic book Aquaman. He’s a fearless hero and an impressive leader but he’s continually slept upon. This novel is a prime example of what makes Aquaman and his entire world so good. The stories keep the reader interested as each one brings something a little different. I also think in terms of character development, the novel is fantastic as it highlights the supporting characters in ways that perhaps the novel series doesn’t. If I had to be a little critical, I’d say that the lack of an overarching plot does detract from its score but not to the point that it’s not enjoyable to read!
The artwork naturally varied in the issues, but by no means did any of the issues lack quality. The styles were dynamic and exciting and the covers weren’t bad either! Overall, ‘Deep Dives’ proves that sometimes a novel doesn’t need to be canon to be good and I’d definitely give some of the other specials a chance now!
I think in a world full of heroes who are kings of their own nations, Aquaman is often forgotten as forgiving. This panel sums him up so well!
It’s tough given everyone gets a bit of the spotlight in this, but naturally, it’s Aquaman!
Story Arc: ★★★
Character Development: ★★★★