Saturday, January 28, 2012

Aquaman #5

One of the time-honored traditions of comic book heroes was that they had to have a specific weakness - an Achilles' heel.

So Green Lantern's ring couldn't affect anything yellow, Superman could be hurt by magic and kryptonite, J'onn J'onzz was vulnerable to fire (which has to be the lamest one of them all), and Aquaman could not survive over an hour without exposure to water.

The idea, of course, was to add suspense to the obstacles the hero had to overcome, and to make it possible for normal villains to pose a threat to the hero.

Aquaman's silly limitation was addressed in a story by Peter David some years ago (it demonstrated that Aquaman would not die if 60 minutes elapsed while he was on dry land), but this issue goes the extra step in proving that the old way of doing things is over.

In this issue written by Geoff Johns we see what happens when Aquaman finds himself stranded in the middle of a desert. It's a desperate fight for survival, and the story also offers some tantalizing clues about Atlantis and why it sank long ago.

The art by Ivan Reis is, as always, outstanding, with stunning pages and lots of great action sequences.

I've really been enjoying this series. The issues up to now have established the hero, his supporting cast and his reasons for living along the coast. Each issue gives us more insight into the character and what drives him.

It's going to be interesting to see where it goes from here!

Grade: A-


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