Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Your Happenstance panel of the day:

From Aquaman #2 (1992), "Both Sides of the Issue" Script by Shaun McLaughlin, pencils by Ken Hooper, inks by Bob Dvorak.

I count nineteen enemy helmets in that panel, and Aquaman knocks them right off the page: that's an OMAC-level punch, isn't it? It's a bit cramped, though: that's from a six long-panel page. While I'm usually one for cramming as much graham as possible, opening that one up a bit might have sold Aquaman's power a bit more.

This is from the brief early 90's Aquaman, which is still remembered fondly by the seemingly dozens that read it. Of course, later Peter David would rejigger Arthur and cut off his hand and briefly give him a much higher profile, but there's still a lot to like in McLaughlin's run. Still, it's a grim one: Aquaman's still racked with grief over losing his son (killed by Black Manta) and his wife Mera (who left him thereafter), which is simultaneously interesting yet drags a bit: pretty sure both of those happened what, in the seventies?

We might take a little longer look at that series some other time, but even before David, it started to set the stage for updating Aquaman a bit: getting rid of (or at least lessening) the "hour out of water" limitation, playing up the political turmoil of Atlantis internally and with the rest of the world, and giving Aquaman some limitations in controlling fish. (He has a hard time with some sharks the next issue, oddly, David would make it piranhas: Arthur could talk to sharks, but they were pretty dim.) Still, it's a pretty grim and brooding Aquaman; who already seems to be having anger management problems, or at least wonders if he's ever going to have a problem that doesn't require punching.

1 comment:

SallyP said...

I remember reading somewhere, that Arthur ought to be pretty strong, considering the underwater pressure that he has to deal with, so...yeah, I can see him pummelling lackeys with ease.

Sharks are VERY old, and therefore pretty stupid. Efficient but stupid. On the other hand, I don't think ANY fish are much for brains. Except Topo of course. Topo was awesome.