Aquaman has returned in a new series of his own, thanks to the DC Comics New 52 event. The first arc was released last week in the Aquaman Volume 1: The Trench hardcover collection from writer Geoff Johns, penciller Ivan Reis, and inks/pencils from Joe Prado with additional inks from Eber Ferreira. The popular series has breathed new life into the character, which often struggled for commercial success. It is currently one of the top 20 comics.
The Trench stars Aquaman and his girlfriend, Mera, as they try to adjust to life on the surface; taking up Arthur’s father’s old position as lighthouse keeper at Amnesty Bay. When a nearby town is attacked by a new race of underwater creatures, it is up to Aquaman and Mera to save the town, whether the town has any faith in their ability to do or not.
The New 52 event marked a fresh starting point for characters in the DC Universe, so this series, as well as Justice League, serves as the introduction for this updated version of Aquaman. In The Trench, Johns has wisely stripped away most of Arthur’s supporting cast, leaving only Mera and introducing Dr. Stephen Shin. This affords more time for developing Aquaman. That space paid off as Johns does arguably the best effort at humanizing Aquaman; a character readers sometimes have difficulty identifying with, for some reason. Johns and Reis were also able to introduce some nice subtleties to the character. One such being that Aquaman and Mera often leap, long and short distances, while on land. Not only does this utilize their increased strength, a la The Hulk and early Superman, but more closely reflects their movement underwater.T