THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS
John Ostrander, the future writer of Aquaman, brings us the first Aquaman annual issue in the New 52. Unfortunately, this issue largely features the lackluster team of The Others, and all around flirts with mediocrity.
Readers get some insight into the origin and purpose of Ya’Wara, one of The Others. While her origin is somewhat predictable, it’s nice to see some characterization or development in an issue that seems afraid of progress.
Aquaman Annual #1 has two pencillers; Geraldo Borges and Netho Diaz. Their inconsistent drawing skills are apparent, as certain pages can be very detailed and wonderful, followed by a page with characters that look unrecognizable. This dissonance really doesn’t help an already ailing comic.
The story is as generic as they come. An evil witch steals Vostok’s helmet in an attempt to leave Earth, so The Others and Aquaman give chase. The battle that ensues is generic comic fare, complete with mind control and new powers that seem invented just for this situation. This may have passed in comic books years ago, but readers today demand more.
The Others simply aren’t interesting characters. The Operative is a cranky old man who is world-wearied, Ya’Wara is a ferocious defender of nature, Prisoner of War is a depressed soldier, and Sky is a Shaman who we know very little about. There is very little to relate to with these characters, because they either haven’t been explored yet, or aren’t worth exploring.
This is a boring, generic issue that does nothing to enhance the Aquaman mythos. At the $4.99 price point, it’s definitely not something worth grabbing. If this is the quality of work that Ostrander is going to bring to the title, Aquaman fans have reason to fret.