Aquaman and the Others #6. Writer- Dan Jurgens, Penciller- Lan Medina, Inker- Allen Martinez, Colorist- Matt Milla.
It’s been two months since the end of the first arc of this title and despite last month’s “Future’s End” tie-in, we are picking the story up right where we left off. As with the conclusion to the first arc, Jurgens is able to channel some classic 80’s team book motifs into this issue. Some might say, it’s a ‘nothing happens’ issue, but I see a call back to the ‘character’ issues of the Wolfman/ Perez “New Teen Titans” when there would be an issue in which the readers were caught up on the personal lives of the characters. This is a nice character issue and the throwback feel makes it an enjoyable read for this reviewer.
The Operative has replaced his destroyed flying base of operations with a yacht. And as the Others gather to find out more about the ‘returned’ Vostok-X, they all commit to remaining together as a functioning team. As they discuss what this will look like Aaron does his best Snapper Carr impersonation as he tries to put a new moniker on Vostok-X. However, each individual has some personal business to take care of and the discussion ends there.
Aquaman and Mera try to get some alone time, Ya’Wara teleports Sayeh home and Prisoner-of-War seeks out the widow of one of the ‘ghosts’ inside him. The Operative’s mission for the CIA runs him into KGBeast and KGBeast ends up running the Operative off of a roof which leaves us ready for the next issue.
I think Jurgens is doing some nice stuff with this book. It’s not earth shattering or game changing, but it’s solid storytelling. He’s able to conjure the feeling of classic 80’s comics while not seeming dated.
This issue relies on character moments to bridge the gap between arcs. It does enough to tease the next storyline, but not get too far along that it loses the impact of the personal moments for Aquaman, Mera and the Others. It’s a breathing moment that is often lost between storylines in comics today. It slows down to allow the readers to get a little bit more into the lives of the Others. For all those that have clamored for diversity, the Others is a group which is the proverbial poster child for diversity in comics. This issue allows the reader to get a little bit closer to each of the Others, and in the push for diversity that’s a good thing. The new yacht is a welcome addition for a sea-based character. Aquaman’s personal quarters are truly unique.
Some might find Jurgens approach to be too old-school for a modern book, but it provides some variety in storytelling from every other book out there. Nothing particular of note happens, but it’s all part of Jurgens approach.
This book should remind the reader of a different time. I believe this book and Jurgens writing is underrated. It’s a solid super-hero/adventure title that is accessible and a bit different from other New 52 titles. The Others are diverse and interesting characters who have the potential to be something unique in the New 52. As much as the first arc was good, this issue may be the beginning of something great. 3 1/2 Daily Planets, please.