Written by: Dan Abnett
Art by: Oscar Jimenez
Let’s say you’ve been in a coma the last 30 years or so. Perhaps, the year was 1983 and in your rush to get George Perez’s signature at Comic Con you accidentally fell down a flight of stairs knocking you out indefinitely. Miraculously, you awake on June 8, 2016, and your last recollection of Aquaman was him on the back of a giant seahorse on the “Super Friends” cartoon show. Lucky for you, DC Comics has reintroduced the King of Atlantis with Aquaman: Rebirth #1.
While you were sleeping you missed out on Arthur Curry’s ocean wave unitard and his hook hand days. More importantly, you missed decades of utter disrespect given to one of earth’s greatest heroes and a member of the Justice League. It’s something that the issue, written by Dan Abnett with pencils by Oscar Jimenez and Scott Eaton, touches on and serves as much as a recap as it does as a testimonial to Aquaman’s greatness.
Aquaman: Rebirth is a great comic to get reacquainted with Aquaman again. It is not, however, essential reading for fans who’ve stuck by the guy through the New 52.
Abnett provides a ton of information, exposition, and reverence in the voice of a narrator. Curry, as we know, is of two worlds but “belongs to neither.” He’s the diplomat who built an embassy in Boston to try and tie the surface world and the sea dwellers together. He patrols the oceans, a beat that encompasses two-thirds of the planet, against threats from below and above the sea. His current conflict comes from ocean bottom terrorists who don’t share his affinity for “dry-landers” and are willing to bomb Boston to prove it.
The fight against the terrorists isn’t the most compelling part of the issue. It’s actually Arthur’s relationship with Mera that stands out. She’s his trusted partner and even though she isn’t thrilled with Arthur’s desire for diplomatic relations with the surface world she supports him anyway.
Eaton and Jimenez with colorist Gabe Eltaeb create a vividly detailed world that is bold and fluid (no pun intended). Obviously, the team is tasked with a unique assignment, creating action in an underwater environment. They do an impressive job of mimicking movement and speed in water that appears almost real.
If you awaken from a decades-long coma or just want to know who Arthur Curry is as it pertains to DC’s “Rebirth” initiative then read this issue. If you’re a long-standing fan then this issue won’t offer anything new except for resetting Aquaman’s place in the DC universe. The true test comes in subsequent issues when he must face an old foe. Aquaman: Rebirth is well done but merely a reintroduction of the Aquaman we know and love.