Written by George Pérez, Pencils and Inks by Jesús Merino
This comic is exactly what I expected from monthly comics when I first considered getting into them. A story-line, mission or adventure that is done in one issue, but plays a part in an overarching narrative. Admittedly, I’ve seen that comics can be much more than this, but its a method of storytelling that works well, and I’m glad that this run of Superman is going with it. This issue deals with Superman fighting a monster that he can’t see, and how he has to rely on his friends in the media to help him out.
This seems to be keeping the themes of the media from the first issue, playing out how, on the one hand, being a journalist is integral to the character of both Clark Kent and Superman, but also the more meta issue of how Superman himself is a product of the media and would be nothing without it. This issue tends to lean towards the latter in his fight with the invisible creature, a fight which it seems that Superman would fail if it weren’t for the fact that the media pay so much attention to him. Combine these metatextual issues with some nice character drama between Clark, Lois, and Lois’s father Sam, and you’ve got a comic I’m happy to keep picking up.
Writing by Geoff Johns, Pencils by Ivan Reis, Inking by Joe Prado
This is the comic I’ve been most eagerly awaiting since DC’s New 52 began. Aquaman #1 blew me away with its more serious, relatable take on Aquaman, and how much of a badass they can make the hero who ‘talks to fish’. This issue follows directly on from the boat attack by the Trench monsters at the end of issue one, showing them attack and devour an entire town, only to be confronted by Aquaman and Mera once the deed is done. While this sounds like a ho-hum monster attack story, where this new Aquaman run shines is in showing the humanity of Arthur Curry, and his attempts to build a life on the land with his Atlantean wife. The scenes between the two of them make them seem like a really loving couple, something that is being seen less and less of in superhero books of late.
When dragged out of their cosy family world, the way they interact with the world outside is really enjoyable too. While it is going to take a while for Aquaman to shake his ‘lame’ image to some of the regular Joes in the DC universe, his reputation as a hero to be relied upon is slowly building. Sure, he’s dealing with a seaborne threat, but who better for the job than Aquaman? Overall, its great to see a loving couple fighting side by side against a legitimately menacing threat, and to have both of them competently holding their own, but still caring about each other during the fray. So, well written, entertaining reveal of Mera’s powers and a great build on an actually threatening villain. The only problem? It felt like it was over way too fast. Its a tribute to the pace being kept up by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, but 20 pages is not enough!