The Trench concludes and Aquaman gets a dog. Seriously!
You know there is a problem with your comic when the most memorable moment is when the main character gets a pet. But Geoff Johns offers nothing to detract from the addition to the Aqua-family. The whole issue plods on at a sufficient pace and the story is wrapped up. That is literally it, there is little in the way of characterization or even tension. In fact it feels like a done-in-one issue rather than a conclusion of a multiple part plot. Johns does throw in some teases to future plots that seem intriguing, but he seems to lack the skill to make the current crisis compelling.
A forced moral dilemma is added to the issue to give Aquaman, and the narrative, the illusion of depth. His reluctance to judge or punish the creatures predictably leads him into trouble and is completely unnecessary. In fact it’s over shadowed by the almost bloodthirsty reaction of Mera. Granted she is from a different society and therefore is accustomed to different ways of dealing with things, but her attitude seems surprising. However her entire point of view is justifiable as the creatures do eat people and will continue to do so unless dealt with. It was a hollow gesture on Johns’ part to create sympathetic dialogue for the creatures, especially after the first three issues. The creatures aren’t ambiguous in their intentions and it is a hard sell indeed to get the readers to even sympathize for their plight.
Also on a side the whole moment with the child was far too on the nose to be taken seriously. Yes one of the major characters beats of Johns’ Aquaman is the fact that no one takes him seriously, but this acceptance from a child was far too saccharine and misjudged.
Another problem is that the creatures are far to bland to instill any sort of interest. They have never really seemed like a true antagonistic force and when added to the uninspired plot, the whole comic falls flat. Following in the creature’s footsteps Aquaman just isn’t compelling. His dialogue is stilted and preachy and if it weren’t for Ivan Reis he wouldn’t have any depth of emotion to speak of.
As has been the case Reis is not only the big draw here, he is the sole aspect of the book that works. The creatures are suitably designed for their generic purpose. His Aquaman is still powerful and stoic but it was nice to see him soften in his expression, as Reis does his best to sell the closing moments of the book.
But with the end of the first arc we can only look forward. Johns needs to craft a plot worthy of the character, a plot that has an emotional crisis from the beginning and not just thrown in at the end. Although Reis continues to draw a lovely looking book, the title just feels like style over substance.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|Reis continues to do a fine job.||There is no character and no real identity that allows the title to be anything other than bland and unimpressive.|
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