Aquaman #43: New Creative Team Comes Out Swinging!

Aquaman #43 Cover

Writer: Kelly Sue DeConnick / Artists: Robson Rocha, Daniel Henriques, and Sunny Gho / DC

Now I know that in this moment, when you hear “Aquaman” you either think “Oh that new movie with the wet, tattoo’d bro?” or “Who? The guy who talks to fish?”. I assure you, neither of those descriptions apply to the Aquaman from the DC Comics continuity as presented by this new creative team. Here’s the squad:

  • Writer: the incomparable Kelly Sue DeConnick (Captain Marvel, Bitch Planet)
  • Pencils: Robson Rocha (Teen Titans, Batman Eternal)
  • Inks: Daniel Henriques (Supergirl)
  • Colors: Sunny Gho (Superman: Rebirth, Secret Wars)

They are a team of monsters of the craft. And it shows from the first page to the last.

Aquaman #43 Inside

Following up on the Drowned Earth arc, Arthur Curry has found himself washed ashore in the village of Unspoken Water with no memory of himself. The mundane locals call him Andy, the mysteriously inclined woman who pulled him from the surf Caille, calls him Arausio — orange. Perhaps because of the orange shirt he was wearing when she pulled him ashore. It also happens to be the name of a Celtic water god, but I’m sure that’ll come up later.

Over the course of the comic, the weird, rustic setting is well established, as is the threat from just off shore. This isn’t a normal fishing village, and their problems with the weather aren’t ordinary. This is all exemplified by Caille, drawn in striking red against all the blues and greys of the mandatory water pallette. Despite the simplicity of the color scheme, it is never boring. Every page draws the eye easily, pointing you to the important bits.

Aquaman #43 Inside 2

I think you can tell a lot about an artist by their use of absence. In a song, when do they pause? Which words do they drop in the verse? In a painting, where is the white space, the black space? The undrawn edge? In a comic, where are the silent panels? The use of silent panels in this comic is stellar. It shows a confident team that knows *exactly* what they’re doing. How to bring the reader in, how to make the reader pause and feel it. Hell, with this comic, anything they want.

I currently care deeply about a fishing village with a funny name full of odd buck-toothed fishermen and the magic girl who lives with them. DeConnick and squad are going to lead us all over the seven seas and we’re gonna go. This isn’t the movie Aquaman, all muscle and water and action. This Aquaman is someone else and I’m excited to find out more about him as he rediscovers himself. Get on this arc friends, it is going to be magic.

9 Rustic Fishing Villages out of 10

Reading Aquaman? Find BNP’s other reviews and commentary of both the comic and the movie here.

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