‘Future State: Aquaman #1:’ My Aquaman is Black

Writer: Brandon Thomas / Artist: Daniel Sampere / DC Comics

I think I just found the Future State book that I’m most invested in. 

And I can’t believe it’s an Aquaman book. 

I’ve never been the biggest fan of Aquaman. When the internet dubbed him “Wet Thor,” I couldn’t have agreed more. The politics, the pale skin, and the conflict. I’ve never cared about any of it. 

That’s a lie. Kaldur from Young Justice is pretty dope. I do like him. And Jackson Hyde, the kinda-sorta comic book version of Kaldur, is pretty cool too. But because of my aversion to Aquaman, I’ve never given the dude a considered look.

That changes today. 

Future State: Aquaman takes place six-ish years in the future where Hyde is the new Aquaman, tasked with taking care of Arthur Curry’s daughter Andy. But one day, they’re instantly transported to an ocean on another planet, with no idea how to get back. They continue to jump to different oceans until they are split up, and Hyde is imprisoned on Neptune. 

The oceans they were traveling through were a part of something called The Confluence, a network of every planet’s oceans that serves as a web of connectivity and access to different worlds in the universe. Hyde and Andy just managed to get lost and they couldn’t figure out how to get home. 

I’m pretty sure The Confluence is a new thing. But either way, Thomas did a fantastic job of condensing the worldbuilding for The Confluence in a way that clearly conveyed what it was, while also keeping an air of mystery about it. I need to know more. I never thought I’d be this invested in comic book water. 

Jackson Hyde, as well as the writer for this series Brandon Thomas, are both Black. And there’s something about it that just makes the story click. It’s almost like… representation matters? It’s like Thomas knows how to write from the perspective of a Black character in a way that feels authentic because he’s… Black himself? This is a revelation. And we need more of it. 

The fact that I’ve been convinced to invest myself in the year of our Poseidon 2021 into an Aquaman book is proof that when there’s representation on the page, backed up by representation behind the scenes, stories can be elevated at least one letter grade. But probably more.

10 Water Swords out of 10

Find the other Future State comics here.

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