Arthur Curry is many things to many people. To some he is a king, leading his nation into a new age. To some he is a usurper—the bastard son of a faithless queen who scorns his heritage in the name of appeasement. To some he is a superhero, though most know him inaccurately as “that guy that can talk to fish.” To some he is a terrorist, and the greatest living threat to American sovereignty. To a rare few, he is a colleague and a fellow member of the Justice League. To one woman, he is her beloved and she his true love. And to one very dangerous man, he is a killer who has escaped justice for too long.
Arthur Curry is many things to many people but he is known by one name—Aquaman! Born to two worlds but not truly part of either, Arthur has made it his mission, as the newly crowned King of Atlantis, to bridge the gap between his kingdom and the surface world in a desperate bid to improve relations between all of the people he protects as Aquaman. It is a noble goal but not one that goes unopposed.
The terrorist group known as The Deluge attacks both Atlantean and surface ships alike in a bid to reignite the war between the two realms. The criminal Black Manta, who seeks to avenge his father’s death at the hands of Aquaman, plots an attack on the Atlantean embassy that will forever destroy any hope of the peace Arthur Curry wishes to forge. And a mysterious organization that has hidden its existence from both the surface world and the world below has its own plans for striking against The Sea King…
Aquaman: The Drowning proves a fantastic introduction to the world of Arthur Curry. The first chapter examines the many hats that Aquaman wears and the inherent conflict of his nature—that of an outsider trying to unite people who have no desire to get along. Dan Abnett’s script does a fantastic job of exploring this dichotomy while delivering one fantastic action scene after another. Of particular note is how well Abnett handles Mera, Arthur’s fiancée, who is portrayed as every bit his equal as both a superhero and as a leader.
The series is drawn well despite being by three separate art teams. There is a fairly uniform look between all of them, with Scot Eaton, Brad Walker, and Philippe Briones all sporting detail-driven styles that offer amazing amounts of detail whilst avoiding a heavy line work that might otherwise ruin the clarity of the story flow once inked. The colors are nicely vivid throughout, perfectly capturing the beauty of Aquaman’s undersea world.
This volume is rated T for audiences 12 and up and I feel that rating to be a fair one. There is little in the way of objectionable content apart from a fair amount of violence and literal blood in the water. There are also a few minor profanities, but nothing worse than what can be found on broadcast television in prime-time.
Aquaman, vol. 1: The Drowning
by Dan Abnett
Art by Scot Eaton, Brad Walker and Philippe Briones
DC Comics, 2017
Publisher Age Rating: T (12+)