Future State: Aquaman #1 – Brandon Thomas, Writer; Daniel Sampere, Artist; Adriano
Ray – 8/10
Ray: This is a comic that has a lot going for it, but it goes in some very strange directions too. Writer Brandon Thomas is best known for dark, challenging indie comics. He’s never written an Aquaman story here, but he slips into the mythology pretty neatly for a story focusing on an older Jackson Hyde. Now the prisoner of a mysterious undersea civilization, he has made over three hundred escape attempts and seems completely undeterred. How did he wind up here? That story goes back to his time training a young Andy Curry in the use of her powers. As Aquaman, he and Andy had a tense relationship with her not viewing him as a proper Aquaman due to his lack of a psychic link to sea life. Their relationship is surprisingly caustic at first, but it makes sense—after all, many mentors, teachers, and uncles have found themselves sparring with a kid who thinks they know it all.
But then things take a turn, and the two bickering heroes find themselves forced to rely on each other when they’re transported to a different dimension’s ocean and embark on a very extended journey to head home. Daniel Sampere’s art is amazing at depicting the different worlds and the strange creatures in them—including one massive beast with a shocking role in their journey. But the story also takes a very dark turn towards the end with a shocking death—apparently—and a final cliffhanger that leaves a lot of unanswered questions. At some points, this is a really charming book with a great take on the two leads. At other points, it’s a dark fantasy-horror book that leaves the user reeling. They’re both very well-done—but I’m not sure they totally mesh together. Thomas’ first full-length DC book besides his Outsiders backup isn’t as natural a fit for his style, but it may be closer to a true Brandon Thomas book.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.