Future State: Aquaman #2 – Brandon Thomas, Writer; Daniel Sampere, Artist; Adriano Lucas, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Few series in Future State have been more ambitious than this one, with two lead and a surreal and complex setting—the Confluence, a link to the oceans of the multiverse guarded by a massive beast. Last issue’s chaotic start saw Jackson training Andy, only for the two of them to get trapped in the Confluence, leading to an encounter with the Great Beast. Jackson was captured by a ruthless undersea species as a suspected spy, while Andy was seemingly maimed and left for dead. This issue is her story, as she wakes up on a foreign shore missing her leg, but is able to save her life by psychically grafting a living being made of water on to her—something that does not please its psychic siblings. Much of this issue is Andy alone, trying to figure out how to survive as she’s constantly taunted by an army of psychic “glimmerfish” demanding the release of their fellow. I’d sympathize if they weren’t such jerks.
This issue reminds me a lot of a more surreal, high-fantasy take on movies like Cast Away and The Revenant—we see Andy go from a scared, wounded girl to a confident warrior who learns to drown out negative influences. By the time we see the two subplots unite again, Andy is a seasoned warrior driven by anger—maybe a little too much. The final battle of the issue is surprisingly brutal, but also beautiful as we see the bond between the two heirs to Arthur’s legacy restored. This is unlike any other book out of Future State, especially in terms of how different it is in tone from the usual series. It’s a darker, magic-accented take on the Aquaman mythology and delivers in how it creates a new status quo for the heroes. I’m really hoping this isn’t the end of the road for Brandom Thomas on these characters, as well as for the concept of the Confluence. It’s another strong leap forward for the franchise after DeConnick’s excellent run.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.