Subscription Box Review- DC Legion of Collectors- Superman- Mar 2017

Once again, Funko has shipped out the next box in its DC Legion of Collectors line.  After January’s DC Legacy, Funko has narrowed the scope down to one superhero; in fact arguably the first “superhero.”  This month’s box presents the Man of Steel, Superman.  Let’s get into it.

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We see the standard box here, with a silhouette of Superman featured prominently on the box, with his S-Shield visible.  Not much to see here.

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Inside the box, the inside has comic panels featuring Superman in various action poses.  I can’t really tell whose art this is.  I want to go with John Byrne for some of them, maybe Dan Jurgens as well.  The art gives me a post 1986 vibe to it, with the size of the S-shield.  I could be wrong, though.

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Now to the actual content.  Here we see the standard pin and patch.  The patch has the classic “It’s a bird!  It’s a Plane!” line from the comics (can’t they tell?). and the pin has Superman and the Legion of Collectors logo.

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Under the flap we have a comic.  It is a reprint of Superman issue 1 from 1939 (not to be confused with issue 1 from 1986, 2001, or 2016).  This issue itself was a reprint when it first came out, reprinting the first Superman story from Action Comics #1.  So it is a reprint of a reprinted story.  No other story from that issue was included, but you do get the Pop! cover, which is nice, I guess.

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The shirt is next.  We get a light blue shirt featuring a Pop! Superman flying from the Daily Planet.  As always the shirts are super soft and is done well.  There is no variant with this month’s shirt.

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Next is a Funko Pop! key chain.  This little Superman is in a flying pose.  I have seem the Pop! key chains around but I have never gotten one before.  It is now my default key chain for my car keys.

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The next item is my favourite item in the box.  We get another 3 3/4 Funko DC action figure.  This one is of Superman as he first appeared in Action Comics #1.  The front of the card features the iconic art from that issue with Superman smashing a gangster’s car.  The back also features art, but not from this issue, but from one from the silver age that I assume would be featured on the Superdickery.com website (seriously, he can be a dick sometimes!).  I like these figures, having two Suicide Squad figures from a box last year and two more from retail.  Funko, I want more.

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Superman being a dick to Lois to “teach her a lesson.”

 

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Finally we get to the Pop!  To no one’s surprise, the pos is of Superman in is classic outfit.  The body sculpt is all new, with a more dynamic pose than previous Superman Pop Vinyls.  He stands really well and looks awesome.  The way the cape is hanging off to the side is a nice touch.

So, considering the theme, there was no real surprise that everything in here was Superman.  Some have suggested it would be nice to get a Lois or a Jimmy Olson (Turtle Boy version!)  But maybe in a future Friends of Superman box?.  I love the action figures and having figure of Superman as he first appeared is awesome.  I am not disappointed in this box.  It promised Superman and it delivered.

That’s it for this time.  The next Legion of Collectors box will be shipping in early May 2017.  The next theme is Wonder Woman, based on her upcoming movie.  You can subscribe at https://legionofcollectors.com/ in order to get your box.  The deadline is 1 May 17.  Subscribers can order any of the previous boxes, but supplies are limited.

Subscription Box Review- DC Legion of Collectors- DC Legacy- Jan 2016

It’s 2017 and Funko has shipped out its first DC Legion of  Collector’s box.  What better way to ring in the New Year than by looking into DC’s 80+ year history with the DC Legacy box.  Let’s see what inspiration Funko has pulled from this long and varied history.

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The box is the standard box that we’ve seen so far.  This month showcases Batman, because, if you slap Batman on something, it’ll sell.  And he is a legacy character, being around since 1939.

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Opening the box, we see the patch and pin.  The patch features Green Arrow in his classic silver age look he had from 1969 to about 1986.  The pin features my favourite Earth elemental, Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing first appeared in the comics in 1971 during rise in popularity of horror comics.  Both the patch and pin are pretty good this time.

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The comic included is a reprint of Adventure Comics 452, from 1977.  In it, Aquaman and Aqualad take on Black Manta to try to save Aquaman’s son.  This is a pretty pivotal issue in Aquaman’s history and the outcome affected him for years.  I won’t spoil it for those who don’t know Black Manta and Aquaman’s history.

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The T-shirt for this month has a variant.  You can either get a Krypto the Superdog or an Ace the Bat-Hound ringer t-shirt.  The t-shirts themselves are in a retro style, but the art on both shirts seems to be taken from the Krypto the Superdog cartoon from 2005.  While both canine counterparts of DC’s biggest heroes are definitely legacy characters, I would have  preferred them in more of a retro style.  Still, I prefer the Ace shirt.

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We also get another item from Funko’s POP! Home line.  These Batman and Robin salt and pepper shakers are presented in their classic silver age look and invoke memories of the old T.V. show, though I don’t think there are specifically supposed to be “Batman ’66” items.  The openings on the top of the figures are rather large so I do not know it they would be any good if used, but they would look good on a shelf.

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Lastly, it is the Pop! that makes the box.  This time it is Plastic Man.  This classic character first appeared in Police Comics in 1941 and at the time was published by Quality Comics.  DC acquired the rights to him and other Quality Comic characters in the 1950’s.  The figure’s body is unique for a Pop ad his arms are long and his hands are big.  His torso is even twisted and elongated.  This is definitely a character that needed to be shown in Pop form.

This box is a good start to the new year.  The pop is definitely the best thing about this box.  The T-shirt is not as exciting to me, as it shows a version of a character that I don’t consider classic (sure the cartoon was 10 years ago, but it is not a definite version of either characters.)  If they were Popified, maybe I’d like it more.  It is not bad shirt, though.

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I hope you enjoyed the review.  The next Legion of Collectors box will be shipping in early March 2017.  The next theme is Superman, as show in the pictured card.  You can subscribe at https://legionofcollectors.com/ in order to get your box.  The deadline is 1 Mar 17.  Subscribers can order any of the previous boxes, but supplies are limited.

Subscription Box Review- DC Legion of Collectors- Batman Villains- Nov 2016

Here we are, the latest box  of the Funko/DC Comics Legion of Collectors subscription.  This months theme is Batman Villains.  Will this box make us a giddy as the Joker or will it disappoint us like Killer Moth?  Let’s get into it.

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Nothing new on the box front, except it is pretty hefty this time around.  The box features the silhouette of the Joker on it.  The inside of the box is decorated with comic panels of various Bat-villains. mostly in their classic Silver Age looks.

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On the top flap are the patch and pin.  The patch is of Bane, the man who broke Batman’s back (after coming out of nowhere)  The patch is designed to look like his luchador mask like he wears in the comics.  The pin features the Riddler, more specifically, his silhouette, and is dome in black and green.  It is a very nice pin.

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The comic is a reprint of Batman (2011) issue 23.2, which was a part of Villain Month.  The story features The Riddler, so it is fitting that the cover shows a Popified Riddler with a tied up Robin, with Batman swinging in for the rescue.  The story is a stand alone one, with no appearance of Batman or any other hero.

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Next up is a new mug.  Funko continues to release new Pop mugs based on various properties and this time it is the Joker.  The mug is really nice  with the Joker’s eyes being all swirly.  Like all the Funko mugs, they are a bit hard to drink out of  but there of a very good quality.IMG_1504.JPG

We also get another hat from Funko’s Pop Top line.  This hat is grey, black and purple and features The Joker.  No worries about Batman’s most iconic villain being underrepresented.  The hat is nice and it is good to switch up with the T-shirts once in a while

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Next up, you get one of Funko’s other line of vinyl figures, Dorbz.  In this month’s box, you get a Dorb of Two Face.  Now, if you though the Pops were cutesy, the Dorbz (short for “Adorable,” get it?) are even more so..  Even Two Face’s scarred side is cute.  This is my first Dorb and I like them, but between them and the Pops, I’ll stick to Pops,

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And finally, we get to the Pop!  Funko decided to go for a classic Batman villain,  Catwoman.  She is featured in her Silver Age “more anti-hero than villain” look.  Surprisingly, this is the first Catwoman pop of her in a comic accurate costume.  It is not her current costume, but I do remember it from comics I had read in my youth.

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This box was definitely a solid one.  The Dorb was a nice get and the mug and hat really added to the value.  Three boxes in and I am still interested in seeing what the next box will be.  I am still hoping for more of the figures:  Harley and Joker need someone to face off with.

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The next Legion of Collectors box will be shipping in early January 2017.  The next box’s theme is DC Legacy, with the ad featuring classic versions of Batman, Green Arrow and Plastic Man.  You can subscribe at https://legionofcollectors.com/ in order to get your box.  The deadline is 1 Jan 17.  Subscribers can order any of the previous boxes, but supplies are limited.  I hope you enjoyed this review.

 

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Subscription Box Review: DC Legion of Collectors- Women of DC box (Sep 2016)

Legion of Collectors, Funko’s DC comics-themed collector’s box has released another installment.  This month’s theme is “Women of DC,” celebrating the sensational heroines and perilous villainesses of the DC Universe.  Funko did a similar theme with their Marvel box a few months back and delayed this one for a bit.  Let’s see if it was worth the wait.

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As expected, the box features art that reflects this month’s theme.  As it is Women of DC, what better character to feature than DC most iconic and longest running female superhero?  Wonder Woman is celebrating her 75th anniversary so it is fitting she is on the box.

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Inside we get the standard pin and patch.  The patch features Batgirl, depicting her cowl and her bright blue yes.  The pin is of Harley Quinn, in her classic costume.  Fans of Harley Quinn will appreciate that, as there has been much division over her current comic getup and her movie outfit (featured in the previous collector box).  Both look great and, with Wondy on the box, all three DC women from the preview have been featured.

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Moving under the flap, we get this month’s t-shirt.  There are two versions:  one featuring Supergirl, Batgirl and Wonder Woman and one featuring Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, and Catwoman.  All the shirts come in a dark grey colour.  The art has a classic 80’s art look (I can’t place the artist.  George Perez, maybe?)  and almost looks like a stamp.  I got the Heroes shirt, but I think the villains one could use less Bat-Villains.  Really, no Cheetah?

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Next is the comic.  We get a copy of Batgirl #35, the first part of the Batgirl of Burnside story arc.  The cover features Pop version of several DC heroines, including Batgirl, Katana and Wonder Woman.  The comic itself is pretty great, too, as Batgirl has been one of the better parts of DC’s Nu-52 reboot.  You can find it collected in Batgirl Vol 1: Batgirl of Burnside.

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The next item is what they delayed the box for.  It is a Wonder Woman Invisible Jet.  Inspired by the classic 1970’s TV show and the 75th anniversary of the character, this set invokes the classic 70’s and early 80’s era of Wonder Woman (before they decided Amazons having invisible jet technology was too ridiculous)  The jet is made of clear, durable plastic .The figure is tiny, with only four points of articulation and, although Funko says she was inspires she from the TV show, she features the later double “W” symbol, not the eagle on her bustier.  Minor nitpick.  Though I wish she was the size of the Suicide Squad figures from the last box.

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Finally we come to the Pop vinyl. Funko did not have to loo far for a female character that they did not do a Pop of and they chose Hawkgirl.  Based on her classic comic book look, not the TV version, Hawkgirl has the wider stance of the male figures and is pretty easy to get standing.  Collectors of comic accurate pops will appreciate her look and she will fit in their collections.  I think Hawkgirl was a good choice, as she is getting some exposure, both on Legends of Tomorrow and in DC Super Hero Girls.

So this was a solid box for me.  The shirt is good, the pop is good and the extras held the them together.  I’m a bit disappointed in the size of the Wonder Woman figure, after last box debut of their new action figures, but then the jet would have been too expensive to make.  Still, as it is, you can’t deny the value you get in the box.

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The next Legion of Collectors box will be shipping in early November.  The next box’s theme is Batman villains.  You can subscribe at https://legionofcollectors.com/ in order to get your box.  The deadline is 1 Nov 16.  Subscribers can order any of the previous boxes, but supplies are limited.  I hope you enjoyed this review.

Movie Review: Suicide Squad

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Suicide Squad is the new movie from Warner Bros and DC Entertainment directed by David Ayer.  It is the third movie in the DC Cinematic Universe after Man of Steel and Batman V. Superman.  It stars Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jared Leto, Viola Davis and Joel Kinnaman; to name a few.  It released 5 Aug 16 and it is rated 14A in Ontario, Canada (PG-13 in the US).

Suicide Squad follows the story of a government agency called Task Force X.  Headed by Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) and led in the filed by Rick Flagg (Kinnaman), this group is composed of super powered criminals forced to cooperate with threats and promises of a reduced sentence.  They are considered expendable and deniable and if they fail, they would be killed and blamed for everything.  They are a Suicide Squad.

The squad consists of the following villians:  Deadshot (Will Smith), a deadly marksman and assassin for hire;  Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) the Joker’s (Jared Leto) psycho girlfriend; Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), half man, half crocodile; El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), a pyrotechnic haunted by his past; Captain Boomerang (Jai Courteny), a Australian criminal who is a crack shot with a boomerang; Slipknot (Adam Beach) an assassin and infiltration expert; Katana (Karen Fukuhara), a master swordswoman and Flagg’s body-guard; and The Enchantress (Carla Delevingne) a spirit of a millennia-old witch trapped in the body of archeologist June Moone  When the Enchantress awakens a powerful entity that takes over Midway City, the Squadis sent in to rescue a High Value Target (HVT) or die trying.  But as they discover that there is more to the mission, can the Squad hold it together?

The movie, while good, does have some issues with pacing.  The first third is set up, with the movie introducing Waller, Flagg and giving us back story on most of the squad, mainly Deadshot, Harley and Captain Boomerang.  Deadshot and Harley’s story give us a cameo by the Batman and Boomerang’s gives us the best view so mar of Ezra Miller’s Flash. Once the mission starts, the action picks up and it is an enjoyable ride.

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The portrayals of these comic characters are more or less true to the source material.  Deadshot’s kid, Harely’s lack of control around the Joker and Boomerang’s abrasiveness to his teammates are close to their comic roots.  Rick Flagg’s relationship to June is also from the Suicide Squad’s 1980’s series and Amanda Waller has always been a hard ass.  I would have liked to see more of Katana as her back story and I like the costume they made for her.  Katana has been getting some more exposure recently, playing a big role in season three of Arrow and featuring in the new DC Superhero Girls property.  More of her would be nice.

One minor gripe I have is with the Joker.  Leto’s Joker is going to put some people off.  Some may have issues with Will Smith’s Deadshot (he’s fine in the role), some with Margot as Harley (she nailed it and fills those shorts SO nicely), but The Joker is off-putting.  The new look is different, but mot the strangest incarnation of the Joker (in the comic, he once had his own face removed and then wore it as a mask.)  His appearances are chaotic and have a minimal effect on the story.  But isn’t that the Joker?  Strange and off-putting?  Maybe he is not the Joker we want, but the Joker we need?  He will need a bigger role for us to really find out.

Over all I did like this movie,  I thought is was good.  I like it better than Batman v. Superman:  it is not too long, there are no parts that made be cringe and all the portrayals of the comic characters were well done, even, when it comes down to it, Leto’s Joker, for the small part he played.  Maybe it would be better if some of the characters were set up in a previous movie because their character is tied to the heroes they fight.  The movie is dark, but it has the lighter moments that BvS so desperately needed.  I do hope this does well enough to warrant a sequel, in addition to a movie starring Harley Quinn.  But, I’d watch her reading a phone book if she was in that outfit.

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Damn.

 

4/5

Subscription Box Review: DC Legion of Collectors- Suicide Squad box (July 2016)

Since I am thoroughly enjoying Funko’s Star Wars-themed Smuggler’s Bounty Box, I have decided to try another one.  This time it is DC Comics-themed Legion of Collectors subscription box.  I had heard good things about this subscription  box and I was curious what different Funko items would be offered for this box  Let’s take a look at July’s box, Suicide Squad.

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Like the other subscription boxes from Funko,. the box reflect the month’s theme.  This month features a silhouette of Harley Quinn, who is featured prominently in both the current Suicide Squad comics and in the upcoming movie.  My box obviously experience some wear and tear as it make its way to the Great White North.

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The inside of the bot features pictures off the cast of the Suicide Squad movie.

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Here we see the patch and pin, which are standard in the Funko boxes.  Keeping with this month’s theme, the pin features  long-time Squad member, Deadshot and the patch is of Katana, who wasn’t involved with the Squad until recently.

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Going under the flap, the first thing I pulled out was this comic.  It is a reprint of Suicide Squad #1 (from 1987) featuring a Popified Harley Quinn.  If you open and read it, however, you would see that Harley Quinn is nowhere in the story (in fact, she wasn’t created until 1992 on Batman: The Animated Series)  The only character from the movie in it are Deadshot (decidedly not the Will Smith version), Rick Flagg, Captain Boomerang and the Enchantress.  It would have made more sense to reprint the 2011 series, since it had Harley in it, but, what the hell.  You’d just be as confused.

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Here we see the shirt for the box.  It features a popified version of the characters from the Suicide Squad movie (L to R Deadshot, Harley Quinn, Joker, Katana, and Rick Flagg.)  There was no variant for the shirt this month.  I think it looks cool and is made from a soft, light material.

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These next two items really sold me on this box.  We get two 3.75 inch Suicide Squad figures of Harley and the Jared Leto-fied Joker from the film.  These figures are more detailed than the Re:Action retro Kenner-style figures Funko had made with Super 7.  They boast 9 points of articulation (Re:Action has 5, like the old Star Wars toys they mimic.)

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And finally, we come to the driving force behind the subscription;  The Pop vinyl figure.  We get a Po of the movie version of Enchantress.  According to the info sheet in the box, Funko got the reference images for this character last.  So they decided to have her as an exclusive to this box.  She looks creepy, as I assume she does in the movie, though different from her comic incarnation.  But, I think she nails the woman-possessed-by-the-spirit-of-an-evil-sorceress look.

Being a comic book fan in general and a DC fan in particular, I wish I had gotten into this subscription much sooner.  Like the Star Wars box, you get a lot of Funko products for a great price. Sometimes it is hit or miss, but this box was all hit for me.  I hope the action figures will be a part of these boxes going forward as they are well done.

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The next Legion of Collectors box will be shipping in early September.  From the image above, it will be a Women of DC theme.  You can subscribe at https://legionofcollectors.com/ in order to get your box.  The deadline is 1 Sept 16.  Subscribers can order any of the previous boxes, but supplies are limited.  I hope you enjoyed this review.  Keep fighting the good fight!

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Comparison of Joker and Harley with the Re:Action figures of Arrow (ARROW) and Buffy (Buffy the Vampire Slayer)

 

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Me an’ Mistah J are going to borrow this, ‘Kay?

 

Graphic Novel Review- Aquaman Vol 1: The Trench

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Aquaman is one of the characters that not one really gets.  Created in 1941, he had already been beaten to the page by Timely/Marvel’s Sub-Mariner by a few years.  He wasn’t actually from Atlantis in his origin; he was just genetically modified by his father using recovered Atlantis technology.  It wasn’t until his revival in the 1950’s that he truly started to mimic Namor:  half human/Atlantean, and heir to the throne, but without the surly attitude and the ridiculous ankle wings. He was super strong and could survive on the ocean floor (imagine the pressure.) He could talk to  (command, really) all sort of aquatic life.  But still he seemed like a lesser character.  The comics tried to make him a more rounded character, adding a half-brother/arch nemesis and even  had another villain kidnap and kill his son.  The 80’s saw his origins tweaked along with Atlantis’ history and even saw a short-lived black and blue camouflage costume.  The 90’s saw him go extreme, with long hair and a beard and even had him lose his hand and replace it with a hook.  Even with a successful run in his own book and with the Justice League, things wound down for him.  Returning to the orange and green outfit, he eventually was replaced, killed off and eventually returned to life.

What does all that matter when it comes to reading Aquaman Vol 1: The Trench?  Not much as one of the directives of the New 52 was to keep both new readers and veteran ones on equal ground by confusing the hell out of them on continuity (do I sound bitter?).  But the new series seems to follow-up Brightest Day thematically by having Aquaman try to lead a quiet like away from Atlantis with his wife, Mera and reconnect with his human past as Arthur Curry.  But being a public hero (and wearing the costume everywhere he goes) he sticks out in the small town of Mercy Reef and the townsfolk don’t know what to make of him.  Helping out only elicits comments like “what can Aquaman do?” and snide comments about talking to seafood.  Even the cops seem to disrespect him.  This frustrates Arthur and infuriates Mera, being used to being respected under the waves and amongst Arthur’s superhero colleagues.  But when underwater creatures from a dark area called the Trench start attacking the surface, it is up to Aquaman to show the town what he can do.

Six issues of the 2011 launched Aquaman series are collected in this volume, all written by writer Geoff Johns.  Responsible for the revival of the Hal Jordan version of Green Lantern and the Barry Allen version of the Flash, Johns makes a compelling case that Aquaman is more than the “talks to fish” guy.  Arthur, while preferring a peaceful life, wants to be respected by the residents of Mercy Reef and trusted by law enforcement.  But he deal with attitude that somewhat reflect  those of the average comic reader about the character. He shows that in every way he is a hero, saving the eventually thankful people from danger..

The book is illustrated by penciller Ivan Reis (Blackest Night, Green Lantern) and inker Joe Prado.  Long time collaborators with Johns, the art team really sells the story, giving the book a strong look.  They did really good with the looks of the monsters of the Trench.

The Trench storyline covers four issues, with the remaining stories featuring. Aquaman lost in the desert, seeing mirages and the other about Mera trying, and mostly failing to fit in with the townsfolk.  Both are good stories to get to know the characters better.  Also the book introduces us to a new supporting character, Aquadog!  No, he is just a normal dog.

I liked the book.  Despite my misgivings about the whole New 52, Johns is a good writer that can restore any characters reputation.  Granted, I did not find Aquaman interesting until his 90’s makeover and subsequent use in Grant Morrison’s JLA, I did not like DC’s practice of killing off their heroes in the mid 00’s (though Elongated Man can stay dead, for all I care).  Though I did not realize that Aquaman was killed off until he showed up a Black Lantern in Blackest Night #1, I thought there was more to tell about the character.  This book sets him up good for that and as of this writing, Aquaman is still being published monthly.

I recommend this book to anyone that wants to know more about the character.  WIth his series going strong and a leading role in the recently released Justice League: Throne of Atlantis on DVD/Blu-Ray  character’s exposure has been better than ever.  I am sure more interest will be drawn by his appearance in the upcoming move Superman/Batman: Dawn of Justice, played by Jason Momoa (Games of Thrones, Conan),  So, despite being mocked on the Big Bang Theory as a joke by Raj (who is so that group’s Aquaman, by his own reasoning), it is not a bad time to be Aquaman, right now.

Aquaman Vol 1: The Trench is available at most comic book stores and retail stores.