Aquaman - Deep Dives (DC Digital)
While Aquaman and Mera are attending a United Nations conference, the fearsome Black Manta attacks!
A true pirate at heart, Manta is looking for an object of great power from an ancient Atlantean/Amazonian society known as the Mermazons...
Luckily, Aquaman is all aboard to save the day!
Aquaman – Deep Dives #1 comes courtesy DC Digital in lieu of any new content being able to reach readers in print form thanks to COVID-19. Similar to its other DC Digital content featuring its marquee characters, Deep Dives is something of a primer on the character – or if that isn’t the intent, it sure reads like one.
The plot, courtesy writer Steve Orlando, couldn’t be much simpler if it tried: Black Manta is trying to steal an ancient artifact for its power, and Aquaman has to stop him. Fisticuffs ensue. Manta blames Aquaman for his father’s death; Aquaman insists it was an accident (it was). Not much new for older fans to generally get into, but also not enough depth to really lure new readers in. Deep Dives is about as deep as a wading pool in that regard.
There is an interesting idea of the Mermazons that Orlando brings to the fore, but at a measly fifteen pages, there’s not enough room to really flesh it out. The Mermazons’ hunting snare – the item Black Manta is after – looks like Wonder Woman’s lasso with Aquaman’s ’90s harpoon hand fastened to the end. It’s not really clear why Manta wants it other than the presumed power he would receive from it; it’s really just a Maguffin more than anything else. And it’s a Maguffin that is used for a rather bland teachable moment at the climax of the story. Ho-hum. At the very least, though, Daniel Sampere, Juan Albarran, and Adriano Lucas all turn out some stellar, Ivan Reis-esque art that saves Deep Dives from being a total wash. As far as its intended purpose – to provide at least some small modicum of relief for fans hungry for new comics – it’s not the worst thing in the world, but its own indifference towards its very existence makes Deep Dives a very missable comic if readers can stand to wait ’til their LCS reopens.
Marginal through and through, Aquaman - Deep Dives #1 doesn't give new readers much to be interested in or vintage Aquaman fans anything all that new or interesting to care about. The art is strong, but everything else is serviceable at best and forgettable at worst. Especially when compared to the epic majesty of Kelly Sue DeConnick and Robson Rocha's current run on the monthly book, Deep Dives is especially disappointing.
Aquaman – Deep Dives #1: Not TOO Deep of a Dive, but Deep Enough
Writing - 5/105/10
Storyline - 5/105/10
Art - 7.5/107.5/10
Color - 7.5/107.5/10
Cover Art - 7.5/107.5/10
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