Aquaman (Jackson Hyde) remains trapped by the rulers of the Confluence! Aquawoman (Andy Curry, don't call her Aqualass), adrift, alone, scared, and missing half a leg, must use everything her mentor taught her to not only surprise, but figure out a way to save him.
But will it be enough?
If Future State has proven anything, it’s that DC’s future is bright – regardless of how many of these possible future permutations do or don’t come to pass. Case in point: Future State – Aquaman, an unexpectedly wonderful look at legacy (one of DC’s strongest features as a collective universe) that simultaneously reinforces what makes its characters so great but also pushes them ahead into new territory. Whereas issue one focuses predominately on Jackson Hyde and his struggle to live up to Arthur Curry’s name, issue two looks at the original Aquaman and Mera’s daughter Andy, and reveals a world of youthful optimism and vulnerability.
That writer Brandon Thomas is able to so successfully plumb these emotional depths in such a convincing manner in just the span of one issue is an impressive feat. (Let the call go forth: this guy NEEDS to be DC’s next regular Aquaman writer!) It’s one thing to craft a two-part story that successfully conveys a strong narrative arc with a beginning, middle, and end. It’s tough, but do-able for most writers. But it requires an economy of storytelling that can be constrictive to some, or results in a story that is featherweight in its execution. To not only tell a strong story, but also plumb the emotionally depths of the lead so thoroughly, is a rare talent indeed.
Andy Curry starts this story – and in fact, this issue – as a frightened but still headstrong and determined child. By the time the issue is done, six years have passed, but the compressed storytelling feels less like a training montage and more like a real, lived-in life, full of successes and failures and everything in between. By the time the story has concluded, Andy has grown and changed in a believable way that is convincing in its execution. She and Jackson both become characters readers we want to see more of. Going into Future State – Aquaman, I wasn’t sure what to make of it and was a little wary. Now, I don’t want to leave this little corner of DC’s world.
Daniel Sampere and colorist Adriano Lucas prove to be an artistic force to be reckoned with. Without a doubt (and no slight intended to anyone else), Aquaman is the best-looking comic DC has released this week. Sampere’s pencils and inks are powerful and dynamic but equally able to convey vulnerability and emotion in Andy. Thomas’ script would be nowhere near as powerful without the visual equivalent to complement it so astonishingly. Lucas’ coloring, though, is what really seals the deal. It’s lush and vibrant, a full palette of gorgeous neons and aquamarines leaping off the page and melting readers’ eyeballs. If Lucas doesn’t deserve an Eisner for coloring, I don’t know who does.
Bottom line: Future State - Aquaman #2 is a sumptuously gorgeous book, with compelling characters and jaw-droppingly beautiful art. Don't let this one pass you by.
Future State – Aquaman #2: Lessons
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 9.5/109.5/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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