Year of the Villain Ocean Master #1
Ocean Master is a disgraced former King of Atlantis and one of Aquaman's greatest enemies.
For the most part, these Year of the Villain one-shots are really hit or miss. Sometimes though, when they hit, they hit BIG, and this one is an out of the park home run, a tomahawk dunk, an eighty-yard touchdown pass, and a slap shot all in one. Author Dan Watters does a fantastic job keeping Ocean Master a villain, while not making him too appalling. With a lot of these specials, they turn the villain into a sympathetic character, and that just shouldn’t be the case. We’re supposed to believe that people that are trying to destroy cities and take over the world are really super-kind people when nobody’s looking? Watters gives Ocean Master a sympathetic side, but he doesn’t necessarily make him a sympathetic character, which is a pretty delicate balance to pull off. The story deals with SO much-the past, the present, the future, legends, cruelty, the disregard of life, and that’s only the things I can remember off the top of my head. Thankfully it never gets convoluted or confusing in the least. It’s got great, crisp, believable dialogue and features some very relatable story elements for those of us who live above the water. I was really impressed by this issue, and I almost wish it could’ve been a mini-series. Although Watters does a great job telling his story, I can’t help but feel that we would’ve gotten a lot more of it if he had 6, 8 or even 12 issues to tell it.
Artist Miguel Mendonca is one heck of a talented guy! The credits don’t come until the last page of this story, and honestly, sometimes I thought I was looking at Ivan Reis’ work. He puts such richness into his pencils and he’s very creative when it comes to Atlantean architecture and the underwater world in general. I would love to see him do a run on the main Aquaman title sometime in the future.
I also have to commend Ivan Plascencia on his coloring work on this issue. This had to be a very hard book to color, but Plascencia does a fantastic job at coloring the book in general and in particular his job of coloring the two atmospheres, of above & underwater.
This book is totally worth your time and money. Enjoyable from start to finish and filled with breath-taking art and surprises.
Year of the Villain Ocean Master #1: Walk on Water
Writing - 9.5/109.5/10
Storyline - 10/1010/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 10/1010/10
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