Wednesday, June 08, 2016

But the water is REALLY well drawn...

There are a great many words in Aquaman Rebirth #1.

I'm not sure they are all necessary. I'm not sure ANY of them are necessary.  

The dialog? Yes, dialog is necessary. But the bulk of the words in Aquaman #1 is crammed into a seemingly endless stream of voiceover boxes that the writer is trying almost desperately to use to convey all possible information and viewpoints about Aquaman (presumably for new readers).

There are a few problems with this approach.

  • It's very distracting from the action (which is kind of cool, with Aquaman kicking the patooties of some Atlantean terrorists and then spending some downtime with Mera).
  • The narrator (we discover at the end) is actually an unreliable (or at least biased) one.  This undermines the validity of everything being said.
  • In fact some of what's being said doesn't seem quite right.  Particularly with regard to Mera.
  • It skews the show/tell ratio and is mostly redundant.  I think I could 'read' this entire comic without looking at any of the voiceover boxes, and still 'get it'.

I applaud the reintroduction of Atlantis's 'lower castes' as (sometimes terrorists) foes of the rapprochement with the surface world.  It's a realistic problem and one that only Aquaman can deal with.

I decry the characterization of Mera as unfamiliar with surface culture and unwilling in her role as ambassador to it.  This precisely NOT what was show in the previous two issues.  She lives in New England; she should already know what 'chowder' is.

But Aquaman himself is in good character and I am looking forward to seeing where this renewed series goes.


SallyP said...

But did they keep Salty the Sea Dog?

John said...

The voice-overs really need to go away. If you want to be "serious" and "cinematic," just stick to the action and dialog. If you want to show us what characters are thinking, bite the bullet and use thought-balloons. The narration feels like the the story has already happened and we're reading the self-proclaimed protagonist's diary the next morning.

Honestly, the one time I can see using the technique (and, at the time, I argued that this might have been the premise of Emerald Twilight) is one of the key reasons you object to it, here: Casting doubt as to the reliability of the story, to set up more stories down the road.

Joshua Roots said...

Aquaman Rebirth #1 lacked the punch and sharpness of the New52 #1, much to the point that it felt more like the recent Green Arrow stint, what with all the narration. But despite being long-winded, the pointed comments about Arthur ring true enough that it reminds me WHY he has become on of my favorite superheroes. He protects the boarder between two worlds, yet doesn't belong in either of them. But he does it out of a sense of duty and loyalty, all with Mera by his side because she gives him the strength to do so.

THAT has some long-term potential with storytelling.

Plus, they eat at Sam's.