Someone reading this article may be thinking that nothing good can come from an Aquaman comic book. Unfortunately, Aquaman has rarely been anyone’s favorite super hero. If the super hero world were a kickball game, Aquaman would probably be the equivalent of the proverbial “last kid picked.” However, the character has potential to be a very engaging super hero, if given the chance. Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis may be that chance. The DC comics “universe” has recently seen dramatic changes and events, the most recent being a rift in reality which has brought multiple versions of earth into being. Although there have been smaller story arcs, most of them fall into the maxi-series “Infinite Crisis,” which has not yet concluded. In an interesting play on the comics’ continuity, however, the comics will now be taking place one year into the future. This will leave readers wondering what has happened between “Infinite Crisis” and “One Year Later” (although the gaps will be filled in time). This is a prime opportunity for DC to produce new stories and create characters: Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis is part of the “One Year Later” storyline, and the changes to the previous Aquaman comic are quite interesting.
The most significant change is that the Aquaman story has gone from traditional super hero style to more of a modern world “swords-and-sorcery” style. Thankfully, while there is a medieval quality present, the super hero elements have not been lost, for instance, Aquaman’s clothing bears a great resemblance to his previous costume. Also, it is not apparent whether this Aquaman is the same person or if it is another who has reluctantly taken up the mantle. This Aquaman knows nothing of the hero of this name, and he claims to have different origins, though he still gained the similar ability of breathing underwater at a young age. In any case, he now begins a journey to take the rightful throne of Atlantis, with an ancient sea wizard and King Shark, a humanoid shark who was an enemy in the previous Aquaman comics, by his side.
The Arthurian style of the comic may be more appealing to a wider range of readers, and the possibility “new” Aquaman himself will lend itself to new stories without as much clutter from the past. It remains to be seen how the effects of “Infinite Crisis” will touch this series, but hopefully it will not complicate the story too much. Although Aquaman will essentially be working with a new story, there fear that in issues to come there will be references made to events during “Infinite Crisis” and the smaller story arcs within, which may mystify the casual reader. However, based on the first issue, it seems like said readers won’t have to worry about that for a while. All in all, this is an excellent comic for both new readers and comic aficionados alike.