Aquaman is one of DC’s pantheon that not only is massively underrated, but also has some wonderful runs that have largely flown under the radar for too long so much that sadly forced writers off these runs abandoning their project in mid flight.
When Kurt Busiek and Butch Guice undertook this title, DC was striving to breathe new life into their characters by giving all their titles (save for one, “52”) a one-year time jump from an event called “Infinite Crisis”. The fact that this title ties into this jump but is able to stand on its own merits alone is already very impressive, in my opinion. However, with that aside, Busiek and Guice breathe new life in Aquaman’s narrative through a complete reinvention of it.
“Aquaman is dead. Long live the Aquaman.”
By wiping the slate clean, removing the Aquaman readers familiar with, but presenting us with a fresh one that is somehow very much like the old Aquaman, Busiek and Guice represent the Aquaman mythos mired in Arthurian legend, very much reminiscent of tales such as “The Sword in the Stone” but with Atlantean and Sci-Fi tropes. It re-creates the world of Aquaman in an engaging way that, albeit a reinvention, creates a mystery as to what happened to the old Aquaman and what connections does the new one have to him and why does he deserve the title when he is unaware of who he is at all.
Being enamored of villains myself, I truly enjoy what has been done with Aquaman’s rogues gallery, particularly King Shark and Fisherman. I will not spoil it for you, but it is worth the read.
Some characters have sadly since been abandoned as soon as the writers were shuffled onto other projects, never to be uncovered again. The entire run has sadly yet to be reprinted in its entirety, but at least we have the first nine issues in trade paperback form.
Seek it out.
Aquaman : Sword of Atlantis review by Raphael Borg