Warning: SPOILERS for Drowned and Aquaman #43
A new creative team on DC's Aquaman comic book has softly rebooted the series, crafting a perfect entry point for fans of the new movie, who will leave the theater eager to dive into the world of Aquaman comics. While DC Comics hasn't completely revamped the concept of Aquaman, or rewritten reality to make the world of the comics more like that of the movie, the latest issue still offers a decidedly different, but equally fresh start for Arthur Curry.
The past year has seen great turmoil in Atlantis, with both a civil war (which ended with Mera as the new Queen) and a magical mishap forcibly raising Atlantis above the waves. This acted as a prelude to an even bigger event in DC's Drowned Earth - a crossover event between the Aquaman and Justice League comics, transforming most of Earth's population into fish people. Luckily, The Drowned Earth ended with Atlantis restored to its proper place on the ocean floor and Mera's throne secured. But Aquaman? He died to save all of reality.
Aquaman #43 reveals that Arthur Curry survived his noble attempt at self-sacrifice, having emerged in another dimension with no memory of his past life. He is also unrecognized by the people already living in 'the Village of Unspoken Water' - the small fisherman town where Arthur is found in the surf by a young woman named Caille. The amnesiac hero has taken on the name of Andy by the time this story begins, having quickly found a place as an odd-job man among the villagers, though Caille, who acts a priestess of sorts to the community, believes the young man has been sent by the sea to act as its champion.
This brave new direction for Aquaman comes at the hands of a time-tested and critically acclaimed creative team. Writer Kelly Sue DeConnick is best known for her work with Captain Marvel, which has heavily influenced the upcoming movie based around the character of Carol Danvers. She has also found acclaim among manga readers for her translations of series such as Fruits Basket and Black Cat. Penciler Robson Rocha and inker Daniel Henriques have long careers as individual artists at DC Comics and have worked together previously on Green Lanterns and Supergirl. The book's art team is rounded by Avengers colorist Sunny Gho and veteran letterer Clayton Cowles.
Though presenting a radically different world than the exotic vision of Atlantis offered by the Aquaman film, this revamp proves an excellent entry point to the Aquaman comics. Those who enjoyed the movie who are curious about the comics can rest assured that Aquaman #43 will offer them a safe harbor free from the rough seas of continuity. The book is easily accessible to new fish and old salts alike, making it one to pick up the next time you set sail for the comic shop.
Aquaman #43 is now available from DC Comics.