Sean Gibson's Reviews > Aquaman, Volume 1: The Trench

Aquaman, Volume 1 by Geoff Johns
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Recommended to Sean by: Anne

I am very sorry to report that, regretfully (not-so-spoiler alert), Aquaman does NOT die an embarrassingly agonizing death in this book, gasping and flopping around on dry land while the other members of the Justice League laugh, point, and throw fish food on him. Because, if that had happened, this book would have gotten at least one more star.

I tried, Anne. I really did. I wanted to like this book and write a glowing review and tell the world that it’s missing out on one epically awesome (if sartorially challenged) subaquatic hero. Alas…

The world’s not missing out. What the world needs now, in addition to love, sweet love, is less Aquaman, please, deities of all stripes, less Aquaman.

Look, this isn’t completely awful. As Aquaman yarns go, it’s probably tops. But, as high-quality superhero tales go, it leaves something to be desired (not unlike myself when it comes to being a partner in a three-legged race; I am terrible at those). First and foremost, as near as I can tell, Aquaman had a personality lobotomy at some point that has transformed him into what you’d get if a celery stalk got dirty with a cucumber in heat—like, the blandest possible fregetable (I think cucumbers are technically fruits, so I’m hedging my bets here, though I guess we could just say “vegetable” if that factoid is inaccurate); second, Johns tries valiantly to own the “Aquaman is perceived by ordinary people in the DCU to be a crappy hero whose sole power is having limited conversations with flounder” thing by having supporting characters crack wise about that perception, but those jokes are undercut by the fact that Aquaman shows himself to very clearly be an exceedingly powerful badass, which makes it just seem absurd that anyone would think he’s anything other than that; the main plotline, in which Old Scaly Butt and his lady friend Mera help defeat a strange race of scary-looking sea monsters intent on stealing humans to bring back to their kids for snacks is kind of underwhelming; and, lastly, for an interior artist, Ivan Reis sure draws some pretty cover images (in other words, his stuff looks good, but if you took away the words, I’d have struggled to figure out what was going on…the visual storytelling certainly didn’t blow me out of the water (which, I think, is what Aquaman says when Mera refuses to get down with him on land…hey-oh!)).

So, while I’d like to say it’s me, not you, Aquaman…it’s totally you. 110% you (and I realize that’s not mathematically possible, but that’s how much it’s Aquaman). You and I just aren’t meant to be. But, maybe I’ll see you swimming through the pages of JLA sometime. I think we can still be cordial to each other. I won’t even call you “Wanda” anymore. Well, maybe just occasionally.

2.5 stars, and I’ll generously round up out of respect for woebegone fregetables.

(Anne, you’re still awesome, though, even if I’ll never understand your affinity for Arthur Curry, who I’m pretty sure lists Background Merman #4 from The Little Mermaid as his only credit on IMDB.)
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Reading Progress

April 26, 2017 – Shelved
April 26, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
July 5, 2017 – Started Reading
July 10, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 61 (61 new)


Jeff I’ll never understand your affinity for Arthur Curry

*notices huge target on back and steps away*

This is why the Aqua-disses in my reviews are now buried in non-comic reviews, or obtuse or subliminal.


Sean Gibson Jeff wrote: "I’ll never understand your affinity for Arthur Curry

*notices huge target on back and steps away*

This is why the Aqua-disses in my reviews are now buried in non-comic reviews, or obtuse or subli..."


I realize I'm now going to be utterly eviscerated, but if a man can't bare his soul when writing a review of an Aquaman story on Goodreads, where can he bare it, I ask you?


Jeff In the safe confines of his sanctum sanctorum...


Sean Gibson Jeff wrote: "In the safe confines of his sanctum sanctorum..."

That's the place where I only wear a tube sock. Singular.


message 5: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Sounds like Aquaman was everything you thought he would be.


message 6: by Alan (new)

Alan Sounds like you'll be passing on the Jason Momoa movie


Sean Gibson Well, I tried another Aquadude book recently, Christopher, which was also not my favorite, so Anne suggested this one...so, yeah.

Not high on my list, Alan, but I still haven't seen Superman V Batman or Wonder Woman yet, so I'm just generally behind. :)


message 8: by Alan (new)

Alan We're about the same. I do plan tosee WW, most likely steaming/DVD as it is not high on my partner's list (neither is Spider-Man or Guardians 2).

If you don't mind I watched Avengers 2 and Batman V Superman within a week of each other. Both very flawed, but surprisingly I thought the BvS was better (and I'm a Joss Whedon fan).


Sean Gibson I saw Spider-Man on Saturday and it was fantastic--definitely in the upper-echelon of comic movies, and possibly my favorite. Still noodling on the latter point...


Robert Oh, it's ON!


message 11: by Sean (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sean Gibson Pfffft. Anne won't do anything.

Other than maybe rip my head off and defecate in my neck stump.


message 12: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Aquaman does NOT die an embarrassingly agonizing death in this book, gasping and flopping around on dry land while the other members of the Justice League laugh, point, and throw fish food on him
Such a let-down!


message 13: by Sean (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sean Gibson I know! Someone get some cement shoes on that guy.


Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink* What's that quote from Big Bang Theory? "Aquaman sucks!'


Jeff Sean wrote: "Pfffft. Anne won't do anything.

Other than maybe rip my head off and defecate in my neck stump."


For starters, yes...


Jeff Brittain *Tara Belle Talking* wrote: "What's that quote from Big Bang Theory? "Aquaman sucks!'"

I almost feel sorry for Anne. Almost.


message 17: by Sean (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sean Gibson Jeff wrote: "Sean wrote: "Pfffft. Anne won't do anything.

Other than maybe rip my head off and defecate in my neck stump."

For starters, yes..."


At this point, that's basically my morning coffee, Jeff.


Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink* Jeff wrote: "Brittain *Tara Belle Talking* wrote: "What's that quote from Big Bang Theory? "Aquaman sucks!'"

I almost feel sorry for Anne. Almost."


I watched Justice League when I was little and even then thought Aquaman was the pity friend they let tag along with all of the cool kids.


Jeff Brittain *Tara Belle Talking* wrote: "Jeff wrote: "Brittain *Tara Belle Talking* wrote: "What's that quote from Big Bang Theory? "Aquaman sucks!'"

I almost feel sorry for Anne. Almost."

I watched Justice League when I was little and ..."


I'd actually pick Wendy or Marvin over Aquaman...


message 20: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish So I spoke with "Uncle Luigi" from the Sicilian branch family and he said that last time he tried to drown Aquaman, the guy started talking to the fish instead of sleeping with them, causing half his men to die from laughing too much. Which means he won't help us. But I just had an idea ... couldn't Catwoman help? I mean, wouldn't Aquaman make a wonderful dinner for her?!


message 21: by Sean (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sean Gibson Trish wrote: "So I spoke with "Uncle Luigi" from the Sicilian branch family and he said that last time he tried to drown Aquaman, the guy started talking to the fish instead of sleeping with them, causing half h..."

I worry that the idea of Catwoman eating Aquaman is going to lead to some Rod Holderesque fan fiction (not from Rod, tough...that's beneath him)...


message 22: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Sean wrote: "I worry that the idea of Catwoman eating Aquaman is going to lead to some Rod Holderesque fan fiction (not from Rod, tough...that's beneath him)... "

So it would be a win-win! :D


message 23: by Artemis (new)

Artemis One of the funniest reviews I've read on this site. Brilliant work, Sean :)


message 24: by Sean (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sean Gibson Artemis wrote: "One of the funniest reviews I've read on this site. Brilliant work, Sean :)"

Thanks, Artemis! I'm still waiting for Anne to read it and proceed to rip my arms off and thrash me about the head and neck region with them...


message 25: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Sean wrote: "Artemis wrote: "One of the funniest reviews I've read on this site. Brilliant work, Sean :)"

Thanks, Artemis! I'm still waiting for Anne to read it and proceed to rip my arms off and thrash me abo..."


If you had run, you could have escaped since her slightly disabled hubby is slowing her down at the moment. Alas, you decided to wait it out. *gets popcorn because this is gonna be good*


message 26: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne You're lucky I've been offline for a while, Sean.
Realllllly lucky. *cough*
PS - if you get a 'care package' that smells like cat shit, don't worry! It's not cat shit.
*whispers*
Guys! It's TOTALLY a box of cat shit!



message 27: by Sean (last edited Jul 12, 2017 07:26AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sean Gibson Hey, look! Anne sent me a care package! Awww; she's so sweet. Ooh, what's this?? It looks like a chocolatey treat!

*Picks up a piece, takes a bite*

Wait a second...that tastes like...

*Sniffs, takes another bite*

That's cat shit.


message 28: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne Turds for the turd.


message 29: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Annie, darling, we talked about this! No taking-advantage of those poor kitties! Now, if you want me to send Cat Norris, Major McPaw or the Evil Ginger Kittens after Sean, I can make you a good price.


message 30: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne Butbutbutbut...he made fun of *wails loudly* AQUAMAN!


Jeff There's not enough cat turds in the world to send to everyone who disses Aquaman.


message 32: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne Yeah, but I can hit all the main ones. *eyeballs Jeff*


message 33: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish *sighs* NO HARASSING THE CATS! For every cat you do harrass, you'll get one chocolate bar less for Christmas. There are other ways to punish them.


message 34: by Sean (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sean Gibson How is collecting their poop harassing the cats? (I mean, I scoop my cat's stuff out of a box every day and he doesn't seem to mind...)


message 35: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Do you have any idea how much she has to press them so they create enough poop for this revenge tour of hers? Her poor cat (aptly named "dog" in case you didn't know) is already stressed out and has sent a formal complaint to his union.


message 36: by Anne (new) - rated it 5 stars

Anne Ha! That little fucker is a poop machine! In fact, the bastard actually sits next to me while I clean out his box, then as soon as I leave with his pile of turds, he calmly steps back in and takes a dump.


message 37: by Trish (last edited Jul 12, 2017 11:24PM) (new) - added it

Trish He's only a poop machine because of the stuff you put in his food!
By the way, and this is no joke, almost all cats do that with the freshly cleaned litter boxes - it's a territory thing because of the scent of the sand.


message 38: by Dave (last edited Jul 12, 2017 11:23PM) (new)

Dave Um, I had nothing to do with derailing this thread, but I do feel much more educated with respect to feline scatology. I'm thinking about bringing up the topic a few times at the water cooler tete-a-tetes tomorrow...impress a few folks. Couldn't hurt.

Brittain wrote: I watched Justice League when I was little and even then thought Aquaman was the pity friend they let tag along with all of the cool kids.

"Superfriends" essentially introduced me to superheroes. I was fastidious in my religious observation of that Saturday block of worship time. Nothing could pry me from the TV.



That's why, as I grew older and less mature, I naturally opted for Green Lantern and the Flash (notice their absence...in most episodes of that seminal cartoon). "Superfriends" destroyed Aquaman and Batman. Frank Miller rescued Batman for me. No one bothered to rescue Aquaman. Only Green Arrow and Black Canary were more ridiculous than Aquaman.

Even the pre-eminent cartoon actually set in Aquaman's demesne made fun of him (such strategically placed seashells...I think Aquaman should contemplate incorporating the idea into his Atlantean armor):



Even Kirkman takes a shot (actually several shots):



But...(could you smell it coming or was the litter box overpowering?)

Someone also recommended that I read "The Trench," and for the first time, I found Aquaman, dare I say it, interesting.

I still think Aquaman's powers are ill-defined...seemingly growing and diminishing as needed (like my use of ellipsis to expand stream-of-conscious sentences) to fit the particular plot.

However, I thought the character study of a boy abandoned by his mother, and raised by a father who told fantastic tales about her...who loved his son and taught him to be a good man while keeping one foot firmly in fantasy land...different and appealing. I thought Johns explored that well...particularly in the desert panels. (Aquaman in the desert?)

And Mera...Mera, and her ability to manipulate water, and how she used that power in this volume...I'd rather mess with a litter box than Mera. That woman be tough, and not tolerate no foolishness. (How will the DCU ruin Mera? *sigh*)

While Aquaman still doesn't break into my Top 5 DC heroes, I enjoyed Johns' take on Aquaman.

Funny review, funny thread. I'm still laughing at Aquaman's IMDB credits, and googling all sorts of interesting facts about cats and how their digestive systems work. Simply fascinating.

Trish wrote: ...he said that last time he tried to drown Aquaman, the guy started talking to the fish instead of sleeping with them...

Speaking of Aquaman sleeping with the fish...RobotChicken gives new meaning to the phrase (while making fun of Superman and Batman...yes!!!):

Out to Score


message 39: by Trish (last edited Jul 12, 2017 11:31PM) (new) - added it

Trish @Dave: Do my eyes deceive me or is Batman SMILING in that pic??? WTF???
That video, by the way - I will never admit to having laughed but ... *snorts* ... there is so much wrong with what they are pointing out in it ... *giggles* ...


message 40: by Dave (new)

Dave Trish wrote: Do my eyes deceive me or is Batman SMILING in that pic???

Wouldn't you be smiling if you had your arm around Robin? I doubt that Robin's left hand location is much of a secret. Batman's ears (?) are quite erect...


message 41: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Dave wrote: "Trish wrote: Do my eyes deceive me or is Batman SMILING in that pic???

Wouldn't you be smiling if you had your arm around Robin? I doubt that Robin's left hand location is much of a secret. Batman..."


*shudders and runs from the room*


message 42: by Dave (new)

Dave Trish wrote: That video, by the way - I will never admit to having laughed but ... *snorts* ...

Ahem...we talked about the snorting...tsk tsk...

I didn't laugh at the video either...offensive and politically incorrect on so many levels...doesn't matter how the dolphin is dressed, "no" means "no"...

I spend hours watching RobotChicken (Adult Swim) videos...that's why I want to retire...to devote all my time to (not) laughing at those videos while wearing undies, eating Froot Loops, and scratching myself...(periodically doing more research on cats to keep the mind sharp)...


message 43: by Dave (new)

Dave Trish wrote: *shudders and runs from the room*

What? Robin's wearing latex gloves...ain't no thang...


message 44: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Dave wrote: "Ahem...we talked about the snorting...tsk tsk..."

Oh, COME ON! I'm at the office so I need SOMETHING to cheer me up!



Dave wrote: "I didn't laugh at the video either...offensive and politically incorrect on so many levels...doesn't matter how the dolphin is dressed, "no" means "no"..."

I was referring much more to not making the already tortured souls of DC fans cry even more than after the last Supes/Bats movie. (And she strikes again!)

I have never heard of Robot Chicken to be honest.


message 45: by Dave (new)

Dave Trish wrote: I have never heard of Robot Chicken to be honest.

What??????????? (counting erotemes) ????????? (that should be enough)

Next, you'll tell me that you've never heard of Dante or Shakespeare or Goethe...

You must watch Robot Chicken...

And don't worry, the show makes fun of Marvel and Star Wars (and almost every 80's action figure toy), too...

The Emperor's Phone Call

Avengers: Musictacular Tapstravaganza


message 46: by Trish (new) - added it

Trish Uhm ... careful there ... as a German I certainly don't like good old Johann being compared to a CHICKEN.


message 47: by Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink* (last edited Jul 13, 2017 06:06AM) (new)

Brittain *Needs a Nap and a Drink* You can't include Robot Chicken without the Little Hitler ones.

Little Hitler


message 48: by Trish (last edited Jul 13, 2017 08:10AM) (new) - added it

Trish *lol* OK, they aren't bad but ... please don't hate me ... not THAT funny either.


message 49: by Sean (new) - rated it 3 stars

Sean Gibson Love me some Robot Chicken...


message 50: by Dave (new)

Dave Trish wrote: Uhm ... careful there ... as a German I certainly don't like good old Johann being compared to a CHICKEN.

As a red-blooded (and public education schooled) 'Murican, I don't think that Germany, despite being the capital of France, has any claim on Johann Shakespeare. I would think that them new-fangled -stan countries have more right because at least their names rhyme with Johann.

(I'm also very good with German geography...all the states and cities and stuff...capital is Frankfurter, DC...like 'Murica...except named after Germany's first king...George Frankfurter...)

And what's wrong with comparing anyone with a chicken? Chickens can take tiny seeds and turn them into smelly, liquid poop AND do so while running...

Can any cat or Shakespeare do that? I didn't think so. At least, not unless dysentery is involved...


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