In the Pacific Ocean, deeply down under, there is a spaceship graveyard. Gravely unstable, remote, removed. Then researchers appear to check it out. Then trouble starts.
It’s the start of Aquaman Andromeda, under the Black Label imprint. Read: dark, more mature.
The excellence starts right away, with writer Ram V (Swamp Thing, The Many Deaths of Laila Starr, etc) helping us submerge ourselves below the sea level, where mystery, primordial fear and Aquaman reside. The script takes its time to get us to the point, Point Nemo that is. The graveyard under the leagues of the sea. There are characters to get to know, and suspense and tension to build. The crafting, the casual piling on of wave after wave of connecting flotsam and jetsam, which eventually gives us raptures of the deep. The bending, the shaping, the stretching of the narrative, combined with the stunningly complex art of Christian Ward (Thor, Invisible Kingdom).
Coloured deep and dark, dripping with cool condensation, sprayed with salt and tipped on a bearing that keep shifting, the art is indeed magnificent. From the large moments to the claustrophobic heartbeats in a dimly lit submersible, the art just keeps adding and adding value.
As the wheel of misfortune continues to spin, to spin the web of menace and mayhem, the writing and art combine to tightly encapsulate the experience of an exploratory mission gone horribly wrong. And it’s so right, it’s such a good, strong read.
Clear, concise lettering by Aditya Bidikar, futuristic, minimalistic, quietly spoken with plenty of room for interpretation.
DC Comics, Black Label imprint, Aquaman Andromeda #1, $6.99 for 48 pages.