Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sequential Review 1.0

wasn't a terribly good year 
for DC Atlanteans - 
so why would we pick 
this ''special'' issue 
published that year 
which could easily be  
the worst Aquaman tale ever 
as our very first 
luminous review 
of sequential art 
here, on the 
Literati Blog...? 

Well, because from this point onwards, 
after we've dealt with this here,
the buoyancy can only be fine! 

Hence, let us proceed immediately...

Another admitted and obvious reason to pick this one 
is the fact that these guys publish drivel, 
for years on end, 
(heck, for decades...!) 
and then they have the nerve to pretend 
that they are in an elite of sorts 
and that their readers have no clue how it's done...
Or how it should be done! 
Well, suffice it to say, 
back in 1989, 
little luminous me 
was a reader, an avid one at that...
And an extremely disappointed one, too, 
once I'd finished perusing this atrocity here...! 
The cover is just fine, even classic: 
for a George, Freeman wasn't a bad artist at all
- but then, we do not judge a book by its cover; 
much less a comic-book! 
For to do so, would be to fall (back) 
into a time-honoured trap...! 
Well, not that time-honoured, really; 
comic-bookies, as they have been 
for several decades now, 
have only existed since World War II 
- as they were the ideal propaganda vehicle 
to deliver the messages the Establishment 
wanted promptly delivered, back then... 
Aquaman himself was born in 1941, 
as one of several anti-nazi, 
four-color disbelief-suspending bashers! 
There were Daredevil (not the one Affl-aa-ck! portrayed) 
Silver Streak, Flint Baker, Magno
Captain America, The Shield, The Phantom, 
The Spectre, The Vision, 
Wonder Woman, Ms. America, Nevana, 
as well as Batty and Superman, of course. 
All of them were valiant and brave, 
as they thwarted the Nazis with ease! 
If only it had been so easy in real life...
But we have digressed already...

In 1989, somehow, I've no idea how, 
Dan Mishkin and Gary Cohn 
tricked the powers-that-be at DC 
into believing that they were good at what they did 
and that they had not one but several 
good stories to tell, about a myriad of characters... 
They got published on many occasions indeed: 
rehashing material they would pilfer from just about 
everywhere: from Tolkien to Mattel! 
When DC thought it would be good to 
do something with Aquaman fast, 
just to keep him (somewhat) in the spotlight 
three years removed from the widely-successful 
and critically-acclaimed 1986 mini-series 
that saw him sport a new BLUE costume, 
these two scoundrel-swindler-scribes came along 
with this worthless, unreadable story - 
and since they succeeded, primarily and solely, 
in creating an uneasy symbiosis 
between the two Aquamen 
(the classic orange & green guy 
and the new blue-look guy) 
the abominable script got the go 
and was approved for publication! 
Journeymen Freeman & Pacella were assigned 
the vital art chores - and though they tried to,
they couldn't truly flesh out this horrible 
mish-mash of a tale, the script they'd been given, 
to anyone's satisfaction... 
Mishkin & Cohn penned an unnameable atrocity here 
and Aquaman had to pay the price for it - 
it was back into limbo for him after this 
until a mid-1990's so-so effort 
saw him inherit the 80's artistic team 
that did woeful things for the 
Superman books published back then...!  
And then he got another shot 
with some homegrown talent 
that fizzled as quick 
as the Kevin Maguire covers 
-meant to sell the stuff-
came to irritate the eye, instead... 
And it was limbo once more 
for a number of years after that - again.
Poor Sea King... 
It wouldn't be until the late 1990's 
that he got a bankable shot 
with Peter David 
and an artist deemed ''cool'' by the readership! 
But that is another story... 

As for Dan & Gary here... 
Just like other four-color scribes, 
wordsmiths such as 
Peter B. Gillis, 
Jeph Loeb 
Peter Tomasi, 
this dynamic duo de merde 
can be credited with turning off ''comics'' 
an astronomical number of readers... 
Indeed, these guys did more for the demise 
of both the medium as the industry that it is 
than any other negative 
said ''industry'' has got going against it...! 
The thing to marvel about here is that,  
unlike the other dudes, 
D&G had to be two 
in order to get it done! 
Most other crappy so-called wordsmiths 
of this misbegotten craft and medium
could manage the feat 
all by themselves 
- with the consent and invaluable assistance 
of their editors and publisher, sure, 
but still, they did it alone! 
DC's D&G act had to be perpetrated as a duo 
in order to produce so much abysmal material 
(Amethyst, Blue Devil - to name but two) 
that very nearly destroyed the DC Universe -
and, these days, I am one of those 
to say that perhaps 
it should have...!

It boggles the mind, too, that they had to be four 
officially, but really six or seven 
(counting letterer & colorist) 
in order to produce this unsavory tale 
doubled of a sub-par product 
(so much so, you'd think it's a 
Sub-Mariner book!)
- a pathetic clash ''that never was'' 
between the Sea King and a certain Magus -
most certainly lifted straight up 
from the John Fowles novel!  
(Certainly not from Jim Starlin's stuff -
although this would be one more thing 
Aquaman has in common with Adam Warlock;
besides the hair and bad karma, that is.
But we're just getting side-tracked now...)

If only Steve Skeates had done this instead, 
circa 1969, at least it would have been bearable; 
it would have suffered from other  
problems, as all Skeates fare did, too, 
to be truthful - but it would have been better. 
Way better than this drivel in cheap print! 
$1.50 was already incredibly overpricing it, 
and this applied to all DC and Marvel comic-bookies! 
Imagine by today's pricing standards...

Two thumbs waaaaaay down 
- below the waves! 

So sorry, AQ! 


Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home