*sniff, sniff* I just love weddings *sniff* – Aquaman #18
I was flipping through a dealer’s longboxes last weekend when I came across this gem. Let me amend that – I had come across this issue in the same dealer’s boxes a month beforehand, but for budgetary restrictions (i.e. I had already blown my cash) I couldn’t pick it up at that time. I was glad to see that he still had it on Sunday, and I’ve now rectified my earlier mistake.
Since the interior plot is a bit thin the selling point of this baby is definitely the cover. The story as written by Jack Miller can be summed up rather succinctly – Aquaman is named King of Atlantis but can only choose an Atlantean as his Queen and since Mera is from another dimension (I hate it when that happens) she has to prove herself by helping Aquaman defeat an usurper of his throne which she does and then Aquaman names her an honorary Atlantean and they get married.
There. That was easy.
Now for artist Nick Cardy’s great cover. And I mean GREAT. First and foremost, it’s just so damn colorful – it’s like a bowl of Froot Loops. For me one of the selling points for a lot of the early JLA covers was that they had so much going on palette-wise, and we certainly have that here. Every color of the rainbow is ably represented. It brings out that childlike “ooh pretty colors” response where you just want to lay your hands on the thing. Or, at least, it does for me.
Second, your eyes are drawn to the helmets some of the heroes are wearing so that they can breathe. This brings up two distinct thoughts in my muddled brain. On the one hand, I think it’s awfully nice of the Atlanteans to keep a golf ball sized helmet around for the Atom and one one that just fits over the mouth for Hawkman. You have to love considerate hosts, and I wonder if the two of them had to mention their needs when they RSVP’d, like someone who needs a vegetarian meal. My other thing is that I’m a little curious about what Superman, Wonder Woman and the Martian Manhunter are doing without helmets. Of course I realize that they’re the uber-powered members of the group and scoff at mortal needs like oxygen, but do they hold their breath the whole time they’re down there? Do they not regularly breathe when they’re up on the surface world? Can they breathe water? These are the kinds of questions that keep me tossing and turning in bed all night.
And finally – a true last but not least – I wish that I could find a hot redhead that would look at me the way Mera is looking at Aquaman. I’d even be OK with her wearing that green scaly getup of hers. Look at her eyes – to paraphrase Tenacious D and a certain SportsCenter anchor, “That’s adoration, Holmes!”
So I’m happy I bought this ish just for the cover, but I was kind of hoping for the DC equivalent of the Reed Richards/Sue Storm nuptials. You know, complete with the Justice League fending off super-villains attempting to sabotage the ceremony and all that jazz. Alas, I was disappointed. The JLA only appears in the last panel, which is basically just a recreation of what we see on the outside. But like I said, I’m content.
And don’t you think Robin looks a little cold?