Review: Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1

Published on June 14th, 2011

I think I’m the only person on the site–nay, the world–who cares at all about Aquaman. Don’t ask me why. I hate the beach. Perhaps it’s my wonder about the ocean. That’s where sea otters live, ya know? Love me some sea otters. Sadly they’re not found in issue #1 of Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman, but there’s other good stuff!


So far in the main Flashpoint book, all that’s known to the audience is that Aquaman and Wonder Woman and their respective armies are fighting a humongous battle over most of Europe. What was the UK is now Diana’s (that’s Wonder Woman) new home of New Themyscira, while Aquaman and the Atlanteans have sunk most of western Europe. Why, well… I don’t really wanna give that away, but Arthur Curry (that’s Aquaman) is pissed that someone close to him has been murdered. Who did it? I’m not gonna tell you that either. But, hey, there’s assassins! There’s also double-crosses! And let’s not forget the OTHER royal family that’s tied up in this huge global mess! Some eleven months prior to Aquaman’s flooding Europe, the country of Markovia decided to side with the Atlanteans in an effort to defend themselves against Wonder Woman and her forces. Markovia’s aristocracy is somewhat torn as to what this will mean to both sides of the conflict. But the royal family has a hidden secret that ends up benefiting and hurting the Atlanteans and the Amazons. Aquaman’s got himself a secret weapon, and he just might be using it for more than world domination. Maybe petty revenge is in the works and the cause of all his hatred… ? Bottom line is that Aquman is a military-type badass who’s out to right some wrongs.

Writer Tony Bedard’s weaving of the flashbacks throughout the issue allows the questions the reader has to unfold, while keeping the big picture a mystery. While doing so, it sort of becomes an international spy-thriller story because you’re getting small variations on what happened from different characters within the story. Penciller Ardian Syaf impressed me with the ability to show the complexity of the various characters within the book. So far, out of all the Flashpoint books (including the main story) this is my favorite. Sorry, Batman. I love ya, but this one’s pretty darn good.

Will anyone else on the site read it? I know Simon said he’s gonna read all the tie-ins. Ken probably won’t. Ian sure as hell won’t! Sheldon, Susan, Chris, Rob and John? I dunno. I hope I’m not the only one who likes this one!

Sam Taylor