“The Trench, Part Two”
That cover is cool. In the eyes of the creature we can see a double image of Aquaman attacking as on the cover of issue #1. Properly, it should be a mirror image, but it's cool nonetheless.
Inside: The monstrous creatures from the deep go from ravaging the crew of the fishing trawler to the populace of its home port …. The next evening, miles away in the lighthouse where he grew up, Arthur Curry shows his wife Mera a photo album of childhood memories. She wants to try everything associated with life on land – including “using pieces of wood to slide down frozen water.... It sounds terrible. … When can I try it?” Just as they come across a photo of little Arthur and his father … and someone else – a “picture [that] shouldn't be in there” – a desperate nok nok at the door interrupts this scene of domestic tranquility. “The … the sheriff of Beachrock” thirty miles up the coast is looking for Aquaman – who looks different “without the orange shirt.” “It's scale armor,” Arthur patiently corrects him. I guess he's used to being the butt of such comments after the first issue. By the way, don't call Mera “Aquawoman” – or a “mermaid.” Anyway, said “sheriff” (who will turn out to be no more than a deputy … and not long for that rank either, I think), has been stopping at every lighthouse he finds looking for Aquaman. He brings word of the attack on the fishing port. Aquaman and Mera suit up and accompany him, only to find the Coast Guard and the US Navy already on the case along with the real sheriff (who makes the mistake of calling Mera “Aquawoman” as well). And real sheriff is none too pleased that the heroes are there to “[get] in the Feds' way.” Mera thinks he's impertinent and wants to “educate” him in proper obeisance to royalty, even though her husband plays it down – “I'm not a king to them.” Shortly thereafter, another attack of the creatures ensues – and several pages of combat end with one of the creatures seeming to overpower Aquaman, and proclaim “*************” (their language is represented by a bunch of indecipherable squigglies), which translates as “This food comes home to the Trench.” This after he's wrenched Aquaman's trident from his grip. Next: Secrets of the Trench.
Another good issue, although I'm sure there will be those who say not enough happens. Hey, when it looks this good, who cares? And it's Aquaman! The real Aquaman! Did I mention how happy I am to have “my” Aquaman back?!
Maybe I just missed it in the first issue, but in this issue Aquaman gets the same treatment Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman have gotten for years – identification of his creator on the title page – “Created by Paul Norris.” It's nice seeing those to whom we owe these great comic book heroes given their proper credit. If only they would just throw over whatever unjust legal agreement DC made with Bob Kane so long ago and own up to the reality, that Bill Finger had at least as much of a hand in creating Batman as the glory-hound Kane did.
There is a minor art snafu – and I'll go so far as to call it that, even though the art in this issue is typically Ivan Reis beautiful: Boy, does Mera suddenly go all brachiocephalic at the top of page seven, or what? That profile looks like a totally different person than the portrait shot at the bottom of page six! Otherwise, wow.
Cheers, and thanks for reading!