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Aquaman: Andromeda #1

Review by Paul Bowler

The world of Aquamam comes to DC’s Black Label for a new three part series Aquaman Andromeda, from writer Ram V (Venom, The Swamp Thing) and illustrated by Christian Ward (Thor, Invisible Kingdom). Aquaman Andromeda #1 is a highly compelling and immersive experience that works on many levels. Blending rich sci-fi themes and dark psychological horror, Ram V take us on a deep dive into the Pacific Ocean, where Arthur Curry, a crew of scientists on an experimental submarine, and even old foes will find themselves facing a dark terrors in the depths of beyond that will test even the King of Seas to breaking point. Initially, Aquaman’s presence is slightly cursory at best. Ram V shows us a more contemplative side to Arthur Curry, where his need for solitude and dedication to the duty of his aquatic realm strikes a much finer balance than anyone could’ve suspected.

Much of the action takes place on the prototype submarine Andromeda, the incredible high-tech vessel is powered by an experimental quantum drive, and her crew is a diverse mix of coutures and specialities — some of whom have a far more intuitive understanding of the nature of the sea than even they themselves realise. It is this Marine Biologists haunting backstory almost unconsciously drives the narrative as the Andromeda embarks on its mission to investigate a mysterious signal emanating from Point Nemo – the infamous spaceship graveyard used  by the various nations of the world for their crafts splashdowns on returning to Earth since the dawn of the space race.

Aquaman Andromeda is beautifully illustrated throughout by Christian Ward. Every page is like an aquarium of encapsulated drama and mystery, rich with detail, vivid color, and mesmerising clarity. Aquaman’s time above and below the waves strikes distinct parallels between story beats, with warm tones and an almost soft focus conveying his treasured solace in a simple task, while ominous shadows creep in before descending into the deep to face a strange new calling. Ward gives Aquaman’s traditional costume a slight makeover as well; with accents reminiscent of a coral reef. The Andromeda submarine is another marvel to behold, with its futuristic corridors and instruments. 

This series looks set to take full advantage of the edgier format Black Label  can offer. The sense of building dread is palpable throughout, events also set master pirate Black Manta on a collision course with his old nemesis, and the attack by a giant Cephalopoda leads to a jaw-dropping confrontation with Aquaman. This cracking first issue unashamedly wears its sci-fi-horror influences on its sleeve, and provides an intriguing set-up for what’s to come as something begins awakening down in the dark at Point Nemo. If you like comics being a tad edgier then you’ll be amazed at how DC’s King of the Seas takes a voyage to the darker side of sci-fi here, as Aquaman Andromeda #1, with its thrilling story by Ram V and fantastic artwork by Christian Ward, is sure to float your boat!

Publisher DC Comics (Black Label)

Writer Ram V

Artist Christian

Letters Aditya Bidikar

Cover Christian Ward

About The Author

Hi, I’m Paul Bowler, blogger and reviewer of films, TV shows, and comic books. I’m a Sci-Fi geek, a big fan of Doctor Who, Star Trek, movies, Sci-Fi, Horror, Comic Books, and all things PS4.You can follow me on Twitter @paul_bowler,or at my website, Sci-Fi Jubilee, and on YouTube and Facebook