Aquaman and Jabberjaw Cross Time, Dimensions

FTC Statement: Reviewers are frequently provided by the publisher/production company with a copy of the material being reviewed.The opinions published are solely those of the respective reviewers and may not reflect the opinions of CriticalBlast.com or its management.

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. (This is a legal requirement, as apparently some sites advertise for Amazon for free. Yes, that's sarcasm.)

 
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
StumbleUpon icon
Del.icio.us icon
Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Aquaman and Jabberjaw

Aquaman can talk to sea creatures. Even he admits it's something of a standing joke. But when a great white shark shows up in the waters of Amnesty Bay, he finds his so-called super power to be superfluous -- because this shark can talk! And talk! And talk!

He's definitely the most futuristic shark Aquaman has ever saw...er...seen. And he's lost. He can't find his bandmates, The Neptunes, anywhere.

Yes, he's in a band. Yes, he's the drummer.

Leading Aquaman to where he arrived, Jabberjaw shows him a portal that leads back to Aqualand -- a future world actually named after the hero, Aquaman, and a society based upon his principals of humans and sea creatures living in harmony. There's even an Aquaman cartoon show in Jabberjaw's world.

But all is not well in Aqualand. The original experiments at Sealab 2020 gave sea life sentience and communication ability, but the harmony is quickly fading as mankind tends to seek dominance. Sea creatures are looked down upon, and The Neptunes are hippies who seek to bolster the philosophy of togetherness with their music.

And there's a villain who tries to make things worse -- Ocean Master. But he's not Orm the Ocean Master, he's just a guy who trademarked the name. He's working with the Atlantean, Dorsal, to sow hate and discord, so that he can destroy Aqualand.

And why?

"Because I despise it! All liberal and inclusive! Ugh!"

I get it that the protagonists of this particular tale should lean toward the liberal end of politics. At its core, this story from Dan Abnett and Paul Pellettier is about ecology and animal rights and all things that are claimed hallmarks of that end of teh spectrum. But the villain is motivated because he just hats "liberal and inclusive?" I know it's a single issue, but couldn't we get a little more depth than an alt-right caricature?

This particular issue also has a back-up story from Jeff Parker and Scott Kolins that was very enjoyable -- CAPTAIN CAVEMAN! In this origin, C.C. is brought forward in time as part of a wager between The Spectre and the wizard Shazam, to demonstrate that the heroic ideal is not a new thing but has existed since the dawn of time. Given an understanding of language by the wizard, Captain Caveman meets the Teen Angels when he rescues a young boy from being hit by a car. We are then shown, in quick succession, other adventures in single panels, including Cap taking out a march of torch-bearing Nazies carrying signs that read "Hate Hate Hate." The wizard comments (via text box), "Oh-ho! Look! Thrashing Nazis! Good fun!"

Unga Bunga...

Great art, fun memories, and an overall enjoyable experiment in storytelling, but lacking character development in some crucial areas. At least the Captain Caveman adventure was showing facets of a career of heroing (and baking) so that one can get a pass despite it's "Punch a Nazi" cliche. Of the two, I'd be willing to plunk down a few clamshells every month for some more Captain Caveman and the Teen Angels adventures!