First introduced by Geoff Johns during his early run on “Aquaman,” the survivors of the loosely-knit group known as The Others now get their own ongoing series, kicking off in the appropriately-titled “Aquaman and the Others” #1 by Dan Jurgens and Lan Medina. It’s notable if for no other reason than it’s the first time DC Comics has attempted two ongoing Aquaman titles concurrently, but Jurgens and Medina successfully make it into something better than a mere novelty.
The team powered by the ancient Atlantean artifacts each one of them carries is spread across the globe, and someone is after all of them. Coincidentally, or so it seems, the powers that these artifacts generate are all malfunctioning, giving Jurgens sufficient enough reason to have Aquaman show up and bring the group back together. It’s not a terribly creative premise, but it works, and the slow rollout, with time given to each individual character before they’re reunited, reintroduces them to readers of Johns’ recent storyline and also makes for an accessible introduction to new ones. The story’s simplicity works to its own advantage, in fact, as it doesn’t overwhelm readers, but it remains enticing enough not to underwhelm them, either.
Just in case they are underwhelmed, though, Jurgens pulls out a surprise at the end, making one last pitch to readers who remain tentative. It’s also a shameless tease for one of DC’s upcoming titles, but an effective one. This issue is the kind of storytelling readers familiar with Jurgens’ past work have come to expect: it’s not flashy or bombastic, but instead competent and accessible, with just enough twists when needed to maintain interest and momentum.
Medina, along with inker Allen Martinez, perfectly complement Jurgens’ style. Fans who liked the look of Ivan Reis or Paul Pelletier’s Aquaman in the main title will dig Medina’s, who makes the King of Atlantis look every bit the hero, especially on the splash page that dynamically introduces him into the story. Also worth mentioning is the leadoff flashback sequence featuring Arthur’s ancestor who’s plenty convincing as Atlantis’ murderous monarch from millennia ago.
“Aquaman and the Others” #1 is both bold in its confidence as a sister title, and in its simplicity and similarity in style to its companion. While DC has historically struggled to put forth even one successful title, for this month at least, they’ve pulled off the largely unforeseen task of delivering two competent comics featuring their underwater hero.