Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Future State: Aquaman #2 Review

Is Slavery Okay If It's a Fish?

Written By: Brandon ThomasArt By: Daniel Sampere
Colors By: Adriano Lucas
Letters By: Clayton Cowles
Cover Art By: Sampere & Lucas
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: February 22, 2021

Future State: Aquaman #2 follows Andy from her escape so many years ago to the (future) present Aquaman't prison breakout. In one, long flashback that takes up almost the entire issue, we learn Andy could have escaped the sea monster by slashing its tentacle, that she subjugates sentient sea life to get around, and Aquaman taught her well enough to survive on her own.

It's the Aquaman/woman/lass version of Castaway. It's a talking leg. It's Future State.

Was It Good?

It was okay, but the first issue was better. The first issue did a great job building up the sense of anticipation for Andy's return as Aquawoman, but by spending the entire second issue explaining how she got to the cliffhanger, it deflated all the impact of her arrival. you get a distinct impression it would have worked better if Aquawoman had dramatically appeared to rescue her brother and then cut to the flashback for key lesson points that inform how she had matured to become a powerhouse in battle. In the current arrangement, it's a letdown.

What's It About?

We started with Andy washing ashore on an island. She's bleeding out from her severed leg and in great pain. She calls for help and accidentally absorbs one of a local school of sentient glimmerfish who morphs into the shape of a replacement leg. The school is rightfully upset over the abduction of one of their own, and he/it's not too happy about being forced into the shape of a leg either. They speak to her and constantly demand the return of their own, but Andy promises to give him back when she's ready.

Morally, we're stepping into an uncomfortable area here. Subjugating a sentient species for her own personal purposes can be taken in a number of horrific ways. Just sayin'.

Years pass on the island and the glimmerfish send all manner of mercenaries and unsavory characters to kill Andy so she'll give their friend back. She fights, resists, refuses, and Thomas sort of treats this as a type of training montage aka trial by water.

Within the flashback, Andy sporadically recalls Aquaman's training lessons to help her survive on the island. He's trained her well, and she makes the most out of every lesson.

Sick of the school of glimmerfish's incessant complaining and attempts to get their friend back, Andy leaves the island in search of Aquaman. Unfortunately, separation from the island and the school coerces the glimmerfish-turned-leg to start talking to her. she tries to make use of its knowledge by asking about the Confluence and why they can't get home. It explains the Confluence is alive and it takes those who cross it to where it believes they should go, and not always by the most direct route.

Andy eventually finds Neptune and learns of Aquaman's capture. She breaks through the defenses with an army of sea life at her command, which takes us to the cliffhanger of issue #1. Andy and Aquaman eventually find each other, escape, and swim off to fight another day in a heartfelt reunion.

Bits and Pieces

Future State: Aquaman #2 takes all the mystery and anticipation of the first issue and completely discards it in favor of a problematic, survival, coming-of-age story. The art is great and the character designs are imaginative, but what could have been an epic bookend falls flat.


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