The Aquaman Shrine - Rob
"An awwwwesome package arrived @ Shrine Central last week--a set of the new DC Super Pets books! Aw, yeah!
There are six books in all, but of course the one we're the most excited about is Heroes of the High Seas, starring Aquaman!
Written by J.E. Bright and drawn by Art Baltazar, Heroes of the High Seas stars off with a little primer explaining who all the characters are:
Following this is an entry from the Atlantis High Command Sea Computer, giving us some details on Storm the Sea Horse--his skills, his relationship to Aquaman, and more.
Chapter 1, "Wild Whirlpool", opens with a full-page illustration that makes me nearly giddy in its Aqua-rifficness: you've got Aquaman, Mera, Aqualad, Tula, Arthur Jr., Topo the Octopus, and more, all exquisitely rendered in day-glo colors by Art Baltazar. I want this on a t-shirt, greeting cards...everything.
Anyway, the concert is interrupted by Aquaman's seal friend Ark (who first appeared waaaay back in More Fun Comics #89!) who says there's a giant whirlpool just outside the city, and its growing!
Aquaman jumps aboard his loyal steed Storm and investigates. They see a mother whale getting caught in the vortex trying to save its calf. Aquaman goes to rescue the whales, while ordering Storm, Topo, and Ark to see what's causing the whirlpool.
In Chapter 2, "Into the Deep", Aquaman's three pals get too close to the vortex. Finding themselves with a thud on the ocean floor, our three heroes spy another denizen of the deep called a Diggler, as its tunneling directly into a mountain. They also spy to manta rays, Misty and Sneezer, who are the pets of...Black Manta!
Misty and Sneezer are in charge of digging tubes through the mountain rock, causing water to rush in, feeding the vortex above. The plan is to create such a huge whirlpool that its eats Atlantis whole! "That's not going to happen", Topo replies.
In Chapter 3, "Sounds of Victory", Storm tries to occupy Misty and Sneezer and get them away from the diggler. Meanwhike, Topo plays his violin, in an attempt to soothe the diggler, calming him down long enough to stop the burrowing.
Misty and Sneezer attempt to escape, disappearing behind a rock--but Topo sees that's not a rock, its the ship of Black Manta!:
Arriving just in time, along with the blue whale, is Aquaman!
The blue whale scares Manta so badly he jumps back into ship and takes off, with the mama blue whale giving chase. With her calf now safe thanks to Aquaman, Topo, Storm, and Ark explained what happened.
Topo begins to play again, this time in celebration.
Do I even need to bother to mention how delightfully awesome this book is? The story is cute, fast-moving and light as air. And with Art Baltazar doing the illustrations, its a pure pleasure to look at. If I had had this book when I was five or six, I would have worn it to pieces due to constant reading and re-reading.
The book also comes with some bonus pages, like a "Know Your Super-Pets" checklist, a joke page, creator bios, and a helpful glossary of terms:
As I mentioned, there are five other books in this series. I haven't had a chance to read them all yet, but they all look as utterly charming as Heroes on the High Seas.
I cannot imagine a more fun way to teach young comics fans to read than these DC Super Pets books, and of course its fantastic that Aquaman got his own book in this series, a fairly rare thing when it comes to the Sea King and mass market projects like this. With his unique setting and cast of colorful side characters, Aquaman more than hold his own. I was thrilled to hear that some of the people at Capstone putting these books together are Aqua-Fans, and there are plans for more Aqua-centric DC Super Pets books.
If you have a little Aqua-Fan in this house, run, do not walk, over to Amazon (or your local bookstore) and get yourself a copy. One last thing: those of you with aforementioned young Aqua-Fans in the house, be sure to check back with the" - The Aquaman Shrine
January 10, 2011