DC Reviews: Aquaman #25 And The Sandman: Overture Special Edition #1
THE EXTRA-SIZED CONCLUSION TO “DEATH OF A KING”! Aquaman now knows the true responsibility that comes with being King of Atlantis. But that means he and Mera face a difficult choice—one that could destroy the love that’s defined their lives! Villains become allies, friends become enemies, and the scope of Aquaman’s undersea world grows bigger than ever!
Today Geoff Johns wraps up his 25 issues run on Aquaman and the Death of a King storyline with an extra-sized issue. Joining Johns is artist Paul Pelletier, inker Sean Parsons, colorist Rod Reis, and letterer Dezi Sienty. Johns had an epic finale recently with Green Lantern, so how does Aquaman measure up?
Arthur has awoken from his sixth month long coma to find that Atlantis has been taken over by the dead king Atlan. Vulko has cared for the king, but now Arthur must dive back down to the ocean’s depths and save not only his kingdom, but Mera as well. Arthur has a few tricks up his scaly sleeves and he even calls upon some unlikely allies. It’s an all-out war at the bottom of the seas as Aquaman’s world expands even further than he could have imagined.
Johns writes a cracking finale. He wraps up most all of the Aquaman strings left dangling over the 25 issues and special crossover event with the Justice League. It’s a fitting conclusion that puts Aquaman in a good place for incoming writer Jeff Parker and really does more to establish Aquaman as a formidable hero and top tier DC hero. Johns has taken Aquaman from a punch line to a true ruler. Pelletier’s pencils, Parsons’ inks and Reis’ colors are just top notch. This has been a very visually stunning series, but the finale ups the game. There’s a big battle and several fantastical creatures from the deep that the artist really get a chance to play around with. Plus Arthur with a beard is just really cool to see. Johns will be picking up the character again for a new Justice League event, but he’s set Parker up rather nicely. This isn’t as definite an end as Johns made his Green Lantern finale feel. 4.5/5
Each of the six issues of THE SANDMAN: OVERTURE will be followed the next month by its own Special Edition which will include an interview with a member of the creative team, plus rare artwork and more. This issue starts things off with an interview with J.H. Williams.
This issue will include the entire first issue of the new miniseries, including the gatefold in its original form before coloring, giving readers a behind-the-scenes at J.H. Williams’ unique process. Williams’ original coloring will be shown in addition to the black, white and gray tones of the original work. In addition, the lettering will be translucent, allowing the reader to see the exquisite artwork behind the word balloons.
Today also sees the release of the first Sandman: Overture special edition issue. Between the gaps of the new issues, a special edition expanded issue will be released feature behind the scenes content and interviews with the creative team by the already highly regarded prequel. The specials will contain a preamble, an “uninterrupted printing of the story sans final colors with translucent lettering,” a step-by-step process piece through part of the comic, a suggest playlist, and a question and answer section with one of the creative team members.
This issue features an introduction from Todd Klein about the lettering process of the original Sandman and how he invented a few new tricks to make all of Neil Gaiman’s characters comie to life. He also lets readers into the process of making the speech bubbles and lettering translucent to show more of J.H. Williams spectacular art. From there the first issue is reprinted with translucent lettering and in black and white so you can see Williams incredibly detailed art.
If you’re a fan of Gaiman, Williams, Sandman, or the behind-the-scenes process of comic book making, this is a must get. These special editions give you a peek behind the curtain to see how the proverbial sausage is made. Seeing the story reprinted to bring out more of the art’s detail is a great treat too. This is essentially a perfect DVD special feature in comic book form.