What's better than an Aquaman but Aquamen?
Readers will find out in February when DC debut a new Aquamen ongoing series co-starring long-time Aquaman Arthur Curry and newly-crowned Aquaman Jackson Hyde.
Of course, the new title raises legit questions about April's 'Death of the Justice League' in which nine members out of ten Justice League members including Arthur are supposed to die in deep space (meaning Arthur should have a 90% chance of being dead by the fourth issue of Aquamen).
But it's not like many of the other nine ill-fated Justice Leaguers don't have ongoing series of their own too.
Either way, DC just released new images from Aquamen #1 and also preview pages from titles leading into it, including February's Black Manta #6 and Aquaman: The Becoming #6.(opens in new tab)
Aquamen debuts on February 22 by the creative team of co-writers Brandon Thomas (Aquaman: The Becoming (opens in new tab), Aquaman/Green Arrow: Deep Target (opens in new tab)) and Chuck Brown (Black Manta (opens in new tab)), with artist Sami Basri (Harley Quinn).
And yes, Aquaman may be one of comic book's biggest badasses, one of the industry's most bankable characters, and Arthur Curry and Jackson Hyde might be two of DC's hottest superhero hunks, but the bad water puns will never stop.
The ongoing comic book series picks up on threads that began in Aquaman: The Becoming and Black Manta and involves an Atlantean conspiracy that begins to unravel in the heart of "Middle America."(opens in new tab)
A suicide bomber is revealed as an Atlantean sleeper agent who appears to have gone rogue, but when it begins to become clear the terrorist act wasn't committed by a lone bad actor, but instead was the start of a much deeper and more dangerous chain reaction, Arthur and Jackson team up. But the original Aquaman has secrets of his own - secrets he's keeping from Mera, Tula, Tempest, Atlantis, the surface world, and Jackson himself could cause a rift the new partners and co-Aquaman title holders might not recover from.
And those aren't the only Aqua-family members that will be playing a role in the series. Judging by the main cover by Travis Moore and the character sketches DC is showing off, Arthur's arch-foe and Jackson's father Black Manta will play a role, along with Tempest and Tula, and judging by the interior pages the publisher has released, so will Arthur's brother and other arch-foe, Ocean Master.
You can check out all those images above and the four character sketches below:
Along with variant covers by Kael Ngu, Nick Robles, and a Black History Month variant by Alexis Franklin:
As we say, Aquamen #1 picks up directly from the February conclusions to both Thomas' Aquaman: The Becoming and Brown's Black Manta six-issue series.
In February 8's Black Manta #6 with art by Valentine de Landro, a main cover by David Talaski, and a variant cover by Sanford Greene, Black Manta goes head-to-head with Devil Ray, whose ambitions to conquer Atlantis could put the entire world at risk. Manta needs to come to terms with this history, his power, and his flaws to save Atlantis in what DC seems to be suggesting could be a redemption arc.
Check out Talaski and Greene's covers here along with a six-page preview of the issue :
And in February 15's Aquaman: The Becoming #6 with art by Diego Olortegui and Wade von Grawbadger, color by Adriano Lucas, a main cover by Talaski, and a variant cover by Khary Randolph, Jackson tries to stop the next big undersea terrorist attack that is targeting Mera. But the one-time Aqualad has to stop deferring to his mentor and take the mantle of Aquaman to overcome his greatest enemy and protect the people he loves.
Check out Talaski and Randolph's covers here and a six-page preview from the issue:
2021 was a celebration of 80 years of Aquaman, marking the character's 1941 debut in More Fun Comics #73 (opens in new tab), and it looks like 2022 will mark the next 80 years of Aquaman ... make that Aquamen, who DC refers to as "The Protectors of the Seven Seas," with a new direction.
Aquaman has decades of history in the DC Universe, and these are the best Aquaman stories of all time.