This week from the Future State titles, a tiny gem rests in the most unexpected of places. For the most part, titles this week have been excellent. With pairings like Batman/Superman and Superman/Lex Luthor, how can they not be? Yet one of the best reads this week comes from a title few may think to pick up – Aquaman 1.

While not a difficult read, readers need to piece together a few puzzles before understanding this issue, namely the main characters. First off Aquaman is not who he appears to be. He may call himself Aquaman and look an awful lot like Jason Momoa, but this is not Arthur Curry. His name is Jackson Hyde, and he is the son of Black Manta. The red head he quarrels with throughout this title is the daughter of Arthur Curry. She goes by Aquawoman, but Jackson prefers Aqualass just to piss her off.

Aquaman 1 – The Waters of Eternity

After a failed run-in with Black Manta Jackson and Andy blame each other. In the process Andy loses control of her powers. Her father could talk with animals, but, with Andy, she controls animals against their will. It’s a power she hates and refuses to use.

Suddenly, things ‘shift’ and they realize something’s wrong. The water feels different. The water looks different. After traveling to multiple worlds they begin to understand what happened to them. They are stuck traveling the Confluence, the great ocean that all other oceans are a part of.

They spend years traveling from ocean to ocean, righting what wrongs they can until they run into a giant island ‘shellfish’. They try to swim for it but fail. Its tentacles grab them and drain their energy. Jackson manages to escape, but he hangs onto Andy’s leg, desperately trying to free her. Andy knows Jackson will die rather than give up, so she uses her powers to form a blade and cuts her leg off, causing Jackson to fall into the ocean.

Aquaman 1 – The Captors’ Gift

The new Aquaman

All of this comes from Jackson as he tells the story to his captors. This part gets a bit confusing, but writers do a wonderful job weaving it in and through the rest of the story. At the very beginning, Jackson seems to escape his prisoners, but the sharks they send after him seize his leg in their teeth. All of a sudden every shark pursuing him turns tail and flees for no apparent reason.

He tells the tale of how he and Andy wandered the oceans, but then the captives offer a strange gift. They offer to wipe Jackson’s mind of these years of pain. They think no right species would want to live with such pains, but Jackson refuses.

He keeps repeating that ‘she’ is coming. He keeps repeating it as if Andy is some great and terrible monster coming to destroy these people. Then he realizes the only reasons their chains have held him was because he didn’t want to escape, but now that he believes Andy is returning his strength and powers return. Jackson breaks free and prepares to take on the troopers of his keepers.

Aquaman 1 – A Masterful Tale

This story may sound a bit weird, but the writers do a masterful job weaving all the parts of the story from the different times together. They keep everything shrouded in a cloak of mystery. We may understand what is happening now, but so many questions remain about what may come. Andy returns but in what form? How do they return to their world after all this time?

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