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DF Interview: Dan Abnett dives into the Seven Seas of Aquaman as issue #50 approaches
By Byron Brewer
In the aftermath of the Thule invasion, Aquaman must show the people of Atlantis that he was the target of a conspiracy and earn their trust once more. It’s not going to be easy...
Diving into this situation is writer Dan Abnett (Nova, Guardians of the Galaxy), but he is by no means intimidated by the Sea King’s situation or what will come as the mag approaches issue #50.
To learn his plans, Dynamic Forces met with the new aqua-scribe near the Grotto of Gaspar on the outskirts of Atlantis. Here is what Dan Abnett told us.
Dynamic Forces: Normally the name of Dan Abnett translates to readers as great military sci-fi. What brings you to Aquaman this month?
Dan Abnett: An invitation from the editor. (smiles) More than that: I love Aquaman, the blend of horror, SF and superheroics. I love the fact that Aquaman is one of DC “big characters”, yet has been amusingly but perhaps sadly maligned in pop culture as the epitome of “lame superheroes”. That’s an expectation that’s exciting to challenge. I love many eras of Aquaman’s history, like the great Peter David run, and I’ve loved Geoff John’s New 52 vision of the book. Aquaman has one of the best supporting characters in comics in the form of Mera…. the reasons for its appeal go on and on.
DF: Geoff Johns certainly left his mark on the Sea King as writer. Who is Dan Abnett’s Aquaman?
Dan Abnett: True to that, because I think Geoff has built up a great take on the character, and the style of stories that suit him, and I don’t want my tenure to jar and unsettle a devoted readership. But I’ve got some big stories in mind, including some (I hope) original ways of altering and developing Arthur’s relationship with the surface world (and Atlantis’s relationship with it too). He’s part of both. So I’m not reinventing everything. I’m taking it up and running with it.
DF: You’ve always been known (like Chris Claremont) as a strong writer for women. Can you tell us any of your plans for Mera?
Dan Abnett: As I said, I think she’s one of the best “supporting” characters in comics, a great, strong character who almost overshadows the book’s star. And I don’t think Mera the character gets a wide enough appreciation for what she is. I believe she should be easily in most “top five best female characters in superhero comics”. So yes, I plan to do LOTS with her. The dynamic between her and Arthur is also rare in comics.
DF: Dan, you come into Aquaman upon the aftermath of the Thule invasion. Will this play any role in your saga, and if so how does the Scourge of the Seven Seas cope?
Dan Abnett: I’m not going to ignore it. It’s a big and terrible thing that’s happened. Arthur (and Atlantis) has some serious work to do. His response, and his ideas, propels him into this new era of the story.
DF: Any new characters coming into the book?
Dan Abnett: Yes, quite a few. Some strong new supporting characters, both Atlanteans and surface-dwellers, and one or two new villains too.
DF: New villains? Such as … Dead Water?
Dan Abnett: You mention one right off the bat there. Dead Water is a monstrous new threat, brilliantly visualized by the artists. He’s a classic “SF horror” Aquaman foe, but his power sets are unexpected, and his back story and mystery ... well, you just won’t be able to guess where THIS is going.
DF: Can you hint at the plans for the gala New 52 50th issue of Aquaman?
Dan Abnett: Actually, that’s a very big deal indeed. It’s the full-on start of the Dead Water story (trailed in #49). It’s the start of the “new era” ideas I was talking about, and it intros some of the new characters too. All in a bumper double-length issue! With that, and my take-off issue #49, it really sets the scene for what I want to do with the characters and the book.
DF: Dan, besides the new aqua-gig, any other projects current or near-future you’d care to mention?
Dan Abnett: I’m having a joyous time at DC right now, engaged on some dream projects, so alongside Aquaman, I would urge people to check out Titan’s Hunt (the “return” of the original Teen Titans), and Earth 2: Society, which I’ve just taken over. So things are very DCU for me, and I’m happy about that, though it would be remiss of me not to mention my other two fave gigs… Wild’s End for BOOM! and Hercules for Marvel. Check them out.
Dynamic Forces would like to thank Dan Abnett for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer our questions. Aquaman #49 hits stores Feb. 24th!
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