Different cultures throughout history have all had their own creation myths explaining how the Earth came to exist, often using gods as a way to understand natural phenomena. While these ideas were eventually replaced by scientific information, the mythology endured, giving people fantastic stories about larger-than-life heroes and villains. These stories were precursors to the superhero genre, so it’s fitting that this week’s Aquaman #45 offers a new creation myth that introduces new threats for the titular hero. The current Aquaman run by writer Kelly Sue DeConnick, penciller Robson Rocha, inker Daniel Henriques, colorist Sunny Gho, and letterer Clayton Cowles has given Arthur Curry a fresh start by wiping his memory and putting him on an island populated by the old gods of the sea living as humans.
Now living as Andy, the hero is rediscovering his connection to the water, and this new status quo has opened up a lot of narrative opportunities for the creative team. This Aquaman run started slow and quiet, focusing on the hero’s new environment and supporting cast. Things have gradually intensified with new revelations, and this week’s issue delivers an explosion of fantasy action as it tells the myth of Father Sea, Mother Salt, and their children, Sky, Wind, Fire, and Earth. The cliffhanger for this creative team’s first issue had some serious Moana vibes as it showed water parting around Andy in the same way it does with the Disney heroine, and that Moana connection becomes even stronger as DeConnick introduces new deities and sends Andy and his companion, Caille, out on the open sea.
This exclusive preview of Aquaman #45 begins by establishing the hero as a champion of the gods, and then jumps back for a major tonal shift as the creation myth takes shape. The art team depicts a rousing sense of awakening when Andy emerges from the water, but the visuals become even bigger and more imaginative for the myth. Fluid layouts, striking designs, and vibrant colors contrast with the much more subdued imagery on the island, bringing a surge of energy that only grows as the legend unfolds. This is a beautiful issue, and the grandiosity of the visuals heightens the stakes of the story by giving Aquaman monumental new opponents on his past to self-discovery.