Written by: Dan Abnett / Jeff Parker
Illustrated by Andrew Hennessy,
Paul Pelletier / Scott Kolins
Published by DC Comics
What happens when you take a man who can talk to fish, and pair him with a shark who can already talk?
You get, well, Aquaman fighting evil alongside Jabberjaw in a particularly weird adventure, as brought to life by Dan Abnett and Paul Pelletier.
Aquaman is summoned to his hometown of Amnesty Bay to assist with a rash of shark attacks–but instead he finds the ultra-polite Jabberjaw, stranded in our time and shopping for groceries.
Arthur follows his new friend through a portal to the year 2076, where he and Jabberjaw’s band, the Neptunes (not to be confused with Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo), find themselves fighting a new Ocean Master in order to bring peace and equality to Aqualand.
Much like the Funky Phantom backup in Black Lightning/Hong Kong Phooey, “A Bigger Beat” focuses on social issues as Jabberjaw’s home city, once a utopia for land and sea-dwellers alike, now treats sea creatures as second class citizens.
On the up side, there’s enough action to supplement the social content, and Pelletier is more than up to the task.
The backup story is by Jeff Parker and Scott Kolins, who gave us the aforementioned Funky Phantom story. This time, Captain Caveman is the subject of a bet between the wizard Shazam and the spirit of vengeance, the Spectre. It’s a fun little reinterpretation of Captain Caveman’s origins, and Kolins’ Captain Caveman is grimy but endearing.
Plus, the sight of Cap smashing Manhunters is too good to miss.