No one would have blamed DC Comics for diving headlong into the bro-y, biker-guy interpretation of Aquaman brought to the screen by Jason Momoa, but the publisher already had something far, far more interesting up its sleeve: the creative team of Kelly Sue DeConnick and Robson Rocha. Rocha has slowly been working his way up the ranks at DC, typically paired with inker Daniel Henriques, but DeConnick’s been away from the publisher since before the New 52 in 2011. Since then, she’s built one of the most passionate fan bases in comics thanks to creator-owned titles Bitch Planet and Pretty Deadly, and her take on the Justice League’s amphibious member is less beer-chugging and more…poetically ominous.
When DeConnick and Robson kicked off their first story arc last month, titled “Unspoken Waters,” readers found an amnesiac Arthur carving out a niche for himself in a strange town full of equally strange inhabitants. Not only does the Sea King not remember his past as an aquatic hero—he’s afraid of the water that brought him to these shores. In this exclusive preview of this week’s Aquaman #44, Mera enters the picture (looking absolutely stunning, might we add), as Arthur plays a frustrating game of 20 questions with a witch in the hopes of learning something, anything, about his true identity. Check out Rocha, Henriques and colorist Sunny Gho’s interior artwork below, and be sure to grab Aquaman #44 when it hits shelves and digital retailers this Wednesday.