What’s up comic fans? This is Aaron with another comic book review. We got an offering from Mana Comics called “ ‘Aumakaua #5” (sorry no kahako). It took me awhile to get through this one. I read all the previous issues to get this one and I’m glad I did. This has been an epic story, but we’ll get to that in the review…
Let me start by giving you a short synopsis about this series and the events leading up to this issue, hopefully without spoiling the story to much. The story follows the adventures of a Hawaii based superhero team called the “‘Aumakua”. The story merges the past with the present, sometimes even using true events from Hawaii’s history to push the narrative. Also, many of the legends and folklore of ancient Hawaii are tied in and given some cool artist inspired interpretations.
Leading up to this issue, one of the team members has been locked up and accused of murder. Based on some investigations by the team they find he is innocent, and the child he is accused of killing has been taken to another world. They travel to that world and are faced with problem after problem. Meanwhile the team member in prison attempts and succeeds with an escape, making his way back to civilization just in time to face the “King of the Kunians”. I won’t spoil the ending, but I gotta say, it was pretty epic.
The creator of this series has done something that many comic book enthusiasts say will not happen again. What I’m referring to is the creation of the MARVEL universe and characters created by the late great Stan Lee and the various artists he’s worked with. ‘Aumakua is already well on it’s way to having the ability to create such a universe and countless books and spin offs, considering the artist has the time and funds to complete it. I really enjoyed the cast of characters in this one. Each one of them is extremely unique and their interactions with each other are a joy to read. I found much of the banter, especially those featuring Geckoman and Pineapple Man, to be incredibly funny. Putting the lyrics to “Moloka’i Slide” in that fight scene was a nice touch as well.
If I was to make one critique as to the weakness of this book, it would be the dialogue. Now before I get my head bitten off, let me just say, I have nothing against pidgin. I was born and raised here in Hawaii, and totally support Pidgin being recognized as a second language. That being said, the weakness comes with the dialogue not appealing outside of Hawaii. Now I’m sure if we could get this book into the hands of every local living here in Hawaii then this book would do great. Sadly, majority of people here haven’t read or don’t care to read comic books whatsoever. Thus, to make it in this business you have to get your books into the hands of the much larger group of consumers in the continental United States. Unfortunately, as many of us locals know, “visitors” to Hawaii don’t understand and in some cases, look down on the use of pidgin. Although they may initially buy the book, I don’t see them continuing the book because it may feel like they are reading a foreign language. I want this book to succeed. So if that means altering the focus of the readership just a little bit, I would be willing to do that to get this book the nationwide spotlight I truly feel it deserves. Also, and this is my personal opinion, Geckoman’s suit needs a redesign. His character has great potential and I hope he gets the Tony’s Stark or “Portuguese Man-O-War” treatment eventually.
Overall this book, in fact this entire series, is awesome. It has a story telling and character development quality found in more mainstream work and I hope this series continues for years to come. The art maybe more so the inking also really took a step up in issue #5 and made the book even more enjoyable to read. But don’t take my word for it. Go and read the book and make the choice for yourself. Support local comics! Peace!