Geoff Johns clarified that his run later this year on Aquaman will be an ongoing series, and it will start after Flashpoint ends.
"It's been great to see the popularity of Aquaman," Johns said, referring to the fan response to his announcement at MegaCon on Sunday that he'd be writing an Aquaman series. "It's really cool to see all these characters get some attention for once."
Johns, who also serves as the chief creative officer for DC Entertainment, said the cast of the new ongoing series will include the characters that have been supporting Aquaman in Brightest Day.
"Mera will be a staple in the series. She'll be right next to Aquaman," he said.
Johns already added to Aquaman's supporting cast by introducing a new Aqualad in Brightest Day #10, coinciding with the same new Aqualad appearing in a new Young Justice animated series. The writer said the teenaged Aqualad is here to stay and will be important to the whole DCU.
"There are a lot of plans for Aqualad, not only in Aquaman, but throughout the DC Universe. He's become a pretty big character for us, which is great," Johns said.After having died a few years ago in the comics universe, Aquaman was resurrected by Johns in the 2009 mini-series Blackest Night and has been starring in the bi-weekly Brightest Day, which finishes in April. Johns, who co-writes Brightest Day, hinted in a December interview with Newsarama that he would be writing the hero after the bi-weekly ended.
Out of all the characters the writer could choose for his next ongoing series, Johns chose Aquaman because he's enjoyed writing him so much in Brightest Day, "more than anybody," he said.
"I just know that there is a lot of potential in that character," Johns said. "I know there is untapped potential in that character and everything he's about. I love that everybody knows who he is, but they don't know a lot about him. And I just had ideas and stories for him."
But the writer said that even though people saw a "Johns-written Aquaman" in Brightest Day, that isn't necessarily the type of stories they'll be seeing in his new Aquaman ongoing series.
"There are a lot of things that will happen in the book that people won't expect," he said. "Brightest Day had a pretty straightforward superhero Aquaman story. That was to get him and Mera and Aqualad and Black Manta and everybody back on stage.
"But where we go in the book will surprise some people," he said.
Having first appeared in 1941, Aquaman has gone through some drastic changes as writers have tried to make him popular enough to sustain an ongoing series. The last ongoing Aquaman series, Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis, ended in 2007 with issue #57.
Johns said he's been interested in the character for a long time, and he compared his universe to that of Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps, which Johns has ushered into a significant revival over the last six years.
"Aquaman lives in such a cool world," Johns said. "Where Green Lantern goes out away from the Earth, Aquaman goes to the depths of Earth, and there are a lot of things we've never explored. The depths of the ocean are a frontier. You see it on the Discovery Channel, that they discover a new species on the bottom on the ocean all the time, and it's a whole new world down there."And how does that relate to our world?" Johns added. "That's what I want to explore. I really want to find Aquaman's place in the DC Universe, but then also explore what he means within the rest of that world."
Newsarama recently explored Aquaman's potential and creators pointed toward the story potential of Aquaman's connection to environmental issues.
Johns agreed there's a "real issue there."
"Aquaman cares about that, and it's central to who he is," Johns said. "But you have to be careful not to be preachy."
Then he added that there's something happening in the DCU that could allow Aquaman to approach the issue. "There are some twists and turns coming up that involve some of that, but I don't want to get into it just yet," he said, then added, "I'll just say this: It's all about responsibility."