When I wandered on to the WWAC Twitter account on Friday night, wine in hand, I had no idea what to expect, mainly because I had nothing planned. I put my faith in our followers, hoping that they could find something interesting to chat about. They most certainly did: Aquaman.
And so began an hour of undersea character appreciation.
Aquaman gets a bad rap, but more than enough fans showed that there’s far more to the king of Atlantis than telepathically communicating with fish.
Aquaman’s been an icon for over seventy years. The King of the Seven Seas. Reluctant ruler of Atlantis. A man who holds his own against heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman. He’s so recognizable that when officials speak about the perils of sea pollution, they’ll whip out Aquaman references to sound hip.
The original Aquaman was created in 1941 by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger, and made his first appearance in More Fun Comics #73, where he tells his own origin story:
The story must start with my father, a famous undersea explorer — if I spoke his name, you would recognize it. My mother died when I was a baby, and he turned to his work of solving the ocean’s secrets. His greatest discovery was an ancient city, in the depths where no other diver had ever penetrated. My father believed it was the lost kingdom of Atlantis. He made himself a water-tight home in one of the palaces and lived there, studying the records and devices of the race’s marvelous wisdom. From the books and records, he learned ways of teaching me to live under the ocean, drawing oxygen from the water and using all the power of the sea to make me wonderfully strong and swift. By training and a hundred scientific secrets, I became what you see — a human being who lives and thrives under the water.
He’s gone through many incarnations, from the spear-armed, beard-sporting badass, to the complete idiot that is portrayed in Brave and the Bold animated series. With their reboot in 2011, DC decided to change how people look at Arthur Curry. Aquaman is currently enjoying a solid run in his own series. I only read the first issue, where writer Geoff Johns and artist Ivan Reis roll out alllll the stereotypes associated with Aquaman, then reveal just how powerful this superhuman is, with abilities that rival many of the Justice League’s finest. AND he has giant under water creatures ready and willing to do his bidding. I’ve seen Pacific Rim, people. I will respect any person who counts kaiju among his servants.
During our chat, I learned that things aren’t going so well for the King of Atlantis, with Atlanteans questioning his half-human heritage and therefore his right to rule. I also learned that Aquaman once threw a polar bear at poachers.
Is there anything this man can’t do? And most importantly, our chat was a great opportunity to bask in the glory of Jason Momoa, who will be playing the King of Atlantis in the 2016 Justice League movie.
Aquaman has many fans, though there are still some who see him as a laughing stock, worthy only of mockery, thanks to his goofy portrayal in the old Super Friends cartoon. But if there’s anything that can change the negative opinion attached to this:
Edited to add this: