Alas, Poor Aquaman

Sad Aquaman Underwater 001Pity Aquaman. Here is a character that’s been around almost as long as both Superman and Batman, even appeared near the time Wonder Woman did, has tremendous name recognition, and yet is the joke of the comic world. True, his powers aren’t the most useful. True he is, for all intensive purposes a Namor rip-off. But there are worse heroes out there. At least he didn’t shoot arrows with boxing glove tips, like Green Arrow

I never cared that much for Aquaman either way. I found all the “Talk to Fish” jokes as droll as the next comic fan. And yet there was a bit of sympathy there as well. Any man who can go out in orange and green tights deserves some respect, I think. There’s some creativity shown there. At least he didn’t put on a Robin mask and steal some Robin Hood duds like SOME heroes I might mention.

But then it happened. During one of my usual roams through the vast Internet Highway, I browsed my way through a series of on Comic Urban Legends. And, in this article, found the capper, the thing that made me, if not an Aquaman fan, then someone who feels compassion for the Atlantian doofus.

Aquaman didn’t appear on any comic cover until nineteen years after he was created.

Nineteen. Years.

He always appeared as second fiddle to some other character, such as Superboy. They got the glory while Aquaman toiled away as back up. Hell, even some Nottingham reject got cover shots, one that even had him underwater. An element he was not native to. (And with a sidekick smiling despite in the clutches of an octopus. Almost as if he was high… Nah, that would never happen.)

Even Aquaman’s first appearance was only in the presence of other heroes, fighting beside the JLA in issue #28 of the Brave and the Bold. Getting knocked aside by a giant space starfish.

No, I am sorry. I can do it no more. I can’t see Aquaman as a four colored joke any longer. After today, he will suffer no more at my hands. Or any other part, for that matter.

In fact, I offer up this toast. Here’s to Aquaman, that magnificent fool! May he never grow wings on his heels! Or dye his hair black!

Cause these days, it’s getting harder and harder to tell him apart from Namor.

I mean, they made him hot-headed. Aquaman. The nice guy.

What were they thinking?

For the record, I have nothing against Green Arrow. Well, nothing much…

And I also know his sidekick, Speedy’s eventual fate.

And, for my first real post on a comic, it’s a stitch that I picked a DC character. I was such a Marvel Zombie back in the day. I’ve owned, at best, ten DC comics.

And none of them Aquaman…


3 Replies to “Alas, Poor Aquaman”

  1. I always liked Aquaman. And I still do. (Sorry.)

    Admittedly, he is useless as a member of any team, the big reason his appearances with the Super Friends were so ridiculous. It’s like a person who can run 500 miles an hour, but only on sand. The power is too specialized to be useful for a team.

    Comparing him with Namor is kind of an apples-oranges thing. Namor can fly and has super strength (he’s fought the Hulk) and (except near the end of the 70’s when he got poisoned) he didn’t need to return to the water–I got the impression he lived there out of preference.

    It’s like saying, “Who needs the Flash? Superman is just as fast.”

    As a crime-fighter, Aquaman isn’t much. I just think his powers are cool–I’d like to have them!

    Sorry if this is incoherent. (Well, you should be used to that from me.) We Aquaman fans are a dying breed, after all….

  2. First off, nothing to be sorry about. There are worse heroes out there to be a fan of. Like, say, my favorite, Spectreman. I haven’t seen an episode in years, but I have a feeling…

    As far as powers go, being able to talk with marine life might be neat, but I prefer the whole breathe water gig. One less phobia to worry about that way.

    On the whole Namor/Aquaman thing, while the two don’t share powers, they do have their simularities. Both are princes of Atlantis (although, if I’m reading their entries right, Namor’s heiratge isn’t revealed until the 60’s, making him a bit of a copy of Aquaman…), both have a human father and meremother (though these daysm as I understand it, Aquaman no longer has the Spock syndrome…), and every now and then Namor will call up some aquatic monster…

    Still, I will admit that Aquaman is different enough from Namor to be thought of more as an “inspired by” than a “copied from”.He’s certainly not like Green Arrow, who, at the start, looked like he wanted to be Batman when he grew up. (ARROWCAR! I mean, really.)

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