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Aquaman: Butt-kicking or Butt of a Joke?

Written by JotunJack. Check him out over athttp://wattpad.com/user/jotunjack. You can also check out Crossover, the comic book podcast, on the OMfGeeks Youtube Channel.

Everyone (and I mean everyone) knows about Aquaman. For about as long as DC has been publishing
his character there’ve been people there joking about his lame powers; he talks to fish, he swims
really fast and he can breathe under water. Big deal right? I mean, he’s no Superman or Batman is

Well, DC certainly seemed to think he had potential, what with their constant attempts to make
him more appealing. They’ve tried everything they could think of to breathe new life into his gills,
whether it be costume changes, giving him a hook for a hand, having his son replace him, giving him
a guest role on Smallville (… in retrospect that was an awful idea), even killing him but that’s just
fuelled the jokes made at his expense. Now they’re daring something new to make him cool; giving
him a decent writer.

Ever since Geoff Johns included him in the big Brightest Day event last year hints have been
dropping that this character could be a badass, even the Flashpoint crossover that took over DC just
months ago showed us what Aquaman could be; the King of Atlantis and an unequalled warrior.
Still, when Johns said last year that Aquaman would be one of the biggest characters of 2011 I’ll
admit to being sceptical. How could I not be? This was the same guy that was used as a metaphor for

With Aquaman #1 released just yesterday I can now tell you now that Johns could very well be
right on the mark with his big claim. Just as he had brought Green Lantern and the Flash back to
prominence in recent years he seems to have made the unthinkable; a respectable Aquaman.

How did he do this? He attacked every preconceived notion we, and the DC Universe, have about
the character.

The first moment we see him in his issue he is inland tackling some bank robbers. Jokes abound from
both police and criminals until he takes them out with ease; flipping trucks, jumping buildings and
deflecting bullets as he goes. It’s a welcome move from the usual old pollution problems and evil sea
life of the past and, before anyone makes a “he never did that stuff before” comment, it’s something
we saw rarely in earlier appearances, mostly because no one thought to bring him out of the waters.

Later on, in a seafood restaurant no less, he has to justify himself to a number of customers in
five pages that make this issue more than worth the $2.99. Whether it’s due to his explanation of
why he doesn’t talk to fish (“Fish don’t talk. Their brains are too primitive to hold a conversation”
though “dolphins are another story”) or the annoying blogger’s interview on how it feels to ‘be
Aquaman’, this is perhaps one of the best moments in all of the new #1 issues.

If for some ungodly reason you need more reason to pick up this issue, the artwork by Ivan Reis
(who you may remember from Brightest Day, comic fans) is at its usual high standard and the
primary villains, the Trench, are spectacularly creepy looking. No seriously; take every hideous deep
sea creature you can think of, blend them together with Gollum and an alien and give the resulting
abomination a heroin withdrawal and that’s the level of creepiness that these monsters have.

With Aquaman still the butt of everyone’s jokes in DC and his renouncing the throne of Atlantis I
must admit this is looking to be an interesting series. All I really have to say is that if this is just a
taste of what’s to come I’m seriously considering adding this to my favourites list. I genuinely never
thought I would ever type the following words but it has finally happened: Aquaman is now one of
the coolest guys in DC. Not quite on par with Batman but definitely cool.