Comic-book fans were thrilled with the recent news that Game of Thrones star and all-around man’s man Jason Momoa was added to the cast of the much-anticipated superhero showdown Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. But for some, the news was tempered by the fact that Momoa would be playing… Aquaman.
Aquaman. The Rodney Dangerfield of the superhero world and perpetual pop-culture punching bag, famously derided by both the young Hollywood players of Entourage and the scientist-nerds of The Big Bang Theory.
But is Aquaman’s soggy reputation undeserved? To get an expert insight into the King of the Seven Seas, Yahoo Movies turned to no less an authority than Rob Kelly: A super-fan who runs a blog called The Aquaman Shrine and has, in his own words, “devoted a frighteningly large chunk of what passes for my adult life being a fan of Aquaman and spreading the gospel.”
We asked Kelly to come to the defense of this misunderstood superhero, and give us a primer on what makes Aquaman so (secretly) cool:
• Aquaman’s PR problem is undeserved. “An easy punching bag to the writers of various comedy sketch shows, cartoons, his name somehow became synonymous with Pop Culture Joke,” says Kelly. “But the man kept his head down, saving lives — because that’s what a hero does. Never mind that he is currently one of DC Comics’ top-selling characters, headlining two monthly series (Aquaman and Aquaman and the Others). Or, that he’ll be taking his place alongside Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman in what could be one of the biggest films of 2016. Who’s laughing now, Vinny Chase?”
• But he has a pretty cool super-power… “He can communicate with fish: Salmon, goldfish, swordfish — the whole lot,” Kelly notes. “He also talks to sharks, whales, and electric eels. He also — wait, why am I still talking? The man talks to sharks. Aquaman — ruler of Atlantis — commands all that swim in the seven seas. If there’s a problem out there beneath the waves, Aquaman can to tell a shark to handle it without ever having to go out his front door.”
• … and a pretty sweet lady friend. "They say behind every great man
is stands a great woman,” says Kelly. “Of course, Aquaman is not every man. And neither is Mera, the stunningly beautiful and powerful Queen of the Seven Seas who is every bit Aquaman’s equal. Let Superman be unable to commit and Batman be the lonely avenger of the night: Aquaman is part of a team that is more than the sum of its parts.”
• Finally, he deserves your respect. “Aquaman has been around, in one form or another, for over 70 years,” says Kelly of the Justice League founding member. “In fact, he turns 75 in 2016—good timing, Warner Bros.! He’s appeared in comic books, cartoons, live-action TV shows, even stage-plays put on by his fans. The guy just keeps going. If anyone is interested in learning more about the King of the Seven Seas, consider diving into his comics. There are literally thousands of Aquaman comics out there, but a good place to start would be with Aquaman Vol.1: The Trench, which features our hero (and Mera!) squaring off against a horde of undersea monsters that would have given H.R. Giger nightmares. For more old-school adventures, try Aquaman: Death of a Prince, which features a slice of his sun-dappled 1970s adventures. Either book will make an Aquaman fan out of you, so go ahead and give them a try, or go to your local comic book shop and pick up an issue of his ongoing series. We look forward to seeing you in line in 2016!”
Photo credit: © DC Comics