Was Aquaman quietly saving the world during Man of Steel?

Man of Steel was a thoroughly entertaining superhero movie and a serviceable Superman movie. Fortunately, the last son of Krypton was not the only super-powered being saving the world, as the king of Atlantis was hanging out, cleaning up ol’ Kal-El’s mess.

It has been 98 days since our last Aquaman is Awesome post. We’re due.

Arthur Curry’s presence is first felt near the beginning, while a scruffy Clark is trying his best impression of Jack Kerouac auditioning for Deadliest Catch. Pre-Supes can’t help but hurl himself at a burning oil rig, rescue the roughnecks, and then keep derrick from collapsing on a hapless helicopter. Explosion. We cut to some Kansas flashbacks. Mr. Soupy floats in the water. Pan up and, inexplicably, there’s a couple of humpback whales just chilling, amidst the carnage of a collapsing oil rig,  having a casual sing-in. No doubt those whales are having a chat with a rogue Atlantean, swimming somewhere off screen. He’s probably making sure that the Caped Clam Chowder doesn’t ruin his handy work.

Because, obviously, Aquaman was the one who knocked out that oil rig. I said he was saving the world, not saving humanity. That’s Crab Bisque’s gig.

Read More

The horrifying physiological and psychological consequences of being Aquaman

Aquaman. DC Comics.

Aquaman. DC Comics. A rational response to seal poaching is to lob a polar bear at the aggressors.

Aquaman may not be everybody’s favorite superhero, but since his creation in 1941, he has been among DC’s most enduring icons. During the Golden Age of comic books, he held his own against Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Silver Age Aquaman was a founding member of the Justice League. His powers, tied to the ocean, forced writers to create a compelling, complex hero with explicit limitations. In the early days, when Superman’s strength was practically infinite, and Batman’s brilliance was unmatched, Aquaman had to become more than just a superhero, he had to be a person.

If Superman existed to show us how high the human spirit could fly, and Batman to show us the darkness within even our most noble, Aquaman is here to show us the world that triumphs in our absence. The ocean is not ours, and no matter how great our technology, we will never master it as we have mastered land, but Aquaman has. Through this lonely ocean wanderer, we can experience a world that we can never truly command. In many ways, Aquaman was stronger than the Man of Steel and darker than the Dark Knight. He knew loneliness that the orphan and the alien exile never could.

Roll on, thou deep and dark blue Ocean – roll!
Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain;
Man marks the earth with ruin – his control
Stops with the shore; — upon the watery plain
The wrecks are all thy deed, not does remain
A shadow of man’s ravage, save his own,
When for a moment, like a drop of rain,
He sinks into thy depths with bubbling groan,
Without a grave, unknell’d, uncoffin’d, and unknown.


Even though Aquaman had to fight harder, endure the jokes of other, less limited heroes, and find relevance in an ecosystem hostile to the humans that had to empathize with him, Aquaman was never forced to confront the truly horrifying consequences of life in the ocean.

Read More