Aquaman: How The Character Went From Silly To Cool
A spoiler-free discussion.
Jason Momoa as Aquaman in the DCEU
It is rather hard to imagine that in a mythology filled with such rich and fantastical characters, a half-man, half-Atlantean ruler of the vast oceans of the world would be anything but a joke to most people. Yet, certain portrayals can have a severely detrimental value to a said character, lasting decades and creating countless running jokes that never seem to tucker out. One such character at the receiving end of this was Aquaman.
Of course, this was in no way the character’s fault that the Ruler of Atlantis was never taken seriously by the geek community until recently. In fact, the actual blame for the silly perception of the character had to do with the way in which Aquaman was portrayed in a long-forgotten kids show titled Superfriends that ran from the late-1970s to the mid-1980s.
It is in this infamous show that we see an almost wimpy side of the character being shown. This is where the joke regarding the character’s only ability being able to talk to fish spawned from. Every time Aquaman would appear in the show, he would always be seen as doing something silly like riding a seahorse or flying fish. Aside from that, the show’s portrayal of the character meant that Aquaman was perceived as a powerless character who could not do anything other than summon fish to do his bidding.
It is this perception of the character that stuck with Aquaman for many decades to come, even though the character enjoyed a much cooler portrayal in the comic books. But as not many people read comic books back in the late 70s and early 80s, they automatically assumed that the portrayal of the character on the Superfriends show was accurate to his character in the comics.
However, it needs to be said that Aquaman is in no way a silly character. In fact, he is one of the coolest members of the Justice League. The character is as powerful as Wonder Woman, with the ability to control every aspect of the sea, which could mean that he could drown the entire earth if he wanted to. Furthermore, the character is nearly impervious to bullets, possesses super strength, and has the ability to command various kinds of sea creatures to fight alongside him when necessary.
Therefore, when one considers the character of Aquaman, it should in no way resemble the portrayal of the character in the Superfriends animated series, but rather, one that resembles the portrayal of the character in Zack Snyder’s Justice League and the standalone Aquaman movie. It is in these portrayals that the character finally is given the justice he deserves, and hopefully, with Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom set to come out in December of this year, we can rest assured in knowing that the seahorse riding Atlantean will become a thing of the past.
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