When you mention Aquaman most people will probably snicker and laugh. People will probably tell okes about him only being able to talk to fish. Someone will say he has all the powers of Spongebob Squarepants, and everyone will laugh about how worthless Aquaman is compared to Superman and Batman. This is mostly because of his comical appearance on the 1973 cartoon “Super Friends” and the Cartoon Network shorts we probably grew up watching.
But Aquaman is anything but a joke.
Aquaman is half-man, half-Atlantean. His mother was the queen of Atlantis, and thus Aquaman is the crowned king of Atlantis. Aquaman’s Atlantean physiology allows him to survive the extreme depths of the oceans, swim incredibly fast and maneuver quickly underwater. He can see perfectly in near-total darkness, and his telepathic abilities allow him to add compulsions to the minds of aquatic creatures. He can’t “talk to fish” like most people believe.
These exceptional aquatic qualities translate to incredible power above ground. Aquaman’s body is tough enough to allow him to survive comfortably in the deepest parts of the ocean. This adaptation makes Aquaman impervious to gunfire, and able to survive nearly any amount of trauma.
Aquaman also possess Superman-levels of strength, and has been shown holding up collapsing buildings with little strain, and flipping a fully loaded armored truck like it was made of paper. He is able to swim at speeds reaching 3000 meters per second, and has swum up Niagara Falls with little effort. This translates to being able to leap great distances on land and go toe-to-toe with the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman.
Aquaman’s character is also fascinating. As the King of Atlantis Aquaman has to contend with ruling an undersea, xenophobic nation that is openly hostile to his rule. This is because Aquaman has a human father. Aquaman’s world is filled with political intrigue and internal conflict as he tries to rule fairly and protect the surface world.
Aquaman’s chief enemy is his half-brother, Ocean Master. Aquaman has had to battle his own people in order to keep them from destroying the surface world. Aquaman walks a fine line between his responsibilities to Atlantis, and his love for the surface.
This makes parts of Atlantean society violently hostile to him. Most recently Aquaman has had to investigate assassination attempts made against him.
With Jason Momoa, who played the vicious Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones, cast to play Aquaman in 2016’s “Superman vs. Batman,” there is finally a chance to fix Aquaman’s image and erase the memory of those awful “Super Friends” cartoons. With an actor like Momoa, who is has proven to be an imposing and striking screen presence, Aquaman will have a chance to stand out as a truly awesome character on the big screen. The world will be able to see what some of us have known all along: Aquaman is totally not lame. He’s one of the most interesting heroes that DC Comics has, and doesn’t deserve the reputation he’s gotten because of that silly 1970s cartoon.