We have all heard the jokes about Aquaman and how he is probably the most useless superhero. Everyone has poked fun at him from Saturday Night Live to Family Guy and Collegehumor.com. However these jokes were never really mentioned in the comics until today. In “Aquaman #1” it shows Aquaman having to put up with all the jokes and ridicule from the world and how he must choose between a life under the sea or a life on land.
“Aquaman #1” is written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis and Joe Prado. Reis has been paired up with Johns on various DC books including “Infinite Crisis,” “Green Lantern,” “Blackest Night” and “Brightest Day.”
The issue begins with a car chase between Boston police and armed gunmen. When Aquaman arrives, the criminals attempt to run him over, but Aquaman lifts their truck over his head and smashes it. The police also poke fun at him for being out of the water, but are quite embarrassed when Aquaman shows them up.
The jokes continue when Aquaman goes into a seafood restaurant to have lunch. The people are quite shocked to see him at a seafood restaurant because of his ability to “talk” to fish. However Aquaman tells them he does not “talk” to them, he telepathically controls them. Reis’ artwork really shines here because it clearly shows Aquaman trying to keep his composure, but the reader can clearly see he is getting agitated at the constant questions from the people. His patience grows thin when a blogger pesters him with even more questions. He reaches his limit when the blogger asks “How’s it feel to be nobody’s super-hero?”
Right from the start readers feel genuinely bad for Aquaman. He tries his best to ignore all the jokes and constant questions from the populace and be a super-hero again, but like everyone else he has a breaking point to where he cannot take it anymore. Despite this, he decides to live permanently on land with his wife, Mera, and leaves Atlantis.
What most people do not know is that Aquaman, while born an Atlantean, was raised on land. Because of his blond hair, the Atlanteans cast him out and left him to die when he was just a baby. He was saved by a dolphin who brought him up to the surface where he was rescued by a fisherman who decided to raise him as his own son. However, when Atlantis was threatened, he helped his people and eventually became their king.
Aquaman is casting aside his Atlantean roots because they never accepted him and even though the surface world mocks and does not accept him, he feels more at home on the surface because it is where he feels more connected to his human father. This makes him a very strong character who is very dedicated to his beliefs because of his upbringing. In this sense he is a lot like Superman. Although they were born in different worlds, it was their human upbringing that made them who they are not, their abilities. This also gives them their responsibility and desire to protect it at all costs.
This issue was a surprise and a delight to read. To see how Aquaman deals with all the mockery and jokes, but still wants to stay and protect the surface world proves how strong and dedicated he can really be.