Jason Momoa as Aquaman has been getting me excited since the possibility was first announced (although as far as I am aware, this has still not been confirmed by WB/DC) and now the latest little tidbit about the character is making me even happier.
According to sources at Schmoes Know, [Aquaman](movie:264237) may not be the epitome of royalty or a battle-hardened badass, but instead, something a little friendlier, and with a different kind of attitude.
he’s going to look like a surfer essentially with tribal tattoos and all that jazz.
So it looks like we will not be getting the uber-armored king of Atlantis that many fans have been imagining in photoshopped fan art like the example above. Instead, DC has made a decision to make him a surf rat, and I honestly could not be happier about it!
1. It Suits Momoa Perfectly
I mean, just look at him! And yes, some may argue that the actor needs to fit the character, not the other way around, but I think it works both ways. An actor is always playing their own version of a character, and for Momoa to make Aquaman truly his own, the two need to meld together to make one awesome superhero, otherwise it ends up feeling too obviously an actor playing a part. Momoa's island-boy roots already make him a great choice for the role, and now the writers are giving him some more space to move naturally in the character.
Just bleach that hair (which I'm sure will happen for the part) and you already have a surfer (ok, SUP-boarder) with tribal tattoos, which means that he will absolutely embody the role.
2. It Makes Perfect Sense For a "Modern" Aquaman
A common trend with reboots and re-imagined superheros is to tone them down, to make them almost more human than their traditional comic counterparts. Suits are darkened, logos less present, and everything is a little more real.
So what better for Aquaman than to make him the modern equivalent of a king of the ocean? Surfers are already incredible athletes who are perfectly tuned to the rhythm of the waves - frankly, I'm a little surprised that the original Aquaman wasn't pictured as a surfer (probably because in the 40s, surfing wasn't a well-known or particularly respected activity).
Love of the ocean, dislike of being on land, moving at a different speed, an understanding of balance but also the awesome power of the waves; how could Aquaman be anything but?
3. It Adds Another Layer to The Character
With some of the more iconic characters in the DC universe, it can be difficult sometimes to look past the obvious, and see a character as more than a two-dimensional cliche. By doing something slightly unexpected with Aquaman, and making him a surfer rather than just a dyed-in-the-wool warrior, it may get audiences to consider him a little more deeply.
I'm really hoping that we could even get a little backstory; have him being raised as a human child, and being drawn to the waves from the start, surfing as an attempt to deal with those feelings, before the eventual realization and return to Atlantis. It may be a bit of a deviation from the original material, but I think that it would really add to the character.
4. It's a Little Less Ridiculous
Of the fan art I've seen, the ones that stick most closely to the costuming in the books are also the ones that I feel are the most likely to be made fun of. As I already noted, the trend is for characters to be toned down, and even the most subtle versions I have seen of the gold scales and green pants still seem a bit over the top. I would much rather see a shirtless surfer dude than another dulled-down version of a classic costume, just for a different approach to the problem.
This kind of outfit may suit Atlantis, but I doubt we'll be seeing much of the fabled city until Aquaman has his own movie. For now, we'll be seeing this hero on beaches and in the human world, and the green and gold would leave him sticking out like a sore thumb.
The Flipside of the Stereotype
Of course, there are still some problems, either way you look at it. First and foremost, surfers don't always have the best reputations. While I'm a surfer myself, and I see surfers as chilled out athletes with an innate connection to the ocean, there are many that see them as glorified stoner bums, lazy hippies scouting for bikini-clad babes and chugging beer. Obviously, this is not the Aquaman that anyone would like to see (unless you really, really, hate Aquaman).
A slow-witted duuuuuuude would almost do more damage to the characters reputation than a ridiculously OTT underwater king-figure, but I seriously doubt that we would actually see that. I'm going to have faith that by "surfer" DC is going for "tribal island warrior with a connection to the earth", and keep waiting with baited breath for the official announcement that Momoa is our man.