It's great news that DC and Warner Bros. are finally taking comic book movies that aren't about Batman seriously, but they may still find a way to prove they've learned nothing from their Green Lantern-ish mistakes.
And what better character to build some goodwill with than [Aquaman](movie:264237)? He's widely considered by non-comic book readers as a joke, thanks to Super Friends...
and Cartoon Network only featuring him in Justice League like twice.
I've always loved Aquaman. Because he earned a strange reputation as being essentially useless decades ago, comic book writers have used that as an excuse to just make the character as badass as possible.
And they've succeeded. His stories and foes are consistently more interesting than most, with the exception of the Green Lantern series and maybe Batman, depending on your tastes.
Of course, we got our first real glimpse at how Warner Bros. will be portraying the King of Atlantis in a recent photo tweeted by Zack Snyder:
And here's a version with the color saturation greatly increased:
I think it's pretty clear that "Unite the Seven" is referring to the seven seas, though some fans insist the image is referring to there being seven Justice League members.
Or...the seven Dragonballs? Sorry.
Tattoos, a non-trident pitchfork, faded Atlantean armor, and a Poseidon-esque beard? I'm game. And I think we can all agree this is what Warner Bros. had in mind when they cast Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo from HBO's [Game of Thrones](movie:817617)) to play the part.
And don't forget that Aquaman has gotten a revamped looked so many times at this point, it almost doesn't matter what they do to his appearance.
So as we gear up in anticipation of the coming Justice League franchise, I think it would be useful to review some of the best moments in Aquaman history that need to make it onscreen (or at least in spirit). Please add your own favorite, brutal moments in the comments.
But first, let's quickly cover Aquaman's origins in case you're new to the lore.
His origins were revealed in Adventure Comics #260 back in 1959. I'll overview below, or you can read for yourself in the pages:
Aquaman, or Arthur Curry, is the son of an Atlantean princess who did the deed with a lighthouse keeper. He would eventually go on to reclaim his birthright as King of Atlantis.
His basic powers consist of being able to live and breathe underwater. And of course, he can communicate with sea creatures, though recent comics have sort of complicated that power to just mean he can bend them to his will. Whatever, you know the drill.
This may not sound exciting to some, but DC has really nailed the implications of his powers over the years. Though they've tried and failed a few times to change the character into something more gritty, Aquaman has always had a unique appeal among a dedicated fan base, hence he's still so famous.
#1 The time Aquaman summoned zombie sharks.
You may be familiar with the Green Lantern crossover event, "Blackest Night," which featured many prominent DC characters (with the exception of Batman).
During this event, Aquaman and many other heroes were raised from the dead as "Black Lanterns." Basically, they were zombies.
In "Brightest Day," Aquaman is resurrected and regains control of himself to an extent. But a holdover from this experience lets him control dead sea creatures, which of course, includes zombie sharks. The caveat is that he has little control of himself when using this power.
Now I'm not saying this has to happen in a movie verbatim, but it would be great to see the character struggling with his powers that have such an edge to them. Also, zombie sharks.
#2 The time he told off a bunch of fanboys.
OK, this one is less epic than zombie sharks, but it is something that we almost HAVE to see at some point in the Justice League movie franchise.
When Aquaman was reintroduced in the New 52 reboot, DC went out of their way to address the notion that no one takes the hero seriously. So they famously took the "Letters to the Editor" aspect too far by just ripping into mainstream conventions within the panels.
Later in New 52, Aquaman goes on to pretty much eliminate an entire race of deadly creatures from the deepest part of the sea. Message received.
#3 The time he bathed in the blood of the Royal Flush Gang.
In 2006, the Detroit Justice League (as seen in JLA: Classified) took on the Royal Flush Gang in Canada. That may not sound exciting, but what happens later is just...well, here we go.
During a conflict, Steel accidentally kills Ten and Queen of the Royal Flush Gang when he smashes their stellaration machine. Aquaman arrives later to find the League's campsite, but he gets too close to the fire caused by the battle, which dries him out.
Nearby, he actually smells the blood of Ten and Queen, who are buried under some rubble. Next....well...
Yup, that's Aquaman bathing himself in the blood of the Royal Flush Gang in order to survive a forest fire. In Canada.
#4. The time Aquaman gave someone a seizure.
And not just anyone. He gave a seizure to Zum, a White Martian. Just by using his telepathy powers to exploit the fact that White Martians apparently have aquatic ancestors.
This was before DC gave him a trident and decided to downplay the whole telepathy thing. In those days, they were looking for any way possible to justify Aquaman as a badass, even by giving him a cybernetic hook hand. Personally, I think they were on the right track.
And this isn't the only time Aquaman has used his telepathic powers against someone. I doubt it'll be the last.
#5 The time he took out an entire army with sharks.
Seriously, Warner Bros. needs to do at least something with sharks when they debut Aquaman.
In 2012 (during New 52), the Justice League recruited Aquaman to help them fight Darkseid. When they first met him in Metropolis, they came across an army of Parademons.
Technically, he didn't take out the whole army himself, but Aquaman wiped out a pretty sizable chunk.
I guess it's safe to say he made the cut.
#6 The time he punched DEATH ITSELF.
One of Aquaman's most legendary foes is Triton, the son of Poseidon (think Little Mermaid, but not really), who hates him for being considered "king of the seven seas."
The story of how Aquaman gets his trident ties into this rivalry. At one point, Triton sends Aquaman to Hades in the afterlife world. He let Triton send him there on purpose, however, in order to rescue Poseidon, whom Triton had sent to Hades earlier.
To do this, Aquaman literally punched the ferryman (Hades' grim reaper of souls), Charon in the face and then defeated the three-headed demon dog, Cerberus. Then he smooth-talked Hades into letting him and Poseidon walk free.
Poseidon gave Aquaman his trident as a reward. Obviously.
#7 The time he defeated a Night God once a year, every year.
People often get the Night Gods, ancient demons from the bottom of the ocean, confused with Cthulhu, because that's basically who Aquaman deals with on the regular.
Every single year, he takes on one of these massive creatures and beats them, preventing them from invading Earth and killing every human on it. Every time.
And people say he can't do much.
To wrap up,
There are too many epic Aquaman moments to put on just one list. The guy has lost his own hand more times than you can put on this list, he fights gods all the time, his wife Mera is even cooler than he is, AND he's even time traveled and been worshiped as a god.
Why did it take this long to get an Aquaman movie anyway?