Escapist Podcast: 171: Will Aquaman Ever Be Cool?

171: Will Aquaman Ever Be Cool?

This week, we talk about some recent headlines that have been made in the world of geek culture, including the reveal of Jason Momoa as Aquaman, adware on Lenovo computers, GTA V PC's delayed release (again), and more.

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Anyone who says Aquaman is lame should give up their geek card right now.

I hope the people on the podcast are staff members and are getting paid...

a) Because, they need to invest in some new microphones. The sound quality on these things have never been great best, but this one was particularly bad.
b) Because, as many times as CJ said "Aquaman", he only pronounced "Aqua" correctly once.

Aquaman doesn't need to be cool, he is already outrageous

RealRT:
Anyone who says Aquaman is lame should give up their geek card right now.

Seriously. I find that a person's opinion of Aquaman is a good proxy for whether or not they're a real geek, or just someone who likes the currently fashionable aspects of geek culture.

If even Geoff Johns run on Aquaman didn't make you think Aquaman is cool, you're a failure as a geek.

madwarper:
I hope the people on the podcast are staff members and are getting paid...

a) Because, they need to invest in some new microphones. The sound quality on these things have never been great best, but this one was particularly bad.
b) Because, as many times as CJ said "Aquaman", he only pronounced "Aqua" correctly once.

The podcasts are normally recorded at HQ, but due to the office being buried in roughly 300 feet of snow, we connected remotely for this podcast. We apologize for the resulting loss in recording quality.

As far as awk-waman vs. ack-waman... I'm Italian, and "aqua" (pronounced ack-wa) is our word for water. It's difficult for me to remember to pronounce it as "awk" in English. I realize that my pronunciation is ackward. You'd hate to hear how I say "NASA."

-CJ, Mispronouncer of Words

Rhykker:

madwarper:
I hope the people on the podcast are staff members and are getting paid...

a) Because, they need to invest in some new microphones. The sound quality on these things have never been great best, but this one was particularly bad.
b) Because, as many times as CJ said "Aquaman", he only pronounced "Aqua" correctly once.

The podcasts are normally recorded at HQ, but due to the office being buried in roughly 300 feet of snow, we connected remotely for this podcast. We apologize for the resulting loss in recording quality.

As far as awk-waman vs. ack-waman... I'm Italian, and "aqua" (pronounced ack-wa) is our word for water. It's difficult for me to remember to pronounce it as "awk" in English. I realize that my pronunciation is ackward. You'd hate to hear how I say "NASA."

-CJ, Mispronouncer of Words

ack-wa is how Australians pronounce Aqua, don't even worry about it.

RealRT:
Anyone who says Aquaman is lame should give up their geek card right now.

No kidding. People should totally go watch or read Throne of Atlantis. Aquaman doesn't pull any punches.

Never read any of the Aquaman comics, but he was certainly balls to the wall awesome as hell in the Justice League show I grew up on. Aqualad in Young Justice was no pushover either.

"Will Aquaman ever be cool?"

Well, not if you make him look like John Travolta from Battlefield Earth.

RJ Dalton:
"Will Aquaman ever be cool?"

Well, not if you make him look like John Travolta from Battlefield Earth.

I had just finished watching Redlettermedia's review of Jupiter Ascending and Battlefield Earth when I switched over to the Escapist and got my first look at the movie version of Aquaman.

I'm just glad I'm not the only one to make the association.

Ok, Ill dissent. Aquaman cool? No. Never. EVER. As long as the "seaman who can talk to fish" jibb can be made, Aquaman will never be cool as the character will always be the butt of a perpetual joke. Not simply because of juvenile humor, but he suffers a fate amongst his DC peers worse than batman not having any superpowers. His entire arsenal is really only viable on this planet for a dominion that is functionally unpopulated. In order for Aquaman to effectively be involved in any of the normal adventures any of the other JLA chars have, there has to be a scenario specially crafted for him to combat, instead of being able to go against any potential threat with some measure of success. So ultimately his "usefulness" has always been incredibly limited, and THAT is the biggest reason he is always been the butt of the joke.

Hes like your little brother when you were a kid wanting to play baseball with the other kids, but was barely able to pick up the bat without falling over from its weight. At best, all the other kids are simply being nice and humoring his presence.

So knowing he is always going to be an inferior, second rate super hero, he is never going to be cool.

Now is it possible for aquaman to not entirely suck? That at least seems more plausible. Especially as they have been working hard across multiple incarnations of the char to play up the "king of Atlantis" and downplay the "talks to fish", they have been making slow inroads to a more tolerable aquaman.

And more over, I genuinely like the Mamoa look, as like I suggested, it plays more to the king of Atlantis, and less to the "fishyness" of it all. Battlefield earth comparisons and all.

viranimus:
Ok, Ill dissent. Aquaman cool? No. Never. EVER. As long as the "seaman who can talk to fish" jibb can be made, Aquaman will never be cool as the character will always be the butt of a perpetual joke. Not simply because of juvenile humor, but he suffers a fate amongst his DC peers worse than batman not having any superpowers. His entire arsenal is really only viable on this planet for a dominion that is functionally unpopulated. In order for Aquaman to effectively be involved in any of the normal adventures any of the other JLA chars have, there has to be a scenario specially crafted for him to combat, instead of being able to go against any potential threat with some measure of success. So ultimately his "usefulness" has always been incredibly limited, and THAT is the biggest reason he is always been the butt of the joke.

Well considering his other powers include super strength, near invincibility, night vision and sonar hearing I'd say its pretty versatile. Don't forget that he can go toe to toe with Superman and the every year he fights Cthulhu every year. And wins.

RealRT:
Anyone who says Aquaman is lame should give up their geek card right now.

Except that Aquaman *is* lame. When you look at him only as a function of his super-power, which is how a lot of people look at superheros.

"Oh, he talks to fish? What good is that?"

But what they don't get, because they don't actually read comics, is that talking to fish isn't Aquaman's superpower. It's just an ability that all Atlanteans have, if I'm not mistake, along with the super-hardened bodies required to live in the intense pressure of the deep sea. In reality, Aquaman doesn't really have superpowers at all. He just happens to be a member of a race that has some special abilities because of evolution. And he happens to be the king, if I remember correctly. I've never read much of DC, but I do know the back stories on some of this. There's plenty of room for Aquaman to be interesting, but you have to look at him in terms of more than just his superpowers and most people never do.

I think the whole "Aquaman is lame" thing comes from the fact that most people's knowledge of Aquaman comes only from those shitty cartoons, like Super Friends, where all the characters were stripped of everything except their superpowers and made bland and, yes, very lame. But even Batman was lame in that show, so it's a bad baseline to judge by.

Paradoxrifts:

RJ Dalton:
"Will Aquaman ever be cool?"

Well, not if you make him look like John Travolta from Battlefield Earth.

I had just finished watching Redlettermedia's review of Jupiter Ascending and Battlefield Earth when I switched over to the Escapist and got my first look at the movie version of Aquaman.

I'm just glad I'm not the only one to make the association.

It's kinda hard to miss, really.

I grew up with Super Friends 80's era Aquaman. While the new guy is a shirtless, yellow bearded Superman, (to me) he will always be the guy who could only talk to fish.

viranimus:
Ok, Ill dissent. Aquaman cool? No. Never. EVER. As long as the "seaman who can talk to fish" jibb can be made, Aquaman will never be cool as the character will always be the butt of a perpetual joke. Not simply because of juvenile humor, but he suffers a fate amongst his DC peers worse than batman not having any superpowers. His entire arsenal is really only viable on this planet for a dominion that is functionally unpopulated. In order for Aquaman to effectively be involved in any of the normal adventures any of the other JLA chars have, there has to be a scenario specially crafted for him to combat, instead of being able to go against any potential threat with some measure of success. So ultimately his "usefulness" has always been incredibly limited, and THAT is the biggest reason he is always been the butt of the joke.

Hes like your little brother when you were a kid wanting to play baseball with the other kids, but was barely able to pick up the bat without falling over from its weight. At best, all the other kids are simply being nice and humoring his presence.

So knowing he is always going to be an inferior, second rate super hero, he is never going to be cool.

Now is it possible for aquaman to not entirely suck? That at least seems more plausible. Especially as they have been working hard across multiple incarnations of the char to play up the "king of Atlantis" and downplay the "talks to fish", they have been making slow inroads to a more tolerable aquaman.

And more over, I genuinely like the Mamoa look, as like I suggested, it plays more to the king of Atlantis, and less to the "fishyness" of it all. Battlefield earth comparisons and all.

http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/11113/111134695/3860937-9575713402-2we1..jpg
You were saying? There are a whole lot more instances of Aquaman being strong as all hell, but this is a good image to show. Oh. And in New 52, during the Throne of Atlantis event, Orm, AKA, Ocean Master (Aquaman's half brother) captured and dragged the entire Justice League to the bottom of the ocean to be munched on by The Trench... and the Atlantian's were able to completely flood Metropolis, Gotham, New York, and Boston, killing thousands in the process.

Aquaman is as strong as AT LEAST Wonder Woman, by the way, and has complete control over 70% of the planet (the oceans.) :/

Just read Geoff John's run on New 52 Aquaman for all the capable things he can do. Aquaman is freaking awesome.

RealRT:
Anyone who says Aquaman is lame should give up their geek card right now.

I will give up my geek card when Aquaman comes and takes it from me. Oh wait he can't I live in a high altitude desert with at least two mountain ranges between me and any ocean not to mention over a thousand miles. I am safe and Aquaman is still lame.

The fuckng Superfriends has a LOT to answer for. Yes, Aquaman can telepathically direct sea creatures. He's also strong enough to go the distance with Superman, is usually in possession of a magical artefact that can summon tidal waves, a highly competent hand to hand fighter AND depending on the story; is the king of the single largest nation on Earth with technology on par or surpassing that of the superpower nations and a standing army to match.

Wow do I miss Ross's podcasts.

I find it hilarious how so many people diss Aquaman because of his 80s Super Friends reputation, but I don't see anyone ever saying stuff like "Batman can NEVER be cool because he drives a dorky purple car and uses bat shark-repellants!" (the Adam West series) or "Wonder Woman can NEVER be cool because she is just a secretary!" (early Justice League comics).

Hell, there is literally no superhero in existence that doesn't have at least a handful of skeletons like that in their closet. Superman was depicted as a hobo who uses guns, Peter Parker had Spiderman 3's infamous dance-scenes, Green Lantern (Kyle Raynor) had an entire live-action movie no one wants to remember, yet I see no one crying out how they can NEVER be taken seriously ever again (save for trolls who know nothing about the characters and just want to whip up controversy, but I digress).

I dig comics, but not so much DC and Marvel stuff. Aquaman is an old character that already has his chips stacked against him, because we know now that Atlantis didn't exist, even while there are many cities that flooded during the earlier ancient years. So going to see it is going to be strange. Its something to watch anyway.

Just going to copy paste my response to the video and put it in here.

Anyone who says Aquaman is lame has:

A) Got their information from Super-Friends cartoon
B) Watched Robot Chicken and judged from that
C) Watched The Big Bang Theory and went from there
D) Never touched an Aquaman comic in their life.

Aquaman is as strong as Superman when he is underwater and has given Wonder-Woman hell when he was above water which is impressive as she is a planet buster. He was boding Darkseid.

http://vignette3.wikia.nocookie.net/aquaman/images/6/67/Aquaman_Vs_Darkseid.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20120302120752

That Spear? Magically enchanted. Superman would have holes through his face just like Darkseid. With a singe touch he can dehydrate someone's body by removing ALL water from their body. Effectively a touch of death if he is sick of your shit. It's not just aquatic life he can communicate with, but rather all animals at anytime meaning he has a global surveillance system that Batman had to amass a fortune just to do.

He has threatened the heavy hitters of the Justice League OUT of Atlantis because they knew if they took him on in the sea in a fight to the death they probably aren't walking away from that.

http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/10/103530/2409348-1.png

If he felt like it, he can put people into a state of a seizure with a twitch of his hand.

http://imageserver.moviepilot.com/batman-v-superman-who-would-win-that-was-so-cool-hit-him-again.jpeg?width=694&height=491

Gives Superman what-for.

http://img395.imageshack.us/img395/1111/aquamandemandsrespect028ft.jpg

WARNS one of the strongest group of people to check themselves before they get their asses handed to them.

http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/scale_super/11112/111124701/3561105-justice+league+%2310+-+page+10.jpg

That was a cruiser. An ENTIRE cruiser.

http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/11112/111124701/3561053-justice+league+%236+-+page+6.jpg

Darkseid boding again.

http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/11112/111124701/3561245-justice+league+%2316+-+page+11.jpg

Tanked a punch from Wonder-Woman.

The guy can exist at the furthest depths of the sea which is around 8000 psi. If a human were down there their organs would be pushed out of their mouth. Crushed like a can under a car tire. Just to lift a finger at that depth you would need an insane amount of strength.

People who go "BAAAAAAAAAAWL! AQUAMAN IS USELESS!!!" Are the ones who haven't read a single Aquaman comic before. Geeks? Yeah right.

PapaGreg096:
Aquaman doesn't need to be cool, he is already outrageous

Truly? Truly? http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20120627031516/jem/images/9/9c/Beautiful_and_Truly_outrageous.jpg

Ramzal:
Just going to copy paste my response to the video and put it in here.

Anyone who says Aquaman is lame has:

A) Got their information from Super-Friends cartoon
B) Watched Robot Chicken and judged from that
C) Watched The Big Bang Theory and went from there
D) Never touched an Aquaman comic in their life.

Aquaman is as strong as Superman when he is underwater and has given Wonder-Woman hell when he was above water which is impressive as she is a planet buster. He was boding Darkseid.

The guy can exist at the furthest depths of the sea which is around 8000 psi. If a human were down there their organs would be pushed out of their mouth. Crushed like a can under a car tire. Just to lift a finger at that depth you would need an insane amount of strength.

People who go "BAAAAAAAAAAWL! AQUAMAN IS USELESS!!!" Are the ones who haven't read a single Aquaman comic before. Geeks? Yeah right.

Uuuhm, but those are all new. See the artwork? They mentioned specifically that on the podcast. But every time until DCAU he's appeared in outer media it has been the 1950s/70s version, who just seems to be Batman + Fish.

GabeZhul:
I find it hilarious how so many people diss Aquaman because of his 80s Super Friends reputation, but I don't see anyone ever saying stuff like "Batman can NEVER be cool because he drives a dorky purple car and uses bat shark-repellents!" (the Adam West series) or "Wonder Woman can NEVER be cool because she is just a secretary!" (early Justice League comics).

Hell, there is literally no superhero in existence that doesn't have at least a handful of skeletons like that in their closet. Superman was depicted as a hobo who uses guns, Peter Parker had Spiderman 3's infamous dance-scenes, Green Lantern (Kyle Raynor) had an entire live-action movie no one wants to remember, yet I see no one crying out how they can NEVER be taken seriously ever again (save for trolls who know nothing about the characters and just want to whip up controversy, but I digress).

I've never really taken any capes seriously to be honest. I was exposed to little girls with equal strength first :^}
also the lack of variety in american comics as anything but capes (or random vigilantes like Question and Punisher) has always kept me away from anything except 'proven works' that become TPBs. I tend to stick with Belgian and French, especially Lucky Luke!
http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/smilepc/43795029/35557/35557_640.png
http://i.imgur.com/fTOeLh1.jpg
You remember that animated gif of the man vs the little spider? Yes, that is pretty much it, these girls are the spider. :]
They even have their own Rainbow Mika! Don't let this one be the topper! (yes, she just smashed that with her butt)
http://38.media.tumblr.com/a12aab4d071741c77ec7bbe8d447dd8a/tumblr_nj2tkg8Q2U1qz64n4o3_400.gif

viranimus:
In order for Aquaman to effectively be involved in any of the normal adventures any of the other JLA chars have, there has to be a scenario specially crafted for him to combat, instead of being able to go against any potential threat with some measure of success. So ultimately his "usefulness" has always been incredibly limited, and THAT is the biggest reason he is always been the butt of the joke.

You know, I am surprised no one does anything like this. Does anyone remember Mutanimals? Their whole schtick was this because their leader was a mutant manta ray. I guess nobody must care about the environment anymore, or maybe Captain Planet just ruined it for everyone like Superfriends Aquaman did anything in the sea, because this would be a good angle to see him go after. Like "Hey there oxygenarian! Could you please not?" and throw the trash from an ocean liner back on it.

Wait wait wait, WHAAAAAT?
"Call of Duty invented Nazi Zombies?"
http://media.ign.com/games/image/article/121/1211165/Wolfenstein_1320093363.jpg

 

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