Aquaman is an odd duck when it comes to superheroes. He’s been continuously in print since the ’40s, but he’s largely known for being a second-stringer; not even the Powerpuff Girls take the poor guy seriously. But that’s something DC wants to change.
At least, that’s the thrust of a Variety piece discussing DC’s plans for the King of the Seven Seas. Although it must be said that details are thin on the ground for what’s actually going to happen with ol’ Orangeshirt, even if Aquaman is a “priority character” for DC:
[Geoff] Johns believes a better structure is now in place. “He became a little bit of a joke,” the comics executive said. “Suddenly, he was nobody’s favorite super hero.” Now, DC has set up major storylines in coming months that will cross his comic with its “Justice League” and has given the character prominent placement in videogames. And his comics contain jokey references to the hero’s past portrayals. “He’s a character that we talk quite a bit about.”
One does have to ask, though, how this will work. Even Variety is forced to admit that the Aquaman pilot that was shot in 2006 didn’t really have a lot of potential, although at least we got a chance to see it. And there are other problems.
Aquaman had a strong launch in the New 52, but it rather rapidly fell into the usual Aquaman hijinks, namely being what amounts to a high fantasy book under the waves. It’s fun to read, but it doesn’t really translate to the big screen or a TV show, and it doesn’t help that to make a live-action Aquaman, you’ve got to go under the water; underwater shooting is complex, expensive, difficult, and dangerous.
Oddly, DC has already cracked this nut, in a way. Aquaman as a character on Batman: The Brave and The Bold was brilliant: He was equal parts swashbuckling superhero and preening jackass, making him funny without making him a joke. It helps that he was voiced by none other than Bender himself, John DiMaggio.
There’s a reason Aquaman shows up in a third of the episodes in that series. Why this Aquaman doesn’t have his own webseries is completely beyond us. Stick with this idea, DC, and Aquaman will be more popular before you know it.