Weenie in the Water

A couple of days I referred to Aquaman as "the lamest of super heroes." I think that I should explain that statement a little.
I didn't literally mean that he's the lamest super hero, if you look at every super hero every company has ever produced. I meant that he was the lamest super hero people – normal people – have heard of. I'd like to think there are some people who read this blog who aren't hardcore comic book geeks. Unlikely I know, but please allow me hang on to my illusions.
Now let's look at some of the leading arguments for why Aquaman isn't lame, and my responses.

These stamps were released by the USPS this month, proving that anyone can lick Aquaman.
#1 Aquaman has dominion over 75% of the earth's surface. As King of the Atlantis and all the oceans, this is true. It is also true that 100% of the world's population lives on the other 25%, with the possible exception of Ringo Starr. Being king of the oceans is like being the king of the moon or the king of Australia: No one lives there, so who cares? More germane to the subject of comic book stories, there are only so many stories you can tell set under the sea.
Aquaman has cool superpowers. Like talking to fish? Do fish have that that many interesting things to say? How useful is controlling fish when fighting other super powered beings? Not very. You can throw a million fish at Superman, and he'll throw back a million fish worth of boiled fish paste. Seriously, if my superpower was talking to fish I'd just leave it off my job applications.

"The 'L' is for League, dumbass."
Aquaman is a member of the JLA. Traditionally, yes. But how often can he really help stop an alien invasion? If the aliens land in Santa Monica Aquaman will be on that like tartar sauce on scrod, but ten miles inland what can he do? Hell, he can't even fly, so he has to get a ride from Green Lantern if he wants to go anywhere. Scratch that, these days he mostly gets toted around by Wonder Woman. That's supposed to stress the fact that they're both from similar backgrounds (royalty, lost civilizations), but it also highlights that even someone wearing star-spangled panties is more useful than Aquaman.
Aquaman was on the Super Friends. That makes him less lame, how? I suppose that by comparison Aquaman looks pretty good compared to comic relief like the Wonder Twins, but when it came to being helpful in a non-whale-related crisis, he still paled compared to Black Vulcan, Samurai, and Apache Chief. Apache frikkin' Chief!
Unlike that punk Superman, Aquaman can't be killed by a chunk of rock. But Superman can sit through an entire episode of Smallville without having to visit the swimming pool. If you're young enough you may never have run across it, but Aquaman used to only be able to spend an hour out of the water at a time or he'd die. Like Green Lantern's inability to affect anything colored yellow or Wonder Woman losing her strength if her bracelets are tied together, this particular weakness of Aquaman's has been downplayed in recent years to the point that I'm not sure if it even applies anymore.

"Bite my ass, Sub-Mariner!"

Aquaman has a really cool costume. He's king of the oceans, but he dresses like a pumpkin. An upside-down pumpkin.

Posted: Sun - July 30, 2006 at