Why I Hate Aquaman

Aquaman is a very difficult superhero to wrap your head around. He is nearly powerless on land, so he has to be in the water to use his complement of superpowers: underwater breathing, super-fast swimming, and telepathic control of sea life. However, there's not a lot of crime underwater. Most criminals can't breathe underwater, to say nothing of the people they wish to victimize. So, where does that leave the super-powered fish guy?

Underwater Boss
You can only fight evil industrialists and unscrupulous yacht owners for so long before you run out of things to do, so DC made old Arthur Curry into the King of Atlantis. O.K., now we're getting somewhere. You've got a kingdom of people living under the sea, you've got your political intrigue and your devious relatives and oh god I've fallen asleep.

There's a reason that Conan stories take place before he becomes king (for the most part), and that's something writers have written about since Beowulf decided "I'm going out to fight that dragon, what's the worst that could happen?" And that is that kings don't do anything. They're already the boss. What fun is it to read about a superhero who has an army of guys to go take care of his problems for him? "Oh dear, here comes Ocean Master! Maybe I'll send my army of guys after him." And then he got married! Married guys usually try to stay out of trouble, their wives don't like sharing them with life-threatening peril (I'm speaking from personal experience).

You know what? I really don't think sending a bunch of innocent whales and squid to fight your battles is cool, Aquaman. What would be cool is sending a small army of angry great white sharks to fight your battles for you, but your battles wouldn't end in your villains going to jail so much as it would end in them floating in chunks in your army's poop.

I am torn whether or not children should read that, pun intended.

Aquaman, predictably, has a bit of a weiner rogue's gallery. Listen to these winners: Ocean Master, The Fisherman, Black Manta. I know a ray killed Steve Irwin but it's not generally a threatening creature. One villain, a gomer named Charybdis (rolls off the tongue) managed to get Aquaman's hand off and give the old pufferfish something approaching street cred. But a hook hand is only marginally more effective in combat than a hand holding a knife, which is infinitely less deadly than any dude with a gun.

The Names
And then there's Aquababy and Aqualad. Can you imagine having a name like that? I can understand losing your hand and abdicating your throne is stressful but don't do that to a child.

What Next?
Did you know that later Aquaman became a horrible slime monster and a young, handsome guy took over? Aquaman became the new guy's Yoda-style mentor. That sounds pretty good, but you're still running into the same problems as old timey Aquaman had, such as enemies with names that sound like Ocean Spray and a kingdom full of dudes who haven't invented guns yet and can't breathe on land.

I don't know what's going on with Aquaman these days; I heard he died and came back as Aquaman Classic but then got his hand ripped off again, like he's Optimus Prime and he can only do one thing. Optimus dies in every retelling, and Aquaman loses the ability to high-five.

Aquaman! That's a hard guy to wrap your head around.


  1. I flipped through the new #1 and it looks like he's fighting angler-fish-men from a deepsea trench. I like the idea of deepsea trenches. They're horrifying, and they remind me of the movie The Abyss.

    But I do miss shirtless, bearded, hook-handed guy.

  2. I like the idea of Aquaman being an underwater monster-hunting barbarian, that's pretty sweet. He's just a really hard fellow to 'get', I think, and it's a thousand times worse when you match him up with other Justice League characters because he just looks so damned out of place.

  3. while I admit, this article is well written, and brings up a few good points-I don't think you know enough about the character to be writing about why you hate him.
    I myself, and pretty fond of aquaman, him being one of my more favored superheroes(as you can probably tell by looking at my favorites on DA). He does more than breath underwater and swim fast, he has super-strength, that of 150 men(about 60 tons), OUTSIDE OF WATER, underwater he's lifted a city block. He has super speed from his constant swimming(swimming at over 100 knots an hour, under stress he's been see swimming at 10k feet per second) , while not a speedster he still runs faster than trained olympic runners, his agility is good too, I don't have any scans too show you though, oh, and he can leap as high as skyscrapers. He also has enhanced durability, from swimming in the deepest depths of the ocean, depths so harsh that they crush steel submarines. His telepathy isn't limited to ocean creatures, he can control creatures that have adapted to water(such as sea eagles, he's also controlled a KO's supes before). He can live atop of water, he can fight atop of water, his strength is just lowered. Not to mention he has the trident of Poseidan, a weapon that's been comparable to Mjolnir, just sayin'.
    Don't take this the wrong way, i'm not trying to convert you to liking aquaman, you can still have a dislike for the guy, all i'm asking is that you study a bit before bashing on something. As for the villains and names, I got nothing, the names are lame, Black Manta is confusing, how can he swim with aquaman with just a SCUBA SUIT, ocean master has always been lame, and the fishermen is...meh.
    The new 52 have done a wonderful reboot with him, you should at least check it out.

  4. I only pointed out the one power because it's 99% of what people know about him, and it's a bit crap.

  5. I understand that most of the public thinks of that in general, but I wouldn't say 99%, maybe well over 60%, but i'm sure that actual DC fans understand his capabilities. Besides, his TP isn't crap, it's evolved, he can dominate most creatures with his TP now, the exception being Martian Manhunter, he's KO'd a white martian by giving him a seizure via telepathy, and as I stated before, controlled a KO'd supes.

  6. super speed swimming means he's fast on land, and his tp doesn't just go to fish, it's evolved, he can dominate all forms of life now, with the exception of Martian Manhunter, he's KO'd a martian with his TP before, and controlled a KO'd supes also. Anyways, I think saying 99% of people is going overboard, i'd say 60-70% at best, smart comic fans will know what he can do. in fact, most of my family members, with the exception of maybe 4(and i'm asian, there's 20 or so of us i'm talking about) knew that he had super strength and durability. Given the fact that i'm the only one who reads comics in my family, and don't even mention them to anyone in my family, i'm pretty sure your statement is invalid.

  7. Awwww, poor aquaman!

    U got some good points, it used to be a running joke with my friend to say "why you always hatin' on aquaman?"

    I would say, like many DC characters, and perhaps comics in general, people have just run out of ideas.