8 reasons Aquaman deserves respect
The underwater superhero appearing in upcoming 'Batman v Superman' is more than a comedian's punching bag.
The wait is almost over. Director Zack Snyder confirmed last week that we'll finally get a glimpse of a bunch of Justice League characters in the upcoming March blockbuster, "Batman v Superman," including Wonder Woman (Israeli actress Gal Gadot), The Flash (American actor Ezra Miller), Cyborg (American actor Ray Fisher) and Aquaman (American actor Jason Momoa), who will all get their own films soon.
The news got us thinking about Aquaman, the butt of superhero jokes since time immemorial. Why doesn’t Aquaman get any respect? He built an airtight, underwater palace where he successfully learned the secrets of the ocean. He can breathe underwater, control ocean life and talk to fish. And beyond his considerable powers, he's actually a pretty cool dude ... here's why.
He's a friggin' king
Like other superheroes, Aquaman spends a lot of time fighting bad guys. But you know else he has to do? Govern. Which is a lot of work, and probably a lot more important. Cause, you know, that's kind of the point of defending people: you make sure they're safe enough to go to school and settle disputes and all those other governmenty things.
He was elected democratically
Unlike other superheroes, who get powers and then just sort of declare themselves important, Aquaman was voted into kingship after the death of the former regent, who had no heirs. Score one for democracy! And monarchy, actually. But still.
He started from the bottom
We don't just mean the bottom of the ocean. Aquaman began as a backup feature in DC's anthology titles before going on to star in several volumes. And everyone admires a guy who works his way up.
He's an environmentalist
He defends the world's oceans, which is a pretty big deal considering that the ocean plants that produce most of Earth's oxygen are under massive threat due to things like climate change and overfishing. One of Aquaman's arch nemeses is even called "The Fisherman."
He raised himself
Baby Aquaman was abandoned because he had blond hair, which superstitious Atlanteans considered a sign of a curse called "the Mark of Kordax." Jerks, right?
So he ended up as a feral child who raised himself in the ocean wild, with only sea creatures to keep him company. And he turned out pretty okay, if by "pretty okay" you mean "a superhero and king."
He led the Justice League of America
Only for, like, half a second in the '80s, but still.
He prioritizes his wife
Because saying "No honey, you keep sleeping, I'll take care of the baby," is true self sacrifice. (Photo: kireewong foto/Shutterstock)
Aquaman resigns from the Justice League to work on his marriage with Mera. It may not sound snazzy, but it's a quietly heroic act that ordinary people can relate to. We think that's pretty admirable.
He acts like a real person
He puts on his pants one leg at a time. Unless he has fins at the moment. (Photo: Fabiana Ponzi/Shutterstock)
Aquaman broods about his responsibilities. He even withdraws from the world sometimes, caught up in the tension between land and water, kingship and heroism. In short, he has real emotional ups and downs, which make his accomplishments more real.
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