King of the seven seas. Able to bench press a blue whale and a command an army of the deadliest underwater predators to back him up when he’s backed into a corner. I think it’s safe to say that Aquaman, is no joke. Having finally shed the image of a monarch who once ran a fish hospital or became more useless out of water than a beached submarine, Aquaman has spent the last couple of years reinforcing his image as one of the biggest badasses in the DC Universe.
He’s faced untold horrors in the deep, fought against impossible odds and has even survived a few recent attempts at regicide that saw his kingdom stripped away from him. Where to next? Into uncharted waters that’ll shape the king into an Atlantean Batman. “When I started writing the book, which is a good few issues ago, but even before that, with him on the throne, he’s primarily a king,” Aquaman writer Dan Abnett said to Newsarama.
what if he was a proper, classic, Batman-style vigilante superhero with a secret identity
He also happens to be a superhero when he enters the surface world. And therefore, those dynamics change that. He’s a public figure, both in his own world and in the surface world. But I really like the idea of thinking about him, for a change, as…what if he was a superhero first? Usually, “superhero” tends to come further down his CV. You know? He’s a king and this and that, and he also happens to be a superhero.
And I thought, what would happen if the “superhero” was the first thing? And if he was a superhero, what if he was a proper, classic, Batman-style vigilante superhero with a secret identity? How would that work?
And how would that work if you put it in Atlantis? What if he becomes Atlantis’ version of Batman, sort of skulking in the shadows. No one knows who he is. All this kind of stuff. And in order to do that, you need to get rid of all the public parts of that persona. So it seemed an ideal opportunity to have a big, dramatic story about the conflict in Atlantis, which deprives him of the throne, and also for him to hit the shadows and be that very, very classic superhero – the Aquaman who lurks in the shadows and helps people.
We’re playing with an integral part of his personality which isn’t usually at the front of things. That was one of the most fun things for me. I like the idea that he wasn’t just a resistance hero and a usurped king, but he actually became this mysterious figure lurking around in the underworld and doing Batman-esque things.
That’s a neat twist on the Aquaman formula, that hasn’t been explored before. After all, how much of a king would you be, without your kingdom? It’s Aquaman as a renegade, a rebel fighting back against the iron-fisted rule of Rath who stole his throne away from him. That’s one hell of a direction to take, when Aquaman returns to shelves to sail off in a bold new direction.
Last Updated: February 23, 2018