Saturday, February 21, 2015

Aquaman -Now with More Macho

Karen: So late Thursday night  Zack Snyder, director of the upcoming Superman vs Batman: Dawn of Justice  film, dropped this image on Twitter:

That, friends and neighbors, is Jason Momoa as Aquaman -I know, you might have thought it was Conan with a trident, but you'd be mistaken. Obviously DC/Warners are doing everything they can to move as far away as possible from the more popular image of the Sea King:

I have to say, I didn't expect a literal interpretation of the old costume, but I am surprised they didn't  make him blond. I guess he has blond highlights. It's certainly a strong, provocative image. I told Doug I thought that not only was DC trying to make us forget the old 'Superfriends' Aquaman, but I think they are trying to out bad-ass Sub-Mariner before he hits the big screen. Who knows, Aquaman could wind up the breakout star of this film. Let's hear what you think.


Humanbelly said...

I don't dislike it, I suppose. Didn't Arthur go through a period in the 90's where he was indeed presented as a much more savage, rough, armored-up character-- beard & all? The trident-hand era? So there's a precedent for this type of look, sure. But, like their Wonder Woman design, there's nothing at all iconic or even distinctive about it. It's a serviceable warrior/gladiator design that doesn't at all stamp "AQUAMAN" into my frontal lobe, y'know? However, I do admire the restraint in not going with the trident-hand.

Oo-- unless of course they're going to make that a part of his cinematic arc. Yes-- even as I type it, I'm convinced that will be the case.


Redartz said...

Khal Drogo, King of Atlantis? Could be interesting...

Edo Bosnar said...

Man, I hate to sound like a curmudgeon here, but couldn't they have at least adhered to the "classic" color scheme? I mean, some kind of orange mail above and green leggings? The colors could have been muted, but still there. Seriously, I don't mind the lack of blond hair, and I'm pretty unconcerned with the long hair and beard, but there's just nothing here that sets him apart from all of the other grim and surly action heroes. Karen's point about Conan with a trident is quite apt...

Anonymous said...

I liked the '90's Aquaman when writers like Peter David and Grant Morrison wrote Arthur as being a real bad motorscooter. We're talking about a guy that lives at the bottom of the ocean, for cryin' out loud. He's probably not going to look and act like Pat Boone.

J.A. Morris said...

I'm in agreement with HB, it's like they've decided to turn Aquaman and Wonder Woman into generic "warriors." I expect nothing from these DC/Warner movies, Batfleck notwithstanding.

I've never been a big fan of this character, I wish they had used the 'Brave And The Bold' animated version as their template for Aquaman. That's the only version of the character that I've ever really liked.

The Prowler said...

Was I too literal in thinking Karen's comment was referencing Momoa's starring turn in the Conan reboot?

As I've mentioned before, I have little to no DC knowledge, being the Marvelite that I was. As we've learned, that generally doesn't stop me from commenting on a topic.

I do want to quickly throw out a "Thanks" to Groovy and his site. His wealth of scans has let me read Aquaman stories I never would have touched before.

Could DC's choices be influenced by the look Marvel's been using with such success in the MCU? Marvel's blending of classic looks with their Ultimate updates with sometimes a hint of cinematic practicality. What remains to be seen is if DC's characters will be addressed by their character names or civilian names? Will Jason be Aqua-man or King Arthur (is that his real name)?

((dancing) I'm having so much love
(dancing) too bad my back had gone
(dancing) boogie down with daddy now
I'd give my house in the country
If you'd slept it's so funky

(music) I'm dancing in the street
(ooh music) I've torn the shoes from my feet
(romancing) it's got me dirty and sweet
It's got you reeling and rocking
Won't you let the slender thing in).

dbutler16 said...

Well, aside from the fact that it looks nothing like the comic book Aquaman, I'm a bit tired of every live action superhero wearing black leather these days. It's getting a bit tiresome and boring. Can we just have one superhero who's not dark and "gritty"?

pfgavigan said...


I'll be waiting to read the reviews of the film before I decide to watch it in a theater or via dvd, but this picture certainly doesn't discourage me from seeing it.

From this first image this does appear to be an Aquaman that fits into the reported tone of the film. If he was presented in more of a traditional casting he might seem terribly out of place.

Hoping for the best but I will not fall into despair should this movie prove a dud. But I do hope for all of those who have affection for the DCverse that it does work.

Yours in appreciation for talking fish and giant sea horses


Anonymous said...

Yeah, this does look like the "angsty" Aquaman from the 90s, but that version might work on the big screen. Maybe this is a hint that ALL the DC movie characters will be grimmer and grittier?

By the way Doug and Karen, are you guys still looking for guest submissions? I sent you an email with some ideas on Wednesday afternoon (the 18th), but I never heard back, so I wasn't sure if you'd already gotten your quota or something.

Mike W.

Martinex1 said...

This Aquaman actually kind of looks like Subby after John Byrne left NAMOR. I think Jae Lee may have been the artist but I remember our hero being a mangy wild man of the sea. Similar look from my recollection

I will see this movie I am sure, but I think I would be more eager for a live action Super Friends. Wonder Twins, Aquaman riding a seahorse sending out ring like sonar waves, invisible planes, Black Lightning, Legion of Doom, and Bizarro. Sign me up.

Anonymous said...

Hey it's Khal Drogo with a trident! :)

Seriously, though, I kinda like this look. Edo ol' buddy, sorry to say I'm on the other side of the fence when it comes to portraying Aquaman in his classic costume cinematically. That orange and green getup looks fine in the comics but would in my opinion look horrible on film. If they do away with that it's fine with me. What concerns me more is how they will depict his personality onscreen. The Superfriends version was pretty bland, but it looks like Momoa's portrayal will be really intense.

Yes, it seems to me that DC really wants a grim grittier Aquaman; they'll want to upstage Marvel any way they can. I can just imagine the DC writers sitting down in a conference room saying 'hey Marvel you think you guys are the only ones with a badass King of Atlantis? Take that!' Personally, I'd love to see both Aquaman and Namor in their respective movies, and then compare the two characters for myself.

- Mike 'just ate a fish sandwich from Subway' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Anonymous said...

Two points.

1)To those who say he doesn't look anything like the comics, please stop you clearly have no idea what you are talking about and probably parrot what other clueless posters parroted from somewhere else.

Aquaman looked like this for more than 12 years in the 90s and early 00s.

He also looked like this in the JL Animated universe.

The Young Justice and Brave and the Bold versions have a beard and even in the New 52 he had a beard for a couple of issues.

YES the New 52 Aquaman doesn't have a beard and long hair but Aquaman has looked like this. It's part of his history and not some random BS like Deadpool not having a mouth in Wolverine Origins for example.

2) The colors in the picture are muted. There are many versions of the photo online without the filters and the costume is clearly gold (the armor part) and the pants green with some black.

Also his hair and beard have way more blond than the picture suggests.

IMO he looks great. I would prefer the current New 52 costume but I'm fine with this one. But even so the most important parts are there.

The A on the belt, the gold and green, a nod to the chainmail with the armor and tatoos and the trident which is spot on. And he also has blond on his hair.

Literally this version of Aquaman includes EVERYTHING from the current version mixed with parts of his entire history (Trident, belt symbol,colors, scale armor and tatoos from New 52 , beard, hair half armor from 90s / Forever Evil / Kingdom Come, strap from Flashpoint)

And finally he looks totally bad@ss and for an Aquaman film, that might be the most important part to nail.

Edo Bosnar said...

O.k. Anon, bad@$$, gotcha. 'Cause we just haven't had enough of that in those cartoonishly light-hearted movies featuring the DC heroes...

Otherwise, I agree with J.A.: it would have been so awesome if they had decided to use the characterization from the Brave & the Bold cartoon.

Anonymous said...

Edo Bosnar no you didn't "gotcha" anything and you obviously didn't understand my point, so don't quote me like you did (btw my only post is the one directly above your quote, the other anon is not me).

Bad@ss DOESN'T have to mean dark. Thor in the Marvel movies is bad@ss but not dark. I never used the word "dark" once in my previous post.
And we know nothing about how Aquaman will act.

People need to stop talking like they know how Aquaman is gonna act.
We don't.
And until we see the movie all this bitching about "he is Conan" and "he is Khal Drogo with a trident" means nothing by people who have no idea what they are talking about.

Some people say that this version will not be "kingly" or smthing, but those people and those who complain about A SINGLE PHOTO 2 years before the movie.
The same people who bitched about Heath Ledger and the same people who bitch about Batfleck (obviously non of those has ever seen any movies after 2003's Daredevil like the Town or Argo).

Those people need to STFU because their opinion is honestly irrelevant.
It's just speculation. NOT one person except from Snyder, Momoa and the screenwriter himself know how Aquaman is gonna act.

But hey real Aquaman fans know that appearances mean nothing if the character is portrayed good.

Justice League Throne of Atlantis Aquaman looked like the comics Aquaman but acted nothing like him. He was the worst portrayal of Aquaman since the Superfriedns and an insult to the character (unlike the comics ToA which was one of his all time best stories). But hey the costume was orange and green (and it meant nothing, just like Aquaman with a beard and long hair means nothing if the script is weak).

So I don't care how he looks as long as he is Aquaman and acts like Aquaman, and since Snyder proved he is a huge Aquaman fan, I have no worries.

PS. Brave and the Bold Aquaman can't work in a world where Superman kills. If people didn't like that take, then they shouldn't make WB rich with Man of Steel. If people really hated that take on Superman then it shouldn't have made as much money and then maybe Nolan would be out of the DCCU.
But since people flocked like sheep and paid to see a colorless Nolanized Superman, then kindly STFU about the direction of the DC Cinematic Universe. Green Lantern flopped because people didn't like it. Man of Photoshop Filters didn't, which means a lot of people liked it (IMO it was OK and overly way more dramatic that it needed but it was not bad by any means, 7/10).

People paid for it and people will pay for it again and an image 2 years before the release of a movie means nothing, except the commitment of Snyder to present a bad@ss and eye catching Aquaman (exactly like the comics but with more beard and hair).

William said...

If you showed me just that picture and asked me who it was supposed to be, I'd probably guess it was Poseidon from some kind of Greek mythology movie like "Clash of the Titans". But it would take me at least 20 guesses before I ever came up with Aquaman. And that would only be as a last resort stab.

But it doesn't at all surprise me that they went this rout. After the Nolan Bat-flicks, and the god-awful "Man of Steel", I've pretty much given up any hope of ever seeing a DC comics movie that even vaguely resembles anything that I recognize from the comics.

I'm really really really sick of these Hollywood movie hacks deciding what we all should "like", and just disregarding 75+ years of popular culture to recreate all of our heroes in their cynical, leather-bound, armor-clad vision of what's "cool".

I actually take it kind of personally when they, by their actions, basically tell me that I'm wrong for liking Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, and even Aquaman the way they have been portrayed all of my life, (and my father's life for that matter),

Superman was presented on the big screen 5 times (and countless other times on TV) wearing his iconic costume, (red trunks and all), and NO ONE seemed to have a problem with that, until Zack Snyder came along and decided for all of us that we shouldn't really like Superman looking that way. So he took it upon himself to throw out decades of tradition and shove his horrible basketball rubber, trunkless, beltless, dark, murdering Superman down our collective throats.

And don't even get me started on what they did to Batman. They never even gave his iconic look a single chance to be accepted on the big screen. They decided from the get-go that to throw out his color scheme and dress him head-to-toe in black rubber. I personally would have liked some contrast in his suit, like dark gray and black at the very least.

And on a final note regarding this movie version "Aquaman": I thought they did all these changes to make comic characters more "realistic" - But wouldn't all that armor rust in salt water, and weigh you down if you were trying to swim? Not very practical or realistic if you ask me.

dbutler16 said...

I agree with William, I'd guess Poseidon from the newer Clash of the Titans movie before I guessed anything else.
Also, I really don't remember any Aquaman incarnation, and I do have a bunch of the 90's comics, where he's wearing all this black. Yeah, he's got a beard and a trident; but otherwise doesn't closely resemble and comic version of the character I'm familiar with.
I'm not surprised that Aquaman looks like this, just a littl disappointed. I wouldn't mind if they make him a bit of an eco-warrior, what with all the pollutants we've been dumping in his oceans.

Humanbelly said...

Mmmmmmmm, "Angry" Anonymous-- Dude, completely get that you are full-out Aquaman fan, and wholeheartedly honor that fact (believe me), but I'm gonna go out on a limb and suggest that maybe you could dial the vehement rhetoric back several notches. This is, above all else, a friendly, inclusive blog, y'know? I can't remember ever seeing someone here being told to STFU because their opinion didn't line up with a fellow-poster's. That's definitely not what this environment is about.
Your anger aside, your point is quite valid-- we can't really know what the final product is until we see the final product (For example, there was a HUGE hue & cry about Cap's outfit initially, based on some on-the-set snapshots-- some folks threatened to boycott his first film because of it-!)-- in fact, I made the very some point elsewhere in years past. BUT-- they put the promotional images out there, which makes them perfectly valid subjects for critique, criticism, and speculation. And if some folks don't like what they see, for whatever reason, that is perfectly understandable and to be expected.

Related point #2: Flat-out-Anonymous posts ("That-wasn't-me-that-was-a-different-anonymous") are a silly, muddying burden to clear discourse and exchange of ideas. Take at least a bare-minimum level of ownership for your words just for the sake of being able to identify who-said-what, eh? Even if it's just a single initial or a number or something-- 'cause maybe Anonymous3 doesn't want to have his/her views confused with AnonymousX's, right? Honestly, it's a very, very simple courtesy-- and naturally it doesn't do a whit as far as compromising one's true secret identity. (I mean, I'll admit it-- my real name actually isn't Humanbelly. . . ).

I have to say that all of this Aquaman discussion has TOTALLY piqued an interest for me in his late-80's thru 2000's run(s). And man, they're not all that readily available! Even MileHigh has major gaps in their inventory for the book-- and they don't come so cheap.

William, your comment about weighty armor underwater was the first thing that crossed my mind when I looked at the image. I mean, if you're talking aquadynamics, then good ol' naked Namor really had it nailed pretty much from the get-go. (Hmm-- Michael Phelps as Marvels First Mutant-??). Honestly, a really cool way to go with armor, though, would have been to make it bio-organic. . . have it be scale/bone/plate-based, from various marine-oriented creatures. Not only would it look quite awesome, but it makes much more sense aquadynamically, as those materials have a much more water-friendly strength-to-weight ratio. And they'd fit in nicely with an eco-warrior motif.

Man, Aquaman always makes me think of baloney sandwiches on Saturday at lunchtime. . . now I'm hungry. . .


Edo Bosnar said...

Baloney sandwiches, really? Personally, he puts me in the mood for a nice tuna sammich. Or fish sticks. And now I'm hungry...

Humanbelly said...

Oh, definitely baloney -- it's saltier. (Seawater. . . the briny deep. . . the Salty Seas, etc. . .)

-- Also the crunch of ripple-cut potato chips-- (hmm, continuing the salt connection, it seems. . .)

HB (Now fixing myself some lunch)

Karen said...

I was about to jump in and try to clarify the expectations we have for commentators here when HB did a fine job. Thanks pal.

Please, folks, strong opinions are great -it's fun to see different takes on things -but there's no reason to insult and attack others, at least not in these parts. We also appreciate some sort of identifier so we can all know who to respond to rather than just "that anonymous commenter four comments up."

Anonymous said...

Well... I think anon makes a good point, that this does actually look like a version of Aquaman from the comics. I mean, its not to my taste - or a lot of the people that comment here by the looks of things - but just cause its not a 60s or 70s look doesn't mean the film makers aren't following the source material.

And come on, how many of us were really into Aquaman way back when? I guess this could be an indication of the Warners approach to other, more fondly remembered characters, but... you know, I'll wait to see a film before making too many criticisms. Its not like there'll be a shortage of other superhero flicks if this ones no good.


Edo Bosnar said...

Ah, yes, a bag of ruffled (preferably BBQ-flavor) potato chips to accompany the ol' sandwich being munched on while watching cartoons. Heaven...

A slight digression, but still on the topic of Aquaman: for some time now I've been reading raves from several comic-bloggers whose opinion I trust about the current Aquaman comic by Jeff Parker and Paul Pelletier. It's apparently really fun and forward-looking, while also apparently evoking the best of the Skeates-Cardy-Levitz-Aparo material from the '60s and '70s.
I've seen scanned pages which look pretty good - there's this one particularly cool fight scene with Grodd that I really liked. And now that Parker is apparently leaving the title I'm assuming it's going to get collected. This is one of those rare instances when I'm really interested in reading some of the current superhero output. Has anyone here read this, and/or have an opinion?

The Prowler said...

Edo - I have NOT read it, I do HAVE an opinion! I think when eating tuna fish or egg salad, the chips should definitely be placed between the two slices if bread. Pickles are best with tuna but not egg salad. Sour not sweet. Mayo, just a touch, to keep the bread moist. Most of the time I go diagonal but for tuna and egg salad, either keep it whole or cut up and down.

Aquaman's real name is Arthur Curry! It finally came to me at work! Three words: Best Nap Ever!!!! And those who know me know I do not use exclamation marks haphazardly.

(Any song would be honestly irrelevant to this post).

Humanbelly said...

Yeah, the diagonal cut for egg salad or tuna salad (or any minced salad, really) sandwiches isn't a winner, 'cause the narrowing of the support planes as the corners taper allows for the sandwich content to fall out. Not enough cohesion in there, y'see. Up/down cut, definitely.

(Karen, Doug-- you guys are about two seconds away from pulling out the industrial-sized cannister of Tangent-B-Gone, aren't ya? One can. . . sense these things. . . )

True confession: Just got back from a post-lunch grocery run, and for the first time in over fifteen years, I picked up a package of baloney. Thus the slippery slope is engaged. . .


Doug said...

HB --

This is a heckuva lot better than that venom that was being spewed earlier today. And on a Sunday!

Actually, just getting ready to his "publish" on a post aimed at those of you who are still considering writing for this blog. Be up shortly.


Dr. Oyola said...

I have no particular feelings about Aquaman and I have not liked a DC inspired film since the first Superman. But I do understand that Aquaman (esp. outside of comics fandom) has become something of a joke character (even if that it an unfair judgement, it is still a common judgement) - so I can see Warner Bros trying to overcome that and using the "grittier" version to influence the movie version.

I think a interesting version of Aquaman is possible and while I had not heard of it, Edo's characterization of the recent incarnation appeals to me, esp. since Jeff Parker wrote one of my favorite recent-ish comics, Agents of Atlas (based on that famous What If?)

Personally, I think A Man From Atlantis reboot is needed ;)

P.S. I love that folks around here meet vitriol with calmness.

Dr. Oyola said...

Aquaman Theme song

Edo Bosnar said...

Osvaldo, LOVE the Aquaman theme!
And re: a reboot of Man from Atlantis. Man, I used to love that show when I was kid - I'd be so happy with a reboot, revival whatever, esp. if they found a way to work Patrick Duffy into it.

Humanbelly said...

A little further digging has me doubtful that Aquaman actually had any musical theme all his own from his 1967 series! It's just a voice-over intro (sounds a lot like Ted Knight, in fact), and what's particularly notable is that he keeps hitting that first "A" sound as a short-a (like man, or bad, apple), and it just sounds plumb-weird to my ear!

Or. . . is that how other folks say it?


Dr. Oyola said...


HB, do you pronounce it A-kwa-man, as in "acres" or "able"?

Edo Bosnar said...

I say it like Osvaldo, i.e., with the first syllable pronounced like "auk."
I've occasionally heard people who pronounce aqua, aquatic, etc. with a short "a" as HB mentioned, and yes, I find it very odd. I've never head anyone say it with a long "a" though.

Dr. Oyola said...

BTW, THIS was the Aquaman song I was really looking for

"It's Not Easy To Be Me"

Dr. Oyola said...

Eh. I had not watched that second video in like 10 years and forgot about the homophobic part. . . It is fairly innocuous all things considered, but I'm not down with that. :/

Anonymous said...

Ha ha this thread.

Humanbelly isn't your real name?


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