It’s a truth almost universally acknowledged that Aquaman isn’t very cool. The co-founding member of the Justice League and the King of Atlantis gets a pretty bad rap from most people, and it’s easy to see why. To most outward appearances, he’s pretty useless out of the water, and unless it’s unseasonably humid, you’d probably rather have Superman by your side in a land battle. Aquaman might not have the best reputation as of now, but things look to be turning around for the hero. After months of talks, the former Game of Thrones star Jason Momoa has signed on to play Aquaman in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice
. At first glance, Momoa doesn’t seem to be a good fit for Aquaman. The muscular actor skyrocketed to fame playing the imposing and deadly Khal Drogo on Game of Thrones, but there’s nothing terribly imposing about the DC swimmer. He’s usually clad in a bright stretchy orange jumpsuit with scales, and sports finely coifed blond hair. But we’re thinking this version of Aquaman will take some inspiration from a different version of the character.
The 1990s did some terrible things to comic books. Many of our favorite characters were changed for the worse, and some were even given updated costumes dripping in misguided turn-of-the-century angst. In fact, the entire industry almost folded in on itself after the comic book market collapsed. But while these dark times almost killed superhero comics altogether, they did wonders for Aquaman. That extra dose of angst was actually good for the character; writer Peter David took the underwater boy scout and turned him into a rough burly seaman with a hook for a hand, a fierce mane of hair, and a new badass disposition. Now the King of the Seas actually looked the part.
This was a character for a new age of readers. One that inspired fear and respect, and one that is mostly unknown to those that didn’t spend their formative years in the nose of a comic book. While most people laugh at the very idea of Aquaman, it’s easy to imagine Momoa stepping into this version of the character, especially after watching Khal Drogo terrorize the great plains of Essos in Game of Thrones.
But even without the cool updated look, Aquaman has always been as cool as it gets. That’s right, we said it, Aquaman is cool. Sure, the outfit is silly, but every superhero outfit is silly when you think about it (Batman is running around in stubby bat ears yelling about his no parents and he gets eight movies). This is a character that controls the earth’s waters, and the last time we checked, the earth was made up of 80 % of that stuff. He also has an entire kingdom of sea creatures as his beck and call. No, not just little guppys and jelly fish but giant squids, sharks, andwhatever ancient beasts are still lyind dormant in the depths of the ocean. He could probably pop out a Kraken if he really tried. On top of all this, he still has super strength, even on land. We think he easily earns his place on the Justice League.
These days, the Aquaman in the comics has since reverted the character back to a more classic look, but if Momoa’s casting is any indication, the upcoming film will take many of its cues from the burly ’90s Aquaman. In any case, Aquaman is a hero that deserves a second assessment, and it looks like Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice might reintroduce the character to a generation of naysayers. Resist all you want, but we’re betting a few of you might have a new favorite hero once 2016 rolls around.