Aquaman has had it rough. People think that he has to be some dorky ineffectual tagalong that the Justice League allows to hang out with them out of pity, but that's just not the case. It's also not the case that Aquaman needs to be made into a dudebro in jeans to be cool. This is probably because of the cultural osmosis of the 1970's Super Friends portrayal of the hero, which was... well...



It was something. And the less said about that something, the better. But the point is that the something in question is not what Aquaman has to be, nor does he need to go to the opposite extreme to be awesome.

Pictured: The Opposite Extreme


What people don't understand is that Aquaman is pretty cool all on his own. He's the king of Atlantis, he can boss around sharks, he can breathe under water, he can swim as fast as a motor boat, he has super strength, he's proficient in battle with a trident, he can tank bullets with his scale armor, and he can bend water to his will. Because of this, against popular belief, he's not useless at all on land. He's actually kind of a beast.

What's more, the comics especially are fully aware of Aquaman's status as a misunderstood, underestimated hero. The New 52 line of comics put Geoff Johns- famed for his run on Green Lantern- in charge of the Aquaman solo comic, and it was pretty darn great. It embraced Aquaman's reputation and made him needing to deal with people constantly seeing him as a lame hero a central part of the comic's first arc. He strongly defied expectations by being awesome, but without needing a drastic change in attitude to overcompensate. It felt celebratory of Aquaman rather than ashamed.



So what am I saying? What I'm saying is, give Aquaman a chance. He's got crazy powers, a pretty interesting rogue's gallery and supporting cast of his own, and a lot going for him in the writing department. You just need to be willing to dive below the surface to see it.

Because Aquaman spends a lot of time under water, but the surface is also a metaphor for... well, you get it.