No matter how many Rebirths Aquaman has to suffer through, he'll never be cool.
Writing Aquaman must be difficult! Whenever I try to write a story focusing on a character without any personality whatsoever, I usually wind up getting a call from my publisher saying, "This is unpublishable dreck. As usual." I think the "as usual" is a bit harsh and unneeded! But she usually continues with something like, "Make me interested in the lead character! Give me something to care about! Maybe write more than three double-spaced pages with large font." And yet DC somehow manages to keep selling Aquaman comic books! Maybe I should see if DC would like to publish some of my stories? Or maybe my publisher will identify with my main character if I remind the reader that the character is stoic! Let me try!
Stoically, Pete the Vampire Hunter thought, "Hmm, that is a werewolf. I hunt vampires! I guess I'll go home and stoically have some popcorn." Stoically, Pete, the stoic person, walked off as the werewolf mauled the children at the playground.
Wow! That's so much better! I'm going to send my publisher a query about Pete the Vampire Hunter immediately! I wonder if I should make a note that this Pete is not the same Pete from A Really Scary Story? Or maybe it is! This can be the sequel! A Really Scary Story Two! Or should I be extra cool and call it A Really Scary Story Too? Hopefully that wouldn't confuse Tumblr User discardvibes two much! Ha ha! That "two" was a joke and not me being stupid!
The issue begins by trying to impress the reader by claiming that Aquaman is the king of 97% of the global biosomething or other! Yeah, but it's all fish! Not that there's anything wrong with fish. But it's not like there's anything in the ocean as cute as a kitten or a raccoon! Maybe a baby dolphin with a pink ribbon on its head. But how many of those can there be? Even after I dropped all those pink ribbons into the Pacific, I doubt more than one of them came to rest on the head of a baby dolphin! No, Aquaman doesn't rule over anything cute. He rules over fish and feces-filled water! Big deal! Although if he can talk to dolphins and whales and get them to do whatever he wants, what's stopping him from commanding a kitten that has fallen off of a boat? They're all mammals! Why can he talk to some mammals as well as fish? Maybe that's not a super power! Maybe he just knows the language of dolphins and whales and manatees and asks them politely to help him. But fish he's got to be all, "Do the thing I want! DO IT! You stupid imbecile! Do it already!" Because fish have small brains! I know that because my publisher often calls me "a fish-brained moron."
I wonder if I should find a new publisher?
Mera has put on her old uniform while she plays the Penny-One to Aquaman's watery Batman. They're going after a group of oceanic terrorists who call themselves The Deluge.
Why does Aquaman think fish can help stop a typhoon or a seaquake? And why is he calling a boatload of refugees "migrants"? How insulting! I think. I mean, I want it to be insulting so I can act like I'm angry at Aquaman. Although it's his narrator that said those things! Wait a second. A narrator?! What kind of crap are you trying to pull, Rebirth?!
Next we get to the part of the Retcon or Rebirth or New Direction where the writer tells the reader explicitly to stop thinking Aquaman is a joke.
The Narrator sounds like they're trying to convince themselves!
The main group of people that refuse to make fun of Aquaman are those solidly in the Us (comic book readers) versus Them (socially active people) camp. They want to prove that people that make fun of Aquaman are ignorant of his actual powers and abilities. But this stand isn’t about Aquaman at all. It’s about one upping those other jerks that think they’re so cool drinking alcoholic beverages and kissing women on the mouth. Defending Aquaman is never about Aquaman. Let’s face it. We all know he’s the worst Justice League member ever. Defending Aquaman is about making oneself look more knowledgeable than those that would demean Aquaman. It’s about feeling superior. “You make fun of Aquaman because you just don’t get him. *snrt*”
I assure you all: I get him! But I will stand by my right to make fun of him! It’s in the fucking constitution, people! Also, I want to fit in with those people drinking and kissing! “Aquaman fucks fish, amirite?” Now somebody fetch me a drink and kiss me on the mouth already!
You know what else is the problem? Nobody has an obligation to write Aquaman as if the people of the DC Universe are the same kinds of assholes as the people of the comic book reading universe! The populace of the DCU doesn't have to believe Aquaman is a joke! You can make them believe he's a hero! If you don't want people laughing at him, don't write people laughing at him. And if you don't think the readers will accept that then you're already admitting defeat! You want Aquaman to be heroic and respected in the Rebirth Universe? Then don't acknowledge that he's a laughingstock! Just try to ignore that fact! Think of it this way. I have been reading New 52 Superman for five years and screaming, "Why does everybody hate him? Why are you writing a universe where everybody hates and mistrusts him?!" For five years and you ignored me that entire time! So why don't you do the same thing with all of the Aquaman haters? Let them scream into the void that Aquaman is a joke and he's not heroic and he's the stupidest member of the Justice League and not much thought went into creating him and he has no personality and he has sex with fish and his comic book never sells great no matter how long DC makes his hair or how hooky DC makes his hand! Just ignore them and pretend that Aquaman isn't a stupid joke!
I mean, I don't really care. I think it's funny that you've decided to kowtow to the Aquaman haters and acknowledge, within the DC Universe, that people make fun of him constantly. It's kind of a dick editorial move but whatever!
The point of all of this narration is to make sure the reader understands Aquaman. It's all, "He's stoic and exciting! Like a lighthouse! I mean, sure, a lighthouse is only exciting for the one, singular climb to the top and then you're all, 'That's it? Okay. I get it. That's a lighthouse. Never need to read another issue of that!'" And like a lighthouse, Aquaman makes sure boats don't wind up on land and cars don't wind up in the ocean! He's a true hero of both the land and the sea. But like a lighthouse, nobody likes him! They're all, "Well, I can see the point of it. But does it really need to shine that light all night? Annoying! Might as well hang some heavy duty wind-chimes off the side and piss everybody off!"
Yeah, but, come on! The dolphins and whales must talk to him, right?