Monday, August 17, 2009

Hero of the Week #12: Aquaman

Real Name: Orin
First Appearance: More Fun Comics #73 (November, 1941)
Group Affiliation: Black Lantern Corps
Gaming Credentials: Justice League Task Force (1995); Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis (2002); Justice League Heroes (2006); DC Universe Online (TBA)
Infinite Wars Cumulative Ranking: #54

Comics fans know Aquaman as one of the classic "big seven" members of the Justice League, but even they have a hard time not making fun of the guy. Let's face it, when it comes to the gammut of superpowers, a guy who can communicate with your pet goldfish isn't exactly the first person you talk to when trouble's afoot. He's more like the guy you get to take care of said-goldfish, while you show Batman where the nasty men nabbed you.

So lame has Aquaman's career been that, after spending the nineties with a beard and a hook for a hand, DC finally gave up on trying and killed him off in 2006. For ordinary folks like you and I, being deceased would probably really effect our careers, but three years later, Aquaman's about to get the respect he sought for so long!

If you thought Aquaman had a bad attitude in the nineties (after Charybdis had pirhanas eat off his hand), then you clearly haven't had a chance to read his "return" in last week's Blackest Night #2! The series, DC's blockbuster summer event for 2009, tells of the prophecized creation of a brand new army of powerring wielding agents -- the Black Lantern Corps!

See, it turns out the Green Lanterns were just first out of the gates, and there's actually an entire spectrum of primordial powers based upon emotive energies that can be harnessed through energy rings. Yellow Lanterns harness fear, Blue Lanterns hope, Red hate, Orange avarice, Violet love, and Indigo compassion. What's black, I hear you ask? Black is the all consuming darkness of death and they're recruiting everyone you ever loved and lost!

So, what was the first order of business for the Black Lantern Aquaman?
Like so many evil dead tend to do, he spent his time hurting the ones he loves. He slapped around his grieving widow (who had the sense to impale him with a trident, mind you), sent some dead ex-girlfriends to literally rip out Aqualad's heart, and used his Dr. Dolittle trick to get some sharks and eels to do the heavy lifting when it came to slicing and dicing some Atlantean soldiers. Even when he's got an evil powerring, he's still too weak and lazy to do the killing himself! Whatta prick!

Sadly, Midway missed out on a prime opportunity to make a lasting impression on Aquaman with their last hurrah, Mortal Kombat versus DC Universe. I think it would've been a prime opportunity to do the character justice, but alas, if you're keen to get your mits soggy in this generation, you'll have to wait for next year's universe-spanning hero-filled MMO extravaganza, DC Universe Online.
There you'll have the opportunity to not only bump into Aquaman, but also most of your other famous (and infamous) heroes and villains from the DCU comics. A prospect probably a little bit more attractive than going back to play the Gamecube/Xbox clunker, Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis. Ecco the Dolphin, it wasn't! Ouch! To think Hawkman hasn't been in a video game yet, but that atrocity was created! Here's hoping Battle for Atlantis stays dead and buried!

Blackest Night and Blackest Night spin-offs are on shelves most Wednesdays, from DC comics. You can find out more information from the official DCcomics website, IGN's Blackest Night mini-site, or various other sources. Blackest Night #2 -- starring Aquaman -- should still be available from good comics retailers!

Secret Wars on Infinite Earths: The Comic Book Fight Club is updated with varying consistency, promising a feature fight for every Friday on the calendar (even if sometimes they're late). The site acts as an information resource, discussion site, review blog, and a whale-slapping good time.

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