Escapist Podcast: 171: Will Aquaman Ever Be Cool?

The Escapist Staff

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171: Will Aquaman Ever Be Cool?

This week, we talk about some recent headlines that have been made in the world of geek culture, including the reveal of Jason Momoa as Aquaman, adware on Lenovo computers, GTA V PC's delayed release (again), and more.

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RealRT

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Anyone who says Aquaman is lame should give up their geek card right now.
 

madwarper

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I hope the people on the podcast are staff members and are getting paid...

a) Because, they need to invest in some new microphones. The sound quality on these things have never been great best, but this one was particularly bad.
b) Because, as many times as CJ said "Aquaman", he only pronounced "Aqua" correctly once.
 

rgrekejin

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RealRT said:
Anyone who says Aquaman is lame should give up their geek card right now.
Seriously. I find that a person's opinion of Aquaman is a good proxy for whether or not they're a real geek, or just someone who likes the currently fashionable aspects of geek culture.

If even Geoff Johns run on Aquaman didn't make you think Aquaman is cool, you're a failure as a geek.
 

Rhykker

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madwarper said:
I hope the people on the podcast are staff members and are getting paid...

a) Because, they need to invest in some new microphones. The sound quality on these things have never been great best, but this one was particularly bad.
b) Because, as many times as CJ said "Aquaman", he only pronounced "Aqua" correctly once.
The podcasts are normally recorded at HQ, but due to the office being buried in roughly 300 feet of snow, we connected remotely for this podcast. We apologize for the resulting loss in recording quality.

As far as awk-waman vs. ack-waman... I'm Italian, and "aqua" (pronounced ack-wa) is our word for water. It's difficult for me to remember to pronounce it as "awk" in English. I realize that my pronunciation is ackward. You'd hate to hear how I say "NASA."

-CJ, Mispronouncer of Words
 

Evil Smurf

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Rhykker said:
madwarper said:
I hope the people on the podcast are staff members and are getting paid...

a) Because, they need to invest in some new microphones. The sound quality on these things have never been great best, but this one was particularly bad.
b) Because, as many times as CJ said "Aquaman", he only pronounced "Aqua" correctly once.
The podcasts are normally recorded at HQ, but due to the office being buried in roughly 300 feet of snow, we connected remotely for this podcast. We apologize for the resulting loss in recording quality.

As far as awk-waman vs. ack-waman... I'm Italian, and "aqua" (pronounced ack-wa) is our word for water. It's difficult for me to remember to pronounce it as "awk" in English. I realize that my pronunciation is ackward. You'd hate to hear how I say "NASA."

-CJ, Mispronouncer of Words
ack-wa is how Australians pronounce Aqua, don't even worry about it.
 

Foolery

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RealRT said:
Anyone who says Aquaman is lame should give up their geek card right now.
No kidding. People should totally go watch or read Throne of Atlantis. Aquaman doesn't pull any punches.
 

Kajin

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Never read any of the Aquaman comics, but he was certainly balls to the wall awesome as hell in the Justice League show I grew up on. Aqualad in Young Justice was no pushover either.
 

RJ Dalton

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"Will Aquaman ever be cool?"

Well, not if you make him look like John Travolta from Battlefield Earth.
 

Paradoxrifts

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RJ Dalton said:
"Will Aquaman ever be cool?"

Well, not if you make him look like John Travolta from Battlefield Earth.
I had just finished watching Redlettermedia's review of Jupiter Ascending and Battlefield Earth when I switched over to the Escapist and got my first look at the movie version of Aquaman.

I'm just glad I'm not the only one to make the association.
 

viranimus

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Ok, Ill dissent. Aquaman cool? No. Never. EVER. As long as the "seaman who can talk to fish" jibb can be made, Aquaman will never be cool as the character will always be the butt of a perpetual joke. Not simply because of juvenile humor, but he suffers a fate amongst his DC peers worse than batman not having any superpowers. His entire arsenal is really only viable on this planet for a dominion that is functionally unpopulated. In order for Aquaman to effectively be involved in any of the normal adventures any of the other JLA chars have, there has to be a scenario specially crafted for him to combat, instead of being able to go against any potential threat with some measure of success. So ultimately his "usefulness" has always been incredibly limited, and THAT is the biggest reason he is always been the butt of the joke.

Hes like your little brother when you were a kid wanting to play baseball with the other kids, but was barely able to pick up the bat without falling over from its weight. At best, all the other kids are simply being nice and humoring his presence.

So knowing he is always going to be an inferior, second rate super hero, he is never going to be cool.

Now is it possible for aquaman to not entirely suck? That at least seems more plausible. Especially as they have been working hard across multiple incarnations of the char to play up the "king of Atlantis" and downplay the "talks to fish", they have been making slow inroads to a more tolerable aquaman.

And more over, I genuinely like the Mamoa look, as like I suggested, it plays more to the king of Atlantis, and less to the "fishyness" of it all. Battlefield earth comparisons and all.
 

CrazyBlaze

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viranimus said:
Ok, Ill dissent. Aquaman cool? No. Never. EVER. As long as the "seaman who can talk to fish" jibb can be made, Aquaman will never be cool as the character will always be the butt of a perpetual joke. Not simply because of juvenile humor, but he suffers a fate amongst his DC peers worse than batman not having any superpowers. His entire arsenal is really only viable on this planet for a dominion that is functionally unpopulated. In order for Aquaman to effectively be involved in any of the normal adventures any of the other JLA chars have, there has to be a scenario specially crafted for him to combat, instead of being able to go against any potential threat with some measure of success. So ultimately his "usefulness" has always been incredibly limited, and THAT is the biggest reason he is always been the butt of the joke.
Well considering his other powers include super strength, near invincibility, night vision and sonar hearing I'd say its pretty versatile. Don't forget that he can go toe to toe with Superman and the every year he fights Cthulhu every year. And wins.
 

RJ Dalton

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RealRT said:
Anyone who says Aquaman is lame should give up their geek card right now.
Except that Aquaman *is* lame. When you look at him only as a function of his super-power, which is how a lot of people look at superheros.


"Oh, he talks to fish? What good is that?"

But what they don't get, because they don't actually read comics, is that talking to fish isn't Aquaman's superpower. It's just an ability that all Atlanteans have, if I'm not mistake, along with the super-hardened bodies required to live in the intense pressure of the deep sea. In reality, Aquaman doesn't really have superpowers at all. He just happens to be a member of a race that has some special abilities because of evolution. And he happens to be the king, if I remember correctly. I've never read much of DC, but I do know the back stories on some of this. There's plenty of room for Aquaman to be interesting, but you have to look at him in terms of more than just his superpowers and most people never do.

I think the whole "Aquaman is lame" thing comes from the fact that most people's knowledge of Aquaman comes only from those shitty cartoons, like Super Friends, where all the characters were stripped of everything except their superpowers and made bland and, yes, very lame. But even Batman was lame in that show, so it's a bad baseline to judge by.
 

RJ Dalton

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Paradoxrifts said:
RJ Dalton said:
"Will Aquaman ever be cool?"

Well, not if you make him look like John Travolta from Battlefield Earth.
I had just finished watching Redlettermedia's review of Jupiter Ascending and Battlefield Earth when I switched over to the Escapist and got my first look at the movie version of Aquaman.

I'm just glad I'm not the only one to make the association.
It's kinda hard to miss, really.
 

008Zulu_v1legacy

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I grew up with Super Friends 80's era Aquaman. While the new guy is a shirtless, yellow bearded Superman, (to me) he will always be the guy who could only talk to fish.
 

Orga777

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viranimus said:
Ok, Ill dissent. Aquaman cool? No. Never. EVER. As long as the "seaman who can talk to fish" jibb can be made, Aquaman will never be cool as the character will always be the butt of a perpetual joke. Not simply because of juvenile humor, but he suffers a fate amongst his DC peers worse than batman not having any superpowers. His entire arsenal is really only viable on this planet for a dominion that is functionally unpopulated. In order for Aquaman to effectively be involved in any of the normal adventures any of the other JLA chars have, there has to be a scenario specially crafted for him to combat, instead of being able to go against any potential threat with some measure of success. So ultimately his "usefulness" has always been incredibly limited, and THAT is the biggest reason he is always been the butt of the joke.

Hes like your little brother when you were a kid wanting to play baseball with the other kids, but was barely able to pick up the bat without falling over from its weight. At best, all the other kids are simply being nice and humoring his presence.

So knowing he is always going to be an inferior, second rate super hero, he is never going to be cool.

Now is it possible for aquaman to not entirely suck? That at least seems more plausible. Especially as they have been working hard across multiple incarnations of the char to play up the "king of Atlantis" and downplay the "talks to fish", they have been making slow inroads to a more tolerable aquaman.

And more over, I genuinely like the Mamoa look, as like I suggested, it plays more to the king of Atlantis, and less to the "fishyness" of it all. Battlefield earth comparisons and all.
http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/11113/111134695/3860937-9575713402-2we1..jpg
You were saying? There are a whole lot more instances of Aquaman being strong as all hell, but this is a good image to show. Oh. And in New 52, during the Throne of Atlantis event, Orm, AKA, Ocean Master (Aquaman's half brother) captured and dragged the entire Justice League to the bottom of the ocean to be munched on by The Trench... and the Atlantian's were able to completely flood Metropolis, Gotham, New York, and Boston, killing thousands in the process.

Aquaman is as strong as AT LEAST Wonder Woman, by the way, and has complete control over 70% of the planet (the oceans.) :/

Just read Geoff John's run on New 52 Aquaman for all the capable things he can do. Aquaman is freaking awesome.
 

RoBi3.0

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RealRT said:
Anyone who says Aquaman is lame should give up their geek card right now.
I will give up my geek card when Aquaman comes and takes it from me. Oh wait he can't I live in a high altitude desert with at least two mountain ranges between me and any ocean not to mention over a thousand miles. I am safe and Aquaman is still lame.
 

Gordon_4_v1legacy

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The fuckng Superfriends has a LOT to answer for. Yes, Aquaman can telepathically direct sea creatures. He's also strong enough to go the distance with Superman, is usually in possession of a magical artefact that can summon tidal waves, a highly competent hand to hand fighter AND depending on the story; is the king of the single largest nation on Earth with technology on par or surpassing that of the superpower nations and a standing army to match.