For years, Aquaman has been the most powerful of all the Super Friends, in that he is the designated punching bag. As Seinfeld taught us, every group needs someone that they all make fun of—the willing receptacle into which all of their interpersonal tensions can be dumped—and Batman and Superman would constantly be at each other’s throats were it not for their mutual agreement that, hey, at least their superpower isn’t talking to fish, along with their shared affinity for making “seaman” jokes. There’s also the fact that, unlike them, Aquaman has never had his own movie, and his most famous on-screen portrayal was by that of Entourage’s Vinny Chase—an honor that ranks just slightly below controlling all the world’s kelp.
But as we know, Warner Bros. doesn’t like jokes. Neither does director Zack Snyder, who valiantly stood up for Aquaman’s ability to withstand any attack by defending him against a couple of morning radio DJs. And together with Jason Momoa, the pectoral shelf who’s grimaced his way through Game Of Thrones and Conan The Barbarian, they have devised a bold direction for Aquaman that will put a stop to all that horsing around.
Behold the Aquaman from an angrier sea, full of the rockiest reefs and crabbiest crabs, and just try to find something funny about him.
This Aquaman certainly doesn’t resemble the peroxide toothpaste model of yore. His hair flows in massive dreadlocks, held together by saltwater and seriousness. He’s so tough he requires only one shoulder pad on his trident arm, plus a cool wristguard, like Judas Priest’s Rob Halford. Rather than his traditional crewneck, which made him resemble a preppy orange roughy, Aquaman is now black, all black—black as the squid ink that was presumably used to apply his fish-scales, in the ocean’s most disreputable tattoo parlor. His tattoos even crisscross his nipples, but he probably didn’t even notice because he’s Aquaman. “Better put some Aquaphor on that,” his tattoo artist joked. Aquaman didn’t even crack a smile.
On weekends, Aquaman plays with his depth-metal band, Whitefish Zombie. Their hit “Thunder Fish ’65” is about riding on a badass jet ski, which Aquaman totally did one time.
Again, this is all very serious. After all, Aquaman is the first character from Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice, Night Of Boats, Afternoon Of Marine Conservation Lectures to be given the tagline, “Unite The Seven,” implicitly shouldering him with the weighty task of bringing the seven members of the Justice League together. And for once, it definitely won’t be in laughing at Aquaman.