Today saw the release of Aquaman #1.
The seventh Aquaman #1.
He can withstand the crushing pressure of the ocean depths and this makes him tough enough to be invulnerable to machine gun fire. He also possesses superhuman strength and can swim at speeds of 10,000 feet per second. He can even swim up Niagara Falls!
But ask most people who he is and what do they say?
“Isn’t he that fish guy?”
He’s been around since 1941 and has navigated the treacherous waters of comic book popularity with the best of them. He’s starred in cartoons, been a Super Friend and even had a television pilot centered around him. It failed miserably, but you gotta admire the orange and green garbed one’s tenacity.
He’s adapted with the times: a hip, blue outfit and attitude for the 1980s:
A beard, long hair and a hook (He sacrificed a hand for his fans. How many superheroes do that?) for the 1990s.
But every time, his sales eventually dip and DC Comics sinks the King of the Seven Seas to a watery grave.
But somehow, he still floats to the top. Now he has Geoff Johns, arguably the comic scribe of our age, guiding his adventures.
His creators have even acknowledged his PR issues and dealt with them head on by subject our hero to heckling from fellow diners at a seafood restaurant. In their defense, he does order fish and chips!
Will he succeed this time? I wouldn’t bet your buried treasure on it, but one thing is for sure: he’ll always survive to ride the waves again. Until the undertow of public sentiment drags him down – again.