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Eric: Wouldn't the blanket float away?


(From Evil Inc. Click on the thumbnail for full sized Aquababy!)

It's easy to make fun of Aquaman. It really is.

I'm not entirely sure why. I mean, he's supposed to be third in strength to Superman and Wonder Woman (and there's some debate about Wonder Woman). In his element, he's able to kick either of their asses (depending on if Superman has his "no one can kick my ass because I'm Superman" bit set that day or not). He's got angst aplenty in his backstory. And yet, when Aquaman comes up, it's all "hurr hurr look at the dumbass orange and green outfit" and "hurr hurr he talks to fish."

I do it too, mind. Or I did, at least until the advent of the Wonder Twins and the proof that being able to breathe water isn't nearly as lame as turning into water. But I digress.

Brad Guigar does something cool here. It's an Aquaman joke that doesn't come down to "hurr hurr he talks to fish." In fact, it's an Aquaman joke that made me smile. Probably because it's less about Aquaman as it is about three year olds.

I like Evil Inc. I like how it shifts from one day to the next and focuses on the day to day problems in supervillainry. However, the Captain Heroic Family stuff may be my favorite bits in the whole comic -- especially now that Miss Match is known to be a part of them. Call me a sucker for domestic comedy, but I'm having a lot of fun with this.

Posted by Eric Burns-White at January 25, 2006 10:29 AM


Comment from: Botswana posted at January 25, 2006 10:59 AM

The last panel would have been funny without any speech at all. Having Aquaman actually acknowledge it's silly is just sort of sublime.

Comment from: John Fiala posted at January 25, 2006 11:01 AM

I think it would have been amusing to have the aqualad ask for a glass of air.

But yes - lovely joke.

Comment from: Dave Van Domelen posted at January 25, 2006 11:02 AM

The blanket could have little weights on it, or just be made of denser threads. :)

Anyway, people tend to focus on what sets a superhero apart from the crowd, and ignore any abilities of theirs that just duplicate someone else's at a weaker level. Sure, Aquaman is third strongest. But who cares about #3? What he does that no one else on the team does is talk to fish, so that's what he's known for. Wonder Woman is known for the invisible plane and the lasso, not for being almost as tough as Superman. Etc.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at January 25, 2006 11:07 AM

I was hoping you'd snark this comic. I was also hoping it would get a biscuit, but you obviously can't have everything.

The problem with Aquaman is entirely in his portrayal in the old Superfriends cartoon. He was completely lame there - and the only powers he kept from his comic incarnation were the lame ones. And since more people were exposed to Aquaman there than anywhere else, he has a bad rap.

Still, Justice League and Justice League Unlimited are doing their best to change that. But even then, they can't resist poking fun at Aquaman.

Superman: Could you try talking to them? (referring to humanoid magma monsters)
Aquaman: Do they look like fish?

So even when he's kicking ass... he's still the center of all jokes.

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at January 25, 2006 11:07 AM

Oh, come now, Dvandom.

Wonder Woman is clearly known for the bathing suit. All else is seconday. ;)

Comment from: Eric Burns posted at January 25, 2006 11:07 AM

Er, secondary.

It's been a rough morning.

Comment from: PatMan posted at January 25, 2006 11:07 AM


Kinda creapy when you know what happened to that kid in the comics.

FYI, while that may be his aqua-lad, that's not THE Aqualad. Just thought I'd point that out.

Comment from: PatMan posted at January 25, 2006 11:10 AM

The problem with Aquaman is entirely in his portrayal in the old Superfriends cartoon.

Actually, it was before that. They stuck him on the Justice League, but had couldn't come up with any good reasons for him to be there. Thus, we ended up with Aquaman tagging along like a sidekick most of the time. The problem is, unlike the Submariner, Aquaman is pretty crummy on land.

Comment from: 32_footsteps posted at January 25, 2006 11:12 AM

I thought Wonder Woman was known mostly for being a blatant BDSM fantasy. Well, that and Linda Carter.

Comment from: Connor Moran posted at January 25, 2006 11:20 AM

Dude. There's a Justice League comic where the Justice League end up having to fight duplicates of themselves: everyone BUT Aquaman. For some reason, Aquaman doesn't get a duplicate. It has something to do with the creatures not knowing about water or something. Anyway, the League is getting it's ass kicked. It's up to Aquaman to save the day! And how does he do it?

He cheers for them.

Honest to god.

Comment from: hitch posted at January 25, 2006 1:22 PM

I like Evil Inc. because I work at AOL - stop laughing - I said STOP LAUGHING - hear me out.
the whole bit about the investor pressuring Evil Inc. to do really idiotic things that will cause the company to fall apart and crumble? just to increase the stock price a little? that's happening to AOL. I find it incredibly relieving to be able to laugh at that situation instead of getting angry.

Comment from: John Lynch posted at January 25, 2006 1:29 PM

Y'know these kinda jokes could have been told in Greystone Inn. Not the superhero ones, but the domestic jokes. And yet, I think they work a hell of a lot better in Evil Inc then Greystone Inn, because GI had little going for it besides it's domestic jokes. And thanks to the super-villainy coming to the forefront, Evil Inc. has a whole slew of domestic jokes only it can tell.

Comment from: Shaenon posted at January 25, 2006 2:29 PM

People think Aquaman is lame because:

1. They mostly know him through superteams like the JLA the Superfriends, where he basically gets to sit around waiting for that one water-based crisis to arise.

2. Aquaman *is* lame.

He is. Sorry. He's lamer than the Sub-Mariner, and the Sub-Mariner is an elf in fish panties.

Comment from: xmung posted at January 25, 2006 3:06 PM

DC have tried to make him more hard-ass over the years... the whole pirate hook hand and crazy man hair/beard episode for example!

There were some amusing and or sweet Aquaman stories in the first Bizarro book they published a few years ago (proving you can make fun of a character while still paying homage to them).

Comment from: Tice with a J posted at January 25, 2006 3:12 PM

They made Aquaman cool once. They gave him a beard and a hook and a manly, hairy chest. One look and you just knew this guy was king of the waves. He was COOL. But no, they had to change him back to his orange shirt. Why? WHY?! Bring back the dread captain Aquaman!

Comment from: PatMan posted at January 25, 2006 3:15 PM

No way, Shaenon! Sub Mariner is a freaking anti-American terrorist who got his own title! How can that be lame?

I mean, unless you knew one of the people he threw off the Statue of Liberty. Or the people on that train. Or any of the others he murdered...

Why is this guy considered a good-guy again?

(PS- Aquaman doesn't have a double on the Crime Syndicate, either. And somehow, he managed to be absent the issue they showed up in.)

Comment from: Thomas Blight posted at January 25, 2006 4:01 PM

Uhh... the sheet not floating is pretty clear.

Put a sponge in water. It collects the water and now there's a small amount of water in each little part, correct? Now does that sponge float?

The same works for any other fabric. It becomes waterlogged, then sinks because its overall density is more than that of the water around it.

I've probably screwed up my reasoning somewhere. It's been a while since I learned what that's based on and I've probably forgotten crucial (sp?) information.

Comment from: Dan Severn posted at January 25, 2006 4:20 PM

Not having a comic book heritage, any time I see Aquaman I think of Sea Man from Southpark.

Comment from: Ardaniel posted at January 25, 2006 5:09 PM

I completely fear the upcoming Aquaman TV show on the soon-to-be-doomed WB.

Comment from: LurkerWithout posted at January 25, 2006 8:05 PM

Aquaman is cool because he once saved the world by pointing out that he has a MUCH bigger army then everyone else and his kingdom surrounds EVERYBODY elses countries.

Hail to the King baby...

Comment from: larksilver posted at January 26, 2006 1:20 AM

There are comic book heroes (and villains), even mainstream ones, who are much less cool than Aquaman. Loads of 'em.

That said... I remember that TV series as a kid. Poor Aquaman and his sea horses. He wasn't as lame as The Wonder Twins, but man sometimes it was close.

Comment from: miyaa posted at January 26, 2006 3:49 AM

More lamer superhero concept: Aquaman or Plastic Man?

This pretty much tells me how lame Aquaman is to me: I don't think there's an equivalent in the Tick comic book series.

Comment from: LurkerWithout posted at January 26, 2006 4:04 AM

Underwaterer, Ocean Overlord, Merwoman and Fishboy all spring to mind. And I guess Portuguese Manofwar and Caped Cod are aquatic themed anyway...

Comment from: Abby L. posted at January 26, 2006 5:33 AM

Whoa. Hey now. I don't want anyone saying anything bad about Plastic Man. Cuz he's da bomb.

Anyway, back on topic, I love this strip! But Aquaman is not anywhere near the awesomeness (and hotness) of Namor. I don't know if I would pick Namor or Reed Richards if I was Sue Storm, it would be a close thing for me. (Oh who am I kidding, I'd pick Reed. But Namor would certainly have been a close runner-up)

Comment from: larksilver posted at January 26, 2006 10:05 AM

I think Plastic-Man is fun, and kinda cool. But he is the quasi-stepchild of his organization, the same way that poor Aquaman is. It's unfortunate.

I am enjoying this strip a great deal, too. I was hesitant, as I didn't find Herr Guigar's previous work all that funny, but this.. it's delightful.

Comment from: gwalla posted at January 28, 2006 2:18 AM

The hook-hand was pseudo-cool in that 13-year-old "OMG SO HARDKORR!!!1" way.

Grant Morrison made Aquaman cool in his JLA run. He's the one who realized that somebody who can stand the pressures of the bottom of the ocean would have to be really tough, and that somebody who can swim across the Atlantic at high speed would have to be incredibly strong. Plus he made him fluent in several languages.

Comment from: gwalla posted at January 28, 2006 2:18 AM

Also, Plastic Man owns you all, so don't front on Plas.

Comment from: Leah A posted at January 28, 2006 3:17 AM

"FYI, while that may be his aqua-lad, that's not THE Aqualad. Just thought I'd point that out."

Actually, if you look at the last panel closely, it *is* supposed to be Aqualad.

If the dark hair wasn't clue enough, look at the footboard of the bed.

And those who think Aquaman is just the 'talks to fish' guy just don't take the time to think about the character's attributes -- especially when he's out of water.

Or they've just watched too many episodes of Super Friends. Take your pick.

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