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Friday, April 09, 2010

Aquaman Out of Continuity?

F.O.A.M.er Joe Mello sent me a link to a post over on Mania.com called "5 DC Heroes That Should Live Outside Continuity." Their top choice on the list is...Aquaman!

I'm not sure I agree with many of the post's conclusions, but I always appreciate when someone likes Aquaman enough to want to make him a more successful comic book character.

Thanks Joe!


Wings1295 said...

Yeah, it was an interesting piece. Not sure I agree with it all, myself. Not sure if being part of the DCU is the problem Aquaman has in staying popular, or at least in selling tons of issues. I would think maybe that it is one of the reasons he does.

Luis said...

The type of stories that the article suggests for Aquaman can (and have been) told with Aquaman existing in the regular DCU, so NO, I don't agree that he would work better outside the DCU.
The article also mentions Batman, with which I don't agree either, but LOADS of stories have been told about Batman outside DCU continuity. I'm talking about all the Batman one-shots and Elseworlds tales.

David J. Cutler said...

I'm going to be in the extreme minority but I agree whole-heartedly. It's not that he can't work in the mainline DCU, he does, but separate from its baggage he could really shine. In a version of the DC Universe with only the big icons, without 400 nearly-as-strong-or-stronger-than-Superman guys flying around, Aquaman's abilities seem much cooler and mythic. I've always loved the private notion of a 7-hero DC Universe: Superman, Batman, Flash, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter.

Moreover, just getting him free from his own baggage would be great. No multiple deaths, infanticide, a rogues gallery of badguys who seem to get a new origin every time they appear. Aquaman would benefit so much from totally starting fresh. As would the whole DCU.

We're at the point in DC now, even just since Crisis in the 80s, where its hard to name a hero who hasn't "died" once--a lot of them are racking up multiple deaths. Hal Jordan, Kyle Rayner, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman... of the big icons only Dick Grayson and Tim Drake spring to mind as having never been killed (yet).

I sort of think the best superhero stuff is continuity free or continuity optional across the board. Look at Batman Year One or DKR, All Star Superman or A Hope For all Seasons. The best writers shouldn't be tied down by the mistakes of the worst. Something can be said for the better writers working around it, but man, just explaining Aquaman's history to people makes noses bleed, and he hasn't even been in that many comics.

rob! said...


You make some great points, and I'm not sure exactly what "out of continuity" means in this context.

All-Star Superman is in continuity, in that there are other DC heroes in that book's world. I'd LOVE to see an All-Star Aquaman-type book.

But OOC also could mean Watchmen or Preacher, which do not take place in the DCU, and I don't think I'd like to see an Aquaman book where there are no other superheroes at all.

David J. Cutler said...

All Star Superman told a different version of everything--Jimmy was a world famous lifestyles columnist, Lois found out the truth about Clark in a different context, Doomsday was a serum/biological weapon... to me that's what being out of continuity is all about. Or at least, a "different" continuity. It's separate from the history of the DC Universe while being inspired by it.

I think Aquaman in a superhero-less world would be great for movies or a one shot comic, but yes, for the most part I want an Aquaman comic where there's a Justice League. I just wish it could be untouched by the yearly crossovers, shakeups and whatnot--going at its own pace and doing its own thing. At this point I'd settle for pretty much anything competently done, though.