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Friday, June 10, 2011

Aquaman in "Sacked"

"The LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away"--Job 1:21

I think we can all agree that this is a great time for Aquaman; he's played a major role in
Brightest Day, is playing a major role in Flashpoint, and is on his way to getting his own series again, after almost half a decade in comic book limbo.

And this week in particular is great for the Sea King: he's appearing in two different comics (
Emperor Aquaman and Batman: Brave and the Bold), and his Brightest Day action figure also was released. In short, Aquaman is all over the world's comic book shops right now. And that's a good thing.

But there's something none of us are talking about--like we're too afraid to face it. Maybe, if we collectively don't acknowledge it, it will just go away.

But that's not how the Shrine does business--as much as this blog (and Facebook page, and Twitter feed) is dedicated to celebrating any and all aspects of the character, it doesn't shy away from the bad stuff, the humiliating stuff, the stuff of every Aqua-Fan's nightmares.

To wit, I give you: The Justice League in "Sacked":

Great Neptune, I can't think of a more humiliating appearance for the Sea King--he never gets to do anything and has to be rescued by his JLA pals and a couple of football players high on a Subway sandwich rush.

On top of that, its his two villains that are the bad guys of the piece, and here Aquaman is presented as unable to deal with them, with the JLA having to step in to do the heavy lifting.

To rub salt in the wound, when Aquaman does finally wake up, Batman is there to condescend to him like he's a wayward child:
Wait--Aquaman shouldn't go swimming alone, because it's too dangerous? Aquaman, King of the Seven Seas? That Aquaman? Wow, you'd have to back to Martin Pasko to find a more kick-in-the-gut moment for our hero!

I'm not sure what the LexCorp-esque Subway Sandwich Corporation and writer B. Clay Moore have against the Sea King, but the Shrine is bestowing upon them the first-ever "Sleeps With The Fishes" Award, for Crimes Against Aquaman. I am melting down some pennies to make a trophy as I type this.

It is all the more bitter since this comic appears the same week when Aquaman was finally, finally making some headway out of Punchlineville with his other appearances. But this reminds us that all it takes is one writer (and one heartless corporate monolith--okay, two, since DC signed off on this) to stamp the Sea King with a giant "L" on his forehead all over again.

This comic was inserted in some of DC's August cover-dated books (like BATB #8, for instance). Its marked as "1 of 4" so I can only assume we'll be seeing more of them in upcoming months. Let's hope Aquaman just steers clear of the whole thing.

If he doesn't, I can only imagine what might be next: Mera dumps Aquaman for Jared?

Update 6/13/11: As per the comments, the writer of "Sacked", B. Clay Moore, fesses up to being a fan of the Sea King. I communicated with B. privately and told him I hope he took this piece in the spirit it was intended--a ridiculously over-the-top condemnation of a little silly piece of comic book licensing.

He completely did, calling it "
This may be my favorite negative review of one of my stories ever. I humbly offer my apologies to Aquanation" on his Facebook page. All is forgiven, Mr. Moore!


Jared McGrath said...

Not happy about this. Not happy at all. :,(

Wings1295 said...

Ugh indeed. I can only guess that someone involved in this comic is one of the tired old "Aquaman is lame, yo" pains-in-the-ass we have to put up with. Not good at all.

Jakethy said...

on a side note, Rob, I love yer writing style, man - I'm learning how hard it is to write the kind of witty copy that you closed with there and yours reads effortlessly.
I stop by twice a day and it's always a good visit - keep it up!

Russell said...

Boo! Hiss!!!

Joe Slab said...


Epic fail DC licensing department!

Joe Slab said...

Big #FAIL DCE licensing department!

Brent said...

Holy crap, Batman.

Aaron said...

As you are all, doubtless aware, Subway is owned by the Sub-Mariner.

Orin's dad said...


Earth 2 Chris said...

If it makes you feel any better, GL's boots are white throughout this whole thing. I bet there is a GL site with "The Ballad of the White Boot".

With all of the recent (mostly nauseating) announcements of the new DC, at least the classic characters exist somewhere...even if Aquaman gets the shaft.


Joseph Brian Scott said...

Yeah, that last line by Aquaman is what tips the scale on this story from "unfortunate" to "hate crime."

Otherwise, I liked the humor; GL's awkward high five is comedy gold.

rob! said...

I hope this piece was taken in the spirit it was written: a WAY OVER THE TOP response to a very silly piece of Aqua-Obscura.

I probably would not have gone all out like this had this book not happen to come out this week, of all weeks.

@Jakethy: Thank you for the kind words on my writing! I'm trying to write more long-form essay-type pieces for the Shrine, but they take a lot of work and sometimes I feel like my skills are not up to the task. I'm glad to know some Aqua-Fans like them!

Earth 2 Chris said...

Rob, I must chime in and say I really enjoy your writing as well. There are a lot of blogs out there that prove that writing doesn't come easy. This one is always a pleasure to read. I always feel like I'm hanging out at a comic shop talking Aquaman with you.


rob! said...

That's what I'm going for, thanks Chris!

(Fun Fact: E2C is F.O.A.M. member Numero Uno!)

Russell said...

This is marked "Issue 1 of 4" so maybe in issue 2 Batman and Aquaman will get the spotlight taking down Brainiac and Sinestro??? :-)

KJ Sampson said...


That's about all I've got to say about this.

For NOW.

Anthony said...

Um,... huh?

Aquaman, the superhero equivalent of a "super-lifeguard," shouldn't "swim alone"?!

Football players with Subway on their shirts?! (Yeah, a product placement, but a weirdly-placed one...)

Black Manta goes out of his way to steal a $5 sandwich?!

This makes "giant mutant Galapagos Island rabbits that maybe later emigrated from Earth-2 to Earth-C" look logical... :-p

B. Clay Moore said...

I humbly offer my apologies to the Aquamaniacs out there.

I love the character. Really, I do.

There just wasn't enough room to explain about the gigantic, powerful Aquaman Nullification Ray that Oceanmaster and Black Manta had to use to subdue the battling Sea King...

rob! said...

There just wasn't enough room to explain about the gigantic, powerful Aquaman Nullification Ray that Oceanmaster and Black Manta had to use to subdue the battling Sea King...

B. Clay--There's always issue #2, right? :)

B. Clay Moore said...

Sadly, the only issue I scripted was number one.

Thanks for the review, Rob. Good fun.

Wings1295 said...

His classy response makes up for some of the out-of-character Aqua-action!

The Irredeemable Shag said...

Absolutely love your review, rob! Hilarious!

The Irredeemable Shag

Anonymous said...

Yesterday: "Oh what's going on with Deadman & The Flying Graysons oh wait what is this no I thought it was a kids meal promotion NO NO NO NOOOOO."

Mars Will Send No More said...

Time to don our aqua suits and picket Subway! About as lame as Batman being scared of the dark or Superman being afraid of heights. Nice that the author was a good sport!