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Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Aquaman: The Teen Drama

This little video has taken the Aquaman fan community by...um, storm, ever since it debuted last week!

Aquaman The Teen Drama is a five-part web series that will be debuting in Bleeding Cool later this month. It features the Sea King, Mera, Ocean Master, King Shark, and Aqualad as if they were dropped into Gossip Girl, something no one knew was needed until now.

Fan reaction seems to be split down the middle...some people think it's making fun of Aquaman (and it is, a little), while others thing it's very funny. I tend to fall into the latter camp, at least based on what I've seen so far. I'm generally always happy when Aquaman breaks through in weird ways like this, and rest assured the Shrine will be covering all five episodes once they air!


As an added bonus, here's a brief chat the Shrine had with creator Patrick Willems about how Aquaman: The Teen Drama came to be:

Aquaman Shrin: Where did this idea come from?

Patrick Willems: I came up with this a year-and-a-half ago when I was trying to think of possible videos I could make about Aquaman. I felt that Aquaman had a lot of untapped potential for the kind of silly internet videos I make, since he has huge awareness - even non-comic readers have heard of him - but he doesn't get the exposure of the main DC trinity or the next tier down (Flash/Green Lantern). And in terms of humor, there's nothing but the old "Aquaman is lame/useless" jokes that are just beating a dead horse at this point.

So I was thinking about this while walking along the Brooklyn Heights Promenade at sunset (which probably factored into it) and the title Aquaman: The Teen Drama just popped into my head. Right away, the image of a CW show like Gossip Girl where one of the characters is just Aquaman, and everyone acts like this is totally normal, seemed hilarious to me. It wouldn't be making fun of Aquaman, but rather the humor would come from the irony of seeing this character in this genre.

And then it took me another year to actually get around to making it.

AMS: So Aquaman was part of it from the beginning?

PW: The idea started with Aquaman, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized he's a better fit than just about any other DC character. He's Atlantean royalty, which makes him an outside and gives him a reason to associate with rich Upper East Siders. Plus, he's got an evil brother who wants to take the Throne of Atlantis away from him! And like I mentioned before, everyone knows who Aquaman is, but he doesn't have the cultural saturation of Superman or Batman. Anyway, there was already a Superman teen drama anyway, but this one has way more spandex and ocean-themed puns.

AMS: How much of an influence are the comic books and how the Aquaman Family is portrayed there?

PW: The comics were a huge influence. I've been really enjoying what Geoff Johns has done with Aquaman, Mera and the rest of the cast over the past few years, and I pulled some stuff from that, namely Mera's arc through the series. A lot of characters from Aquaman mythos, particularly Orm Marius/Ocean Master, transition perfectly into teen drama characters. The goal was to make the whole cast actual characters from the comics and retain their core characteristics so that they'll be familiar to the audience even without their usual costumes. And, of course, we tried to fit in a bunch of smaller references to the comics that fans will enjoy.

Patrick will be appearing at the this week's NYCC giving out free Aquaman: The Teen Drama t-shirts and you can follow him on Twitter @Aquaman_TTD!

The Shrine wishes Patrick and his cast nothing but good luck with Aquaman: The Teen Drama!


The Irredeemable Shag said...

Prior to watching the video, I was skeptical. Once I saw it, I'm in love!! Brilliant! As you put it, we didn't even know we needed this. Now I can't imagine life without it!

Anonymous said...

Eagerly awaiting the red carpet premier. The actress who plays Mera is amazing.
Any info on her?

Anonymous said...

Im sorry meant to ask, when does the full episode air?

r duncan said...

How could anyone argue with Mr. Willems explanation in response to your question; "So Aquaman was part of it from the beginning?"

He is so right. The Aquaman-mythos is very strong.

His video already looks more fun than Smallville which I thought was pretty poor after the first few seasons.

Welcome to the ever-expanding Aquaverse, Patrick!

r duncan said...

The only thing that could conceivably make it better would be a guest appearance by Power Girl.

Ryan said...

Or how bout this: Black Manta!

Patrick said...

Hi everyone, Patrick here. Thanks for the great responses so far.

One small thing I wanted to clarify: unfortunately there was a slight miscommunication and we WON'T be giving out free shirts at NYCC. I wish we could, but our t-shirt budget just isn't that big.

The crew and I will be there in the official shirts, and if you didn't see the Bleeding Cool article, we're giving out one to the person who makes the best animated gif from the footage in the trailer.


Tusky the Walrus said...

Wow. I saw this and I immediately assumed it was just another Youtube Aquaman Bashing contest...Really impressed by it and look forward to seeing it. Good Luck!