If there’s a superhero who gets no respect, it’s Aquaman. He’s the most ridiculed of all the superheroes in the Justice League. Even Plastic Man makes talking-to-tuna-jokes behind Aquaman’s back. Yet even though Aquaman is the butt of endless jokes, a lot of people including me think that the character has an unfulfilled promise of coolness. He’s the ruler of 70% of the world, and if you think that ruling the majority of the world means that you’re the ruler of the planet, then technically you could say that Aquaman is the undisputed king of the Earth. Anyone who has ever seen some footage of the life below the surface of the ocean knows that the underwater world of diverse sea life is fascinating and that ecosystem almost looks like an alien world. In the relaunched Aquaman series, Geoff Johns seems to be trying to tap into the fathoms of Aquaman’s potential for awesomeness. He’s trying to finally get Aquaman the respect that he may or may not deserve, and prove once and for all that he earned his spot in the Justice League.
I think Johns is making a pretty good effort towards making Aquaman as cool as he can be. He does this mostly by giving Aquaman a villain to fight that’s scary and somewhat based in reality. The Trench is this horrifying race of sea people that ascended from the deepest, darkest place on Earth. They come from an oceanic trench, one of the lowest points on Earth, and they look like the bottom dwelling fish that you can see on a Discovery Chanel documentary. They have luminescent skin to provide their own light source in the absymal depths, they have translucent skin that allows you to see their brains like the barrel eye fish. The Trench have come to the surface looking for food, and they’ve found it in the form of innocent people.
By giving Aquaman a terrifying villain that eats human beings alive, Johns emphasizes the bad ass nature of Aquaman that has gone unnoticed for some time. Johns makes The Trench a scary antagonist and an enemy that’s not silly or laughable. In doing so, he makes Aquaman seem less silly and laughable as he fights these horrible monsters that eat people. I think it’s a very smart move to give Aquaman not only a new villain, but a new villain that is a frightening threat instead of a laughable, seahorse riding joke.
Overall, I enjoyed this comic. I do think that it was a little short, but I think that this new villain The Trench could be the key to making Aquaman cool. Geoff Johns is giving Aquaman a villain that’s scary yet also based on the real life concept of sea life living in extremely deep environments, and this frightening antagonist is exactly what Aquaman needs to lose his joke status. I would give this comic a chance if you’re interested in the possibility of Aquaman getting the respect he finally deserves and becoming an A-list superhero.
If you missed out on my review of Aquaman #1, you can check it out here.