The King of the Seven Seas, Aquaman has become something of a joke in recent years… to anyone not reading the hit monthly comic book (so successful that it has launched a spin-off) or the character’s many appearances in animated form (from Trapped in Time to the Flashpoint Paradox and the hint that the sequel to Justice League War will be Aqua-centric). Building on the work of his predecessors, Jeff Parker has found new ways to make Aquaman a superstar.
With team-ups lined up from Swamp Thing to the Amazing Amazon, Parker spoke with CBR about his Wonder Woman-heavy “Aquaman Annual,” Mera and Arthur’s division of labor and how “True Detective” has influenced his take on “Aquaman.”
CBR News: We’ve seen the first part of the Aquaman/Swamp Thing team-up, and you mentioned that part of the reason you wanted to cross those two over was because Paul really wanted to draw him. What was the inspiration for the Wonder Woman team-up in the “Aquaman Annual” #2?Jeff Parker: That was more pure story reason, because once we did the thing where we had a Pandora’s box-type situation — Aquaman was used to release all these giant-born creatures from ancient mythology — it instantly connected into Wonder Woman’s world. So it’s like, okay, they’re both in the Justice League, who else would he call to start tracking these things down? It just was story logic and we wanted to follow that through the end. The artist on it won’t be Paul because he has to cover the main title, but it is a former “Aquaman” series artist, Yvel Guichet, and it’s gorgeous. He does a good, strong Wonder Woman that everyone’s going to like; it’s more monster fighting fun, but with Wonder Woman.
What else can you say about the story in the Annual? Is Hercules involved as well? Yeah, I’m trying to warm up the idea that Hercules is probably going to return and maybe be a little different than we saw him in his ranting, frothing mad state. Aquaman’s solution was to stick him in a labyrinth! [Laughs] But you can escape from labyrinths, and I think that was one of Hercules’ major feats in the past, so it stands to reason he’ll be back. But then he’s almost certainly going to be Wonder Woman’s problem; I think maybe the whole thing is Aquaman getting her used to the idea, “Sorry you’re going to have to deal with this — good luck, Wonder Woman!”
Wrapping up, is there anything else readers should really pay attention to in the next couple of issues? I hope everybody picked up the “Secret Origins” #2 that has Aquaman’s secret origin in it. That just came out and it connects to some of the stuff we showed, like when we showed the high school reunion you see some of Aquaman’s friends when they were teenagers in that, and we hint at some things with that and an upcoming “Secret Origins” that’s all about Mera for some storylines coming up because there’s more in his past that hasn’t even been scraped yet, and that’s what we’re going to start heading to. We found out all you need to find out about his dad but we don’t really know that much about his mother and I think it’s about time to explore what happened to the queen.
In print, Aquaman has enjoyed a new lease on life thanks to a major shot in the arm thanks to the relaunch by Geoff Johns. Incoming writer Jeff Parker has, if anything, further catapulted the hero into success in the comic book world.
So… how come he is still a joke? Expect that situation to change.
With Aquaman’s climb in popularity, he could easily become DC’s answer to Thor on film, especially after he makes his big debut om the silver screen in the ever-crowded Batman V Superman. Aquaman is noticeably absent from the long-term plan that was revealed by Warner Bros, but that too could change with this new star casting of actor Jason Momoa. Via Variety:
“Game of Thrones” actor Jason Momoa has signed up for the role of Aquaman in Warner Bros.’ “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Variety reported in December that Momoa was in talks for the Zack Snyder-directed tentpole, scheduled to be released May 6, 2016, with Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman. Other cast members include Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred while Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane reprise their roles from “Man of Steel.” Snyder is directing from a script by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing. Aquaman first appeared in DC Comics in 1941 and is a founding member of the Justice League of America. The studio is planning to shoot “Justice League” after it completes “Batman v. Superman.” Momoa played Khal Drogo in the first season of “Game of Thrones” and starred in 2011’s “Conan the Barbarian.” He is repped by APA, Kritzer Levine Wilkins Griffin Nilon Entertainment and Edelstein Laird & Sobel.
Keep in mind that the Aquaman pilot was passed on by CW only to be released on iTunes in 2006 to a resounding reception when it became the most downloaded TV program (and to be fair, it’s not that good), so this Justice Leaguer has potential if only WB has the courage to explore it.