Despite being one of the most compelling and powerful DC superheroes around, Aquaman has been one of the most made fun of comic book heroes out there. In the 1960’s cartoon series, Aquaman was portrayed galavanting through the seas astride his trusty steed, a seahorse named Storm. His greatest power seemed simply to be his ability to communicate with sea creatures who often helped or saved him in times of trouble. Despite his actual powers, he was made out as far less powerful than he really was. It only got worse in the 1970s with the show “Super Friends”, where poor Aquaman was all but a stage prop.
The lame guy superhero image of Aquaman has only been solidified in other popular television media such as Family Guy, Spongebob, South Park and The Big Bang Theory. He was continually portrayed as silly and lacking in any real powers besides his ability to talk to fish. But in truth, the original comic book hero was nearly as powerful as the other top heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman.
With the bad reputation in place, DC had a lot of work to do in order to make Aquaman as cool as he really is. Producers Zack Snyder and his wife Deborah were looking to build the cast of Aquaman and on the hunt for the right guy to play the lead role.
Cue Jason Momoa.
Apparently, the Snyder’s were big fans of the HBO series, Game of Thrones, and somehow, while watching Jason Momoa play the character of Khal Drogo, they thought that he would be a perfect fit for the role of Aquaman. Snyder was quoted saying “It’s so out of the box. But yeah! He can be tough. And he feels like he comes from the water.”
And it’s true. Born in Hawaii, Momoa is a sea-loving tough guy to be sure, but was this tattooed man really the right guy to play Aquaman?
What is Aquaman Supposed to Be Like?
Even with the separate comic book adaption of Aquaman, Arthur Curry typically kept the same physical characteristics. He was always pale and blonde wearing a tight orange and green suit carrying around a massive and powerful trident that, among other things, shot bolts of lightning and manipulated the water around him.
Depending on the publication you are referring to, Arthur Curry was the son of the Queen of Atlantis, Atlanna, and the human lighthouse keeper, Tom Curry. His origin story set aside, his superhero powers were almost always the same and included superhuman strength, speed, and durability. He had telepathic control of marine life, could breathe and live underwater with underwater adaptions such as the ability to see in the dark and swim at extreme speeds.
He was known for having a strong personality that was often depicted as being quite serious and brooding due to his upbringing and other hardships. In the comics, he was a confident leader, adventurous, and always enthusiastic about helping others. So, knowing all of this, did Jason Momoa do Aquaman justice?
Has His Honor Been Restored?
By casting Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Warner Bros and DC definitely did a major service to the name of Aquaman. It is easy to see how Momoa has brought Aquaman a huge step forward.
In Warner Bro’s latest Aquaman, released in 2018, we are finally seeing Aquaman in all of his glory. Viewers get to see him for the superhero he really is and portraying all of his superhero powers with epic fight scenes between two of his greatest nemesis, The Black Manta, and his half-brother, Ocean Master.
Nearly from the start of the movie, we are introduced to most of the Aquaman’s vast and incredible powers. We see his power to connect with sea life and even get to watch him being trained in combat. There is no denying that this version of Aquaman is far more appealing and gives the original character a much better standing among the other top superheroes. With the obvious physical characteristics put aside, Jason Momoa embodies Aquaman’s personality well and does a pretty darn good job at playing Arthur.
But, has he really been able to pull Aquaman away from his bad reputation?
The New And Improved Aquaman: They Changed It On Purpose
Even if you don’t think that Momoa suits the role of Aquaman, it’s hard not to like the guy. Not only is he ripped and pretty much always smiling, but he is also found climbing rock walls, throwing axes, and riding Harleys. There are articles galore portraying Momoa as one of the coolest celebrities out there. DC would have been hard-pressed to find a cooler dude. He’s not a guy we’re going to make fun of, but is that enough to really save his character from all the ill-repute? Because let’s be honest, the movie was still pretty corny.
Don’t get me wrong, the movie brought Aquaman back to life in a very positive way, but let’s all just admit it, the movie was extremely cheesy. Even with Jason Momoa, even with all the epic fight scenes and portrayals of his best superhero powers, Aquaman is still easily laughed at.
However, we love it anyway, and DC knew we would.
Before the production of Aquaman, some fundamental judgment calls were made. By casting Momoa, the directors and producers were already planning to make some significant changes. This wasn’t going to be the typical superhero movie when compared to the more serious movies like Batman’s, The Dark Knight.
So, yeah, they added in some light-hearted humor and some spectacularly cheesy moments, but it was all part of the plan. Just like the strategic casting of Jason Momoa, the corny side of the movie was done with a mission to take control of the movie and make it one of a kind.
Either way, the super studly Jason Momoa has taken his place on the Atlantean throne. He may not be blonde, but who cares anyhow? He does an incredible job of portraying the stoic and serious (but not too serious) personality of the original character and is shown embodying most of Aquaman’s best powers.
All in all, I would say that Jason Momoa was just the right guy to play Aquaman and has done some significant repair work to his reputation.
With all the elements of a sequel in place, there is more yet to come with Aquaman 2 due to be released on December 16, 2022. Will you be watching the sequel? Let me know in the comments below.