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Doug Centers
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Posted: 18 March 2023 at 1:48pm | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Ok, question, did/does anyone out there regularly read his solo adventures?

Myself I only came across him in Justice League or Super Friends issues, or the odd Brave and the Bold team-up. 
Jim Aparo cover art did have me pick up a couple Adventure or Aquaman comics off the rack only because I had an extra quarter or so that week. I recently bought a TPB that covers those issues, which led me to todays question.
Now that I've had a chance to read a run of Arthur's solo stuff I can see where there could be an attraction to the worldbuilding around him. 

I often wonder how much damage the SUPER FRIENDS cartoon did to Aquaman for a certain generation of civilians and comic buyers, perception wise.

Though the "Rodney Dangerfield" tag may have seeds planted from the very beginning. In searching for his first comic cover appearance I see, and please someone correct me if I'm wrong, it happened in 1960 on Brave and the Bold #28 with the JLA. His first appearance was in 1941 More Fun Comics #73, from there he had regular solo adventures every month, missing a month here and there.
So that's 19 years no cover, not in the background not a B-story corner not even a headshot! Has there ever been such an ignoble feat done by any other character in all of comicdom?

Ok, rant over.
Any thoughts on Aquaman good or bad?
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Paul Gibney
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Posted: 18 March 2023 at 2:48pm | IP Logged | 2 post reply

I enjoyed his adventures growing up, especially the Ramona
Fradon art. Nonetheless, he has always been a Filler
strip.
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Michael Casselman
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Posted: 18 March 2023 at 2:57pm | IP Logged | 3 post reply

The damage was likely done when the first observational comic from the 70s/80s caught sight of Aquaman on Super Friends and decided to incorporate the big yuk-yuk that "all he does is talk to fish, amirite" into their act.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 18 March 2023 at 3:09pm | IP Logged | 4 post reply

Aquaman has always tended to live in Namor's shadow--and attempts to make him "tough" (even as far as mutilating him!) have not been really successful.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 18 March 2023 at 3:34pm | IP Logged | 5 post reply

"Aquaman has always tended to live in Namor's shadow..."

...

I truly believe that also. 
Aquaman was just a handful of Super Heros to make it from the "Golden Age" thru the non Supers era without interruption. So it baffles me how his standing remained. Editorial must've seen something than just filler to Superboy. He also had about 8 years without competing with Namor to get some momentum, but no. 
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Eric Jansen
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Posted: 18 March 2023 at 4:05pm | IP Logged | 6 post reply

I first encountered him during those ADVENTURE COMICS issues right into his own title's revival.  With good writing by Paul Levitz & David Michelinie and fantastic (heroic, romantic, lyric) art by Jim Aparo, his comic was one of the best at the time.  With the death of Arthur Jr., the loss of his throne, alienation from Mera and Aqualad, he was suddenly tragic...which made him even more heroic.

With this very solid and moving run in mind, it always seemed very unfair and aggravating when society at large made fun of him.

Since I live not too far from there, I found it fitting that the artist-creator of Aquaman spent the last years of his life in the seaside town of Oceanside.
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Charles Valderrama
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Posted: 18 March 2023 at 4:50pm | IP Logged | 7 post reply

Aquaman has always tended to live in Namor's shadow--and attempts to make him "tough" (even as far as mutilating him!) have not been really successful.

********
Yet Aquaman became a household name... sadly as the butt of jokes!

Still, I find Aquaman's story - and his supporting cast, to be richer and more identifiable than Namor's. Mera, Aqualad, Dr. Vulko, Ocean Master, Black Manta, etc.all seems to resonate for me unlike Namor's.

Toughening him up with the hook wasn't a good update for the character but I understand why it happened.

I always fondly remember the Filmation series from the late 60's.

-C!


Edited by Charles Valderrama on 18 March 2023 at 5:29pm
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Rebecca Jansen
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Posted: 18 March 2023 at 4:52pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

I remember watching the Aquaman cartoon on tv when I was little and that sound effect with circles emanating from him when he used his powers. I also had a Big-Little book with Aquaman and family (Aqualad and Mera)... so to me he probably did seem like one of the major superheroes. I found the '60s comics difficult to find as back issues though... had a half dozen or so sporadically spread from #7 to #52 with never a chance to read a sequence of issues. :^(

I have a lot of the '70s comics, mostly Aparo, and they're solid but nothing too spectacular. I keep them because I have that nostalgia feeling for the character I suppose (also bought the fairly recent special anniversary number with the '40s cover). Some of the greatest cover art of '60s comics on Aquaman though!
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 18 March 2023 at 6:04pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

As a kid, I thought Aquaman's archenemy Black Manta was the coolest villain on the Super Friends cartoon. The helmet and voice were a perfect combination.
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Peter Hicks
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Posted: 18 March 2023 at 6:28pm | IP Logged | 10 post reply

I collect pretty much all superhero titles from 1965-1975 in high grade, and issues of Aquaman’s solo title are difficult to find.  The artwork in the later issues with Jim Aparo inking his own pencils is amazing, and I think every bit as good as Neal Adams.   But just like Submariner, the cast of characters revolves around a royal court in Atlantis, and plots about threats to this undersea kingdom that the reader does not connect with or care about.  It is no coincidence that both characters have perpetually struggled to maintain sales for an ongoing title.  Stan Lee once said the Marvel Universe is the world right outside your window, and that is certainly not Atlantis.
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ron bailey
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Posted: 18 March 2023 at 7:09pm | IP Logged | 11 post reply

A couple of things that usually get glossed over are the fact that Aquaman was a household name for a generation of readers/viewers through the Super-Friends (hence some of the subsequent "talk-to-fish" scorn) and that Aquaman was an unqualified hero being compared to the other big three. Cartoons, action figures, Halloween costumes ...
Namor, on the other hand, wavered between different tiers of being an anti-hero, whichever level he embodied from one take to the other. He's credibly threatening the Earth one day and saving it the next. So a lot of his appeal came from how he interacted with the rest of the Marvel Universe, part-Doom, part-T'Challa, part-Captain America (WWII history and suspended animation).
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John Wickett
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Posted: 18 March 2023 at 9:04pm | IP Logged | 12 post reply

The Geoff Johns and Jeff Parker run on Aquaman is great.  There is a spinoff series by Dan Jurgens called Aquaman and the Others that is also good.  

"Now that I've had a chance to read a run of Arthur's solo stuff I can see where there could be an attraction to the worldbuilding around him."

There is a lot of worldbuilding in those runs, as well as upgrading bronze age Aquaman villains and supporting cast.
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