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THE LIFE AQUATIC
By Ed Sanchez
Two-thirds of our planet is covered in water, and Aquaman is the King of the Seas. That makes him the King of the world and well worthy of consideration with the likes of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. Yet for as long as the character has been in existence, his titles have been plagued by cancellation and poor sales. Revamp after revamp have been attempted, and just about everybody has taken a shot at "re-imaging" DC’s champion of the oceans. Most versions of the character have started from an almost new beginning, and throughout the years, we have seen Aquaman as everything from unfathomable brute, liquid lothario, water logged whiner, petulant ruler of Atlantis and soul-searching scion of the sea. Who is the real Aquaman?

Aquaman was brought into existence by Mort Weisinger & Paul Norris. He made his first appearance in 1941 on the pages of More Fun Comics #73. When he was first created, Aquaman was just another Nazi fighting science freak, created by his marine-biologist "father" to be the perfect blend of man and fish. He had no other name but Aquaman, as he was christened by his scientific creator and had no other purpose than to carry on his "father's" work and fight evil. Aquaman could communicate with aquatic life and swim really fast. He was also a swell guy.

In 1962, Aquaman re-appeared in his first series with issue #1 (Jan-Feb.1962) and the first real history was established over Nick Cardy’s 40 issue run on the title. The series introduced the second origin for the character and gave us an Aquaman who was the son of an Atlantean princess, and raised by a lighthouse keeper (Tom Curry). This is the most accepted origin of the character and what most fans have come to know. Aquaman’s next series would not be until 1991, a series that lasted 13 issues. He did steadily appear in Brave and the Bold, Adventure Comics and others throughout the years. 1994 saw the debut of the character’s longest running title, cancelled after 75 issues, and 2003 saw the beginning of the 4th Aquaman series. The character has even had a recurring role on Cartoon Network’s Justice League animated series, and was a regular in the classic Super Friends cartoon.

Humans as a species have always had a desire to explore, yet much of the ocean’s depths remain unexplored. The relationship between the watery depths of the ocean and the creatures that live in and above it is one of the most vital elements of our eco-structure. What wonders there are at those depths that could be touched upon through the Aquaman character. Aquaman is the perfect super-hero to represent mother earth and all her creatures. Aquaman is a character that we should all be able to identify with. An ecological poster boy made-to-order. Over the years, we have seen Aquaman’s history enriched by many wonderful stories written by many wonderful writers and artists.

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