Sunday, April 24, 2005

DC Needs: Water Balls

The Tusky reminds of something I've been wanting to advocate:

Aquaman needs balls.

Filmation, despite its lack of understanding of mammalian physiology, did understand the need for dramatic action and the tactical advantages of long-range attack capability.

Hence, the water balls that Aquaman would whip up and hurl at the Octo Men. Or the Crimson Monster from the Pink Pool. Or the Stick Men of Stygia. Apparently, Garnder Fox was not above sharing his drugs with the Filmation writers....

Anyway, Filmation never bothered to explain Aquaman's water balls, which is sad because a 15 second voice-over by Ted Knight could justify anything (except Superman Blue). But we never questioned them because (A) they looked cool (B) they were useful and (C) they gave Aquaman something he could do without aid from a passing scrod (and (D) we were stupid kids at the time). They were the equivalent, in their day and way, of Arthur's water hand.

Which is just the excuse we need to bring them back. Let Aquaman form waterballs using his waterhand, projectiles that remain rock hard until they hit something. Superman's heat vision, Batman's batarangs, Wonder Woman's lasso, Aquaman's waterballs; superheroes deserve some means of distance attack. Even the Flash gets to do that whirlwind thing with his arms, so give Aquaman his balls back.


Anonymous said...

I'm behind you 100% on this one Scipio. It sure beats the heck out of magic water hands and hook hands. And let's throw Filmation's Manta Men into the package too.


Hate Filled Poster said...


Anonymous said...

Excellent suggestion. Much as I thought the PAD run to be marked by a repetitive and uninteresting characterization, and much as I winced every time I saw Aquaman in his grizzled one-handed prospector mode, it was an arresting visual.

The look fit the "ARRRRthur!" one-note characterization. So you could almost argue for it. Um. ARRRRRgue for it.

You could show an image of PAD Aquaman to a nongeek, and they'd at least want to know what his deal was. (Granted, as soon as you muttered, "Um... pirahna gobbled his hand?" they'd roll their eyes, but at least it stood for SOMETHING.)

Now, the water hand is just a remnant of a run which was (I will someday prove in a trenchant, exhaustively annotated thesis paper) an extended, 12-issue practical joke on the part of the writer.

Aquaman's current look is a harkening back to simpler times, but the hand simply doesn't fit. From a purely visual perspective, it doesn't mean anything.

If it could be used to hurl those fondly remembered hardwater projectiles, it would 1. mean something and 2. neatly tapdance around the gag-inducing "never stike another in anger" New Age folderol foisted upon the character by Veitch.

Anonymous said...

When the new editor suddenly wanted to revamp every series, including #6 book Aquaman, even though it had just been revamped, Veitch quickly combined two of his storylines at once, jamming all his ideas together. I liked it up until that point. But the dialogue was awful.

Scipio said...

Thanks, Guildenstern;

just wait; I predict we will see in the comics themselves next year, and once that happens, there will be no going back.