DC Editorial has put an open bid out on Aquaman to whatever creators make the best pitch.
Now, I've enjoyed Aquaman very much since Will Pfeiffer saved him from Rick Veitch, so I'm loathe to see new creators come on for no apparent reason. Some of us readers, quaint though we may seem, still follow characters instead of writers and hate to see those characters "revamped" every 6 or 12 months (and any new readers picked during that time can be easily turned off by a dramatic shift in a character whose current state they are appreciating).
While some may fuss with some particulars of the storylines, pacing, and characterzation in Aquaman, the overall "mythbuilding" process Pfeiffer began in Aquaman #15 has been sound. Will actually made Aquaman into a superhero comic book again. What I like about Arcudi's work is that he's been building on what Pfeiffer established as the new core elements of Aquaman's mythos.
I'm asking DC emphatically: DO NOT HIRE ME TO WRITE AQUAMAN. I'm sure Brad Meltzer would put in a good word for me, and, yes, I'd do it for free, and, okay, I'm the so-called "new reader of Aquaman" you'd want to attract to the book. But DO NOT HIRE ME; because if you do, you will not get a bold new direction for Aquaman.
- I will not de-power him and put him in a white pants suit.
- I will not make his costume blue and give him electric powers for no apparent reason.
- I will not make him "The Wettest Man Alive" and extend his powers so far beyond all previous versions of him that any story where he faces fewer than 14 supervillians simultaneously seems silly.
- I will not drive him insane with guilt and have him kill thousands of other ocean-based heroes in an attempt to re-create San Diego before its destruction.
- I will not break his back and replace him with a bad-ass version of himself, have a monster kill him and replace him with 4 bad-ass versions of himself, have his mother strip him of his title and replace him with a bad-ass version of himself, or have the guardians of the ocean decide he's unreliable and replace him with a bad-ass version of himself.
- I will not send him off to a year of exile in space in an attempt to make him galatically relevant or revitalize interest in DC's forgotten space characters.
My inability to do such things would surely disappoint DC. Even worse, I would not abandon the idea that Aquaman is a public superhero with close ties to the superhero community and whose main activities are fighting criminals and threats to society, particularly to the residents of an American city he lives in that is well-suited to his talents. I would ignorantly adhere to an individually-tailored version of the essential mythic model that resulted in America's creation of the superhero genre, has sustained it as a pillar of popular culture for nearly 70 years, and resonates with innate Jungian arch-types for maximum adaptability and accessibility.
As a sad result of my narrow-mindedness, I would further disappoint by being unable to change Aquaman from being a superhero into:
- a lordly sword and sorcery character who rules a mysterious sub-surface world ("Travis Morgan, King of the Seven Seas!")
- a pugnacious pirate character complete with bad manners, bad barbering, and a hook to replace a hand he lost to sea monsters ("Bluebeard, King of the Seven Seas!")
- a geopolitical character and world leader of high-tech armies ("T'Challa, King of the Seven Seas!")
- an abandoned changeling character, the misunderstood special offspring of secret magical parentage discovered only later in life and rightful ruler of a mystical land ("Amethyst, King of the Seven Seas!")
- a healing avatar of a mystical elemental force of nature and emissary of peaceful ecological balance ("Swamp Thing, King of the Seven Seas!")
Nope, I'm doomed to appreciate Aquaman for what he is: a superman of the sea and batman of the bathoverse, a superhero with a bright, simple, and iconic costume, a unique combination of easily and clearly describable physical and mental powers, and a job that only he can do.
I guess that why I read superhero comic books, huh...?
Anyway, if anyone is interested I may post later on about what I would do with Aquaman. But know this ...
I'd be asking Will Pfeiffer to help me.