Oh, dear. If they didn't know why, perhaps someone else, someone reading this blog, might also not know. This must not stand. All of my readers deserve to join me in understanding that Aqualad, the Goofus of the Sea, is not merely a big-headed purple-eyed freak, but a cowardly big-headed purple-eyed freak.
The writer (Amy Wolfram, by the way) didn't make Aqualad afraid of fish, Jack Miller did ... when he created him in February 1960.
Aqualad's origin begins with him being expelled from Atlantis in a bubble dish like a spoiled Asian Chicken Salad at Boston Market. He was expelled partly for his own good because he was afraid of fish. But mostly because he was a big-headed purple-eyed freak.
Gotta love the Atlanteans for having a gigantic Orphan Cannon set up just to expel unfit children into the open seas. Apparently, poor Aqualad got thrown out just as the Atlantis World's Fair was ready to open, just like a stray dog in Beijing. Or maybe it's part of the fair's entertainment ("Expel the Freak-Children, Only a Dollar!"). By the way, ppssst, Atlanteans; you are on Earth. Morons.
Naturally, Aquaman is both sympathetic to and diplomatic about the pathetic reject's plight.
Uh-oh. Dr. Curry has determined you're an unfit "rejected specimen". Nurse Topo, dump this one in the biohazard disposal and call the Atlantean orphage for another specimen of sidekick!
Okay, okay; it was actually established in a previous story that purple eyes were a sign that a child would eventually lose its ability to breathe underwater, and that Atlanteans regularly sent such children to the surface to save their lives. C'mon; you didn't really think Elizabeth Taylor was human, did you?
But since that's not the case with Aqualad, who CAN breath underwater, I say it's an excuse, and he's really expelled because he's intrinsically loathsome and cowardly.
Face it, Aqualad. They're just not that into you. I mean, that fact that they never even bothered to give you a name should have been your first clue, you know? Oh, and if you think you're afraid of fish now, just wait'll you mess up Aquaman's hair by leaping on him like a lamprey!
Some fool writer would later hijack the whole "Atlanteans rejecting those with certain physical characteristics" and apply it absurdly to Aquaman. And his fabulously well-coiffured blond hair, of all things. Yeesh; and they say that the Silver Age was stupid!
Or, at least, someone told you they died. Ordinarily, I'd say "Nobody'll miss me too much" would make a great epitaph for him, but in Aqualad's case it should be on his tee shirt not his tombstone. Of course, I'm sure Nightwing, Donna Troy, and Wally West leapt into action when he disappeared (*snicker*). We just ... never saw them do it.
Anyway, Aquaman eventually cures the fre-- I mean, "Aqualad"-- of his fishophobia, for which task a total command of all sea-life comes in handy. But glorious scenes like this one...
are how I always like to picture Aqualad, particularly since it's consistent with all his later wussiness. Oh, I pick on Aqualad, but, in truth, comics have scores of plucky, unnaturally fearless kid sidekicks, and to have at least one who'd be more at home in a Scooby Doo cartoon is refreshing.
And saddling poor long-suffering, don't-get-no-respect Aquaman with this underwater albatross is too perfect for words.