Sunday, May 20, 2007

A Message to My Finny Friends

If you do not act today, Aquaman will be cancelled, as of #57. This is not a hoax, not a dream, not an imaginary story.

If you are interested in saving it, you may wish to contact DC. I'm not sure exactly how to do that but I'm sure some of you do.

Tad Williams is giving us fun, fast-paced comics that are worth the cover price. And if Didio et al. weren't stopping him, I'm sure he'd bring back the original Aquaman, because (as everyone in the book keeps saying) AJ isn't the real Aquaman.

You know, I wouldn't mind so much if I thought the book being cancelled meant that DC realizes that the new Aquaman was a big dud and that it's time to bring back the real Aquaman with a big splash. But I'm really afraid they will point to this as proof that "Aquaman can't carry his own title".

How YOU react to this news may make the difference.

Excerpts from Comments on Aquamanifesto:

Anonymous said...

I have stopped buying DC (except for Green Lantern and JUSTICE) because of all the pointless changes. Aquaman is just one of many.

Aquaman is more than just a vague concept and a logo. DiDio thinks he is. Same with Atom and everybody else. Well, it's no coincidence that sales are plummeting at a time when half the DCU is a bunch of strangers.

Say what you will about Sub Diego, but it DID feature the "real" Aquaman. And that's what mattered most.

4/27/2007 11:03 PM

thatsthespirit said...

I agree with most everything you wrote, Scipio. Though I do think there's a place for "Silver Agey" weaknesses. People like Green Lantern are way too close to omnipotent without that weakness to yellow and ceiling tiles.

4/28/2007 12:53 AM

Allan said...

Your's, Mr. Garling, is such a well-written and thought-provoking post that it almost tempts me to buy and then read an Aquaman comic.

4/28/2007 3:43 AM


Jon Hex said...

I liked Aquaman's Sub Diego time mostly because the writer completely forgot about his water hand and just had him be Aquaman, which is pretty badass when you think about it. It was there, the hand, but he never did anything with it. As far as his one hour weakness, I think that is a bit stupid. Maybe just having him be stronger when fully immersed or healing faster in water, but to say he's going to die if he stays out of water for sixty minutes makes it seem like he has to wrap up every problem in fifty eight minutes than jump into a pool.

4/28/2007 5:59 AM

Daniel said...

I'm all for bringing back the real Aquaman. I love the guy, but if they do, I sure hope they don't get rid of Topo. Man, I LOVE that little squid.

4/28/2007 6:28 AM


SallyP said...

I like Aquaman, I always have. I still love the JLA: Year One series with Mark Waid, which has Arthur mumbling in his classic orange and green. I didn't really care for the long hair, beard and harpoon hand.

Let's bring back Aquaman, Barry, Ted Kord AND Wally while we are at it. Heck, they've brought back Ice!

4/28/2007 9:58 AM

Jon said...

Regarding the Dweller/new guy merge thing, I've suspected if something like that wasn't on the cards with the introduction of that Narwhal guy. He seems kinda like the powerful aspects of Aquaman, he seemed right off the bat to be a likely candidate for a merge with the new guy (his "good" aspects), maybe with some Dweller loving thrown in there too. I wish they'd hurry up though.

4/28/2007 6:27 PM

The Mutt said...

Don't TPTB realize that Aquaman is probably the 7th most recognizable comic book character to non-fanboys? (After Hulk and before Archie.)People who have never read a comic in their entire life know who Aquaman is. You'd think that the folks in the merchandising department would be insisting on a return to the Superfriends look.

4/28/2007 7:34 PM

Lui said...

Hear hear.

Great stuff. I agree with everything you've said.

Now if only DC would aswell.

4/28/2007 8:46 PM

Christopher said...

Hooray for Scip!
I love the title and I've always wanted to see Aquaman restored to his original concept-glory. Heck..even Aquaman's villains (e.g., Black Manta) have MORE automatic name recog value than most super heroes!!
I think that Aquaman fits into that cadre of Golden Age DC superheroes, such as Captain Marvel (Shazam), for whom it is difficult to find a way to re-invent or reinvigorate because the original concept is dated and difficult to pin down (and often interpreted differently).
I don't understand those who think that we need MORE moral ambiguity in the DCU. Actual villainous "Bad guys" are the whole POINT of the wonderful black-and-white world of the DCU. If you don't like it...the Marvel side is all about Superheroes killing each other all the time. Do Marvel characters EVEN fight super villains any more??

Aquaman is one of the Golden Age archetypes. Bring him back to his glory done by somebody who loves him. a marine biologist, I would be happy to consult!! There is so MUCH potential....

heh..all this being said, let's be careful what we wish for..we may get it. :-)


4/29/2007 10:39 AM

Caleb said...

A hearty seconds to all your points. It's worth pointing out that from a pure business standpoint, teh Alex Ross version of Aquaman sells like gangbusters (maybe Justice doing so well has to do with the painting or the 900 other superheroes in each issue too, but still, Justice = One of DC's top-sellers, Aquaman: SoA = One of it's worst-sellers.

For the record, I'm a Davidite (and Morrisonite and Rossite) on Aquaman, but I didn't mind the "Sword of Atlantis" angle at first because it seemed like it was temporary and there was a plan in place to bring about a different, more exciting status quo closer to the original concept.

Of course, that was a year and a different writer ago.

4/29/2007 10:44 AM


rachelle said...

I am really enjoying the new Aquaman series, (I mean, the Tad Williams issues), but yeah. I am assuming that one day we will see the real guy again. It's the same reason I enjoy the All New Atom. I read because I know Ray Palmer is going to show up again. But I'm really enjoying the ride in both those comics for now.

4/29/2007 8:14 PM


Scott said...

With regard to the central core of the Aquaman character, I agree with most of your prescription - strong, fast, tough, amphibious, talks to and controls sea life. However, where you say no magical powers should be added, I would add one caveat - they can usefully add direct control over water itself, even if that's conceived of as a magical connection, and not violate the core of the character. I'm not talking 'hard water' creations like Mera and later Tempest used; I'm thinking that everybody remembers the 'water balls' he'd throw in the Filmation cartoon, and they recently reintroduced those for the version of Arthur brought in to guest star on Smallville (I also get the sense that the Smallville AC is using some sort of supercavitation effect to swim so fast - telling the waters to part before him and the waters behind to push him forward, in other words).

And of course, he needs to be heroic and kingly, rather like Alex Ross portrays him, not regal and pissy like another aquatic hero we could mention.

4/30/2007 10:41 AM


ticknart said...

I started reading Aquaman back when McLaughlin wrote the series and I've always found, usually pretty quickly, something to like about each creators take on him, even the Erik Larsen take. I've had a real tough time since the "Sword of Atlantis" stuff happened. I know Williams has only been around for two issues, but he already took away the thing that was my focus to really enjoy the book, and he re-characterized Arthur.

Do I want the original Aquaman back? Yeah, but do you think that someone could punch the walls of reality again to do it?

4/30/2007 10:45 AM


Anonymous said...

Well said!

Now if only DC will listen . . .


4/30/2007 2:14 PM


Rev. O.J. Flow said...

An outstanding piece of writing there, and I agree with you every step of the way. I can't wait until they bring back an Aquaman I can brag about again. :)

5/01/2007 3:58 PM


Carla said...

I'm going to throw in another HELL YES, on the notion that 1) you said everything that needs to be said on the matter clearly and concisely and you're absolutely not, 'fan entitlement' or not. and2) should Mr. Didio see this, he should see scores of positive feedback and know what the right thing to do is.

5/01/2007 6:36 PM

Vincent P Bartilucci said...

1) I want the real Aquaman back, as well. This Arthur Joseph guy isn't cutting it. But, hey, that poser "Orin" didn't really do it for me either. What? That WAS the real Aquaman? Could have fooled me ...

2) Aquaman's Filmation cartoons did indeed rock! They are probably the primary reason Aquaman is my favorite character.

5/04/2007 5:42 PM


Scott said...

Anyway, on the water balls - even if lots of people have never seen the Filmation cartoons, it's clear that the creative minds on Smallville, a reasonably popular TV show and therefore immediately a wider audience than currently exists for most comics, did see them, and took a page from them for their version of Aquaman. He was more than a little too surfer dude, but he's been shown to be able to literally blow Kryptonians out of the water, and easily lay out multiple guards even when not submerged.

5/07/2007 12:28 PM


The Fortress Keeper said...

Well said.

I loved the initial issues of Kurt Busiek's Aquaman because his depiction of the post-IC seascape was fascinating and offered plenty of opportunities for great stories.

(Plus, Sub Diego was still out there ...)

But, you're right. Those stories could have been told with the original Aquaman as well. The "replacement" aspect was ultimately window dressing, a sop to the "heroic journey" so many writers love to use as an excuse to drag iconic characters through the mud.

And when Kurt left the book and his vision ground to a halt, well what was the point of all that in the first place?

So let's bring back the original Aquaman - although I have a feeling something may be in the works considering that Orin's heroic sacrifice was the best thing about World War III.

5/08/2007 1:51 AM



Devon Sanders said...

Just remember to be respectful in your correspondence.

Anonymous said...


As sad as I am about the state of Aquaman and the fact that Tad Williams is telling good stories with very little to work with, maybe it's not such a bad idea to let Aquaman take a little bit of a breather.

It would be easier to bring back the original Aquaman if they let the character sit for a bit and maybe did a Year One mini or something to make everyone nostalgaic.

Granted, I read Aquaman but I don't have the same historical attachment that a lot of readers feel, so I can completely understand if people want to fight to keep an ongoing Aquaman title on the shelf... but while we're at it, can we do the same thing for Green Arrow?

Anonymous said...

Wow! I'm so excited to be linked in the main body of an Absorbascon post I don't mind that my actual comment has been edited for snarky content.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. For me, DC just keeps on sucking all of the fun out of comics (starting with the rape of Sue Dibny). This may be the final straw.

Scipio said...

"It would be easier to bring back the original Aquaman if they let the character sit for a bit"

I feel the force of your remarks and ordinarily I would agree completely.

However, that was what I thought they were doing with Obsidian Age; it wasn't.

Given the current state of flux in the status quo of New Earth, this is a good time to reveal "oh, here's our new (old) Aquaman, who was on the wrong earth for a while!" My concern is that as the new multiverse moves forward, the window of opportunity for an elegant return of the original Aquaman closes daily.

Scipio said...

Heh, well, Alan, I just removed portions because they were un-pertinent (not because they were IMpertinent, LOL!)>

Scipio said...

You know,

since Aquaman and Green Arrow survived the Silver Age as back-up features, and

since each is having trouble with having a solo title

I'd be up for a single Aquaman/Green Arrow with some old fashioned compressed storytelling that would allow for an Aquaman story in the front half of the book and a Green Arrow story in the back half of the book.

Anonymous said...

Now there's an idea. They could even call it Adventure Comics; that title isn't being used right now, is it?

Anonymous said...


Don't you mean a Green Arrow story up front and Aquaman as a backup :) Actually, who cares, as long as Judd Winnick isn't allowed to participate!


poop scoop said...

No, but I think it will be used once "Countdown to Adventure" concludes, and will probably star the 52 space team as well.

I'm sure the real Aquaman will be back. He's been dead before, so no real harm done. Like with the Atoms, I would like a mentor/apprentice type thing between the two, and have Topo come along for the ride. I can see the older AC get a real shine to the little guy, much to the chagrin of young AC.

PS. Thanks for the quote. I'm swooning pretty hard right now.

wrath said...

that really sucks, I have really enjoyed what tad has been doing with aqualand. Let s be honest, I have been a die hard tad fan since i found The dragon bone chair in high school, but his work on aquaman has given him a chance to really let his humor shine through.

On top of that I think it is one of the few comics running today, that i would feel fine letting my 8 year old nephew read. which is becoming an increasing rarity,

rob! said...

>>And if Didio et al. weren't stopping him, I'm sure he'd bring back the original Aquaman<<

what does that mean? i'm curious...?

Scipio said...

Rob, I ask you to accept that as a Tiresian pronouncement on the will of the gods.

Anonymous said...

If you are interested in saving it, you may wish to contact DC. I'm not sure exactly how to do that but I'm sure some of you do.

According to the receptionist at DC (1-800-887-6789), the editors can be contacted at, and mailing address is

DC Comics
PO Box 308
Congers NY 10920.

I already sent an email.

Scipio said...

Thank you, Farsider!

Derek said...

I'd be up for a single Aquaman/Green Arrow with some old fashioned compressed storytelling that would allow for an Aquaman story in the front half of the book and a Green Arrow story in the back half of the book.

Ooo, yeah! That's a great idea!

Now there's an idea. They could even call it Adventure Comics; that title isn't being used right now, is it?

Yeah! Yeahyeahyeahyeahyeah!

I think it will be used once "Countdown to Adventure" concludes, and will probably star the 52 space team as well.

Aw... Buzzkill. That actually makes a lot of sense, but I still like their idea better.

In fact, I don't know why they don't do this with a lot of their heroes that can't seem to hold their own title. Aquaman, Green Arrow, Martian Manhunter, even Wonder Woman, though I'm hopeful Ms. Simone will be able to bring the third member of the DC Trinity the sales she deserves.

At any rate, a single generic title like Adventure Comics that gives you two stories a month is a great idea. It doesn't even need to be the same two heroes, you could rotate them in and out.

collectededitions said...

I've been reading the Infinite Crisis novel by Greg Cox, and I have to say he does a bang-up job on an action sequence that shows Aquaman being heroic, without all the clutter that the concept has gained over the years. The description of Sub Diego is interesting, too; I'm still sorry they never collected any issues from that run.

Anonymous said...

You know, the more I think about this anthology title, the more I like the idea. Stories of some of DC's characters who don't have another place to shine. (Kind of like the old "Dollar Sized" World's Finest issues.) As suggested, they can rotate the characters; I would suggest the lead feature being a "B"-list character (i.e. a pre-1984 JLA member other than Superman Batman Wonder Woman Flash or Green Lantern) and the backup being a "C"-list character (someone who used to have their own feature, like Black Lightning, Deadman, the Sea Devils, or Ragman) or a "D"-list character (someone who never had their own feature, at least not since the Golden Age, like Tempest, Dr. Mid-Nite, or Katana).

Anonymous said...

"If you do not act today, Aquaman will be cancelled, as of #57."

I don't doubt you, Scipio. But could you tell us where you heard this? I've been searching all over the Net and haven't found any mention of it. Is it inside information from a contact?

Jon said...

Keith Giffen came up with a way to bring back Ted Cord:
"Panel one - TED KORD walks into the JLA MEETING ROOM. All react.
Hi, guys. I miss anything?
There. He’s back. It’s that easy. Can you say, “tempest in a teapot,” boys and girls? I knew you could."

Man, they could totally pull that stunt in Aquaman and really, who would care? Sucks for Kurt's take on things, but he's long gone. I don't really know what to say. I feel like I'm back in the 90's where everything that didn't feature Batman or Wolverine was in constant danger of cancellation.

Tad is producing awesome stuff, it'll be a tragedy if the rug gets pulled out from under him. It's not his fault we've got Aquaman-lite.

Although, if it does die, the idea of having a 2-story title would be awesome, so long as it was done properly, and not just 2 regular comics cut in half and spread over two months.

ChrisM said...

Hey Scip!
Great to be quoted! but while its easy to request a version of Aquaman, I think the kind of Aquaman adventures will be one of the big arguement points. Which kinds of adventures will or should be the primary grain of Aquaman? The super hero stuff? The occasional fantasy adventure? Atlantean politics? LOTS of Atlantean politics? Environmental stories? Aquaman in the midwest?
Aquaman's Golden Age fighting with the nazis along with the Human Torch and Captain America?

Andrew Ironwood said...

Aquaman's Golden Age fighting with the nazis along with the Human Torch and Captain America?

I am *so* glad I made a New Year's resolution never to drink and blogread at the same time again...

Anonymous said...

Personally, I have no desire to see the current Aquaman series continue. I feel bad for Tad Williams, but the replacement Aquaman must die. The sooner this abomination ends, the easier it will be to bring back the REAL Aquaman.

And I'm also awaiting the demise of: The Flash, Hawkgirl, The Not-At-All-New Atom, and Winick's tenure of Green Arrow. And I don't apologize for any of it. As a consumer, I am fully justified in wanting my money's worth. And replacement characters just don't cut it.

Cuthbert said...

It cannot have effect in actual fact, that is exactly what I think.
disco clothes | Mississauga hotels | business casual women