|Prisoner of War must smell like a platoon of dead guys.|
No one is more interested in Aquaman getting his due than I. So I was very excited for him to get a second title. He'd never had a second title. Heck, usually he doesn't have a FIRST title.
There are many ways they could have gone with a second Aquaman title. It could have been an extra-continuity anthology title or an alter-continuity 'for-fun' title; that's worked well, for example, with Wonder Woman, who has one of each (Sensation and Wonder Woman '77). Imagine a title where you could still read stories about Sub Diego, or Thanatos, or even A.J. Curry; imagine a title where you could watch the Marine Marvels and Tusky take on Queen Vassa or the Lizard People.
|Or The Brain AND HIS NONSTOP HIGH-PITCHED SHRIEKING|
But DC is interested in consolidating Aquaman's brand, not diversifying it.
|That's why they choose an actor who looks as much like Aquaman as possible.|
So it makes sense that they would try to establish him as a leader on his own, independent of his royalty. One can only suppose the model for Aquaman & The Others was Batman & The Outsiders: iconic hero leading a loose group of new or secondary characters with no common background. It probably wasn't the best model to choose...
The Outsiders were not there to make Batman seem cool or become popular. Batman defines both those terms already. He was there to increase their visibility and street cred. And even that didn't work well. Metamorpho and Black Lighting, both of whom had history, power, and pedigree to be on better teams (such as the Doom Patrol or the Justice League) always seemed like they were slumming. Halo? Looker? Geo-Force? Yes; well, we can see how well they've done since then.
|It's the Trinity of Fail!|
P.S. Did Looker always fly with her arms and legs spread, crotch/boob first? Because that's a bit on point, even for Looker.
Only Katana seems to have stepped to a new level (specifically, "The Level Where You Can Be Used After the Next Reboot or in Another Popular Medium Rather Than a Forgotten Character Forever Tied to a Well-Meant Experiment of a Previous Era").
Aquaman & the Outsiders gave Aquaman no pre-established heroes to lead; it wouldn't have worked with with the new continuity. But it posited that Aquaman, when he found out he was the real King of Atlantis, said... "Hm, no, thanks." Kind of makes Orm seem like less of a jerk, doesn't it? Instead Arthur went off wilding around the globe with a disparate band of adventurers whom he met by..
whom he met at...
whom he met when.. .
Okay; I give up. Are we supposed to know or even GUESS how a Brazilian jungle woman, a cosmonaut who lives on the moon, an aged American super-spy, a middle eastern prophetess, and Hispanic Ragman all met and became colleagues? Let alone why?
|Sure, the same could be said about the Scooby-Doo Gang, but it's easy to figure it out:|
they all live in the same bus.
|Not that there was anything wrong with O Town, mind you.|
Somehow through Aquaman's royalness, this group discovered ancient relics of Atlantis missing for some 10,000 years and then... divvied them up and kept them. I guess that's how The Law of Sea Salvage works but, those things really clearly belong to Atlantis. Specifically, to its king: Orm. I guess you can say that since Arthur is really the king, they are his to do with as he sees fit on behalf of Atlantis. But giving them away to auslanders really shouldn't be one of his choices, particularly once he does return to take the throne.
Perhaps then it's just being consistent when he gives each of the objects to the person who can use them least. The guy who already lives in space gets the helmet that lets him live in space; the spy who can espionage into anything gets a key that lets him do the same; the lady who has visions gets the widget that lets her see them in HD; the close combat soldier gets shackles that let him force blast everyone away, and the jungle woman who hates ever leaving her jungle gets the amulet that lets her teleport anywhere in the world (or the moon). Oh, and the king of Atlantis gets the trident that lets you be king of Atlantis.
It's never really explain, that I could tell, WHY those relics were made and in that form. Okay the key is a key, the trident is a scepter slash magical bazooka; some make sense. But why did Atlan make chained shackles that go boom? Pretty convenient for a character named "Prisoner of War" to come along, eh? Why make a helmet that lets you breath in space or underwater? Neither of those things were really much of an issue, I should think. I wanted to read the story where Atlan enacted his master plan that involved using each of those items to retake the throne of Atlantis; did someone forget to tell it?
Then at the end of the series, after they have all proven they don't really need the devices to do their thing, and about to go their separate ways again, Aquaman lets them keeps the relics of Atlantic (which, as the series took eleven issue to show, are NOT safe in their hands).
Perhaps at some future point, the Others will blossom again, and more fully. Many characters and groups have short, inauspicious beginnings that laid the groundwork for later comebacks and revisions. The original run of Firestorm was just five issues (not counting the story in Cancelled Comics Cavalcade); now Firestorm's on live-action teevee.