Friday, September 23, 2005

quest for an aqua arch-nemesis...

Arguably the greatest multi-part story ever chronicling AQUAMAN's adventures, the Quest For Mera was an instant classic. No other hero has had a quest that measures up to it!

The so-called saga surrounding the silver age Flash (Barry Allen) and his nemesis (more than a tad childishly named "Reverse-Flash) was unquestionably the greatest "near-epic" in said (and sad) character's run too... If anything compares, therefore, this would be it!

I thought it would be, ah, aquamusing to explore the possibility of giving the Sea King a worthy foe who is his exact opposite also...! After all, over the years, the many attempts to build one from scratch simply did not work out all that well... now did they? From Quisp to Queequeg, none of the "realistic and probable" to the most outlandish opponents that were thrown AQ's way truly made the cut! In exasperation, DC even turned a bit towards the abstract by conjuring up a "villain" (such an archaic way to refer to evil fiends - at least wrestling calls them "heels", which is soooooo cool - rrrrright? But I digress...) tailor-made for Aquaman - or so they thought. "The Thirst", ultimately, sucked too... Hence the Sea King remains seeking suitable competition.


Don<t chime in and give me the Ocean Master and Black Mantas now - we clearly are seeking elsewhere today and there is plenty of fish in the sea...!

So in I come with my luminous suggestion!
Wonder Woman had her exact opposite in Angle Man.
Superman has his exact opposite in Lex Luthor.
The Flash got a rather embarrassing Reverse-Flash
(who was retroactively replaced by the hipper Vandal Savage - retcons are customary now)

Hence, since DC is also in the habit of embarrassing the King of the Seven Seas, they'd surely agree with the idea of giving Aquaman as his main foe the one, the only... REVERSE-AQUAMAN!

Reverse-Aquaman!
He cannot swim the deepest seas - without getting an extreme bad case of the bends!
He cannot breathe underwater without some major air supply! (No, not the band!)
He cannot summon nor command any deep sea creature (even his goldfish mocks him openly! Or just ignores him... which is worse!)
He would drown in ten seconds if he was to find himself trying to work out in the Titanic's gymnasium (as Aquaman reputedly does routinely!)
He is totally clueless about which way is up while swimming in the dark waters of the famed Marianna's Trench!

Reverse-Aquaman - yay!
A character-find to be treasured always and always - for eons to come!
The average joe will easily identify himself with him too - thus ensuring the enduring appeal of said character for countless generations!


After all, we have seen why Batman is so popular - because ANYONE COULD BE BATTY, BATBOY IN THE MAJORS OR BATMAN!
All you need to do is don the bat-suit! And presto - you're Batman!
Ask Keaton, Kilmer, Clooney, Bale... Adam West!!!
The whole damnable "mystique of the bat" will do the rest of the work for you!
Yeah - sure... it's just THAT simple!
You don't need to know ANY martial art skills at all (let alone all of them) - the bat-allure will smite the abject losers that you have in your rogues gallery (usually nerdy types and slacker criminals; in other words - easy pickings!)


Such endearing traits have appealed to fans since the dawn of time (or the 1940s really) and character-identification has only been enhanced over the years by the Batty One's crimefighting ineptitude, evidenced by his marked inability to rid even one single town -his hometown- of the wretched "criminal element"... after years dedicated to the task!!


Truly, any single one of us could be Batman!
Verily, any two-bit sap, even those that wallow in self-pity, could be Batman!
Absolutely - even Dubya could be Batman!


Character identification is so simple with tools like Batmen and little birdies such as Robin - they have no powers to speak of!
Anyone could dress just as ridiculously as those two, take to the streets and fight crime (odd, eccentric would-be felons, really) and... get killed in the process!
It would be the likely scenario if Batty faced off with a real-life Riddler - and what do you think would happen if he went after Al Qaida?!? But that is another story...


It is much more complex -and it requires much more imagination and creativity- to identify oneself with a near-sea god who can do such wondrous things while making a very inhospitable environment HIS DOMAIN!

Hence, "Reverse-Aquaman" truly has tons and tons of potential! We are talking about the everyman of the millennium! 


We risk seeing here the same annoying thing happen though, as it has with the Joker and Bats really - the "villain" becoming more fun (make that much more fun - in Joke's case!) than the hero!

Anyone can be "Reverse-Aquaman"!
You, me - and grandpa too!
After all, as Ambrose Bierce said so well...
"(About The) Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills" - and man has no frills about donning a silly costume, too!


Bonus (a huge one at that) - chicks dig Reverse-Aquaman... They share the same plight!  And by chicks we mean, of course... Aquaficionadas!

And here are some more examples of those - call it a refresher course...


































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