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Promotional art by Dick Giordano for a DC/Post Cereals promotion.

The GCD lists the mini-comics as DC titles. Searching for the series name Post Cereals brings them up. A first set appeared in 1979. A second set appeared in Canada in 1981.

This post displaced the thread I get to write about comics! from the homepage.

As long as we're talking Aquaman, I've long nurtured an urge to write a story about what he really is.

Don't get me wrong -- underwater people have a long tradition in SF, and in DC Comics he is what he is. That goes for Sub-Mariner, too. They're people who live deep underwater, and have tremendous strength for one reason or another.

But what would they be really? The pressures Atlanteans live at in both publishing houses means they could not possibly be built like human beings. Pressures at that depth can crush titanium submarines, so how could skin -- no matter how augmented -- keep all his insides on the inside? 

Moreover, how could eyeballs stand that pressure? For eyeballs to function they have to have certain mechanics, which would be impossible at that pressure. Ditto for ears (and ear drums). Aquaman looks like he has eyes and ears, but he manifestly could not.

Even his skeletal structure couldn't exist in human form. Flexible fish bones might be able to handle the pressure -- but we don't even find fish at those depths. What we find is invertebrates. And the only sizable things are squids.

So for Aquaman to really work, he'd be a squid. Since he doesn't look like a squid, he must have some sort of illusion power or magical glamour or something. And, of course, being a squid would make it difficult for him to move on land, so there'd have to be a faux mechanism to achieve that, maybe an exoskeleton. Ditto for eyes, ears and other human senses. In fact, maybe "Aquaman" is just a robot of some kind, with a tiny squid inside pulling the levers.  

Maybe he's a magical giant squid inside a robot. That would be fun to write, I think.

That reminds me of the Octopus Girl manga, where she looked radically different when she went down into the deeps.

Don't ask me what I think the Martian Manhunter really looks like! 

I'm too busy imagining Nick Cardy on The Adventures of Magical Giant Squid Inside A Robot Man!

I'm now trying to imagine "realistic" versions of the Justice League. That would be some comic, with cephalopod Aquaman, freakishly alien Superman, Hulk-muscled Wonder Woman, dead or medically incapacitated Batman....

Doctor Hmmm? said:

I'm too busy imagining Nick Cardy on The Adventures of Magical Giant Squid Inside A Robot Man!

I think the "civilian" characters on the left side of the first panel are versions of some DC staffers.

Luke Blanchard said:

"Don't ask me what I think the Martian Manhunter really looks like!"

And don't ask me what I think Dick Tracy villain "The Pouch" really looks like.

If we really want to visualize Batman, him running around on rooftops and fighting crime hand-to-hand is about the most ludicrous way to go about it. He should "police" Gotham with drones or an army of snitches (Robins?) or maybe hidden CCTV, and only go in the field when absolutely necessary, armed and armored to the teeth and with surprise on his side. Really, the most realistic way he could fight his war on crime without being dead or crippled within days (that has been depicted in comics) was when he use those 1940s-style Bat-robots in Kingdom Come. Batman should be really mysterious in that nobody would ever actually see him!

I have a similar feeling about The Phantom, who should be A) native, and B) never be seen. In fact, I have a plot idea where "The Phantom" is an idea carried out by the various children, grand-children, nieces and nephews of the original Phantom line, which is largely non-white by now. And they use the great fortune from Skull Cave to fight pirates and other African/Indian crime (where is Bengalla now, anyway?) remotely, stealing criminal funds from wherever they have them, financing the "Jungle Patrol" and so forth. The only problem is, the more realistic it gets, the less fun it gets! 



JD DeLuzio said:

I'm now trying to imagine "realistic" versions of the Justice League. That would be some comic, with cephalopod Aquaman, freakishly alien Superman, Hulk-muscled Wonder Woman, dead or medically incapacitated Batman....

Doctor Hmmm? said:

I'm too busy imagining Nick Cardy on The Adventures of Magical Giant Squid Inside A Robot Man!

And before you know it, Aquaman and the Atlanteans have been established as being from Mars and indirectly created by H. G. Wells.  Now where does that leave J'onn J'onzz?


Doctor Hmmm? said:

I'm too busy imagining Nick Cardy on The Adventures of Magical Giant Squid Inside A Robot Man!

An Atlantean from Men in Black

OK, let's face it: J'onn J'onzz is really just a protoplasmic blob. He and his people are all just blobs who are essentially a single organism, with individual blobs having individual thoughts and personalities, but all under the umbrella of the group mind. They would reproduce, of course, asexually by cellular division and human sexuality would be weird, alien and baffling to him. The reason the death of his people was so traumatic to J'onn was the loss of the group mind, which is often alluded to without calling it that. J'onn adopts a human guise when among humans, because giant green snot balls gross us out.

It would not surprise me if Atlanteans are also shapeshifters, and related to the Martians.


Dave Palmer said:

Now where does that leave J'onn J'onzz?



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