All hail DC's King of the Seas!

This will be a thread to discuss any and all things Aquaman.  The character has come up in a few different threads here in the last little while, so I decided to start one for general discussions on him.

Before I go any further, I want to recommend an excellent thread started by Jeff of Earth-J, where he is having a discussion of "The Search for Mera" storyline, from 1968-69's Aquaman # 40-48.

Also, if you're so inclined, check out a thread started by yours truly where we discuss DC's Golden, Silver, and Bronze Age Omnibus collections.  Recently, I made a post for upcoming 2018 releases, leading Philip Portelli to ask "Any guesses why no Aquaman, Atom or Hawkman volumes?", and a new line of discussion around those three characters sprung up; you can find that on page 24 of the discussion below.

I'm already a fan of Aquaman, and this piqued my interest in him a bit more.  So I did a little digging, learned a few things that surprised me, and so, this thread.

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I agree.  The death of Aquababy struck me as desperation.  It diminished the series.

In the past few months, I have bought at least a few of the latest wave of trades regarding Aquaman. The Atlantis Chronicles is in a nice hardback deluxe edition, part one of Peter David's run, and then just last week, The Legend of Aquaman arrived. This last one must have come out right before I started reading comics. It was written by Keith Giffen, and the art is by Curt Swan.

Does anyone know if Swan did work on the character before this? I've never been a huge fan of Swan, but I did find that when he was inked by Eric Shanower on the one-shot issue, his work looked a lot better. Anyway, that's just a personal opinion, because I know many people are big fans of his.

I don't think Swan had ever drawn his feature. He made guest appearances in some Swan-drawn Superman stories, and he drew several Aquaman Twinkies ads (my hat-tip to the GCD).

Luke Blanchard said:

There was another Aquaman story during the period covered by the trade in DC Special Series #1, by Gerry Conway, Dick Dillin and Jack Abel.

Also, a bit earlier, in DC Special #28, by Gerry Conway, Don Newton and Dan Adkins.

Aquaman’s solo stories have appeared in several super-hero anthologies, mini-series, and three volumes of his own title. Among these are:

More Fun Comics #73-107
Adventure Comics #103-280, 435-437, 441-452, 460-466, 475-478
Showcase #30-33
Detective Comics #293-300
Aquaman (v1) #1-63
Action Comics #517-521, 527-531, 536-541
World’s Finest Comics #264-273
First mini-series #1-4
Aquaman: Spirit and Flesh
The Legend of Aquaman
Second mini-series #1-5
The Atlantis Chronicles #7
Aquaman (v2) #1-13
Aquaman: Time and Tide #1-4
Aquaman (v3) #0-75

Beyond Flashpoint you're on your own.

Also World's Finest Comics #6.

Not Adventure Comics #118.

From Adventure Comics #152-#165 Aquaman appeared in the even-numbered issues only, alternating with the Shining Knight. #166 ran the final Shining Knight story, so he didn't appear that issue either.

Not Adventure Comics #207, which ran the final Johnny Quick story. (One sometimes sees this when features were dropped because of page reductions. Another feature got dropped for an issue to use up the last instalment.)

#280 wasn't quite the end of his Adventure Comics run. He briefly alternated with Congorilla, so he appeared in #282 and #284.

His feature then continued in Detective Comics, then in World's Finest Comics starting with #125. Your list misses this part of his career. He appeared in Aquaman simultaneously.

From World's Finest Comics #134-#140 he appeared in the odd-numbered issues only, alternating with Green Arrow. Mort Weisinger took over with #141 and ran reprints in the back-up slot.

Jumping ahead to 1980, Aquaman appeared in World's Finest Comics #262-#264 before his period sharing Adventure Comics with Starman and Plastic Man.

He didn't appear in World's Finest Comics #265-#273, so they shouldn't be on your list.

Action Comics #521 was the start of a period in which Aquaman, the Atom or Air Wave would appear solo for two instalments and then hand over to the next feature in a crossover story. #521's story was a crossover that handed the baton from Aquaman to the Atom; #527's handed it from Air Wave to Aquaman; #530's from Aquaman to the Atom. So #531 had a solo Atom story.

Aquaman's feature then ran in Action Comics from #536-#540. From #541 the Superman stories went book-length, so it shouldn't be on your list.

The GCD lists Super DC Giant #S-26, mostly a reprint issue, as having a two page original story by Steve Skeates, Sal Amendola, and Dick Giordano. Apparently, this was a text story with illustrations.

Teen Titans #30 had an Aqualad/Aquagirl story by Skeates, Carmine Infantino and Nick Cardy. It was cover-featured. A solo Aqualad story by Skeates and Jim Aparo, apparently intended as the start of a serial, appeared in #36.

The GCD lists a Leaf Candy Aquaman giveaway from 1980 by Paul Kupperberg, Don heck and Vince Colletta which retold his origin. The cover, by Dick Giordano, is a redrawn version of the cover of Aquaman #39.

Another premium which the GCD lists as Aquaman [Canadian Post Cereals Giveaway] was produced in 1981. The story was called "The Pirates".

This page has information about DC trading cards and stickers, including a Wonder Bread set from 1974 that had short comics stories on the back. Aquaman appeared in the series.

Kenner's Super Powers toys were initially packed with mini-comics. The Aquaman comic had Flash on the cover, so they probably teamed up inside.

In 1978, Mego put out its "Aquaman Vs the Great White Shark" playset due to, what else, the popularity of Jaws

Sorry, Black Manta!

Still Mera was part of the earlier "Super Queens" set and Aqualad was in Mego's Teen Titans assortment!

That's glorious. I'd not heard of any of those.

I accidentally posted this on the Something, Anything, Nothing thread, but this is where it belongs, so I'm re-posting it:

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.

Mera was from the late 60s "Super Queens" line which was connected to Captain Action who could become Aquaman and Action Boy who could become Aqualad. Obviously the 60s cartoon show was a big factor. The other Queens were Batgirl, Supergirl and Wonder Woman (who was packaged with Captain America's shield!!!)

One of the last entries in the Mego line were the Teen Titans (Aqualad, Kid Flash, Speedy and Wonder Girl) who were finally able to join the slightly larger Robin figure! 

Strange that they made Kid Flash but not the Flash!

Luke Blanchard said:

That's glorious. I'd not heard of any of those.

I think the art on the Mera package was by Murphy Anderson, or Carmine Infantino and Anderson.

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