Aquaman in popular media
|Adaptations of Aquaman in other media|
|Created by||Mort Weisinger (writer)
Paul Norris (artist)
|Original source||Comics published by DC Comics|
|First appearance||More Fun Comics #73 (September 1941)|
|Films and television|
|The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure (1967)
Super Friends (1973-1986)
|Video game(s)||Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis (2003)|
Aquaman has made several appearances in numerous media and has been referenced beyond the scope of traditional comics superhero entertainment.
- 1 Animated television
- 2 Live-action television
- 3 Live-action films
- 4 Direct to DVD
- 5 Video games
- 6 References
The Filmation animated series
Aquaman's first media appearance was as the star of his own animated series, The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, in 1967 and 1968. The series, narrated by Ted Knight, proved to be a success for everyone, including Filmation studios as it cemented their reputation as a leading provider of Saturday morning programming, the CBS television network - where it was a top rated show making CBS the leading network on Saturday mornings, and of course it was a hit with the viewers, briefly making Aquaman a household name among kids at the time, as well as comic-book fans who consider it a superior showcase for the character than the better known Super Friends series that followed 5 years later. The series featured Mera, Aqualad, a pet walrus named Tusky for comic relief, and Aquaman's and Aqualad's large seahorses, named Storm and Imp respectively. In addition to his usual array of abilities, this version of Aquaman had the power to throw "water balls," which had considerable concussive impact. Aquaman's character voice was provided by Marvin Miller, who was then better known as the voice of Robby the Robot from Forbidden Planet.
He was also a major character in the original season of the animated television series Super Friends (1973). Super Friends is often credited with having exposed Aquaman to a much wider audience outside of the comic book community. In this series, Aquaman was shown to display superstrength—hefting a bulldozer blade over his head, for example, and using it to help stop a tidal wave. He also had encyclopedic knowledge of oceanography and oceanology, in addition to his more familiar water-breathing power and aquatic telepathy. However, this series has been blamed for making Aquaman unpopular, and even laughable, by reinforcing a weak image of the character. In the first two seasons of Super Friends, he was voiced by Norman Alden, and for the rest of the series he was voiced by Bill Callaway.
The Aquaman & Friends Action Hour
The Aquaman & Friends Action Hour aired on Cartoon Network Latin America in 2003 and was produced by Wild Hare Studios of Atlanta, GA. The show, which lasted 7 episodes, was a parody of Aquaman's appearances on the Super Friends animated series. In this series, Aquaman is now the host of children's television series. He is being pursued by the Legion of Doom, who had spent their entire operating budget on attempts to conquer the world and now have to rent out parts of The Hall of Doom as apartments to generate income. Aquaman was chosen as the lead character in this parody series because the producers were not allowed to use the full cast of the Super Friends due to Justice League airing in the United States. The series is separate from the Cartoon Network commercials that aired in the United States that featured Aquaman and Wonder Woman being saved from the Legion of Doom by The Powerpuff Girls and the Aquaman Dance Party commercials that aired during Adult Swim.
DC animated universe
Superman: The Animated Series
The character made an appearance in one episode of the 1990s animated television series Superman: The Animated Series, where he was voiced by Miguel Ferrer. He was drawn in the "classic" Aquaman appearance as having an orange shirt, green gloves, green pants with green boots, a gold belt with gold "A" insignia belt buckle, short hair, and a clean-shaven face. In the episode, Aquaman, regarded as an urban legend, comes into conflict with Lex Luthor when one of Luthor's undersea construction plans starts causing damage to Aquaman's home, Atlantis. As King of Atlantis, he tries to stop the tests peacefully but his "peaceful" attempts are "met with violence and capture." Lois Lane finds him a prisoner of LexCorp's institute, and she is in turn captured and taken to be killed with him, but Aquaman manages to escape with Lois and returns to stop the tests under the ocean. He almost attacks the surface world with his army, but Superman dissuades him from doing so. When Aquaman tries to leave peacefully, one of Luthor's men tries to shoot him in the back, unsuccessfully, and Aquaman's army in turn destroys Luthor's vessel. Aquaman advises Superman to make sure the "surface dwellers" show more respect to the oceans in the future before disappearing.
As seen in the Batman Beyond episodes "The Call: Part 1" (airdate November 11, 2000) and "The Call: Part 2" (airdate November 18, 2000), Aquaman's daughter Aquagirl is a member of a future Justice League. During the episode, Terry McGinnis/Batman goes over profiles of the current Justice League members. According to Aquagirl's profile, Aquaman is currently missing.
Justice League/Justice League Unlimited
Aquaman has guest starred in several episodes of the animated television series Justice League and Justice League Unlimited, where he was voiced by Scott Rummell. This version was based closely on the hot-headed anti-hero persona (the producers were aiming for "Conan underwater") of the 1994 and 2001 Aquaman comic book series, with the Viking-like appearance and hook. Here, he sacrificed his hand to save his infant son from being killed in a plot against his life by his evil brother Orm. In the season two episode, "Hereafter", he is listed as a member of the Justice League on the Watchtower database after Superman was sent into the future. He later appeared in an homage episode alongside Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman that pitted them against the Ultimen, modern pastiches of Samurai, Apache Chief, Black Vulcan, and the Wonder Twins from the Super Friends (Wind Dragon, Longshadow, Juice, Downpour, and Shifter, respectively). Though he was a founding member of the Justice League in the comic books, he was left out of the main lineup for the animated series in favor of Hawkgirl so that the team could have another female character opposite Wonder Woman. According to the website Television Without Pity, producers created Devil Ray and removed Aquaman and Black Manta from the series before the episode "To Another Shore" because the rights to Aquaman were no longer available due to an embargo on the characters because of the proposed and unaired Aquaman series Mercy Reef.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Aquaman is a regular supporting character on the television series Batman: The Brave and the Bold and has been featured in seven episodes. He is voiced by John DiMaggio. As always, Aquaman is king of Atlantis and protector of all the seas. He is described by Batman as a friendly, happy-go-lucky adventurer with a "Larger-than-life" personality; he has habits of giving his exploits titles such as "The Mystery of The Stolen Statue" and "The Secret of the Mechanical Sea Monster", and telling these tales to anyone within distance of his voice. He uses the phrase "Outrageous!" whenever he is shocked and peppers his speech with sea-based references. As always, he can breathe underwater, has super strength and the ability to communicate telepathically with sea life. Like other televised versions of Aquaman, he could manipulate the water around him; creating balls, swords, and shields. His character design is based primarily on his classic character design, but with a beard.
In the episode "Evil Under the Sea!" Aquaman's brother, Orm, starts speaking to him for the first time since he's become king, and Batman comes over to investigate seismic activity. It is revealed that Black Manta is secretly controlling sea creatures for his own purposes and is behind the seismic activity Batman is investigating. Orm is working for Manta, and becomes Ocean Master to fight his brother. Orm is ultimately betrayed by Manta, but helps Aquaman escape to stop him. Batman and Aquaman stop Manta, and Orm is forced to sit in a cell and listen to Aquaman read records of his past adventures.
In "Journey to the Center of the Bat!" Batman is infected with a disease by Chemo, who is being controlled by Brain. Aquaman teams up with Atom to cure Batman while Batman takes on Chemo and the Brain. Although their differing personalities make Atom irritated, the partnership becomes mutual as they defeat the seed virus in Batman's brain.
Aquaman has an Injustice Syndicate counterpart, not named but possibly Barracuda from the comics, physically similar but portrayed with green skin and hair and a blue and black costume. The original appears in the season one finale, hunting Batman because the disguised Owlman has impersonated him and framed him for various crimes.
Aquaman reappears in "Mystery in Space!", severely depressed and lacking any of his usual confidence. Batman takes him along to the planet Rann to help Adam Strange in order to figure out what happened. Eventually, Aquaman reveals that he has become disillusioned with his heroism after failing to save a group of whales from poachers. However, he is able to overcome his depression and help save Rann from invaders. By the end of the episode, he has reverted to his old self.
In "Mayhem of the Music Meister!", Aquaman is one of several heroes who initially falls under the sway of the title villain and is forced to sing and obey his commands. In "The Fate of Equinox!", he is one of several heroes who contribute their powers to Batman to defeat Equinox. In "Aquaman's Outrageous Adventure!", his wife Mera convinces him to tour the U.S in a RV with their son Arthur Jr. (revealed here to be alive, unlike his comic counterpart, and a teenager). Aquaman cannot resist the call of adventure and interrupts his vacation to sneak away and battle various supervillains, though the heroes he meets insist that he take his vacation. In "Sidekicks Assemble!", Aquaman teams up with Batman and Green Arrow to battle Ra's al Ghul.
In the teaser for "Clash of the Metal Men!", he returns to Atlantis to find that the population has fallen under the control of Starro. He himself is captured as well, though he is eventually freed from the mind control in "The Siege of Starro! Part Two". He assists Batman and the Atom against Bug-Eyed Bandit in the teaser for "The Criss Cross Conspiracy!". In "Darkseid Descending!", he joins the Justice League International. He is present amongst the JLI when Batman attacks them as a vampire in "Shadow of the Bat".
He takes on Batman's identity when Batman is put in traction in "Night of the Batmen", taking on the Penguin with difficulty and later being captured by the Joker alongside Green Arrow, Captain Marvel, and Plastic Man, only to be saved by the real Batman. He helps the JLI rescue the Batmen of different times from the machinations of Equinox, assisting Fire in rescuing the Greek Batmanicus. He later forces Ryan Choi to help him rescue Batman and Ray Palmer, the original Atom. He appears in the teaser for "Triumvirate of Terror" as part of the JLI baseball team as they take on the Legion of Doom.
He gets captured by Mr. Freeze alongside Green Arrow and Plastic Man and attempts to regale them with his "fish story" about his first team-up with Batman, finally getting the chance to tell it to a captured Mr. Freeze. He defends Batman from the insults of Captain Atom and later helps him try to regain his confidence when he is rendered powerless by Major Force and fights him alongside Batman and Martian Manhunter.
Additionally, Aquaman appears in the two parts of the episode "The Siege of Starro!", first, among the heroes possessed by Starro, and later, as one of the heroes that have already broken free of Starro's mind control, and battle against him.
In the series finale "Mitefall!", Bat-Mite attempts to get the series cancelled by making it jump the shark in as many ways as possible; this includes changing Aquaman's voice actor from John DiMaggio to Ted McGinley (regarded as the "patron saint" of shark-jumping). Ambush Bug (voiced by Henry Winkler) manages to restore the hero's original voice by getting "Aquaman" to admit to being McGinnley.
Aquaman appears as a member of the JLA in the Young Justice series voiced by Phil LaMarr making it the second time Aquaman has been voiced by a Futurama voice actor. He resembles his bearded appearance, but wears a type of footwear that exposes the heel and toe areas. In "Independence Day," he and Aqualad end up defeating Killer Frost in Hawaii. He and the other adult mentors of the sidekicks end up called away to help Zatara and the other Justice League members prevent Wotan from blotting out the sun. In "Fireworks," he and the other Justice League members arrive at the ruined Cadmus building following Aqualad, Kid Flash, Robin, and Superboy's fight with Blockbuster. When the sidekicks and Superboy wanted some involvement with the Justice League, Aquaman ends up agreeing with Batman and Green Arrow resulting in the formation of Young Justice. In "Downtime," Aquaman tells Aqualad that he had learned what happened following the team's fight with Clayface from Batman (who deduced that Aqualad's homesickness for Atlantis is why the team was defeated). Aquaman ends up called away to help the Justice League with a fire breakout in California. In "Auld Acquaintace" Aquaman is controlled by Klarion and briefly fights Aqualad, but is defeated by his sidekick.
In Season 2, Aquaman is now partners with Lagoon Boy, and is crushed upon discovering that Kaldur'am has been corrupted and joined forces with his father Black Manta. Kaldur'am claims he could not trust Aquaman as he had kept the identity of Black Manta a secret from Kaldur'am. Aquaman states that it was a mistake, and tries to convince him that no one need suffer for it, but Aqualad angrily attacks his teacher. It is later revealed that Aqualad's corruption is truly a facade created so that he may infiltrate the supercriminal organization, the Light.
In a skit for the Mad series, Aquaman tries to appeal to Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman about being called "Super Friends." He also appears on a skit called "Aquaman vs. Wild" reprised by John DiMaggio.
Teen Titans Go!
In the Teen Titans Go! episode, "Matched", Cyborg creates a computer program that can tell a person who their romantic match is and when Starfire goes first, her perfect match turns out to be Aquaman. Starfire at first doesn't warm up to the idea of being with Aquaman, but then begins to fall for Aquaman after reading a magazine article about him and stares at a poster of him. Robin though tries to impress her by swimming 200 laps in the pool and then flexing his muscles to Starfire while in his bathing suit. He then creates a costume out of rotten fish like Aquaman, but it doesn't go so well due to the awful smell from the costume. Later, at Beast Boy and Raven's wedding, Starfire is seen sitting in the audience with Aquaman while Robin sits beside them, moping. Then, Cyborg shows up and tells them that there was a glitch in his match-making program and it turns out that Starfire and Beast Boy's perfect match is a scratching post. Starfire and Beast Boy then battle over the scratching post while Robin and Aquaman cry together after both being rejected by Starfire.
Arthur "AC" Curry appeared in an episode of the television series Smallville titled "Aqua", which aired on October 20, 2005. The episode features Arthur investigating the devastating effects on marine life from a project Lex Luthor has been developing for the U.S. military. In the process he also manages to date Lois Lane before leaving to continue his fight for the ecosystem. Like his Filmation counterpart, this version of the character is shown to have the power to throw 'water balls' having tremendous concussive impact; he could also swim faster than Clark Kent. It is also revealed that Arthur wears an orange and green costume because he attends the University of Miami, whose Miami Hurricanes team colors are green, orange, and white. Arthur was played by former American Idol contestant Alan Ritchson. In an allusion to the HBO program, when Arthur is asked which environmental group he is working for, he responds "I don't travel with an entourage." "Aqua" was Smallville's highest-rated episode that season.
Ritchson reprised his role in the 2007 episode "Justice", as a member of Green Arrow's unnamed superhero team. Along with Victor "Cyborg" Stone and Bart "Impulse" Allen, they fought to stop Lex Luthor from creating an army of superhumans which he has kidnapped. During this second appearance, he is now using the codename of "Aquaman", and wears a costume similar to his traditional one.
In episode one of season eight, Arthur, Black Canary, and Oliver are all searching for Clark who had disappeared after the finale of the previous season. They succeed in finding Clark though Arthur and Canary are eventually captured by Tess Mercer. In the end of the episode, Arthur severs ties to the other members of the team due to their identity being compromised. He returns in the season ten episode "Patriot" with his new wife Mera to help Clark save Oliver from Slade Wilson.
The CW Television Network had announced a live action Aquaman television series called Mercy Reef (or Aquaman), but on May 18, 2006, it was confirmed that CW did not pick up the show for the 2006/2007 schedule. Reports (beginning after the upfronts)[clarification needed] said The CW was still considering Aquaman for midseason due to interest piqued by the leaked promotional trailer. The pilot episode is available at Apple's iTunes Music Store and the Xbox Live Video Marketplace and can be viewed for free at AOL Video's In2TV. It was also broadcast on Canada's YTV on June 9, 2007. It starred Justin Hartley as Arthur "A.C." Curry/Aquaman, with supporting roles by Ving Rhames and Lou Diamond Phillips. There have been no talks of picking up the series since June 2006.
A fictional Aquaman movie played a central role in the second season and part of the third season of the HBO show Entourage. The show has movie star Vincent Chase playing Aquaman/Arthur Curry in a big-budget film production of the comic book, directed by James Cameron. In the episode "One Day in the Valley", Aquaman premieres to much fanfare and opens with a three-day weekend record of just over $116 million. HBO even took out a very realistic looking two-page ad in Variety magazine after the episode, promoting the show by saying Aquaman earned $116 million in its first three days. CNBC jokingly reported that the three day weekend box office gross of Pirates of the Caribbean 2 had beaten the previous record of Aquaman. Joe Kernen later stated he was a watcher of Entourage and was completely aware that it was fake. James Woods and Mandy Moore were also cast in the film, as the villain and love interest respectively. Later episodes established that within the fictional world of Entourage, the Aquaman movie went on to become the highest grossing film of all time. A sequel was made without Vincent Chase. The fictional sequel starred Jake Gyllenhaal, was directed by Michael Bay and written by Kevin Smith.
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson features a running skit entitled "Dear Aquaman", featuring Ferguson as Aquaman, wearing a costume and a blonde wig, accompanied by a green screen underwater backdrop and some prop fish floating on strings. In each of the installments (which are generally one or two minutes long) one of the fake fish brings Aquaman a message, and he answers it as an advice columnist.
In 2004, FilmJerk.com reported that Sunrise Entertainment's Alan and Peter Riche planned to bring Aquaman to the big screen for Warner Bros. with Ben Grant, a first time writer, writing the screenplay. However, the film fell through. In July 2009, it was reported that Aquaman is in development at Leonardo DiCaprio's Appian Way. Warner chairman and CEO Barry Meyer says that the Aquaman film is in development. A source from Warner Bros told The Wrap that they're discussing the possibilities with mention of more Man of Steel movies as well as a Superman/Batman film, Wonder Woman and Aquaman. Geoff Johns told Variety that Aquaman is a priority character for the company.
In Superman Returns, Jason White is seen wearing Aquaman pajamas.
References to Aquaman are made in Man of Steel when General Swanwick uses a military code "Trident" as an easter egg to the Trident Aquaman carries and when a pair of whales appear over Clark Kent while he floated within the Pacific Ocean after he saves a Merrevale oil rig which was owned by Jordan Wylie who is a minor adversary to Aquaman.
Direct to DVD
Justice League: The New Frontier
Alan Ritchson reprised his role as Arthur Curry/Aquaman for a cameo appearance in the animated film: Justice League: The New Frontier, based on the graphic novel DC: The New Frontier. In this film, he is referred to as "Arthur of Atlantis". He and some Atlantean doctors were seen treating Superman's injuries.
Justice League: Crisis On Two Earths
Aquaman appears in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths voiced by Josh Keaton. He assists Batman in fighting off Superwoman on board the Justice League satellite. In a flashback of the Martian Manhunter, it is hinted that he was a member of the Justice League prior to the events in the movie.
Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
Aquaman also appeared in the Justice League Task Force Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Sega Mega Drive video game as well as in Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis for Xbox and GameCube. Battle for Atlantis is often cited as among the worst video games ever made.
Aquaman appeared as an unlockable character in the Justice League Heroes game for Xbox and PlayStation 2. He can be unlocked by paying 27 orange shields when collected. His powers are chiefly water-based, creating hard water weapons such as a sword, whirlpool tornadoes and water-blasts.
The prequel comic book for the video game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe shows that Arthur Joseph was one of the many characters killed by the violent merger of the two earths prior to the beginning of the game.
Aquaman appears in the DC Universe Online video game voiced by Jens Anderson. Circe ends up mind-controlling Aquaman into attacking the surface world causing the players to assist Martian Manhunter into fighting both of them. When under the control of Circe, Aquaman is served by Brine Hatchlings, Brine Hulks, Cancer Makos, Cancer Threshers, Kitefins, Pisces Makos, Sandtigers, Scorpio Kitefins, Scorpio Makos, Threshers, Tidepool Kitefins, Tigersharks, Whitetips, and a Trident of Poseidon.
Aquaman is a playable character in Injustice: Gods Among Us, voiced again by Phil LaMarr. When transferred into an alternate reality, he confronts his other self in battle over a treaty that is being planned between Atlantis and Superman's regime that essentially gives Superman control of Atlantis's military, the 'prime' Aquaman refusing to allow Atlantis to become subservient to the Regime. The alternate Aquaman is defeated again when the 'prime' Superman comes to this world, Superman defeating Aquaman while Wonder Woman's Amazons defeat Atlantis's army. In his single-player ending, Aquaman begins rising to power after he defeats Superman. While assassins hired by multi-national corporations tried relentlessly to kill him, the public that supported his influence stood up angrily to those who opposed him. Soon, the world's people supported for a new rule over Earth, under Aquaman's command.
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