Is Aquaman Marvel? Aquaman is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger, the character debuted in More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941). Initially a backup feature in DC’s anthology titles, Aquaman later starred in several volumes of a solo comic book series. During the late 1950s and 1960s superhero-revival period known as the Silver Age, he was a founding member of the Justice League. In the 1990s Modern Age, writers interpreted Aquaman’s character more seriously, with storylines depicting the weight of his role as king of Atlantis.
The son of a human lighthouse-keeper and the queen of Atlantis, Aquaman is the alias of Arthur Curry, who also goes by the Atlantean name Orin. Others to use the title of Aquaman include a short-lived human successor, Joseph Curry; his protégé Jackson Hyde; and the mysterious Adam Waterman, who was briefly active during World War II. Aquaman’s comic books are filled with colourful undersea characters and a rich supporting cast, including his mentor Vulko, his powerful wife Mera, and various sidekicks such as Aqualad, Aquagirl, and Dolphin. Aquaman stories tend to blend high fantasy and science fiction. His villains include his archenemy Black Manta and his own half-brother Ocean Master, among others.
Is Aquaman Marvel?
In “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” the aquatic adversary known as Namor wastes no time establishing himself as one of those beguiling but strange characters that can polarize an audience: the ocean-dwelling deity uses conch shells like smartphones and has feathered wings on his ankles.
But as portrayed by Mexican actor Tenoch Huerta Mejía in this brooding follow up to 2018’s “Black Panther,” Namor also commands considerable gravitas as the amphibious leader of an underwater tribe, and deserves more than just the inevitable comparisons he will receive to his DC counterpart, Aquaman. (CNN, DC Films and Warner Bros, which produced “Aquaman,” are part of the same parent company, Warner Bros. Discovery.)
Historically, DC predates Marvel with almost all of its legacy characters in the pages of the comic books that made them famous: Superman (1938) came well before Iron Man (1963), Batman (1939) before Moon Knight (1975), Wonder Woman (1941) before Captain Marvel (1968), and so on. It’s the ultimate of ironies that Namor is only appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe now, since he is one of the few Marvel Comics characters to have come first.
Also known as the Sub-Mariner, Namor first appeared in comics in 1939, while DC’s Aquaman debuted in 1941. Of course, on the big screen, the opposite is true: DC managed to beat Marvel to the punch in the realm of underwater superheroes, releasing “Aquaman” in 2018 and introducing the character played by Jason Momoa in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” two years before that. What’s more, “Aquaman” remains one of DC’s biggest hits: the movie has made over $1 billion globally over its lifetime, according to Box Office Mojo, with a sequel on the way next year.
Marvel and “Wakanda Forever” director Ryan Coogler therefore had their work cut out for them to ensure Namor and his world created a wow factor, while also diverging enough from what had been done before, namely in “Aquaman.” And to the new film’s credit, it appears as though much if not all of the sequences showing the underwater kingdom of Talokan — with citizens playing waterlogged ballgames and hanging around on benches — utilizes actual underwater photography and divers, as opposed to CGI.
In Mejía — who is billed as being “introduced” in “Wakanda Forever,” despite over 70 credits in Mexican cinema spanning 15 years as well as last year’s “The Forever Purge” — Marvel thankfully has found its own dynamic anchor to this new underwater world. The character’s menacing presence and intimidation is tempered only by the vulnerability, even torture, in his expression, adding yet another element that differs from the quirky and tongue-in-cheek nature of Momoa’s aquatic superhero.
Aquaman/Namor Was the First Unofficial DC/Marvel Crossover
Given that history, it’s only appropriate that the two characters would be Marvel and DC’s first crossover, although the connection was tenuous at best and completely unofficial. The crossover began life when writer Steve Skeates was hired to write Aquaman in the early seventies. Despite his best efforts, Aquaman wound up being cancelled with its 56th issue in 1971.
Skeates was forced to end his story abruptly, but was able to continue it in a rather roundabout way three years later. According to CBR, at a 2012 panel at Comic Con International, Skeates related how the crossover came to be: “Since Aquaman had been cancelled abruptly on a cliffhanger, Roy Thomas let (Skeates) wrap up the story in a fill-in issue of Sub-Mariner.”
Written by Skeates and with art by Jim Aparo and Dick Giordano, Aquaman #56 begins with the city of Detroit experiencing problems when the sun seemingly never sets, causing algae to grow at an exponential rate and nearly engulfing the whole city.
It’s eventually revealed that it’s all the machinations of the ex-cop vigilante calling himself the Crusader, who has developed a satellite with large mirrors that reflects the sun’s light, thus preventing night from falling and keeping crime to a minimum. The story ends in a rather dramatic moment, as the story ends with Aquaman storming the Crusader’s compound and pushing a button which causes the satellite to blow up in the very last panel.
It could have ended there, but Skeates picks up where the story left off in Marvel’s Sub-Mariner #72, featuring art by Dick Ayers and Vince Colletta. That story reveals an alien life-form attaching itself to a satellite in space just as an unnamed figure wearing green gloves pushes a button to make it explode, causing the alien to transform into a “slime thing” that falls to Earth and battles a brooding Namor. Oddly enough, Sub-Mariner #72 wound up being the final issue of that series, as well.
How Do Marvel and DC’s Underwater Titans Compare?
As superhero comics date back nearly a century, it is not surprising that there have been a number of instances in which characters with similar premises have been created. This is particularly the case for Namor and Aquaman, Marvel and DC’s Atlantean heroes. However, as each has progressed over the decades, they have grown to play different roles within their respective worlds. As Aquaman has already made his on-screen debut, and Namor’s is coming later this year, it is time to explore the differences between both characters.
Namor made his debut in 1939 in Marvel Comics #1 (By Bill Everett), and Aquaman followed merely two years later in More Fun Comics #73 (By Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris) in 1941. The characters have gone through changes since their creations, becoming forces to be reckoned with.
Namor’s origin begins with his father, Leonard Mckenzie, a sailor who embarked on a trip to Antarctica in 1920 in search of remnants from a ship that had crashed over a dozen years ago. The crew began blowing up ice floes, not knowing an Atlantean city lay beneath them, and that they were killing its people.
The incident caught the attention of the Atlantean princess Fen, who would go investigate the ship. Here, she would meet Leonard and the two would begin an unlikely romance. This was short-lived, however, as the ship was attacked by the Atlanteans, and the lovers were separated. Namor would be born soon after and go on to become king, facing off against the original Human Torch, and battling alongside Captain America in World War II.
Unlike Aquaman, who was a reluctant king, Namor grew up feeling as if the throne was his destiny. Also differentiating him from Aquaman is that Namor is solely interested in what is best for Atlantis unlike Arthur, who is caught between the two worlds, ruling in hopes that the two could live at peace. Namor has led many attacks against the surface for their transgressions against Atlantis, and even flooded Wakanda when they were harboring enemies of Atlantis. Unlike Aquaman, he blurs the lines between hero and villain, having teamed up with heroes such as the Avengers, X-Men, and villains like Doctor Doom and Thanos.
Furthermore, while both heroes wield tridents, Namor does not make use of his to the degree that Arthur does and has not discovered the full extent of its powers. Aquaman on the other hand uses his trident extensively, having used it to battle Darkseid, and even piercing Superman’s skin with it. Aquaman has also had weapons attached to his body after the loss of his left hand, including a harpoon hand and a mystical hand made of water. Another major differentiating feature between the two is that Namor is a mutant, with his genetic mutation being wings on his ankles that give him the ability to fly
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