Thursday, November 17, 2005


More with the Aquaman fixation

You keen observers of pop culture and pulp lit have no doubt already heard this, but I remain just plain . . . interested.

The producers of the WB's SMALLVILLE have received the green light to start work on a pilot for a live-action Aquaman TV show, more or less spinning off from a recent episode where college freshman Clark Kent met young Arthur Curry (apparently an NCAA champion swimmer at Stanford or something). The new show will follow the future King of the Seven Seas as he makes it in mammals' world.

No word yet on whether the supporting cast will include younger members of the Aquaman comics' supporting cast. For those of you who don't know who that would be, well, the traditional characters include his girlfriend and later wife Mera (queen of a planet in another dimension that's completely covered with water); Aqualad (his teen sidekick who later grew up and took on the slightly less gay name of Tempest); and the giant octopus Topo.

Aquaman, you might remember, can talk to fish.

He's also got three big villains - Black Manta, an African American "pirate of the deep"; the Fisherman, who, uh, hurts people with his big underwater fishing pole; and Ocean Master, who's really Aquaman's half brother Orm (who thinks that he should be king of the deep instead of our hero).

All right, so why does this amaze me? What is Wieland getting at?

Basically, I don't know how Aquaman keeps getting all this play. In Super Friends, it was hard to find a way to fit him into the average adventure. Think about it from the writer's point of view. When your heroes are fighting Lex Luthor on the surface of the sun, what good is the ability to speak porpoise?

But there old Aqua was, sweating it out with Superman, Batman, Robin, and Wonder Woman. He never got benched from that starting lineup, even when Flash and Green Lantern joined the squad.

(For the record, I'm not sure what good a man dressed in a leather bat suit and a teenager in shorts were while fighting Lex Luthor on the surface of the sun, either, but I digress.)

And in the comics world, the guy's had about 40 different comics series since I was a kid. He and Hawkman both. Every couple of years, he gets a new one. And then a year later, it's cancelled for poor sales. And then a year later, he's back up. And this is in comics, where you're a good seller if 180,000 issues get bought.

But now live TV?

But look. Our Man in LA doesn't criticize. In fact, if any TV producers are out there reading this right now, I'd like them to know how much I would love to write for an Aquaman TV series. Love, love, love it. Love it. I know the guy well. One of my first comics (in a collection of about 20,000) was the one where Black Manta kills Aquaman's son Arthur Jr. (aka, Aquababy) and then forces Aquaman and Aqualad to fight each other to the death with tridents.

Huh? How about that? And by the by, trident fighting is pretty cool.

And did I mention that Our Man in LA's script NEIGHBORHOOD HEROES shows off his ability to write for family audiences AND incorporate super-heroes into a realistic setting? Hm?

So yeah. I'm your guy. I may have some questions, but I know I'm tailor made to write about an underwater super-hero dressed in orange and green.

I know Aqualad's real name, for Neptune's sake! It's Garth (of the Idylist people of Atlantis).

Call me . . .

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