Aquaman may be one of DC’s most enduring and iconic comic book characters, but his run in the source material has certainly had some controversial moments, with Reddit users across the world sharing their unpopular opinions about the hero and his stories.
Of course, these opinions extend to the use of Aquaman within the wider DC Universe, Atlantis itself, and the treatment of some of the supporting characters including the likes of Mera and Ocean Master. Ultimately, while audiences might disagree with these overall thoughts, it’s still important to open up the debate surrounding mainstays like the King of the seas.
10 Mera, Queen Of Atlantis Is Lacking
Mera might be one of the coolest characters in the DC canon and the comic book company put a further spotlight on her with the debut of the title Mera, Queen Of Atlantis. It was well-received by fans and critics alike with the narrative seeing Mera flex her diplomatic and her superhero muscles, all in the same story.
She’s a force to be reckoned with, but one Reddit user has suggested that “She feels like a side character in her own story to me,” saying that they were underwhelmed by the narrative. Many readers will likely disagree with the assessment due to her really feeling like the Queen throughout the story, but the Reddit writer is likely a huge fan of Mera; no doubt DC will capitalize further on Mera’s role as royalty as her narrative progresses.
9 Orm’s Villainous Ways Were A Good Call
Mera, Queen Of Atlantis also sets up a brand new arc for Orm or the Ocean Master. Fans are pretty much in unison that this segment of the story didn’t fully work, with the tension of a family above the water getting sidetracked once more for Orm’s iconic villainous ways reverting back to one of Aquaman’s coolest foes.
Fans love to see a character evolve further, but one unpopular opinion suggests that “I don’t ever think Orm had ever changed as a character THAT much,” so essentially why should he now? His choice to leave his family behind was even controversially defended, although one commenter suggested that it wasn’t really Orm ‘manning up’ as the original poster had proclaimed. Ultimately, this was a good opportunity to try to add some more layers to one of DC’s most dangerous villains.
8 Aquaman Is As Boring As Superman
Aquaman has been continually called boring in the past and while the DCEU and modern runs have gone a great deal of the way to try and make the character more compelling, some fans continue to bring up the same argument. One Reddit user has talked about defending Aquaman due to his love of Morrison’s JLA run.
But in response to this thread one Reddit commenter actually made quite the bold claim, that “the guy is near on par with supes.” Of course, Superman is often considered to be one of comic book’s most boring characters, and it might be pretty unpopular to suggest that Aquaman is in that same category even if the user does “appreciate a good aqua man jab!” Especially since DC has tried to reinvent the King of Atlantis to allow him to feel more current.
7 Mera’s Breakout Story Didn’t Come Until 2009
Mera was originally brought into DC Comics in 1963. She has since enjoyed a whole wealth of narratives and has become a vital character to the overall DC lore. Atlantis simply wouldn’t function without its queen and she’s boasted ensemble and singles titles in her career.
However, one Reddit user has controversially suggested that “Mera’s real breakout story” actually happened when she showed her might against Wonder Woman in Blackest Night which didn’t release until 2009 and primarily featured DC’s most powerful lantern users. To suggest this is to also overrule all of the other intriguing narratives featuring Aquaman’s love, a fact that plenty of fans would likely disagree with.
6 DC Mishandles The King
Aquaman has been portrayed as a benevolent and mighty King, one with great sway in the DC Universe thanks to his ties to the Olympians as well as his position in the on and off-screen Justice League. In recent years he has grown in recognition, perhaps in part to the DCEU and the New 52 portrayals.
However, one Reddit fan has suggested that DC seems to overlook the King of the seas time and time again for some of their other heroes. They claim that any portrayal of royalty and leadership in this form comes off like dictators that the Justice League has to overcome, saying DC goes in “always with the assumption that a being of great power cannot rule justly and competently and keep the peace.” However, readers would argue that Aquaman’s reign has been given a great deal of respect in the source material, with Atlantis itself standing as a beacon of hope.
5 Jeff Parker Had A Better Run Than Geoff Johns
Geoff Johns is often credited with really re-creating Aquaman. He did a great deal of work in the early stages of the New 52 to create an Aquaman that audiences could really resonate with, helping to visually re-design him and ultimately moving him to be a major player in DC.
Most fans will agree that Johns’ was the best run for the New 52, however, one Reddit fan is making the argument that Jeff Parker’s turn on the title was actually superior. They argue that “it takes Johns’ reluctant and conflicted hero and attempts to progress the character to get him to a more well adjusted place,” but this may be unpopular considering it was that inner turmoil that made Arthur Curry so intriguing once more.
4 DCEU Surpasses The Comics
There’s always a debate around how a comic book character should be brought to the screen and the DCEU version of Aquaman has been largely well-received. Given plenty of screen time to develop, this version of the character is clearly based on the New 52 run that reinvented the ocean king.
One Reddit user has argued that the comics are lacking in their portrayal of Aquaman though and that the DCEU actually surpasses them. It’s always a controversial opinion to voice, but the writer suggests that “I never found the comics’ Arthur boring but Momoa brought a presence and energy to him that felt comparatively more grounded and relatable,” alongside his compelling backstory which is full of conflict. Of course, many of the screen elements were initially taken from the comics though and without the source material, the on-screen iteration wouldn’t pop in the same way!
3 Black Manta’s Best Stuff Isn’t In The Comics
Black Manta really is one of the most famous villains within Arthur Curry’s lore. He has an intriguing set of motivations, a costume that feels both dangerous and realistic, and has been a part of a number of authentic storylines that have made the antagonist significantly more compelling.
Despite all of this hard work in the comics, one writer on Reddit has mused that “the Young Justice version of Black Manta is actually the best version. You won’t find better than that.” Considering how many fans Black Manta has in the books, it’s an opinion that seems unlikely to gain traction despite how good Young Justice really is.
2 Aqualad Is Irrelevant
Garth has become a really important aspect of DC lore, in both Aquaman’s run and in his role in the Teen Titans and beyond. However, one Reddit user notes that “He does not sound like the most interesting character. To my understanding he has pretty much been left in the dust compared to the other original TT members,” therefore declining in relevancy, despite him making an impact at multiple levels throughout his career.
The thread makes a number of interesting points about the character’s mainstream appeal thanks to his cinematic and animated portrayals, but throughout the thread, there are controversial views that DC didn’t do anything of note at all with Garth in the comics. He is arguably one of the most influential heroes for the future and has a crucial supporting role as he continues to go through his coming of age journey.
1 The ’90s Run Is More Important Than The New 52 Era
The New 52 run of Aquaman has continued to be seen as one of the most crucial pieces of the character’s history. The reinvention has allowed fans to claim that anything before is irrelevant compared to how Curry has been completely reinvented. It’s probably unpopular amongst fans therefore to go against that narrative saying that “I hate when people praise Geoff Johns for supposedly doing that with his 2011 reboot when David had done the same more than 15 years earlier.”
Indeed, one Reddit user has boldly claimed that it was Peter David’s primary run in the ’90s that really did all the heavy lifting with the character and was perhaps more influential. It’s an argument that is incredibly well thought out and comics like Atlantis Chronicles and Time And Tide are definitely must-reads. It might be unpopular but there’s something to think about there, as the works of the past continued to be appreciated by new audiences with the writer heralding the fact that “for as long as David was the writer the quality was amazingly consistent.”