Four Biggest Ways DC's 'The New 52' Has Changed Aquaman

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inferiorego

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Edited By inferiorego  Staff

Aquaman has never really gotten the respect he deserves from the masses, and part of that is due to his appearances on the 70s cartoon Super-Friends. Aquaman was portrayed as a pretty worthless character who rode a giant seahorse and could talk to "fishies." Although he's had some incredibly solid comic book runs, throughout the years, that stigma still sticks with the character.

With the relaunch of DC comics comes a brand new Aquaman on-going series, one that hopes to break idea that Aquaman is worthless. The book takes place in Boston, where Aquaman may be taking up residence. Written by Geoff Johns and penciled by Ivan Reis, there's a lot of hype behind the book. and with hype, comes changes. There are a few here and there, but what are the biggest changes with Aquaman and the world he lives in that readers got to see in issue #1?

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Since we're getting a bit more in depth into the first issue, you may see some spoilers below so be warned. Aquaman is always a character who goes through some changes. At one point, he lost his hand and became a shirtless pirate, and another time he had a hand made of water, granted to him by the Land of the Lake. Aquaman is a character who deals with not only real and super-hero life, but he's delved into the mystical aspect as well.

== TEASER ==

Location

Aquaman may still technically be king of Atlantis, but in his own mind, he's done with it. It seems as though Aquaman will be spending most of his days guarding coastal cities, rather than fighting villains in the deep. No more "Sub Diego" or "King of Atlantis." Aquaman wants to focus using his abilities to help humans.

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Makes sense though. Aquaman is half-human, so you can understand why he wants to spend some time with his people, humans. This will only make the book better. Many people are turned off by a man swimming underwater fighting giant fish. Well, at least that's what they think the book used to be about. Aquaman spends 100% of his time in this book on land, and it seems like the majority of this series will be the same way, or at least Aquaman will try to live on land... until something pulls him back in.

He's Not in it for the Glory

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Most super-heroes enjoy the praise they receive from the people they save. Some even have a hidden agenda, whether it be avenging the death of a loved one or catching the eye of someone they secretly admire. Aquaman does what's right because it's what's right.

In a few scenes, within the issue, readers get to see moments where he interacts with the common folk. In the past, Aquaman was friendly, polite, and wouldn't mind talking to the humans around him. In this series, he isn't exactly responsive.

Aquaman, in short, is, well short with people. He does is duty and gets out quick. Even in situations where he wants to get a bite to eat, Aquaman doesn't seem to be the biggest fan of people chatting it up with him while he's trying to eat some old fashion fish and chips. He doesn't want praise for a job well-done, he wants to get on his way to more important matters, like lunch.

Well Defined Super-powers

Hey Aquafans! How many times have you gotten in a debate with someone about who's stronger, Aquaman or some other mid-level strong-guy, only to have the person, who knows nothing about Aquaman, think you're insane because "Aquaman can only talk to fish." Well, the first issue of this new series does a great job of defining Aquaman's powers. There's no more mystery to the character.

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Throughout the issue, the readers are treated to moments of Aquaman's awesomeness. Not only can the man take AK-47 shots to the body and head, but he can also lift an entire armored truck off the ground with ease. Later on, his whole "talking to fish" power is also explained, where he technically doesn't talk to fish. He "telepathically pushes them [sea creatures] to help [Aquaman] out." With a well defined power set, it will be easier for new readers to enjoy and understand the character, but one question still remains: Is there a water hand under that glove?

He's the Punchline to all the Jokes

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In the real world, Aquaman has been the butt of super-hero jokes since, well, Super-Friends. This never really got reflected in any of Aquaman's books, until now. There's a good amount of evidence that it's not just the comic book fans that don't take Aquaman seriously, it's everyone in the world, especially Boston.

Criminals laugh when they see him. Cops don't take him seriously (above). Even a local blogger gives Aquaman the 3rd degree. This is one tough obstacle to overcome for the former King of Atlantis.

More so than anything else though, the BIGGEST change with Aquaman, this time around, is that it is a well written book with great art. Geoff Johns has turned around Justice Society of America and Green Lantern in the past few years, and now he has his sites on Aquaman, and frankly, he and the art team, have the talent to take this book and character to the next level.

Are there any other changes you guys see with this book and character compared to his previous series? What did you guys think of the first issue?

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sinful

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#1  Edited By sinful

should of picked it up! Sigh

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Saren

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#2  Edited By Saren

I loved it! I thought it was going to suck, but Johns proved me wrong. Waiting on the #2.

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tbone1225

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#3  Edited By tbone1225

Aquaman is one of my favorite of the entire reboot.

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ArtisticNeedham

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#4  Edited By ArtisticNeedham

I have it on hold. Glad I did, sounds great. I like that they have clearly defined his powers.

I remember saying, "I thought he was like the Superman of the sea. Super Strong, Bullet Proof. Its usually a good idea, I think, to define your character's powers right away. Spider-man did it in his comic to, showing all his powers right away. I think Superman did it too. I tried to do it too in my Monkey Boy comic.

Can't wait to get Aquaman. It will probably be a comic I will continue to get after all the New 52s are out (Not getting all the #1s, just ones that look interesting). The art looks amazing! I loved the scene in Brightest Day (Or was it Blackest Night) where Aquaman (alive again) is shot by pirates and is slightly bleeding. I thought that was cool. Showed he was tough, but not bullet proof.

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Bestostero

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#5  Edited By Bestostero

He's always been one of my favorite super heroes! That will never change!

I really liked how they handled the first issue, they pretty much addressed everything I wanted to know.

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kennybaese

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#6  Edited By kennybaese

Loved this issue. Aquaman got redeemed for me in Brightest Day, which was also done by Johns and Reis (the bits of the book dealing with him anyway). I'm not picking up individual issues, but I'm looking forward to picking this up in trade.

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Cosmic Sentinel

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#7  Edited By Cosmic Sentinel

I enjoyed the issue, although I did find the whole "nobody's favourite superhero" a bit to meta. Aquaman maybe a punchline in our world, but I don't see why he would be in the DCU as he is (as evidenced above) a pretty tough and skilled hero and unlike our world, people would be aware of that from the news.

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Golden Cod

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#8  Edited By Golden Cod

I like how Geoff Johns recognizes Aquaman's lack of popularity and weaves into the story. Most of the time I think writers try to shove it under the rug. That part about being "nobody's favorite superhero" gives Geoff room to weave an underdog story if he plays his plot cards right.

Now the question is, whether we'll see a return of the harpoon-hand and shaggy beard that he sported in the 90s?

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Sobe Cin

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#9  Edited By Sobe Cin

absolutely great read.

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Osiris1428

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#10  Edited By Osiris1428

I was considering buying Aquaman. I'll get it later. What intrigues me is the fact that the story is allowed to be aware of the disrespect the world has for Aquaman. That's great. Kind of meta.

Also, I want to see if Black Manta's son will show up.

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Aiden Cross

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#11  Edited By Aiden Cross

I love the new Aquaman, together with Batwing they are my favourite titles in the relaunch so far.

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Michiel76

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#12  Edited By Michiel76

I really loved it!!

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gothicshieldagent

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I DON'T talk to fish! KABOOM respect the trident.

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Samimista

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#14  Edited By Samimista

I really can't wait for the next issue absolutely loved the first one.

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Aiden Cross

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#15  Edited By Aiden Cross

And i might add that I absolutely loved the art.

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RedheadedAtrocitus

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I'm actually quite pleased with what I have seen thus far, though I will admit I've not got the actual series yet. I like the changes though and I enjoy how there's so much to clear up all the disrespect that has surrounded Arthur Curry for decades. Curious that he would have a bit of a brusque attitude with people but hey if he needs to get down to superhero business, who are we to judge him? At any rate I like the turnaround in that he's trying to be more human than Atlantean now, but it makes me wonder how long he'll keep that facade up until he will yearn for the briny deep once more. I do believe this series though, in the end, will be the ultimate stepping stone from which Aquaman can raise himself out of the decades of ill-respect he has received from fans and others alike.

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KainScion

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#17  Edited By KainScion

1# BIGGEST DIFFERENCE: HE'S AWESOME!!!

BONUS: no hippie beard

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deactivated-5a4e0e8ea3dfb

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This was a great issue and its nice to see Aquaman getting better treatment. My favorite interpretation of him is in the Justice series where they also give him the power to regenerate (kind of hope that carries over somewhat) and mostly from one part towards the end where Black Manta is pounding on him while Aquaman just stands there and takes it. Finally when he's had enough Aquaman catches Black Manta's punch, knocks him to the ground and stands over chiding him on the point that he (Aquaman) can survive the pressures and temperature of the bottom of the ocean so what did Manta think his punches were going to do. Its such a simple concept and yet one that is completely lost on most writers but seems to be coming back around in this series.

When he's at the restaurant he's very polite to the waitress and doesn't seem to mind her ramblings at all. It's only when he starts getting asked questions (especially loved the obvious hate of blog posters and somewhat of a direct slap in the face to them from the writers at DC) that he becomes annoyed but even as he leaves he takes the time to act kindly to the one person, the waitress, that didn't annoy him. 
 
In relation to his powers I'm still a bit on the fence if Aquaman himself can shrug off AK-47 fire or if his outfit is actually armor and that's what did it. Because everything that hit his chest bounced off without any trouble but the one that hits his head is the one that makes him bleed and we only see one bullet hit his face not a number of bullets wearing down his skin and then he gets cut. So it seems he is not bulletproof but his scaled attire is an armor of sorts. It kind of begs the question on why he would stand there and take a bullet because any stray shot away from his body could kill him. But maybe, like Batman, he figures people will naturally be attracted to the bright gold scales and so not go for his head.......maybe he's got a regenerative ability. 
 
If there is one thing I wish were different it would be the concept of the trident. I think he should still have it, but it would have been nice to see it be more technological than just a normal trident. The Atlantians are always depicted with a nice mix of technology and magic and so it would have been nice if the trident was a big more unique, possibly folding down into something he can strap to his back or leg and only extends to its full length when needed. Think it would make him look a bit more badass. 
 
I'm also hoping he retains a little bit of magical ability. Not anything like Garth or the ability to shape water like Mera but just enough that he can recognize magic, understand it, maybe resist it a bit better than most non-magical creatures. Just a little something given his origins. 
 
I wish we knew what carried over though from before. Did he die? Was there another Aquaman for awhile? Did Sub Diego even happen? Is Garth dead? Is the new Aqualad still around? Don't get much of that here. 
 
After reading this I'm interested in seeing how he's depicted in the Justice League series. 
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GundamHeavyarms

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#19  Edited By GundamHeavyarms

@Osiris1428: Johns said that Aqualad (Jackson Hyde) and Aquagirl (Lorena Marquez) are supposed to appear in the second arc.

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Aeroman

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#20  Edited By Aeroman

definitely picking up this series

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The Devil Tiger

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#21  Edited By The Devil Tiger

It look awesome, I think I will buy it !
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#22  Edited By Samimista

@The Devil Tiger said:

It look awesome, I think I will buy it !

It's worth the money trust me this and Batgirl are the must read series so far of the reboot.

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#23  Edited By Jonny_Anonymous
@ArtisticNeedham said:

I have it on hold. Glad I did, sounds great. I like that they have clearly defined his powers.

I remember saying, "I thought he was like the Superman of the sea. Super Strong, Bullet Proof. Its usually a good idea, I think, to define your character's powers right away. Spider-man did it in his comic to, showing all his powers right away. I think Superman did it too. I tried to do it too in my Monkey Boy comic.

Can't wait to get Aquaman. It will probably be a comic I will continue to get after all the New 52s are out (Not getting all the #1s, just ones that look interesting). The art looks amazing! I loved the scene in Brightest Day (Or was it Blackest Night) where Aquaman (alive again) is shot by pirates and is slightly bleeding. I thought that was cool. Showed he was tough, but not bullet proof.

Same thing happens with the AK. 
 
I thought this was really good and I will be picking it up regular. (Although he wont top Namor imo)
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mrzero1982pt2

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#24  Edited By mrzero1982pt2

possibly the best panels EVER. if i could own these, i would frame them and put it on my wall.

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Dedpool

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#25  Edited By Dedpool

Bout time someone found the right tone for him. "Justice League Unlimited" did a great job with him. I'd have given him limited control over water as well and have him learning to control that from Mera.

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AquaDCman

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#26  Edited By AquaDCman

Well Aquaman can talk to Dolphins though. He even says that Dolphins are different from normal fish like sharks, eels ect. I wonder if it is the same thing with whales. I hope he can. Whales are badass!

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Green ankh

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#27  Edited By Green ankh

I AGREE IN FULL. A.C. HAS LONG BEEN A FAV OF MINE. AND THIS ISSUE WAS VERY GOOD..

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horshbox

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#28  Edited By horshbox

Can't wait to get my hands on this book, only problem is my brother got it over in England so I have to wait till he's home in 3 weeks to read it :(

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Lordzid

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#29  Edited By Lordzid

The best one of the new 52 By far

completely superior to superman #1

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KEROGA

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#30  Edited By KEROGA

lol, i like aquaman...that should totally be his catchphrase "i DONT talk to fish"

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GrimoireMyst

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#31  Edited By GrimoireMyst

I read this issue and I thought it was great as someone who like they mentioned in the article doesn't really know much to anything about him.

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besighyawn

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#32  Edited By besighyawn

this convinced me more than anything to go pick it up

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chalkshark

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#33  Edited By chalkshark

I was pleased to see him get his father back. I never cared for the post-Crisis idea that he was just found by Arthur Curry, & raised as his son... kind of like Superman. I much prefer him having a tangible blood tie to the land. I'm also more than pleased to see Atlantis dismissed. Why tie the character to one city, when he's supposed to be the hero of the seas? Aquaman's adventures should take place everywhere on Earth. He should have the kind of global scope & recognition that Superman has.

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DMC

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#34  Edited By DMC
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daak1212

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#35  Edited By daak1212

HAHAHA! Aquaman having a good comic!?!? HAHAHAHA! It still may be good but it's Aquaman

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Marshal Victory

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#36  Edited By Marshal Victory
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DanialCarroll

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#37  Edited By DanialCarroll
@Aiden Cross

I love the new Aquaman, together with Batwing they are my favourite titles in the relaunch so far.

Same here.
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The Impersonator

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#38  Edited By The Impersonator

 
 
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DanialCarroll

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#39  Edited By DanialCarroll

I went into this book with the lowest of expectations and... it turned out being one of my favorites of the whole month :)

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webling

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#40  Edited By webling

Loved this issue and definitely keeping up with the series. Can't wait until Aqualad shows up. The first time I heard that Johns was going to have an Aquaman book come out of Brightest Day, I was excited. He and Deadman were the highlights of that series for me.

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Mumbles

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#41  Edited By Mumbles

one of, if not, the best book out of the new 52

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spiderman20991992

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Aquaman and Justice league were my favorites in the new 52, and aquaman is quickly becoming one of my favorite super-heroes, gotta love his underdog-ness!

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Bobzenub

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#43  Edited By Bobzenub

"Aquaman may still technically be king of Atlantis, but in his own mind, he's done with it."

Still, it would be interesting to see how Atlantis gets by without Aquaman at some point of the series.

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-Vigil-

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#44  Edited By -Vigil-

Geoff Johns? The above changes? Maybe I'll actually read this.

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-Vigil-

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#45  Edited By -Vigil-

@Samimista said:

@The Devil Tiger said:

It look awesome, I think I will buy it !

It's worth the money trust me this and Batgirl are the must read series so far of the reboot.

Um, except Batgirl (in my opinion) sucked. Easily one of the worst of the New 52. Perhaps you meant Frankenstein? :)

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Ruvik_

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#46  Edited By Ruvik_

its a great book one of my fav

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sethysquare

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#47  Edited By sethysquare

best issue of the week

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_Zombie_

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#48  Edited By _Zombie_

Oh man am I going to enjoy showing this issue to my Aquaman-hating friends.

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Wonder_Thunder

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#49  Edited By Wonder_Thunder

So Geoff Johns is taking the Hal Jordan/Barry Allen approach with Aquaman too?

"Tell everybody ______ is awesome until they agree with me, and if they don't, fuck them."

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GREGalicious

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#50  Edited By GREGalicious

I always liked AQUAMAN and i never really understood why he was so hated on.

I liked him with the "altered hand" tho...hook or enchanted water really doesnt make a difference to me.

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