The King of the Seven Seas has earned yet another illustrious title: Comic Vine's Character of the Month. With the title comes a lot of praise and articles highlighting his history, but we're also going to test Arthur Curry's abilities as a combatant by throwing him into the Battle of the Week. He didn't have much trouble defeating his first opponent, Jennifer Walters, a.k.a. She-Hulk, but his second challenger brings more variety to the table. Could the King of Atlantis beat Tony Stark (Extremis Armor)? According to the voters, the answer is yes. Aquaman wins!
The Avenger brings a lot of advantages to the table, but they just weren't enough to convince a majority of the voters that he'd win the brawl. It wasn't a lopsided poll, but Arthur held a strong lead. 55% sided with the hero from DC and 40% supported the Marvel combatant. Only 5% thought this one is too close to call. Even though Stark is way more versatile (flight, a variety of projectile attacks, cloaking), many voters thought Aquaman's sheer strength, durability, and use of his trident -- a weapon powerful enough to harm even Darkseid -- would allow him to eventually overcome the threat. It's not like Arthur is just a slow brute, either. He's dodged blasts before and he has the ability to leap great distances. Additionally, some voters said they think Aquaman would be able to make it to the East or Hudson River and that would give him a big edge.This battle produced a whopping 11 pages of debate, so let's take a look at some of the standout posts that were made for both sides.
Personally, I'd go with Aquaman, chiefly because Tony went up against another aquatic powerhouse in the form of Namor and he lost pretty badly. Now I'm not using ABC logic, but Arthur is stronger, more durable and faster in water than Namor is and has a trident capable of piercing Darkside to boot.
Arthur's also shown capable of avoiding lasers outside of water (at least for a while) when he went up against Black Manta. Between that and his durability, I'd say he can handle Tony's offense at range until he can get into the water and attack from there.
Tony's got a lot of gear (gas that can shut down lungs, sonics etc) that would grant him the win a few times and he's got the intellect to outsmart his opponent, however Aquaman should be the more dangerous of the two in a straight up fight.
IMO, Aquaman wins 6-7/10.
Siding with Tony on this one.
Arthur holds the edge in strength. However, I would argue that Tony is on par durability-wise considering he's tanked a nuke while not being remotely close to 100%. Tony should also hold the speed advantage considering he's fought Crimson Dynamo within the span of milliseconds. Arthur is no slouch in the speed department either, as he has blocked energy beams after they were fired in Aquaman #5 and has evaded laser fire in Aquaman #13. I believe Arthur will be able to get some good shots in but after the initial encounter between the two, I can see Tony assessing the current situation, keeping his distance and choosing to use ranged attacks. This tactic will be easier to employ bearing in mind that Tony has the added advantage of flight.
Versatility will play a major role in this battle as well because Iron Man will not be able to incapacitate Arthur through conventional means due to his immense durability. Once Tony realizes this, I see him using sonics to ultimately put down Arthur. Arthur will not have the luxury of increasing his chances of victory by immersing himself in water because I simply do not see him as the type who would be willing to put that many civilians at risk by taking the battle to them in order to reach the river. Due to the fact he does not know Tony's morals, he will not take that chance.
Overall, I see it being a good fight with Iron Man taking the win 6-7/10
I see Arthur winning this....
It is true as other people also mentioned that Iron Man has some clear advantages in terms of his weaponry and ability to fly. It is plausible he can dehydrate Aquaman with repulsors and uni beam and keep his distance through flight. These are all reasons Iron Man could win, but that does not mean he would for a majority.
One thing people forget about is the fact that (as already mentioned in the OP) Arthur has access to the Hudson River and the East River since the fight is in NYC.
Yes they aren't close to the rivers but they aren't really far either. A couple of blocks shouldn't be hard for Aquaman to rush through. He is durable enough to withstand attacks from Stark until he reaches any one of the rivers.
Given the fact that the characters does not have prior knowledge on each other, Stark will probably engage Arthur in cqc at first. This will be particularly dangerous for Stark because Arthur has good damage output with his trident and is more durable than Stark. Tony's speed might help him for a while, but eventually he would realize he can't take much of the trident that had hurt Darkseid. And would retort to bombarding Arthur from a distance.
I have to say Arthur is no dummy, he wouldn't just stay there and play Stark's game. He would understand he is at a disadvantage from the range and also want to hit the water to avoid dehydrating. So after the brief physical encounter which would likely damage stark a bit and force him to play range, Arthur heads to the water while Stark tails him and bombards him in the process.
Now, without any water around, Arthur would eventually get overwhelmed but it is only a few blocks that he has to cover. He has more than enough durability to do so.
Once Arthur reaches any of the rivers, he can dive in and Stark can't get to him at the depths. While Arthur can call in sea creatures to attack Stark on land, Stark really wouldn't have anything to do to Arthur who is deep under the water. Meaning he will eventually have to dive in the water as well, which would pretty much place him at a complete disadvantage where Arthur can gain a majority. He is much faster and stronger under water. Heck he can drag Stark out to the depths of the ocean from the river in a matter if seconds. Stark's armor also has to handle the pressure deep down the water alongside the trident blows and hordes of piranhas, sharks, eels, and mantis shrimps.
Basically, Arthur will gain a majority by taking the fight to the water and he has the necessary cqc skills and durability to do so as the rivers are only a couple blocks away.
Iron Man is taking this, not easily though.
While Aquaman's strength seems to be superior, it is not enough to take down Tony (who has tackled foes with this edge before).
Tony has an insane amount of versatile attacks from Repulsors to Magnetized punches to insane sonic attacks. His range is also FAR superior.
His flight in Extremis Armor is also one of the most impressive. He has shown speeds up to Mach 8.7 and his reaction time is also within the nanoseconds. The Sentry has complimented on his speed before.
His durability is also insane. One of his most impressive feats is taking 2 full hits from an enraged Odinforce Thor, and survived! (Granted that he lost). Also, his shields have survived insane attacks like tanking a nuke at only 2% power.
He also a decent hand to hand fighter and is now considered a veteran combatant. He has had many experiences fighting all kinds of foes and learns well from his loses.
Tony takes this 7/10
As far as strength goes, Aquaman most likely has an edge, but I don't think neither of them will go down simply due to strength. He broke Wonder Woman's grapple, which is quite impressive when you add it to stuff like lifting an ocean liner or beating Hercules in a one on one fight but again strength won't make much of a difference in this fight.
Durability wise Aquaman so far has survived direct hits from Wonder Woman, Hercules, Darkseid, The Dead King, Martian Manhunter (MM was in an enraged state and Aquaman survived both punches and eye beam blasts) and that huge Kaiju that stepped on him without even flinching. In the same issue he was shot from Atlantis to the atmosphere and then survived the fall to Iceland (striking the Kaiju). He also survived the volcanic explosion when he sealed the Trench or even being stabbed multiple times by the Dead King's Magic ice. And I almost forgot. Aquaman survived being fully immersed in lava when he took out the Dead King and before that tanked the continent busting attack that originally sunk Atlantis. Both characters are very durable but, we have seen Aquaman survive being directly pierced and survive but I don't know how IM would react if the Trident pierced the armor and connected with Tony. So I might give the edge to Aquaman due to the fact that even if his scale mail is pierced he can still function. Iron Man's armor and shields can withstand most likely multiple punches from Aquaman but I'd argue the Trident backed by Aquaman's class 100 strength would pierce those defenses nearly every time it connects. It pierced Darkseid's armor (same armor that was fine after tanking the point blank destruction of a planet) and broke the constructs of Graves that Superman couldn't. It also blocked and deflected the magic blasts from Morgana Lefay, a really high end magic user. I think its safe to assume that Darkseid > Iron Man durability wise and in that case the Trident would be more than enough to pierce Tony's armor.
As far as speed goes, Aquaman has so far tackled WW in superspeed (or by super rushing or whatever you want to call it) after she had attacked him first with the Lasso of Truth, while he wasn't looking at her. He showed the same kind of speed against Ocean Master. He was also able to connect a punch with Superman, while Superman was looking at his direction (Superman was also behind Wonder Woman and Batman and Aquaman also spoke before he struck). Now the impressive thing is not that the punch send Superman flying. The impressive thing is that Aquaman was able to even land the punch, considering Superman's superspeed and reflexes. This fact alongside his impressive tackle of another superfast character like WW suggests he can at least land a few strikes on faster characters (also tackled a flying Hawkman). Considering that both WW and Superman are way faster than IM, I'd say AQ can at least tag Tony some of the time. Other feats of AQ (on land) include him taking out multiple superfast Talons while joking with GL, deflecting or dodging energy beams, lasers or magic, catching up to a moving Atlantean aircraft, etc.
Of course IM has the range advantage. I would argue AQ can tank, dodge or deflect some of IM's arsenal, but I'm not an IM expert.
As for flight IM has the edge that's not really the issue. However we have seen Aquaman utilize his superleaping abilities multiple times to take out flyers. He tackled a flying Hawkman and also took out Parademons using his leaping. He can also maneuver while airborne as he has stated and shown multiple times (remember few feats for Aquaman since he only has the New 52 to rely on).
And a final point considering Aquaman's speed. In his very first issue in the New 52 he leaps from Boston harbor to downtown almost instantly during an ongoing car chase and lands exactly where he wants (in front of the robbers car). Now we know for sure that underwater Aquaman is much faster than hypersonic speeds via the way he embarrassed the hypersonic airplane of the Operative and in a recent issue he also was shown as faster than Martian Manhunter underwater, another character that most likely is much faster than IM (who also possesses super senses). But here's the point, for Aquaman to hear the sirens from Boston harbor and jump to where the action is downtown in seconds it would require his leaping to be anything between hypersonic and high hypersonic (this is based on the distance between the robbery and the harbor) . And since he tackled WW and Ocean Master utilizing some form of horizontal leaping or rushing already, I'd argue Aquaman can for sure tackle IM in a similar way. My point is even if IM is indeed faster, he isn't so fast that AQ can't tag him multiple times during the fight. If he can land a punch on Superman or tackle Wonder Woman you can bet he can do the same to Iron Man, no question about it.
Having said all that, I'd say on land this fight is pretty close. I'd give a slight edge 6/10 (maybe even 5,5/10) to Aquaman, since DC has shown consistently that in the current universe Arthur Curry is a legit powerhouse who can hold his own even when fighting against the DC Trinity and an entire Atlantean super army at the same time. Also I believe that the Trident would inflict way more damage to Iron Man when it connects than whatever Iron Man throws at Aquaman (put simply one strike from the Trident would do more damage to Iron Man than 2 repulsor beams would do to Aquaman and also Aquaman is nearly immune to heat, cold and general energy attacks, things that are common in Iron Man's arsenal).
Honestly I've voted too close to call this time. As someone who's participated in this debate before, it's a lot closer than either side are admitting thus far. Because it depends on how the fight plays out.
If Tony slips up and takes Arthur up close, this escalates Aquaman's chances of winning via his physical superiority over Tony and the piercing damage his trident can bring. He might not get past Iron Man's forcefields but his armour won't hold the same resistance that Darkseid has. Even Iron Man's speed might not prevent Aquaman from tagging him eventually.
On the other hand, if Iron Man stays at a range and blasts Arthur with repulsers, missiles and uni beams, this will have an effect on even Arthur's endurance and durability. Though Iron Man doesn't always use this tactic, it's not out of the question by any means. So it really depends on how the fight plays out and that's why I voted too close to call.
That's it for Aquaman's latest Battle of the Week! Will he earn another win next week or will someone finally take him down? Check back Monday to see who Arthur will face next. If you want to suggest a future opponent for Aquaman, tell us below or share it via twitter.