Arthur Curry, a.k.a. Aquaman, has the honor of being our latest Character of the Month. The King of the Seven Seas earned a ton of support from the voters and that means we'll spend the month praising this powerful DC hero. We've already looked at some of his Best Covers, talked about why his animated movie is a big deal, and we have much more Aquaman goodness on the way, but being the Character of the Month also means we're also going to test his abilities as a combatant. What? You didn't think he'd get to just sit back and enjoy all of the praise during as time as Character of the Month, did you?
Every week, he'll face off against a character he's never met or heard of before. Will he be able to overcome the challenger in a random encounter and end his time as Character of the Month undefeated? Only time shall tell, but it looks like he didn't have a lot of trouble beating his first opponent, She-Hulk. According to the voters, Aquaman wins! It's not easy being green, is it? Sorry, couldn't resist.
She-Hulk is no pushover. In her latest issue, she was punched from Brooklyn to New Jersey, got up, and continued to brawl with Titania. She's a skilled fighter, knowing how to drop pressure point strikes, and has an accelerated healing factor along with great durability and strength. Still, it just wasn't enough to bring down the Justice Leaguer. She has what it takes to knock him around, but New 52 Aquaman's strength feats are stunning and, just like Jen, he's quite durable.
A big game changer for a number of voters was his trident. There's no doubt it can pierce Jen's skin, it's just a matter of whether he'd land a noteworthy strike with it. Even if he doesn't land a critical stab, it's still a factor that can't be overlooked because slashes can add up and it gives him a bit of a range advantage. And that's in addition to his praiseworthy fomridability when it comes to sheer strength and toughness. She-Hulk will put up a fight and make Aquaman work for it, but most think she'll go down swinging. Maybe for Aquaman's next fight we'll place him against someone who will try to keep their distance instead of going hit for hit with him. Anyway, 61% of the voters sided with Aquadude and 34% supported Shulkie. 6% thought this one is too close to call and they can envision either character taking the win. Now, let's see what the community had to say about this brawl.
Aquaman. He's got the speed, strength, and tactics to beat She-Hulk in just about any location, except maybe Space. Not saying Jen won't get good hits on him, but she needs to get incredibly lucky and hit very hard, VERY fast in order to keep him off his feet.
For those saying water is too far away to be relevant to the fight, New York has ridiculous sewage systems and accessible water is less than 10 feet below him just about anywhere on the street. Even inside buildings and on rooftops you have to deal with any source of Water from sinks, toilets, water towers, and the like.
Aquaman has too many advantages in the middle of a city. Neither of them would willingly put civilians in danger, but will use every part of their environment to their advantage. Again, Aquaman's speed here puts him in a position to get to cover first, utilize any type of thrown object faster, and hit harder with anything he wants to use in combat.
Another big game-changer for Aquaman is his trident. That gives him a much larger attack range than She-Hulk has without throwing objects at him which he can easily deflect or dodge.
Aquaman is my favorite character, but I voted for She-Hulk. In the middle of a city means his telepathic summoning abilities have all but been neutralized. If he can make it to either of the rivers, he has a fighting chance, but he has to get through the She-Hulk to do it, and that's just not going to happen. Going in, his physical abilities are about equal with hers. Her strength, durability, reflexes and speed, however, will increase with her rage. In short order, she's going to be way more powerful than Aquaman. He just can't win this one.
She-Hulk beat Aquaman in the JLA/Avengers crossover. She'll beat him, again, here.
The Trident/Darkseid feat is getting tossed around alot in this thread, which is fine its a solid feat.
Its not even my favorite one though.
In Aquaman 4, as the Trench are beginning to swarm him, Aquaman discovering a small volcanic vent in the ocean floor. And he throws his Trident at it with enough force to set off the volcano.
Consider they were at/near the ocean floor and how strong the water pressure is, then consider how much force it takes to set off a volcano. And how much crust he would have had to break through to set it off in the first place.
I'm not saying its as good a feat as opening up Darkseid's chest, but Aquaman's Trident is no joke. If you want a slightly more vague feat, in the 2nd JLA arc when they were fighting Graves, Graves' armor was tanking hits left and right from the league including a point blank shot from Superman's heat vision. Heat vs piercing is very different, but Aquaman's trident shattered it with the blunt end.
The weapon is indestructible and acts as a key to open portals to other dimensions. And aisde from 1 or two instances when it was taken away from him due to plot, Aquaman always has it.
Its a very, very, very, big advantage for him. Not as important as say, Mjolnir is to Thor, but still quite up there.
It seems to me that Aquaman is going to win this. My original feeling was that he'd win easily. Now I'd modify that to maybe 6-7/10.
Aquaman has superior starting strength, from what I can tell. Jen may get stronger during the fight to match him. Her best feats (theoretically throwing the arm-wrestling match to Herc, which we have to take her word for, and lifting the Thing's max weight with one arm) are with the Jupiter suit, so not necessarily relevant now. She certainly has experience fighting many, many people who are at or above her strength, though, which I think is relevant. Whereas (and I'm happy to be educated on this, although no one has really said much about it yet) Aquaman doesn't has AS MUCH experience fighting top-tier strength characters in a melee situation. I'm NOT saying he has NO experience, just less. And yes, he seems to have done well in those situations. But She-Hulk's whole thing is fighting top-tier strength folks, so this is a contest that she's very used to. She knows how to use BFR and so on. Although Arthur could jump right back into the fight.
In terms of skill and tactics, I think Aquaman probably has significantly better tactics. In terms of skill, he's a trained warrior and I would think his general melee skill level is higher. Plus he's clearly trained with his trident, which is a huge plus for him here. Jenn is not just a brawler, though. She took out Abomination through pressure points, and also did that to some normal guys as Jenn Walters. And as I said above fighting top tier strength folks is her metier. She knows how a brawl goes down. That said, she usually doesn't win against people like Hulk, Juggernaut, Red Hulk, etc., she usually wins against folks like Titania, who are a much lower bar. Wendigo, for instance, was depicted as a tough opponent for her, although partly that was a healing factor issue. I have an extremely hard time taking her win over Champion seriously. First of all, she worked out ahead of time for the fight, so she was stronger there than she is here. Secondly, Champion should be way out of her class in terms of skill. She Hulk comics are often written with a humorous or absurdist aspect and I have to see this fight through that lens.
Aquaman probably has the higher durability, but She Hulk has the healing factor. I don't totally buy the "continent busting" feat for Aquaman. It's a good feat, but not the same as tanking an attack that could destroy a continent. From what I saw in the scans, the Dead King causes an earthquake by striking the ground. Then later he strikes at Aquaman, who catches it before it hits him. So this IS an impressive feat of strength (the Dead King must be very strong to cause an earthquake like that) but it's not really a durability feat since Aquaman doesn't actually get hit by it. So I am more likely to measure Aquaman's durability by his general ability to withstand hits from other top tier strength folks like Wonder Woman--although I think this whole "he only got a bloody lip" thing is not really any different from most top tier brawls. Guys like that get hit without taking visible damage all the time. In terms of She-Hulk, she's also got very high durability, and in addition has a healing factor. It healed her from having her gut pretty well cut out by Wendigo. But on the other hand it took a few pages to do that, and she was unconscious as it did. So in the battle thread context, I think that would be considered a win for the Wendigo. So while I think she could heal from the trident slashes, it wouldn't necessarily be fast enough to help her win.
Which is all to say that Aquaman's got superior stats and an edge on skill, and a trident that is certainly able to wound her, and those will all give him the majority of wins.
It's really close, but I see Aquaman edging out the victory ever so slightly more often than not.
Jen is no joke. She's smart, but I think in battle, Arthur is a better-versed, but I think Jen is the better hand-to-hand fighter and if she's not his match yet, I think she eventually will be. However, I think Arthur will see that and either make a run for a river or end he'll step it up and go for the kill even quicker than he normally would.
She-Hulk is a tough one, but that trident...
It's way close. I honestly don't think it's going to get much closer this month for AC, but I think The King of Atlantis reigns supreme in his first outing, but I'm going to call it right now and say match of the month for Aquaman. Win or loss, I wouldn't be shocked either way.
Aquaman is not given the respect he deserves. I think it's probably due to that God awful "Super Friends" series back in the early 1980s where he's thought of the guy in the orange shirt who talks to fish. Big whoop. He's bigger and better than that.
The "JLA: Welcome to the Working Week" graphic novel said it best I think: "A King is a King in every corner of his kingdom. And when he's not in his kingdom? He's still a King."
Nobody seems to disrespect Namor the Sub-Mariner yet Aquaman is scoffed at routinely. For those readers who bring up that She-Hulk has beaten Aquaman in one of those DC/Marvel Crossover Events; I remember Aquaman beating Namor in another one of those. True, I think he did some sort of sucker punch kind of deal, but it still counts that Aquaman is one of the big guns in the DC-verse.
Overall, the King to Tides holds the advantage in a battle between himself and the Jade Giantess in my opinion. First, I believe that in terms of raw strength that both of these individuals are fairly close than many would suspect.
Aquaman is severely underrated simply because of the company he keeps. If you hung around Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Martian Manhunter; you'd be thought of a wimp too compared to those powerhouses. While he's no Hulk, there aren't many who are in his weight class either and I believe that She-Hulk is around the same level in terms of raw strength.
Second, She-Hulk has always been a bit of a brawler. She's so confident in her strength and power, she rarely bothers to take a fight seriously at first. Aquaman on the other hand, has been forced to fight in the DC-verse and I think has increased his battle savvy-ness. If you're up against Superman-class powerhouses, Flash-class lightning speedsters, and Batman-class fighters, you either get dead really fast or you learn to fight on a higher level just to survive. So even if She-Hulk does have a slight edge on him in pure strength, Aquaman is the better all-around fighter in my opinion.
And while the East River and Hudson aren't around the corner for this battlefield, it's not as though Aquaman is totally cut off from water sources either. I mean, there has to be water lines, fire hydrants, etc. around. This is Times Square, not the middle of a desert.
Finally, Aquaman is equipped with a gigantic magic trident weapon. That means he's got better range than She-Hulk when it comes down to a melee fight. With his strength and the magic inherent in the trident, She-Hulk won't be able to shrug it off like nothing. Stick a fork (or trident) in her, she's is done.
That's it for Aquaman's first Battle of the Week! Will he claim yet another victory next week or will he go down for the count? 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.