Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Aquaman!

According to the 1976 DC Calendar, January 29 is Arthur Curry's birthday. Of course, Arthur Curry is better known throughout the world as AQUAMAN. According to his publisher, DC Comics, today is his birthday, which makes him an Aquarius. I think that makes perfect sense. :-)
This is the second year that I have been doing this blog in January so that I could write about Aquaman's birthday. (Last year's article is available here.) Because this year it falls on TV Tuesday, I thought I would talk about Aquaman on television.

Aquaman has had three distinct TV appearances/versions. The first one was in 1968 when he was part of The Superman-Aquaman Hour.This version was produced by Filmation and featured the voice talents of Mark Miller, Jerry Dexter as Aqualad, and Ted Knight as most of the bad guys. Besides Aquaman and Aqualad, the series featured Tusky the walrus, Storm and Imp the sea-horses, and, in a few episodes, Aquaman's wife Mera. Bad guys featured were Black Manta, The Fisherman, The Torpedo, and Filmation-created The Brain and Vassaa, Queen of the Mermaids.
 This cartoon is most famous for having Aquaman wearing black boots, a look that never caught on. It's also where I first heard his name pronounced. I hadn't thought about it before seeing this, but I am definitely in the "ah-qua" pronunciation camp; Ted Knight and everyone here says "aa-qua," which always bothered me.

Aquaman's second run on television occurred between 1973 and 1980 when he was cast on ABC-TV's lead cartoon series, The Super Friends. Originally he was one of the five main stars (alongside Superman, Batman & Robin, and Wonder Woman) but by the end of the run he was just another also-ran, outdistanced by upstart "hip" characters like Firestorm and Cyborg. Still, he made quite an impression in pop culture; if you don't believe me, ask around if people have heard of him or not. Most people, especially of a certain age, know who he is. We have The Super Friends to thank (or blame) for that.

  by the end, Aquaman stands with them and is one of the two fighter pilots, but that's about it

And lastly, Aquaman was a semi-recurring guest star on the SMALLVILLE television series. This was his first live-action appearance anywhere; he was portrayed by Alan Ritchson. A.C. was a student in Florida who was close to being "an environmental terrorist" (in the words of Lex Luthor). This portrayal of the character was popular enough for the SMALLVILLE producers to create a pilot "AQUAMAN" series in 2006. In this AC was portrayed by Justin Hartley. The pilot did not sell, and Hartley became famous on SMALLVILLE as another super-hero, Green Arrow.

 Here's a link to AC's first appearance on SMALLVILLE because I couldn't find the hyper-link to You Tube.

There are rumors of a JUSTICE LEAGUE motion picture if the up-coming SUPERMAN movie is a success. We can only hope that we may one day see another non-comic book version of Aquaman.

Aquaman's wife, by the way, has her birthday two days from now. Mera was a royal princess from another dimension. She happened to see Aquaman and Aqualad in some sort of inter-dimensional viewer and was infatuated enough to come for a visit. They fell in love and got married: the first wedding for a super-hero in comic-book history (Mr. Fantastic & The Invisible Girl got married a year later). So what do you think: are they the same age, is he older, or is he younger

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