If ever there was a character that us comic kids “got,” and the genpop didn’t, it was Aquaman. Those of us in comics know that Arthur is a founding Leaguer, a powerhouse on land (as long as he stays hydrated) and an absolute force of nature in the water. His personality has bounced between being a regal and proper outsider to being a roughneck warrior who lives for the thrill of the fight. Both those takes can easily fit in the same character, though. And while I greatly enjoyed Aquaman’s turn as more serious power player in the Peter David title run and the Morrison JLA that followed, which would go on to inspire his appearances in the Justice League animated series, for my money the definitive Aquaman has to be the Brave and the Bold series, voiced by John DiMaggio. There, Aquaman was an adventurer in the truest sense, eager to aid his comrades any time they called, and sometimes even if they didn’t. Loud, boisterous, and macho without ever losing a genuine sense of enjoyment and that heart of gold, this Aquaman was truly the first guy you would want watching your six, and the first to buy the drinks when the job was done.
And I felt like Justice League got a good chunk of that character to the screen. Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman was never short on swagger or machismo, but it was pretty easy to see he was having the time of his life fighting alongside the League, and there was nowhere else he’d rather have been. Among ourselves, we occasionally call this version “Aquabro,” with his hooping and chest thumping, but I think we do it recognizing the charm in this hardass hero with a silly name. The pop culture leeches that fancy themselves journalists, of course, took it literally, and view Aquaman as the Super Friends character reimagined as a part of “bro-culture,” like he’s some superhero frat-boy. Again, we know him better, and those sensationalist asshats calling themselves “geek bloggers” did not. Big shock there.
Sorry, that’s been bugging me for the better part of a year now. Let’s talk about this figure, eh?
Mezco’s movie Aquaman is a tough order to fill. I love the movie costume because of it’s ornate, Atlantean armored design, but that isn’t something that necessarily translate to a cloth goods figure. And I’m sure it didn’t do so easily. Aquaman is built on the standard-ish “large” male body, I’m thinking similar to Black Adam, bit could be closer to Punisher/Rogers. He has a full body suit covered in a chain-mail patterned detail, that then has some harder plastic armor over it. These include the thigh and shin guards, torso plate, shoulder covers and wrist gauntlets. And so a generally poseable base figure now has some work to do in order to get poses.
Like the Armored Batman, I feel like it’s a bit life imitating art- armor should impede just about anybody’s ability to move, right? And in Aquaman’s case, this impediment is really mostly just in the torso. Like Wonder Woman,the joint is still here and functional, it’s just obstructed by the armor. Honestly, I had anticipated there would be some limitations of this figure from the outset, and I’m actually more impressed at what range he did get than disappointed in that which he didn’t. Your mileage, nautical or otherwise, will vary.
Aquaman is closer to a standard loadout on accessories than some others- 2 more pairs of hands, an excellent Trident, and the Atlantean Mother Box. All of these are good, but an extra expressioned head would have been a lot of fun, with how good the likeness turned out. And to be honest, and extra Jason Mamoa head would be fun to swap around the collection in it’s own right.
On that note, I had intended to do some headswaps for this review, since the armor is so cool looking. I sadly don’t have a good comic Aquaman head…is there one? Suggest below. But I did want to try the DC Direct Armory one. I don’t know where mine went, though. Anyway, he could make a really badass looking Atlantean soldier in a comic display, with the right helmeted head, and that might be fun to do should we get another movie version next year…
Overall, I really like how Aquaman turned out. He is amazing to look at, pretty good to play with, and looks outstanding with the other Leaguers. Thanks to Mezco, and the rest of you for stopping by!