I’m not really sure why, but Aquaman has always been my favorite superhero. Maybe it’s because I was always predisposed to underdogs and stuff out of the mainstream, or it could be—as a blonde kid—I identified with the blonde character. It’s also possible that I was attracted to him because at the time I was discovering superhero comics, I loved swimming and the beach. Who knows?
But enough about me. Aquaman debuted in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941 (the same issue that featured the first Green Arrow story). He had an uninterrupted run as a backup feature in comics for nearly two decades until the superhero revival of the late 50s brought about increased notoriety.
Around that time, Aquaman adopted a sidekick (Aqualad), became a founding member of the Justice League, got married (see Mera), had a baby, and became king of the underwater city of Atlantis—all while wearing the same unusual yet oddly appealing outfit he’d sported since the beginning. (There’s virtually no other superhero I can think of with orange in their costume.)
In 1962 he got his own magazine, followed by his own Saturday morning cartoon in 1967, and he appeared as one of the four original cartoon Super-Friends in the 70s. His height of popularity may have been over 40 years ago, but it’s only a matter of time until some handsome Hollywood actor portrays him in a big summer blockbuster and brings him all the recognition he deserves. Well, I can dream can’t I?
Illustrating one playing card a day using characters found between 1957-1967 in DC Comics. Next: the original Bat-Girl!
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