DC is giving Aquaman a new makeover in the comics, which is familiar for a couple of reasons. First, obviously he now more closely resembles Jason Momoa, the actor playing him in the DC Expanded Universe of films. This version of Arthur Curry glimpsed in ‘Batman V Superman’ but will be more heavily featured in ‘Justice League’ before hopefully making a splash in his own solo feature. Second, it is in many ways, a return to the way the character appeared in the 90s and beyond. At that point, Aquaman had his hand chewed off by a piranha and replaced with a retractable harpoon hook. He ditched his famous orange scale shirt in favor of gladiator-like armor.
Artist Stjepan Sejic redesigned Aquaman for the comics written by Dan Abnett. In the coming issues, Arthur will suffer a coup in Atlantis, sending him on the run. He will be more of a loner and outsider, bringing him in line with his film depiction– rougher and more brutal.
Momoa’s depiction, based on the ‘Justice League’ trailer also paints him as being more carefree and adventurous, similar to the way the character was presented on ‘Batman: The Brave & The Bold’ on which he was robustly voiced by John DiMaggio.
Abnett discussed his upcoming story arc:
“I think it’s going to be even more shocking than [losing the throne] — the price he’s going to pay and the turnaround that’s going to happen in the nature of this book. It is a very, very dramatic moment. I mean, obviously, we’ve carefully timed it to tie in with the 25th issue, because that’s a bit of a milestone. But I hope, like all great twists and swings in the face of fortune in a character, this one makes perfect sense. It might be bad and unexpected, but it is completely organically part of the process that we’ve been pursuing for the last 25 issues. I think it makes perfect sense.
“It’s a very, very big, dramatic change. And it’s a really great point to join in. It’s sort of, in some respects, a very fresh start. After a year of an intense bi-monthly run, we’re shifting back to monthly. That’s not a sign of a drop off in success, it’s just time to regroup and focus. One of the things we’re doing is changing art style, and that’s going to need the pace of a monthly book to achieve. So a turning point for Aquaman, the start of a major new direction, a fresh focus and feel… it’s a very big difference.”
The new look debuts in ‘Aquaman’ #25 later this month.
Recently other characters have been altered to more closely reflect how they appear in other media. Hawkgirl was made Latina, something that was hinted at in ‘Justice League’. Wally and Iris West are now African American, as they appear on ‘The Flash’. And most recently, Supergirl who was rebellious and headstrong is now more light and cheerful and looks more like Melissa Benoist’s take on ‘Supergirl’.
What do you think of this new look?