Tag Archives: superman

Is Aquaman a Victim of Power Creep?

aquamanPower creep is a loosely defined term mostly because it is subjective in its application. Generally speaking though, power creep can be roughly described as the general evolution of character’s powers over time. For the fickle readers and writers of comics, these powers becomes part of the character’s canon, and represent abilities and powers which should be perpetuated. In the golden age of comics, Wonder Woman once found herself trapped in outer space, and needing a source of oxygen, she ground her earrings to dust, somehow releasing enough oxygen that she could safely breathe. It did not matter that this was a throwaway occurrence or that it made very little sense, but all of a sudden Wonder Woman’s earrings had the ability to allow her to breathe in outer space. The same kind of runaway powers are prevalent in almost every hero, with debates over who can smash a planet, or a sun or a galaxy.

The advent of power creep is not always to an infinite degree. Sometimes the creep comes and then goes. Many fans either applauded or decried the post-Crisis Superman as written by John Byrne. Gone was the outlandishly powerful character who could scarcely be stopped by any theoretical angle. It seemed as though that anytime that he faced a threat that he developed a hitherto unseen power and that this power became another part of his canon. Fans might even look to the extreme such as in the movie Superman II when he throws his S-symbol from his chest and it becomes a giant cellophane trap for his enemies. In contrast Byrne created a character, that while still strong far beyond human capabilities, still had some limitations. The new more approachable and realistic character was what some wanted to see and what others did not. Regardless, this character did not last long either before returning to near omnipotent powers.

Among the core members of the Justice League and of the A-list of DC Comics characters, Aquaman is the one that has received the most negative attention in the years since his introduction. He was long thought of a running joke among those that looked at the medium from afar, with numerous comedic jabs at his unimpressive powers being a staple of social media and some paid professional comedians. The question is though, how did the character end up as a running gag for so long.The main problem it would seem is in the setting of the character. The undersea world is a great one for exploration, with the likes of Jacques Cousteau having made a career just out of underwater exploration. The appeal of the underwater world is there, but equally in terms of how comics tend to allow power creep onto characters, it also became one of a limitation. For DC characters with such ill-defined power or ability inspiration as “Super”, “Wonder” or “Bat” it is easy to expand their abilities beyond those of those words, as the words can be taken to mean different things, even in the case of “Bat” which might only be a creature to some, but to others represents the night or sneakiness or resourcefulness. “Aqua” it would seem is a limitation in terms of how comic writers thought of powers to develop for the character.

Some writers rightfully pointed to the fact that a character that can swim underwater and withstand the great depths and pressures of the oceans would be equally be superhumanly strong, maybe not the levels of Superman and Wonder Woman, but well beyond that of a normal human. While there were some sensical derivations of his powers, others were goofy. The ability to speak to or command marine life might have been a logical power to attach to the character, but equally this power was ill-defined and also generally useless, at least when it compared to the ability to move mountains or walk through walls. Equally so, when the character lost his hand in the 1990s during a reboot/darkening of the character, it was replaced by nothing other than a small harpoon, the writers once again unable to think of anything for the character beyond the aspect of the sea. His power creep did not occur to a great degree, but it seemed that when it did, that the character just became a bit more aquatic than he had before. Even compared to a pretty aquatic character in Namor, the Sub-Mariner, Aquaman’s powers were very sea based as Namor showed the ability to fly.

aqotherTo be fair since the relaunch of the new 52, the character is one of the DC properties that has really taken off, now ostensibly holding down two separate series at DC, a capability that previously had only been able to be accomplished by Superman, Batman, sometimes Green Lantern and rarely Wonder Woman. It would seem that the serious tone for the character now is one which has aided him, at least in the public perception. As his own entourage of the Others provides his own superhero team, they fill out the slow creep into more powers that another character might have experienced since long ago. As to whether power creep is actually a good thing or not is up to the fans to decide, but for so long it seemed, at least until recent years that Aquaman was left behind in the balance of powers.

About these ads

Brazil’s Politicians Channel Superheroes

While here in the United States politicians tend to hide their goofy side, in Brazil, it’s a whole other situation. There, politicians have no problem channeling their inner superhero to court voters. Via the New York Times, there an auditor flies through the air like Superman, shooting laser beams from his eyes while using font last seen in He-Man. The candidate for a Catalão City Council seat dressed as Spider-Man and vanquished scoundrels in striped prison uniforms with well-aimed body blows.

This is all a move to cut through and grab voters’ attention. With over 20 political parties, you need to do whatever you can I guess.

If only our elections were this entertaining.

Royal Canadian Mint Unveils New Superman Coin Collection

Following last year’s sold-out Superman seven coin series, the Royal Canadian Mint has introduced four new collector coins featuring DC Comics‘ iconic Superman comic book covers. The coins were unveiled at Fan Expo Canada by the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, and Mr. Patrick Hadsipantelis, Vice-President of Marketing and Communications at the Royal Canadian Mint.

These exciting new Superman coins can be ordered directly from the Mint at 1-800-267-1871 in Canada, 1-800-268-6468 in the US, or on the Internet at www.mint.ca/superman. The coins will also be available as of September 2, 2014, at the Royal Canadian Mint’s boutiques in Ottawa, Winnipeg and Vancouver, as well as through the Mint’s global network of dealers and distributors, including participating Canada Post outlets.

Check out below for images of the coins and below the jump for more information.

Read more

Around the Tubes

The weekend is almost here! And it’s a long weekend! I’m spending it at the NOVA Open and National Book Festival.

Around the Tubes

Kotaku – We Might Be Witnessing The ‘Death of An Identity’ – This might be a good thing.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Comic Vine – Batman Eternal #21

Comic Vine – Black Science #8

Comic Vine – C.O.W.L. #4

Comic Vine – Cyclops #4

ICv2 – Invincible Days

Talking Comics – Outcast #3

Bleeding Cool – Roche Limit #1

Comic Vine – Saga #22

CBR – Saga #22

Comic Vine – Silver Surfer #5

Comic Vine – Sinestro #5

Talking Comics – Superman #34

Comic Vine – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time #3

Talking Comics – Uncanny Avengers #23

Comic Vine – Wayward #1

Talking Comics – Wolverine #12

Around the Tubes

So, I hear there was this big convention this past weekend…. We’ll continue our coverage over the next few days, while also looking forward to many more to come!

Around the Tubes

Bleeding Cool – Galactus Feasts Upon Castle Doom: Touring the Hasbro Marvel Universe Display – The displays are impressive every year.

HNGN – First Superman Comic Could Be Worth Millions in eBay Auction – Nice!

Kotaku – Marvel Crams The Guardians Of The Galaxy Into Every Video Game It Can – The new Deadpool or Wolverine?

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

Talking Comics – Aquaman #33

The Herts Advertiser 24 – Avengers World: A.I.M.pire

The Herts Advertiser 24 – Revolutionary War

Talking Comics – Saga #21

« Older Entries