Friday, October 5, 2012

2012 Hitfix: Aquaman is a Superhero who Really Doesn't Need His Own Movie

HitFix is a four year old movie site that I don't recall ever having heard of before stumbling upon their underwhelming list of 10 Superheroes who really don't need their own movie. As is often the case, there may be one or two insightful offerings, but before long they start reaching for the low hanging fruit. For instance, it's common knowledge that Aquaman sucks, right?

After being the subject of a running joke on "Entourage" and the focus of an abandoned CW series, it seems that the maritime muscleman just don't get no respect. In the comics, several attempts have been made through the years to make the old-fashioned hero a little edgier (he has long hair! He has a hook for a hand!), but seemingly nothing can make Aquaman a marquee movie star.

-Dave Lewis

Iron Man was a middling performer at Marvel for decades that they tried to jazz up by making an alcoholic, turning evil, replacing with a black guy and teenage version of himself, plus near constant costume changes. Captain America's first motion picture went straight to video, not to mention his two lame TV movies and inability to get his own cartoon. Thor only appeared in one Hulk TV movie and as a segment on an anthology cartoon. Each earned back several times their substantial production budgets when faithfully committed to film. Meanwhile, Disney has placed supposedly safer bets on less "silly" properties like The Prince of Persia, John Carter of Mars and The Lone Ranger that have or inevitably will cost them a fortune in currency and good will.

Only unimaginative, insulated comic book geeks still get their panties in a bunch over how stoopid Aquaman is supposed to be. They'll reference Waterworld, even though that pseudo-bomb dropped nearly twenty years ago and was actually an international success earning back its ridiculous production budget with substantial profit to spare. Disney's big crossover action franchise was Pirates of the Caribbean, about sailors on the ocean fighting giant squid. Aquaman can do that, and bring along his own quasi-Darth Vader in Black Manta besides. His costume actually works a lot better in live action than most, since it's actual armor from the real world. He has a power set with a strong visual hook that hasn't been seen that often, whereas someone like the Flash would either employ comically sped-up film or recycle gimmicks from The Matrix that have already been done to death. Is it so hard to picture Deborah Ann Woll in a dripping wet skintight body suit as Mera selling tickets? When Michael Phelps was breaking Olympic records, they weren't calling him the Sub-Mariner! Aquaman can be done, and given his rare global brand recognition, sex appeal, and unique setting in an increasingly overcrowded genre, getting it done should be a top priority for Warner Brothers!

Superheroes who really don't need their own movie

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