Issue 186 – Aquaman

Issue 186 – Aquaman post thumbnail image

To tie in with the recent release of Aquaman & the Lost Kingdom, we take a look at the man himself, Arthur Curry! We have a whale of a time with this one, and we’ll cod to making more than a few fish jokes just for the halibut…

 Issue 186 – Aquaman

  • Intro
    • Shoutout to Into the Knight, who got a thank you from Jed McKay in the last page of Moon Knight #30
  • Background (4:29)
    • Aquaman (Arthur Curry) created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger in More Fun Comics #73 (Nov. 1941)
    • Golden Age origin is he is the son of a scientist who lived in the ocean and taught him how to breathe underwater and communicate with & control undersea life
    • Silver Age origin: Arthur Curry, son of Tom Curry & Atlanna, and because of his mixed heritage he has access to several Atlantean abilities, including how to breathe underwater and communicate with & control undersea life
      • This version introduces most of his supporting cast: wife Mera, son Arthur Jr., aka AJ or Aquababy, half-brother & nemesis Ocean Master, Black Manta, and others
    • Post-Crisis origin: Orin, son of Queen Atlanna & the wizard Atlan, he was abandoned by Atlantis and discovered by Tom Curry who eventually dies when he’s a teen, and he returns to Atlantis where he is imprisoned before breaking out and joining the Justice League, where he uses his abilities like how to breathe underwater and communicate with & control undersea life
      • This is the version that loses his hand after it’s eaten by piranhas
      • He is the leader of Sub Diego, an undersea version of San Diego
      • He becomes the Dweller of the Depths to assist the new Aquaman, Arthur Joseph Curry, before dying and later resurrected during Blackest Night/Brightest Day
    • New 52 – Once again the son of Tom Curry & Atlanna, he was raised on land but aware of Atlantis, and when he returns to the sea he is crowned King, but he abdicates to be with Mera and join the Justice League until he’s forced to return to rule over Atlantis despite half the population hating him
      • He finally proposes to Mera at the start of DC Rebirth
  • Issues – Theme is fish out of water, then in, then out, then in… (10:34)
    • Reluctant ruler of Atlantis – numerous time he returns to the throne in times of trouble, only to either vacate willingly to help Justice League/other heroes, or be forced to abdicate due to various factors
    • Walks two worlds, but not fully accepted in either (15:36)
    • Loss of a son – created strain on him and Mera (31:47)
  • Break (42:02)
    • Plugs for Last Sons of Krypton & SNEScapades
  • Treatment (43:50)
    • In-universe – Build a safe space for Aquaman
    • Out of universe – (46:56)
  • Skit (53:35)
    • Hello Aquaman, I’m Dr. Issues. Would you prefer…um Arthur? Orin? Your chart has some conflicting information, and my electronic health record merges files quite haphazardly. – Doctor, you can just stick to Aquaman for now then. Most land acquaintances do.
    • Do they now? Ok. So, what can I do for you? -I’m in a state of flux. I’m trying to keep on course. The problem is, I don’t have a map.
    • Are you speaking metaphorically, or is this some sort of buried treasure -*snapping* I don’t make puns and I need you to take this seriously.
    • *gulp* My apologies. So, how did you get so lost? -I’m not sure. I have a lot of people counting on me, but when they all ask for help at once they’re like crabs in a barrel. They’re too quick to lionize me as their savior, and too quick to denigrate me as a fake. 
    • I’ll admit, that sounds like injustice, and I don’t mean that from a dramatic perspective. The world hasn’t always been fair to you, has it? -Maybe not, but I can’t complain too much. There’s no breathing room. *clears throat* pardon, but I need to drink some water.
    • Sure, go right *sound of a tidal wave or something* …ahead. Um, did you have to soak the whole couch? -My kingdom is good for it. You don’t mind barnacles, right? 
    • Barnacles, no, but the jellyfish – *ignores* Anyway, my kingdom…*sigh* it’s not always my kingdom. Sometimes I want to swim away and never see any of them again. But I won’t abandon my family. 
    • Priorities. Got it. You sound like you have a lot of triggers that could exacerbate anxiety and/or depression. Have you experienced any of those symptoms? -Well I’m not the one with the degree, but if you’re referencing eternal sadness, sleepless nights, the sense of dread that your society will be wiped out, and those who know of you before you know them are willing to kill everyone you love for the sake of power so you let your own sense of pride burst forth into a fit of rage that only the mightiest of beings can come CLOSE to matching *clearly exasperated but trying to calm down* perhaps…I have.
    • I won’t snap to judgment on diagnosis, but you don’t need any labels. Sounds like you’ve had stuff going on for a looooong time. What led you to come to me now? -I’m not sure. 
    • You’ve said that more than once. -And I’ve meant it every time. This is the only place I can use a phrase like that and not die. 
    • Mostly right, sometimes wrong, but never in doubt. A real Type A mindset. -If that makes the most sense to you, then yes.
    • I’m a buffer zone. That can work, but ultimately you’re going to have to find a way to recreate that in other environments. -Tricky to do when the natural state of those environments are hostile.
    • Are they really, though? I’m not saying you’re wrong, just challenging the assumption. – There’s a not-insignificant portion of my kingdom who believes I was cursed the moment I was born. There’s also a large segment who wishes I would vacate the throne and never return. Not surprisingly, those two segments share a healthy overlap. So when the very people I aim to lead don’t want me in the leadership role, I think it’s fair to say it’s a hostile environment. And that’s ignoring the numerous attempts on my life, the never-ending struggle with my half-brother, the various threats from the surface world…
    • Then you need a huge amount of resiliency, and that doesn’t get built in a vacuum. You mentioned family as your number one priority. Are they integrated into how you process your life, or are they delicate figures you keep sheltered in your mind so you don’t lose them? -I would never refer to them as delicate or sheltered. But I don’t make my personal life a spectacle either. Mera is everything to me…sometimes the only thing.
    • It’s okay to want more than that. -I don’t need more.
    • I specifically didn’t say need. I said want. Aspirations that are your own, even in the midst of external values. -That is such a land dweller thing to say.
    • I confess my biases, yes. But I’m acknowledging your culture as well. I’ll have to learn on the fly how to blend your understanding of how the world works with my own. I embrace that challenge. -*pause* How far are you willing to go?
    • I don’t know…that’s really vague, and I know that type of question is leading to some discomfort -*boldly* NO whining! You may be granted a privilege that will change your life, If you are a brave soul.
    • See, I’m a coward, so -*dismissive* Nonsense! You just need some basic skills. Can you swim?
    • Yes. -Can you hold your breath for at least 2 minutes?
    • What? I don’t know…probably? But if you’re alluding to what I think you are, I don’t think my freediving skills are up to par. -We’re not simpletons. We have equipment; you need to be fit enough for the transition.
    • And this benefits YOU in what way. -If I can show you just how unique our ways are, then you would be able to not only assist me, but also those who question my position. Expand your practice.
    • Can you give me some time to mull this over? I’m not used to someone actually getting so gung ho about my sessions. -I won’t wait forever. If you need to seek council from those who would put your mind at ease, then I understand. You will hear from me shortly.
  • Ending (59:57)
    • Recommended reading: Peter David run, with focus on Time & Tide and the Atlantis Chronicles
    • Next episodes: Echo, Speedball, Deathstroke
    • Plugs for social & GonnaGeek Network
    • Anthony: That will do it for this episode. Doc?
    • Doc: *text message sound* Hold on…it’s Aquaman? Huh…’thanks for the introductory session. I know I told you I would contact you shortly, but I am so excited that I did a search on therapy techniques. I think you’ll understand my world better if you engage in flooding. This is NOT a request.”  What the hell does that mean? I just go to the beach or the aquarium and *water rushing/waves crashing* *gurgling* I guess I should try to keep my head above water for now
    • Anthony: He didn’t have to be so dramatic. For a drowning Dr. Issues, I’m Anthony Sytko, and we’ll see you next time!


  • Black Manta episode – Anthony (6:38)
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome – Anthony (8:54)
  • “We Don’t Talk about Bruno” – Anthony (9:20)

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