Does anyone have thoughts about the various analogues inhabiting the combined universe, such as The Squadron Sinister/Squadron Supreme and Gladiator of the Shi'ar (and a few of his Imperial Guardsmen brethren)? Marvel does seem to be the greater perpetrator in this regard, btw, though DC is not entirely without their share of doppelgangers.
That is an interesting question Grey Crusader (to which Charles has already provided some fine answers!); I may have to try answering it myself, but will have to work out how best to go about it - certainly I'd do my best to reference the 'Champions of Angor' or the 'Maximums' as well as The Squadron Supreme.
I hope you enjoyed my Namor article and would love to know how you felt about those two interacting.
To be honest I suspect that Arthur and Namor will never EVER be able to get along peacefully because quite frankly they're a touch too similar to one another for their mutual comfort (in terms of background and responsibilities if nothing else); for the record I imagine that Namor's temper hasn't exactly been sweetened by the fact that Arthur is king of mighty Poseidonis which - dynastic squabbling aside - is just about as powerful and populous as it ever was, while Namor himself rules over an Old Atlantean city-state (somewhere in the waters of the Arctic Circle) that has been rather more harshly treated by history (possibly with several waves of occupation or conquest).
Imagine the difference between very Early Imperial Rome and post-Visigothic Rome; the former is far more secure and powerful than the other, even if it's rulers are not …
I am also inclined to think that Namor is MUCH less interested in Sealife beyond the Atlantean than Aquaman; put simply I see the Atlanteans as being just human-centric as the Surface World (interested in preserving the Oceans so that THEY can go on exploiting their resources as they have for a very, very long span of recorded history), as opposed to Arthur who has very good reasons of his own for refusing to see sea-creatures as ONLY potential food stocks to be exploited (not least the curious nature of his earliest days and his strong empathic-telepathic bond with oceanic life); I'm not saying Aquaman doesn't enjoy fish and chips as much as the next man, he's just a lot more likely to go to great lengths to ensure that the resources of the Oceans are neither abused or misused by either Atlanteans or the Surface world (a significant part of his refusal to show undue favour to his mothers people OR his fathers).
Namor, to put it mildly, is much less of an environmentalist - so long as his people are fed and nobody is dumping garbage on his head he has bigger fish to fry! (part of the reason he's MUCH more secure on his throne than Arthur). Admittedly his focus on butting heads with the surface world, rather than patrolling the Seven Seas and the Oceans of the World also means that his allies are far less widespread amongst the far-flung Atlantean Realms.
In the case of Aquaman, his abandoment by the royal family may have done him a service as Atlantean royals are positively Westerosian in their arrogance as well as cruelty.
I tend to see DC Atlanteans as more introverted, legalist and superstitious than anything; I'd imagine civilised life tends to be very centralised in the Undersea City-states given the abundance of underwater threats and general fear of detection by the surface world or by Atlantean rivals from other city-states, with very stern population control and draconian resource management - in all honesty it's interesting to imagine (DC) Atlantean nobles as being more bureaucratic than anything, perhaps with a few shades of the Mercantile Republics of surface world history.
They are still inordinately proud of their heritage, but less prone to martial bellicosity than they are to devious subterfuge and Rules Lawyering.
For the record I would also like to point out that in a Universe where the likes of Neron, The Endless and The Seven Deadly Enemies of Man (amongst other Occult terrors) are on the prowl, superstition is arguably a survival trait - albeit in the case of young Orin II taken far past the point of cruelty (although I suspect that it was a fairly controversial decision even so, if only amongst the Atlantean scientific community).
Though, as Injustice: Gods Among Us shows, he's quite capable of faking it.
I must admit that I have never played that particular video game, but have seen enough of the relevant cut-scenes on YouTube to say with confidence that it has one of the best depictions of Aquaman I've yet seen (despite his deplorable lack of beard AND hook), as well as a grasp of the various characters involved that impressed me more than I expected it to.
I'd also like to note that while I imagine Arthur as a very patient man, it would be somewhat misleading to describe him as 'Gentle' - 'rugged but compassionate' is probably closer to my mental image of him, given several rather tragic events that made up his youth (amongst them the death of Porm, his foster-mother).
Still, he's a heck of a lot nicer than Namor - but then so is Lex Luthor! (or perhaps he just hides the nasty better).
It's hard to maintain your old views when the guy who looks like the Atlantean Devil is a greater messiah than anyone in your history and beloved by the gods.
If I remember correctly Aquaman is supposed to be even more popular than Poseidon (at least where the creatures of the Sea are concerned); still it's true that Arthur has done a great deal more good as a 'Barbarian' outsider than he would have done had he been raised with Atlantean prejudices.
I'd also like to note that I suspect that Namor's personality can be described as being formed through a peculiar mix of persecution for his mixed heritage and adulation of his Royal Bloodline (coupled with his own imperious temper).
Indeed, the similarities to King Arthur of Britain are quite clear as both individuals were raised in circumstances that contributed to their taking a pleasant easy-going take to ruling versus the "I am a nobleman, bow before me" attitude.
It amuses me to imagine that both Arthur of Atlantis and Arthur of the Britons are victim of a long-running joke best summed up in five words "No, the OTHER King Arthur" much to their mutual amusement - although I'd argue that King Orin II probably resembles the Emperor Meiji or Theseus of Athens even more than Arthur Pendragon.
The reason Aquaman jokes are funny to Arthur Curry is that, as an Atlantean hybrid, he's more powerful than any other being on the planet but Captain Marvel, Superman, Thor, and Jo'nn Jones.
There's also the fact that, as an unambiguous superhero and long standing JLA member, he's as likely to be approached by someone looking for an autograph as he is by someone who finds him amusing (sometimes the two types pop up simultaneously!).
He will, admit, though, the orange scale-mail is kind of tacky. It's the equivalent of putting on a hunting vest underwater.
I like to imagine that it's actually COPPER rather than orange; I also agree with the idea that Aquaman frequently wears armour due to the single fact that (like Wonder Woman) while he's phenomenally tough, he's not invulnerable to physical harm.
It's just, well, Mera IS a monarch and Arthur seems to forget his royal dignity sometimes.
The Oceans, his Family and both his Peoples will ALWAYS come first on any list of Aquaman's priorities and 'Royal Dignity' tends to come dead last.
Really, a large part of Aquaman's public image problems is that he spends much of his time underwater.
Honestly I like to imagine that, at least on the surface, Aquaman does't really have a public image problem (if he's on the surface he's either taking a vacation or warring on Injustice, so either way he's usually in a better mood than usual) so much as he is the focus of a slightly skewed perspective - now in Atlantis on the other hand, he DEFINITELY has a Public Image problem (channeling the average Robert E Howard character spliced with an 'Earth First' activist will do that to a King).
I also agree, the "losing a hand saving your infant son" thing is a better story than "Black Manta kills his child because SHOCK VALUE."
Also "Black Manta HATES Aquaman but keeps getting beat up before he can do anything about it SO time to find some softer targets."
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