It’s inevitable that at any range of issues, or entire comic arcs, heroes become villains and villains become heroes, in what could be thought of and related to as the day-to-day difficulties as we all navigate our relationships. And in comics two of these characters who are so similar, Namor and Aquaman, have a definite place to begin to think about those differences that matter. Either could win a battle of their abilities, from telekinesis of sea life to flight, but we could most easily see the differences in something they are quintessentially depicted as doing: sitting on a throne and looking serious. Who would win this battle? Who rocked that pose the best?
Of course, that’s up to the artist, and there are hundreds if not thousands of artists who have taken on this task. First, there’s the throne. Both Namor and Aquaman have intricate shell shapes they sit on top of looking serious toward no one in particular, and so many artists have created small architectural masterpieces just envisioning the same scene. It’s a place for wild invention, and an opportunity to unleash ethereal blues and greens upon which both sit as the caretakers of their realms.
But Namor, in many cases, just looks relaxed. He kind of slides into the space, almost like he’s sitting on a beanbag chair just kind of chilling out. When he stands up he’s super powerful, but when he sits down he’s essentially saying through body language, “Bitch, please”. Aquaman could walk in and Namor would just sit there, with Aquaman, psychic abilities in full display might detect clairvoyantly a “meh”. Bored to the point of confusion, Aquaman would probably give up and just say, “Alright then, I’m going to go play with the dolphins, this isn’t interesting at all.” But does he do that? Absolutely not.
What would Aquaman do? Just to prove a point he could direct the ocean waves and catch a current to perform somersaults in the air, and then go back to his kingdom, with both enjoying their respective parts of the ocean, and competing publishing companies. So neither win, and because of that, they both win, and can go on exciting adventures ready for each generation of artists and writers, and inspire the minds of countless readers. Thank you Aquaman and Namor, and all of your writers and artists, who inspire all of us every day, take a step back today and sit on that throne, you all deserve it.