Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Why does Namor the Submariner from Marvel get more respect than Aquaman or The Deep?

Today's post is less informative than my other posts, as it is asking a question of my fellow nerds out there in the hope that someone can provide me with an answer. Here is the question:

Why does Namor, the Submariner from Marvel get more respect than Aquaman or "The Deep" from The Boys for that matter? Here are a few observations:

They all have similar powers. Although "The Deep" from The Boys seems to have no connections to an underworld community of Atlantis (which probably doesn't exist in those comic books), Atlantis is a very real place for Aquaman in DC and Namor in Marvel. In fact, they both rule those places as kings.

Aquaman seems to have always been conceived as a hero-type, whereas Namor plays a villain quite often. This makes Namor land firmly in the anti-hero description. And The Deep just seems to be pure villain if not outright self-serving yet (ultimately) kind of spineless to stand up for things he clearly knows are wrong.

By leagues and bounds though, The Deep and Aquaman are ridiculed for doing certain things with fish (even though there is no proof that I've seen that Aquaman has sexual relations with fish). And the disrespect doesn't stop there, as he is frequently poked fun at by people who make these movies. I think the Big Bang Theory also took this route with the minority character, Raj Koothrappali, who was a punching bag for the other nerds throughout the series. It was one of the things I didn't like so much about The Big Bang Theory.

I wonder if it has anything to do with the old Superfriends cartoon in which Aquaman was essentially useless most of the time.

Anyway, if some of y'all out there can answer the question above, I'd appreciate what you could teach me about this phenomenon.


  1. Yeah Namor is more of a bad boy character while Aquaman has been seen as a goody-goody, no matter how they try to make him tough by losing a hand, growing a beard, or not being king. Even if they have him marry Mera and have a kid, the perception of him doing stuff with fish still persists. Not surprisingly The Boys really leaned into that. I mean when you have Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg as EPs you have to expect some lowbrow potty humor.

    For the record when I wrote an Aquaman-type character for Girl Power he starts out as a gay guy who has a secret atoll where he takes his boyfriend so no one from "Pacifica" (basically Atlantis) will notice. But he--then she--never does anything with fish.

  2. Namor has other attributes that make him work as a character. He has super strength and he can fly. Aquaman can breathe underwater and talk to fish. On land, he's... just a guy. And, well, Namor just has more depth (intended) to him.

    1. Just a guy with a magic trident and special armor. I mean, come on, Batman is "just a guy" too but not the butt of nearly as many jokes.

    2. The magic trident and special armor are new, designed specifically to make the character more versatile and not the butt of all of the jokes. Just like, in the 90s, having him lose his hand was supposed to make him a more gritty serious super hero so that people would quit making fun of him. Face it, Super Friends doomed Aquaman to a punchline, and I don't think there's a lot DC can do to change that.

    3. @Andrew: So it WAS the cartoon that made him a punchline. I was suspecting that this was the case. Without the cartoon, Aquaman would not be ridiculed at all.

    4. Yeah, maybe not. It's hard to say.
      It's funny, though, because -he- became a punchline but the Wonder Twins... Of course, they don't really exist anymore, so maybe that's worse.

  3. I have no idea. Why do people take a dislike or a disinterest in anything? Something about it must not be compelling.