JUSTICE LEAGUE - THE ENEMY BELOW

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Aquaman Don't you find fish to be one of the most benign creatures on the face of the Earth? All day long they swim, sh*t, swim, eat, swim, sleep, and that is about it really. Maybe this was the species Jesus was referring to on when he gave his 'Sermon on the Mount'. The meek shall inherit the Earth. Aquaman likes to thinks so anyway. As depicted in this 40 minute cartoon made in 2001.


Justice League (inc The Enemy Within)


THE STORY:
Now it's pretty safe to say that the King of Atlantis, Aquaman, sure is one bad-ass water dweller, because he and his army do manage to accomplish quite a lot of things to piss the Earth breathers right off. For example: They sink a nuclear submarine when it journeys through their territory. Then, they are able to repel the Justice League when they go to investigate this matter further. Plus on top of that, Aquaman, on his own, tries to force the United Nations to stop interfering in his business any more.

Still, you know the old saying don't you? It's takes a bad ass to stop a bad ass. Or most notably, gun for hire, Deadshot, when he attempts to blow up Aquaman just after he walks out of the United Nations building. Moreover, it also takes Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, the Martian Manhunter, and Green Lantern, to stop this sharp-shooter in his tracks, and coax out of him who hired him in the first place to kill 'Goldie Locks'.

And who would want to do this you might wonder? Why it's Orm -- Aquamans brother of course. Plus the pain in the ass that puts Aquaman and his baby boy in a death trap when he returns to his kingdom. Captures the League when they go to tell him what they have discovered. And then tries to sink the world with a weapon of watery destruction.

What a wet fish! Huh?

Though, I suppose that is why what next transpires really kicks off when Aquaman gives himself a very harsh manicure. As Mera comes to the rescue - Orm turns into Chowchesku - a blond family is saved - and most of the heroes are generally well behaved.




THE REVIEW:
In my opinion, Aquaman is one of the most un-luckiest b*stard heroes in comicdom today. His rise and fall over the years has been as turbulent and as rocky as the sea itself. One minute he is on a hot book with a hot creative team. And the next minute he is swimming with the fishes at the bottom of Davy Jones locker.


DCnU Aquaman


Shame really. Considering that he is a really great character with a rich history to match. Here, check out these facts to see what I mean: (1) Aquaman's comic book debut was in a back-up feature of 'More Fun Comics' #73, September 1941. (2) He was devised by Sandman co-creator, Paul Norris, plus Johnny Quick co-creator, Mort Weisinger. (3) He was never given any form of predominant role in the DC Universe until the Silver Age of comics, when he became a founding member of the Justice League of America. (4) Aquaman's 'Atlantis Connection' has acted in detriment to his status as a hero from time to time. Inadvertently making this sunken Greek Island bob and weave in and out of his own origins by default. (5) Depending on what version you read, Aquaman father was either a Wizard named Atlan, or a light house keeper called Tom Curry. (6) The Sea Kings war-time exploits involved him fighting Nazi aquatic saboteurs. (7) Originally his evil half-brother, Orm, was related to him by Tom. Not the mother figure. (8) Aquaman was the leader of the 'Justice League Detroit' version of the League. (9) The villain, Black Manta, killed his son in the nineties. (10) Although such comic book greats as Jim Aparo, Robert Loren Fleming, Keith Giffen, Curt Swan, Craig Hamilton, Dan Jurgens, and Eric Larsen have helped tell Aquaman's chronicles in the past. I've always enjoyed Peter David's stamp on this character myself, because it was a mixture of humor, pathos, and the unknown. And (10) He lost his hand to some demented piranhas.


 Jim's Aquamans Aquaman's First Apperance - More FunAparo Aquaman


OK, I know what you are thinking to yourself. So what does any of this have to do with 'Justice League - The Enemy Below'? Does this rich history make this cartoon any good or not? Well, I just find that for you to understand this animated action film a little bit better, you have to gauge what Aquaman is all about, and then try to ascertain if the makers have captured a semblance of truth to him or not.


JUSTICE LEAGUE - THE ENEMY BELOW


To me - yes - they have. Kind of. Because they have distilled the concept behind his character to Atlantis alone, and then spun a very great yearn to relay their findings. Let me give you a brief run down on what I liked / disliked about this piece so much. (1) The inclusion of Deadshot was the stand out point for me in this story. Not only did I like his Kevin Spacey like voice. But I also enjoyed how he tried his best to get away from the League any which way he could. (2) Batman was a character that I would have liked to see more of in this tale. He and Aquaman have had a rather relatable history together, and I would have liked for their kinship to shine through a little bit more. Also, I thought it pertinent how Batman acted as a sort of a 'Mister Fix-it' on occasion, patching up the cracks when the other League members couldn't seem to. (3) I always liked Aquaman's 'Warlord' look myself, and I was genuinely happy to see this brought over to this animated platform. Moreover, the scene where he has to chop his own hand off was a right blast, and executed in a very cleaver and dramatic way. (4) Like most of the other double-whammy episodes of this series, I would have liked to have seen the overall narrative given more scope all in all. Personally speaking, if this story was relayed in three instalments rather than two, the gravitas of Atlantis would have come across much more relevant as a concept. And (5) More Mera would have been nice too. Plus a clearer explanation as to why Green Lantern, John Stewart, was against Aquaman so much.


Attack on the Justice League


Overall, 'Justice League - The Enemy Below' is a really enjoyable cartoon. It has pathos, a very simple plot, and a narrative that has been laced in distilled history, and tries it's hardest to give 'The King of the Seven Sea's' a place within the League. Agreed Aquaman?




Errr. OK?

THE RATING: B+