American History

Growing up, watching “Superfriends”, it was easy to ignore Aquaman. After all, I was probably more into Marvel Comics and wasn’t really into swimming all that much. He seemed a little pathetic in my 7 year old mind; basically everything had to be contrived to accomodate his powers.

Apparently, I wasn’t alone. He appeared an episode of “Robot Chicken” about a group of super heroes (Hulk, Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, etc.) sharing an apartment, a la “The Real World”. Aquaman was portrayed as an effeminate wimp, pushed around by Superman and the Hulk and ridiculed for his “super” powers.

This morning I was reading an article in the New Yorker about Thomas Paine, and Aquaman made a rather unexpected appearance there:

Thomas Paine is, at best, a lesser Founder. In the comic-book version of history that serves a our national heritage, where the Founding Fathers are like the Hanna-Barbera Super Friends, Paine is Aquaman to Washingtons Superman and Jeffersons Batman; we never find out how he got his superpowers, and he only shows up when they need someone who can swim.

Somewhat related to that, during a layover in Cincinnati on my way back from Ottawa, I learned that Union Terminal looks suspiciously like the Hall of Justice.