Throughout numerous media both Aquaman and Namor has been the butt end of many ridiculous jokes. From lack of impressive powers to stereotypical hate from initial release both characters receive constant negative criticism for their ineffectiveness in any series. There are examples where this stereotypical hate is unjust however it’s a blanket effect on their franchise name, no matter how the amount of effort put in to portray in a better light. This is true for both aquatic superheroes of both DC and Marvel.
Aquaman was created in 1941. Arthur Curry, a son of lighthouse keeper and the Queen of Atlantis, has since become one of the consistent weak links of the Justice league. His powers consists of swimming underwater at ridiculous speeds, super human strength, ability to breathe underwater for an unspecified amount of time and ability to communicate with marine animals. Part of people’s dislike for Aquaman is because of his personality traits and his weak storylines made by DC. Another reason, his costume is the source of numerous jokes and the sheer ridiculousness of scales on the body.
Namor was created in 1939. A son of a human sea captain and the princess of Atlantis, has since become part of the X-men. His powers consist of swimming underwater and incredible speeds, super human strengths, ability to breathe underwater for an unspecified amount of time and limited ability to communicate with marine animals, and flight.
Looking at the characters do you see a trend? I have a feeling the hate for Namor stems from the utter ridicule generated from Aquaman. Can anyone else see the blatant rip-off DC created with the name Aquaman? Both have almost the exact identical abilities and identities, however if you notice DC tried to one-up Marvel in family lineage (son of a queen vs. son of a princess), and ability to communicate with animals (Aquaman can control and communicate with marine animals inherently whereas Namor has limited ability and relies on an item for such ability). Since both creations, Aquaman has been constantly powered up with each new appearance in continuities; Namor on the other hand has stayed the same since his creation back in 1939.
This barefaced copying could be where the hate for Aquaman started but throughout the years both parties have suffered. Other sources of detest (for Aquaman) could be the over use of additional cast in any of his series, another hero always shows up. For example Aquaman always needs to call in help from the justice league or any other superhero since he can’t handle the mission alone. Namor seems to always want to just do the mission and get on the next one. However, there are instances where Aquaman doesn’t require assistance from other heroes but this is from more recent issues and stories, hence the constant power ups Aquaman has received over the years.
Although DC throughout the years tried to make Aquaman less prone to ridicule, it will always be there. Pop culture has nonetheless made Aquaman the laughing stock of superheroes and that ridicule has spread to Namor also. In fact if you go on Youtube and search “Namor” the first hit has to do with Aquaman. In closing, I leave you with these pop culture references of Aquaman and you be the judge of how widespread the hate has bestowed on DC’s version of the royal Atlantean.