Silver Age Aquaman
By Hervé St-Louis
March 1, 2004 - 14:20
The Silver Age Aquaman and Aqualad action figure set by DC Direct represents many things to many people. For some, it reminds them of the campy Super Friends' Aquaman. For others, the figures are perfect custom fodder for the Unambiguous gay duo. For others, it's an Aquaman figure from simple times, when heroes used to smile. For me, it's a great set that has to be treated with care.
With the black underwear and the orange shirt, this is the Silver Age to Bronze age Aquaman. However, his belt is golden, which makes the character less from those eras than the modern age. The smiling face fits with Ramona Fradon and Nick Cardy's Aquaman the best. Sculptor Tim Bruckner didn't put the fins on the calves like either Cardy or Radon. The biceps are thinner than Fradon. This is a general Aquaman.
The smiling face is a problem for many fans. They say it removes the seriousness of the figure and make it campy. The real problems are the scales on Aquaman's shirt. They are not scales but spikes. Aquaman's chest and arms have the same type of sculpt many Silver Age and Golden Age characters sculpted by Tim Bruckner have. They have stylized chests, only four abs and long biceps.
The paint application is good. There's a gold bluish on Aquaman's shirt. Many people have suggested that the chain mail shirt was really golden. It makes sense here, also considering that chainmail reflects light. The golden belt makes the figure seem darker than usual. It may not have been a good decision. The Brave and the Bold Justice League version of the figure has appropriately stuck with yellow.
Aquaman, of course fits with Aqualad, but also with the Silver Age versions of Batman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Superman, the Justice Society figures, the Crime Syndicate and even the Super Friends' Black Manta. The figure doesn't really fit with the Martian Man hunter or Red Tornado a it's not a real problem. He also looks good next to the classic Green Arrow figure, the one with the kilt.
Aquaman is stable, but not much. Fortunately, bending his knees helps. However, be very careful with this figure. The ankles cause most problem with the figure's balance. His torso is not top heavy, and his legs are solid and flat enough to support his weight. The ankles can break. They are fragile where they connect. When in doubt, use put the Aquaman on a stand. He has a peg hole in his foot.
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