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Classic Comic Cover Corner – Aquaman #57

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Every Sunday morning we showcase a classic comic cover, complete with compelling pop culture commentary, for your cordial contemplation. It’s the Classic Comic Cover Corner!

Aquaman #57 – September, 1977

Cover art by Jim Aparo

Aquaman #57 – September, 1977
Aquaman #57 – September, 1977

We all know that what started out as the sequel to the film Man of Steel turned into a movie based on Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns comic series and was to be called, Batman v Superman. The planned film later morphed into a precursor for a Justice League movie and is now called, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which is said to have an appearance by almost every DC hero and their brother, including Aquaman.

Well, the Internet was ignited last Thursday evening when BVS: Dawn of Justice director, Zack Snyder, tweeted out the first picture of actor Jason Momoa as he will look portraying the “King of the Seven Seas” in the upcoming film – and fans of the HBO series, Game of Thrones, might assume that Khal Drogo has simply stumbled upon some stylish scale-duds.

Jason Momoa as Aquaman
Jason Momoa as Aquaman

Does Momoa look badass cool? Absolutely! Does he look anything like Aquaman? Absolutely, not! But to be honest, at this point I think this is pretty much what most fans expect from Snyder and his dark take on the DC heroes. Is it all going to work well in the DC cinematic universe that is being woven together? I really do hope so, but I have serious doubts. (You can read about some of them in a previous CCCC post HERE!)

All of this got me to thinking about the granddaddy of all superhero movies, 1978’s Superman, directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve. The cover of Aquaman #57 (1977) actually advertises a contest where a lucky reader “could be in the Superman movie.” It’s funny now because who would have thought, thirty-eight years ago, that the little banner ad in the lower right corner might actually apply to Aquaman himself?

According to Superman: The Unauthorized Biography, by Glen Weldon, that little understated contest was how most fans first found out that they were even making a Superman movie (remember, this was when Twitter was the stuff of science-fiction), let alone that they could win a cameo appearance in it (by cutting out letters that spelled ‘Superman’ and otherwise defiling their treasured comic.)

Aquaman #57 is also notable in that it was the first issue of the title published after a six year hiatus (the series had been canceled with issue #56 in April, 1971.) The revenge story, “A Life for a Life,” by famed Marvel scribe, David Michelinie (see Iron Man’s infamous “Demon in a Bottle” storyline), picked up where Adventure Comics #452 left off, wherein Aquababy (emphasis on ‘baby’) is actually killed by the Black Manta. And for those who might have thought Aquaman was all just light foamy stories with mentally commanded fish, in addition to baby killing there are some serious racial issues being addressed in both of these classic comics.

So what do you think about this first look at Mamoa as Aquaman? Do you love it, or does it have you spitting Dothraki curse words? Let us know in the comments below!

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