WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1, by Scott Snyder, Franchis Manapul, Howard Porter, Scott Godlewski, Hi-Fi and Tom Napolitano, in stores now.
As far as superpowers go, "talking to fish" isn't exactly at the top of anyone's wish list. Although he has many powers such as super-strength and invulnerability, Aquaman has more often than not been the subject of ridicule in pop culture for his signature superpower.
This is perhaps why DC's latest Justice League event, "Drowned Earth," is so important. Not only does it add layers to Aquaman's powers, it also heightens them and brings them to a place they never have been before.
In the final chapter of the event, Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1, Arthur Curry's powers to talk to fish are what end up saving the entire world -- and the marine superhero does so in the most spectacular, creative way possible. It's safe to say Aquaman's powers have never, ever been used in this way before, and it makes him someone you will never make fun of again.
But how could his strange power actually turn the tide, so to speak? What could it really do...?
"Drowned Earth" began with the arrival of ancient cosmic aquatic gods known as the Ocean Lords, who came back to Earth to enact their vengeance. They took their fury out on Aquaman, and managed to strip away his power to talk to marine life, bestowing it instead upon his sworn enemy Black Manta.
Then, the villainous deities drowned the planet in a purple water that transformed anyone it touched -- man, superhero and god alike -- into frightening fish monsters that answered only to the Ocean Lords. But in Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1, Aquaman finally fights back, and once again faces Black Manta, who is now in control of the Death Kraken, a creature able to wipe out all life from the planet.
At the 11th hour, Arthur's heroic act results in him regaining his power to communicate with sea life. "Go ahead and talk to fish, Arthur. What good is it to you now?!" Manta says, echoing the general ridicule the superhero often finds himself on the receiving end of.
But then Aquaman fires back with the full potential of his powers. "When every hero on Earth is a fish? Plenty," he answers. As soon as he says as much, Aquaman is flanked by every single superhero that was transformed into a fish by the Ocean Lords' purple waters. Now, all of these characters answer to one person and one person alone: Aquaman. With an entire League's worth of superheroes at his command -- from Martian Manhunter and Firestorm to the Atom and the New Super-Man -- Aquaman has a veritable army at his side.
Not only is this a signature move for the character -- one that will rank up there with the most legendary of Aquaman moments -- it also proves that his power is the one that can make all the difference. Who's laughing now?