In the past, Aquaman has tended to get a really, really bad rap. He’s the guy who slept through his alarm and turned up late when they were handing out superpowers.
You’ve heard all the usual Aquaman snark. “Talk to fish? What the heck is that?” DC’s aquatic hero just doesn’t have the oomph or reputation to compete with Batman, Superman, and such.
That is, he didn’t have it. Say what you will about DC’s recent movie efforts (especially in comparison to Marvel’s own), but there’s one thing that’s tough to deny: the hulking, handsome Jason Momoa gave the character the cool credentials he desperately needed. Let’s take a look at some other superheroes the actor would be a great fit for.
Well, yes, we do have a perfectly fine Thor already. Chris Hemsworth has made that magical hammer and just-slightly-OTT cape his own in the MCU, there’s no doubt about that.
If there’s one thing we comic fans know, though, it’s those alternate universes are never far away. What if Hemsworth had never taken the job, and Jason Momoa had been cast as Thor instead?
As far as I can see, that would’ve worked out perfectly well. Momoa has the formidable physique, the flowing because you’re worth it hair and the gravitas for the job. If our current Thor has to call it quits, I couldn’t think of a more suitable replacement.
There’s just something about Momoa’s portrayal of Aquaman. He wants to be a hero, yes, but there’s a menacing edge to him, a brooding element to the character. He creates his own enemy, Black Manta, by refusing to save the life of a man who had crossed him.
What have we learned from this? That Momoa seems a better fit for an antihero type character. In the Marvel universe, Punisher seems like an excellent candidate.
You want Frank Castle to be a skilled fighter (both hand-to-hand and with a variety of weapons), physically imposing, and with a real edge to him. Just the sort of character that Jason could pull off with aplomb.
Let’s take a look at some of Jason Momoa’s other defining traits. Next on the list would probably be that whole Surfer Dude™ vibe he’s got going on.
"Long hair, don’t care," that’s Momoa’s motto. How can we tap into that, superhero-wise? Well, my next suggestion would be Wolverine. Hugh Jackman has done a fantastic job as the iconic, mutton-chopped hero, but perhaps this is another mantle that Jason could take up.
For me, Wolverine’s always had a certain feral aspect to his appearance, and this is something that would work well for the American actor with his signature mop of hair. Yes, Wolverine’s a good guy, but he’s got a fiery temperament and a rebellious disposition, and this would also play to Momoa’s strengths.
While we’re in the realms of the X-Men, let’s take a look around this motley crew for somebody else who might be a good fit for Momoa. Storm? No, I’m not sure he’d be able to squeeze into that costume. Cyclops? He’s just a little too goody-goody, and you wouldn’t want to hide him away under that mask. Gambit? Huh. That’s interesting.
In the upcoming movie, as we know, Gambit is going to be portrayed by Channing Tatum. As far as I’m concerned, this says a lot about the unconventional, rebellious character he is, and highlights the tough, unconventional, physical elements of Gambit that would make Momoa a good pick, too.
Now, I’ll admit, I was a little conflicted here. How would Jason Momoa fare as Batman himself? Pretty well, I guess. After all, the antihero/vigilante thing defines a lot of what he’s done with the character of Aquaman.
At the same time, though, I can’t help but think that Batman would be a little too on the nose. How about Nightwing instead?
As comic book fans will know, Nightwing emerged after Dick Grayson ‘retired’ as Robin (previously appearing as an alter-ego of Superman) and has had a darker, edgier tone to his stories and character. Combine that with his cunning and combat ability, and you’ve got another role that Momoa could knock out of the park.
5 The Winter Soldier
Ah, yes. Dear old Bucky Barnes. Now, here’s a guy who just can’t seem to decide which side he’s on. Is he good? Is he bad? Is he both, or neither? It’s tough to tell from one storyline to the next, if I’m honest.
It’s not his fault, of course. With that mental programming and that nifty super-strong bionic arm, he’s a threat to just about everybody. He’s the loosest of loose cannons, loose enough to drop right off and roll under the kitchen counter.
With all of these things in mind, I’d love to see what Jason Momoa would do with the character. It would fit him like a glove.
4 Conan The Barbarian
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Jason Momoa’s already played Conan the Barbarian, hasn’t he? Yes, indeed, friends, in the 2011 movie that was creatively titled "Conan the Barbarian."
This particular movie was a new take on the franchise, unrelated to the ancient Arnold Schwarzenegger movies of the early eighties. The character has appeared in Marvel comics since 1970, with an original run that lasted just over two decades.
Getting their hands on the rights again, Marvel started a new run of Conan comics in January 2019. Could the time be ripe for Momoa to take up that famous blade and furry loincloth again?
3 Lucifer Morningstar
A controversial pick, perhaps, but I think Jason Momoa as Lucifer Morningstar would just be solid gold. Why? Let’s take a look.
There have been various depictions of the character. Is he a huge, frightening, monstrous entity, among the most powerful beings in the whole of DC? Well, yes. Is he a real smooth operator, a charming man who uses his powers to aid the police in extracting secrets and solving crimes? Well, yes, he’s that, too.
He’s a multi-faceted character; a dark, brooding romantic and a vicious and relentless enemy. These are the qualities that I think Jason could draw out so expertly.
I was a little unsure about this one, too. Generally, I think Momoa’s talents and physicality are best suited to the bigger, angrier breeds of superhero, but let’s not pigeonhole the poor guy.
Deadpool is a very unconventional character, but he’s brimming with something that Marvel and DC’s movies have been chock-full of lately: snark.
My favorite parts of the Marvel movies are the silly jokes and one-liners that break up the tense action. DC is getting in on that action, as Momoa proved with some hilarious moments in Aquaman. Could he pull off Deadpool, a character with an 'all snark, all the time' attitude? I think so.
1 Friendly Fire
To round out this rundown, I’m going to throw in a bit of a joke entry.
The most miraculous thing about Aquaman’s success is that… well, it’s a movie about Aquaman, a superhero that even The Big Bang Theory loves to snark on. The character’s fortunes were turned around by the force of nature that is Jason Momoa, which made me wonder: is there any superhero he couldn’t make look good?
Let’s see him try his hand at playing Friendly Fire. As we argued over on ScreenRant, this poor soul is one of the very worst superheroes ever. A member of Section 8, his claim to fame is the fact that he can fire blasts of energy from his hands.
Sadly, he never developed full control over his powers, and, as his name suggests, could only hit his teammates with them. In the end, he took himself out while aiming for a foe.
Come on, you know this would make for a hilarious movie with Momoa playing the lead!