The creative director of upcoming MMORPG "DC Universe Online" insisted that Aquaman, perhaps the most mocked superhero in history, is a "badass," but no swimming powers are in the game "at the moment."
During a demo of "DC Universe Online" yesterday in a midtown Manhattan hotel, I spoke with the game's creative director Jens Andersen about making the highly anticipated superhero MMO. One of the DC characters we talked about was Aquaman; the undersea superhero is often mocked for simply being a dude who can talk to fish. But he's much more, said Andersen.
"I mean, he's the king of the seas. I always think people don't give him as much credit as they should."
"Aquaman is a badass," he insisted with a straight face. "And he's really, really powerful. People don't give him credit because they think he just talks to fish but he's more than that. I think one of the coolest panels I've ever seen in a comic book was when [artist/'DCUO' executive creative director] Jim Lee drew a two-page panel in 'Superman: For Tomorrow.' It was this huge storyline that they did, and Superman goes into the ocean. And there's Aquaman on his seahorse -- yes, he's riding a seahorse -- but behind him are just legions of whales and huge squid and undersea creatures and Atlantean forces behind him. Superman literally is like, 'Meh, I don't want to deal with that.' And Superman turns back without even a fight. I mean, he's the king of the seas. I always think people don't give him as much credit as they should."
In fact, Andersen is so passionate about the Atlantean luminary that he helped start "Aquaman Wednesdays" at the office, based in Austin. He explained that Mondays are reserved for Batman or Joker-related attire ("Batman Mondays"), and Fridays are for Green Lantern gear. But Wednesdays are extra special to the small few who truly love the Dweller-In-The-Depths. "I would encourage the general public, or everyone that watches MTV, to celebrate Aquaman Wednesdays," he said, apparently serious.
"I would encourage the general public, or everyone that watches MTV, to celebrate Aquaman Wednesdays."
Although it was clear that the folks working on "DC Universe Online" love the underwater superhero, I wondered if his "badass-ness" would be portrayed in the game. You know, to convince all the Aquaman skeptics. Andersen couldn't tell me much.
"Well, Aquaman is a founding member of the [Justice League of America] and the JLA are a huge factor in our game," he explained. "And so the JLA will be a broader roster than it was in its initial launch way back in the day, but it will also have the core members; so Aquaman will be included in that, for sure. And it will be the Aquaman, not the new Aquaman."
In "DC Universe Online," players will be able to create characters based on their favorite existing superhero, but those wanting to duplicate Aquaman's swimming and fish-talking powers will have to wait. "I think it's safe to say that we have no water-based powers at the moment, except for ice," Andersen said.
Perhaps we'll get to talk to fish in an expansion. We can only hope.
(Stay tuned for more from my interviews with the "DC Universe Online" developers.)