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Interview: Jeff Parker on AQUAMAN and Reestablishing Characters

Jeff Parker discusses the finer points of his current AQUAMAN run.

There's big things starting to happen in the current run of AQUAMAN! Hercules recently appeared, Swamp Thing is crossing over into this book, and Coombs is actually something monstrous! Writer Jeff Parker answered some of our questions about the series and the most recent issue.

COMIC VINE: How does it feel to be working on this series?

JEFF PARKER: Very natural. I like that purely by setting and cast the book has a distinctive feel from the rest of the line, yet still a crucial part.

CV: What was your process in bringing Hercules into the New 52? Why go with Hercules?

JP: We were going to use the obscure Kirby creation Atlas, but then realized further in that Hercules hadn’t been brought into the New 52 yet, and that was too good to pass up. It worked out better than what I was going to do initially. So sorry Atlas, back into the holding zone with you! Also it was a little confusing that I’d worked on the Agents of Atlas book at Marvel, people were going to think I’m obsessed with the name.

CV: What changes did you make with this character?

JP: He’s the Herc of classic mythology, but in our history he suffered a horrible fate that wasn’t his end- while helping the ancient land-dwelling Atlanteans battle the beings called the Giant-Born, he went into the hellish realm where they banished enemies. The King of Atlantis was too afraid of the creatures getting back out, they had been destroying and tormenting his people for months… so he closed the gate and locked Hercules in there for ages. Centuries of living only among the worst beings of the world, fighting endlessly to survive, having to eat those things… he’s come out not as bright and shining as he went in. Whether his mind can ever heal from all this, as a demigod, is a hard question.

CV: How does Swamp Thing tie in to all of this?

JP: He doesn’t, but Aquaman has to fulfill his duty and go deal with him because of a worldwide phenomenon caused by the Swamp Thing. Aquaman doesn’t know that Swamp Thing has the world’s best interests in mind, he just knows the oceans were briefly choked by algae.

CV: Swamp Thing is the protector of the green and Aquaman is the protector of not only Atlantis but of the oceans as well. Since there are common threads between these characters, is writing both of them and exploring stories with them feel natural or has it been a bit of a challenge?

JP: Yes, they do have similar roles and it’s almost a political situation- where two ‘nations’ bump up against each other naturally and there’s conflict. Except in this case the rulers of both go head to head instead of making underlings do it.

CV: Much like the high school reunion issue, will you be returning to explore elements of Arthur's past on land?

JP: Oh yeah, there’s plenty of that- in fact you’ll see some stuff that was brought up in that issue as it played out in Aquaman’s Secret Origins issue.

CV: In issue #27, we saw a gigantic sea creature and Jed Coombs, who was previously known as the Creature King. Is it safe to say fans will be seeing a lot more huge sea monsters?

JP: No you’re going to see a man-sized sea monster who is far worse.

CV: Coombs is a pretty obscure character. How did you come across him and what made you choose to bring him in this series?

JP: Looking back over early Aquaman stories, he struck me as one who could be reimagined in a modern context. He’ll have a different name—Chimera—but that title of Creature King still applies to him in many deadly ways. We’ve been giving you a bit of his development at a time- I like seeing an adversary develop in something that feels like real time rather than being sprung on a book all at once, it makes them more solid characters.

Thanks to Jeff Parker for answering our questions, and make sure to check out the debut of Hercules in AQUAMAN #29, which is currently available at local comic shops and in the digital format!

31 Comments
Posted by CantDance93

yay!

Posted by CantDance93

'sorry Atlas, back into the holding zone with you!' lmao!

Posted by Friskynesss

Digging the Hercules appearance.

I wonder what Wonder Woman will have to say when she finds out what the Atlanteans did to her half-brother!

Edited by Dernman

@friskynesss said:

Digging the Hercules appearance.

I wonder what Wonder Woman will have to say when she finds out what the Atlanteans did to her half-brother!

I wonder if they are keeping the history of him raping her mother and enslaving the Amazons.

Online
Edited by NightFang

@friskynesss said:

Digging the Hercules appearance.

I wonder what Wonder Woman will have to say when she finds out what the Atlanteans did to her half-brother!

I'm hoping for the Olympian Gods declaring war against Atlantis for betraying Hercules.

Posted by redwingx

Buy this series people

Posted by McBig

Man I love this series so much and can't wait for the swamp thing stuff. Hope he stays on the book even longer than geoff johns did.

Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

@friskynesss said:

Digging the Hercules appearance.

I wonder what Wonder Woman will have to say when she finds out what the Atlanteans did to her half-brother!

I'm hoping for the Olympian Gods declaring war against Atlantis for betraying Hercules.

That would be awesome.

@dernman said:

@friskynesss said:

Digging the Hercules appearance.

I wonder what Wonder Woman will have to say when she finds out what the Atlanteans did to her half-brother!

I wonder if they are keeping the history of him raping her mother and enslaving the Amazons.

That always disturbed me..

Posted by Dernman

@nightfang said:

@friskynesss said:

Digging the Hercules appearance.

I wonder what Wonder Woman will have to say when she finds out what the Atlanteans did to her half-brother!

I'm hoping for the Olympian Gods declaring war against Atlantis for betraying Hercules.

That would be awesome.

@dernman said:

@friskynesss said:

Digging the Hercules appearance.

I wonder what Wonder Woman will have to say when she finds out what the Atlanteans did to her half-brother!

I wonder if they are keeping the history of him raping her mother and enslaving the Amazons.

That always disturbed me..

The act itself, making Hercules be the one to do it, or both?

Online
Posted by jstndmnd

I been really enjoying Jeff's run on Aquaman.

Edited by MadeinBangladesh

I haven't been enjoying Parker's run so far, but it's just me. I'm looking forward to the Swampthing issue though.

Edited by thewalkingdeadpool18

I don't understand the hype behind this title. I bought the first volume of the current Aquaman run the book was boring AF. I bought the second volume because i hear the book gets good after issue 6 which is where the first book ended. Read 2 issues of Volume 2 the comic is still boring af. When does the comic actually get good and intresting?

Edited by Maddpanda531

On a related note, I'm so psyched for Aquaman and the Others! (Which is the funniest title, in my opinion. Everytime I say it, I can't help but think "Aquaman and Those Other Guys")

Edited by NightFang
Posted by Extremis
Posted by ArturoCalaKayVee

@dernman said:
@dernman said:

@friskynesss said:

Digging the Hercules appearance.

I wonder what Wonder Woman will have to say when she finds out what the Atlanteans did to her half-brother!

I wonder if they are keeping the history of him raping her mother and enslaving the Amazons.

That always disturbed me..

The act itself, making Hercules be the one to do it, or both?

Both but mainly that it was Hercules. The story itself was something that never sat right with me, it just seemed so out of character.

Posted by thewalkingdeadpool18

@extremis:

Well i like good story telling, and i like Aquaman, and atlantis soooo? Also i read issue 9 in the vol 2 and it was good so maybe from issue 9 ongoing the series gets good? I don't know i'm about to go back to it and read issue 10 i took a break to check the internet but issue 9 was good. But the first 8 issues of Aquaman suck people are really overating this series.

Edited by Dernman

@dernman said:
@dernman said:

@friskynesss said:

Digging the Hercules appearance.

I wonder what Wonder Woman will have to say when she finds out what the Atlanteans did to her half-brother!

I wonder if they are keeping the history of him raping her mother and enslaving the Amazons.

That always disturbed me..

The act itself, making Hercules be the one to do it, or both?

Both but mainly that it was Hercules. The story itself was something that never sat right with me, it just seemed so out of character.

The same. I remember finding it out as a kid and getting upset that they did this to a character I liked and always portrayed as a hero in the stories I read. Though now I know he's not squeaky clean by our standards he's still considered a hero and most accepted myth versions the queen gave him the belt of her own free will.

Online
Posted by mak13131313

Love this book! Jeff Parker is doing an amazing job and I can't wait to see what he has for us next!

Posted by longbowhunter

Haven't read Aquaman since Throne of Atlantis. I'll pick up the Swamp Thing issue though.

Posted by Maddpanda531

@nightfang: Batman and (We ran out of main members of the Batman supporting cast, so here's) Aquaman

Posted by lifeboy

Issue 29 was very good. The monsters that came out of the gate looked amazing! That was the best part especially that pig monster and the medusa creature. Aquaman communticating with that crustation creature was halarious and I loved it. I also liked the tangent it went on with swampthing. My only complaint is that mr Parker explaines Hercules more indepth here than in the comic. Dont get me wrong, the betrayal was well presented in the comic, but jeff gives it more depth I mmmmm this interview. Really, it should have been added in the comic, I don't mind the extra reading! :)

Edited by Extremis

@thewalkingdeadpool18 said:

@extremis:

Well i like good story telling, and i like Aquaman, and atlantis soooo? Also i read issue 9 in the vol 2 and it was good so maybe from issue 9 ongoing the series gets good? I don't know i'm about to go back to it and read issue 10 i took a break to check the internet but issue 9 was good. But the first 8 issues of Aquaman suck people are really overating this series.

well it's purely subjective but a lot of people like it

Have you read any of Jeff Parker's run? Just start from there if you're not liking the Johns stuff. I believe it's issue 26 where Parker takes over.

Cheers

Posted by Extremis

this should be in the main Aquaman forum. No one visits this one.

Posted by feedonatreefrog

Lovin Parker's run. A bit more fun and classic compared to Johns' stuff.

Posted by Fallschirmjager

swamp thing is going to kick arthur's ass :(

Posted by Daiohnysis

It's Heracles!!!

Posted by Shika1Dude

wasnt a Aquaman fan, it was more of a - i dont really care for him thing

even with the whole robot chicken, family guy gags, I didnt think he was worth considering. But as the New52 dropped, I really enjoyed getting to know him and with Jeff Parker coming in and building on off Johns run, i am elated with the character building. It has been consistently good, and its one series im glad to be collecting, Bring on Others!