Aquaman Proves He's The True King Arthur, Better Than The Original

Warning! Contains major spoilers for Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1!

While Arthur Curry aka Aquaman is the ruler of Atlantis and therefore could be called King Arthur, he doesn't go by that name - though he's definitely earned it. Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 reveals the true worthiness of the half-Atlantean, as he faces a mythical foe. The King of the Seven Seas is taking on the Lady of the Lake.

King Arthur is one of the world's best-known figures of legend. Arthur's infamous sword, Excalibur has been said to come into his possession in two different ways. One has him ascend to royalty by pulling Excalibur from a stone. The other has him ascend by pulling a different sword from a stone, which he then breaks in battle. Afterwards, he is given Excalibur by Viviane, the Lady of the Lake. Some versions of the story call both swords Excalibur. Here, DC combines both stories into one, while proving that Aquaman is the better King Arthur.

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The story "Lady in the Lake" by the creative team of Michael Moreci, Pop Mhan, Tony Aviña, and Wes Abbott features Garth and Aquaman as they confront a magical foe in a cave. This woman claims that she is Viviane and she wants Aquaman to pull a sword from a stone - which naturally comes with a price. If he pulls it, he has to be her subject as he rules, otherwise she will kill him. Arthur Curry's origin and ascendance to the Atlantean throne is far different from King Arthur's and Aquaman plans to keep their paths different.

Initially, Aquaman refuses to pull the sword out, choosing to fight Viviane directly. Eventually she gets the upper hand on him, because she captures Garth and holds his fate in her hands. She will kill him unless Aquaman pulls the sword. Finally, he concedes, but then he rewrites the legend of King Arthur in his own way. He pulls it out, then sheaths it in the stone once more with a declaration: "I don't need a SWORD to be king..." He's absolutely right, considering he is already king and he isn't known for fighting with swords. Aquaman fights with the Trident of Neptune - a weapon especially created for the royals of Atlantis by King Atlan himself. This symbol is the equivalent of Excalibur in Atlantis and it is a far more suitable weapon. However, Aquaman has also taken on foes without any weapon at all, just his own powers.

Many people would love to be in King Arthur's shoes, pulling out a sword that will make them royalty. Arthur Curry is not one of these people, however. Seeing Excalibur must create at least a little allure considering how legendary the weapon is. Yet Aquaman is already a king by his own decisions, abilities, and love for the ocean and its inhabitants. Viviane may have once bestowed "the power to rule to a real king named Arthur," but this is something Aquaman has obtained on his own through his efforts as a hero. He may only be half Atlantean, but he is undoubtedly royalty. The original King Arthur may have needed Excalibur to have legitimacy and he may have been happy making deals with Viviane, but DC's King Arthur doesn't. He won't be lured in by this power and his belief in himself, as well as his security in his role, make Aquaman the best King Arthur.

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