DC History Club: Impact Writers, Peter David's Aquaman, Supergirl & Young Justice Discussion, Polls, Quiz

Peter David describes himself as a “writer of stuff.” Although most people will associate him with his work for Marvel Comics or his many novels including Star Trek and Babylon 5, David had a major impact on DC Comics characters in the 1990s. Taking the reins of Aquaman and Supergirl, then creating the Young Justice team, David went three for three in delivering quality comic runs that has left an impact on how we view these characters today. If you’ve read these comics before, this is a good chance to jump into the conversation and tell us what you think. If you haven’t read some of these, we’ll suggest a few issues to give a you good taste of some fantastically entertaining comics. In either case, join the DC History Club for our third in the series of Impact Writers, as we explore the DC work of Peter David.

Schedule:
Week 1: Aquaman
Week 2: Supergirl
Week 3: Young Justice
Week 4: Polls & Quiz

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Week 1 Aquaman


A harpoon, a beard and an attitude set Peter David’s Aquaman apart from everything that came before. In a series infused with action, humor, romance and drama, David set the course for Aquaman that would eventually run to acclaimed comic runs and a billion dollar movie franchise.

Recommended Reading:
Aquaman (1994) 1-4

Recommended Discussion Topics:

  1. Have you read David’s 1994 Aquaman run? How do you think it compares to other Aquaman comics?
  2. What impact do you feel David’s Aquaman had on later comics or the Aquaman movie?
  3. What are your thoughts on the supporting characters of this run, particularly Dolphin, Koryak, & Mera?
  4. Have you read the Atlantis Chronicles? What are your thoughts?
  5. Give us any other thoughts you have on these comics.

David Aquaman Comics Issues, Chronological Order
The Atlantis Chronicles (1990) 1-7
Aquaman: Time and Tide (1993) 1-4
Aquaman (1994-2001): 1-46

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Supergirl starts Week 2
David’s contributions to Supergirl may not have been as long lasting as his Aquaman and Young Justice, but he still produced an acclaimed run with a unique take on Supergirl that captured her spirit of hope in a journey of personal discovery. What’s more, This Supergirl run finishes on one of the greatest final arcs in the history of comics.

Linda Lee in her now classic costume.
Supergirl

David Supergirl Comics Issues
Supergirl (1996) 1-80

Recommended Reading:
This is really hard to figure out. David’s Supergirl is subplot heavy and it’s main characters undergo major changes during the run. Add to that, I think this is a stellar all-around run that reaches its zenith in its final arc. So, start at the beginning, find a couple of basically stand alone stories, or jump to one of the greatest endings in the history of comics. So, here’s a few choices.

  • The newish Supergirl visits the Kents, fights Chemo, #5
  • Supergirl meets Silver Banshee, #11-12
  • Supergirl & Mary Marvel meet in Vegas and travel to Mexico, #68-72
  • Linda meets Kara in the greatest ending to a comic series ever #75-80

Recommended Discussion Topics:

  1. Have you read David’s Supergirl run? How do you think it compares to New 52 or Rebirth, or older Supergirl comics?
  2. The status quo of this run has largely been erased from continuity. Do you still think this an important run or not?
  3. Is there room in the DCU for a Linda Lee Supergirl now?
  4. Give us any other thoughts you have on these comics.
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The original best selling Young Justice comic book created by Peter David in 1998 is quite different from the team shown on TV and DC Universe.

Sure there was in the comic book a clone Superboy who was only months old and a "From the Future’ Impulse but the original Cassie Sandmark Wonder Girl had a completely different look and the Robin was Tim Drake. Superboy had only ‘tactile telekinesis’, which simulated Flight, Super.Strengrh and Invulnerability They were also much younger, maybe around the age of the Dick Grayson Robin in season one of the TV series. And there was no Miss Martian, Aqualad or Artemis, though the team soon would have a female archer named Arrowette

The original team was a Tim Drake Robin, ‘Conner Kent’ as Superboy and goofy speedster Impulse.

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In issue 4 Secret, Cassie Sandmark Wonder Girl, and Arrowette.joined.

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Though the series could be serious at time, dealing with the fact that Conner would never age and the darkness inherent in Secret, it was always fun.

The kids acted like kids and there was little angst and no romance of any guy with any girl.
The members jelled as a team but were inexperienced and it showed.

The series was great fun and still quite readable today.

More to come

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Polls

  1. How important was Peter David’s 1990s Aquaman to the character’s success today?
  • Essential
  • Important contribution
  • One contributor among many
  • Unnecessary

0 voters

  1. Which of David’s Aquaman developments do you consider the most historically significant?
  • Beard
  • Harpoon Hand
  • Dolphin’s role elevated
  • Angry Aquaman
  • Angry Mera

0 voters

  1. How do you rate David’s Supergirl series?
  • Great, gets Supergirl right
  • Enjoyable enough, but not exactly right
  • Fine, but not the ‘real’ Supergirl
  • Wouldn’t recommend it to others

0 voters

  1. How would you compare David’s Young Justice to Brian Bendis’ series in terms of fun, consistency and understandability?
  • David superior
  • Bendis superior
  • Roughly equal

0 voters

  1. How would you compare David’s Young Justice to the animated series in terms of fun, consistency and understandability?
  • David superior
  • Animated superior
  • Roughly equal

0 voters

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Quiz: Think you know Peter David’s 1990s DC? Take this quiz and find out.

  1. What nickname did Aquaman’s dolphin mom give him?
  • Two Tails
  • Golden Top
  • Swimmer

0 voters

  1. Which is not a Peter David Aquaman series?
  • The Atlantis Chronicles
  • Aquaman: Chronicles
  • Aquaman: Time & Tide
  • Aquaman

0 voters

  1. How does Aquamn lose his hand in Peter David’s run?
  • Chopped it off himself
  • Landshark
  • Great White Shark
  • Pirañas

0 voters

  1. In David’s run, Linda/Supergirl meets a new friend Andy Jones who also turned out to be what character?
  • Mab, Fairy Queen
  • Blithe, Angel of Light
  • Comet

0 voters

  1. What character does Linda Danvers first meet in the final arc, Many Happy Returns?
  • Zod
  • Grod
  • Krypto
  • Kara Zor-El

0 voters

  1. Linda has several conversations with a young boy named Wally. Who does Wally claim to be?
  • A reformed demon
  • Archangel Michael
  • God
  • Zod

0 voters

  1. Which of these characters did Peter David’s Young Justice NOT share with the Young Justice animated show?
  • Wonder Girl
  • Impulse
  • Aqualad
  • Superboy

0 voters

  1. What heroes appeared in David’s Young Justice and the animated show, but with a change in the person behind the mask? (Vote for 2)
  • Robin
  • Arrowette/Artemis
  • Aqualad
  • Supergirl
  • Blue Beetle

0 voters

  1. Peter David penned a Halloween episode of the Young Justice animated show. Which of his Young Justice characters makes their only television appearance in that episode but is not named?
  • Mystery
  • Demon Boy
  • Secret
  • Jaxx

0 voters

  1. Peter David did NOT write a novel for what franchise?
  • Babylon 5
  • Star Wars
  • Star Trek

0 voters

  1. Bonus Question: What is the name of the city featured in David’s DC Fallen Angel series?
  • New Orleans
  • Bete Noir
  • St Roch

0 voters

Answer Key

  1. Swimmer
  2. Aquaman: Chronicles
  3. Piranas
  4. Comet
  5. Kara Zor-El
  6. God
  7. Aqualad
  8. Robin & Arrowette/Artimes
  9. Secret
  10. Star Wars
  11. Bete Noir

Scorecard:
1-3: We prescribe a healthy dose of Linda Danvers Supergirl comics.
4-6: Something smells fishy, Aquaman fishy that is.
7-9: Justice demands we recognize your knowledge.
10+: Obviously a expert on Earth Angels, Atlantis, a slightly disfunctional teen superheroes.

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Research Wiki: Got a good source on Peter David’s DC Comics Work, click the pencil to the right and add.

Peter David General:

Aquaman

Supergirl

https://www.dcuniverseinfinite.com/news/binge-peter-davids-supergirl-was-proto-buffy/

Young Justice

https://www.dcuniverseinfinite.com/news/binge-young-justice-perfect-gateway-book-new-dc-readers/

http://www.peterdavid.net/archives/004625.html

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Selected Works of Peter David
Novels:

  • Alien Nation: Body and Soul
  • Battlestar Galactica: Sagittarius Is Bleeding
  • Fantastic Four: What Lies Between
  • Halo: Hunters in the Dark
  • Sir Apropos of Nothing series
  • Babylon 5 5 novels
  • Star Trek 37 novels

Movie Novelizations

  • The Rocketeer
  • Batman Forever
  • Fantastic Four
  • Hulk
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • Spider-Man 1-3
  • Iron Man
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon
  • Battleship

Comics Series/Characters

  • Aquaman
  • Supergirl
  • Young Justice
  • Green Lantern
  • Avengers
  • Captain America
  • DC vs Marvel
  • Heroes Reborn
  • Fantastic Four
  • Powerpuff Girls
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Fallen Angel DC/Image
  • Red Sonja vs Thulsa
  • Silver Surfer
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Babylon 5
  • Captain Marvel
  • The Incredible Hulk
  • She-Hulk
  • Spider-Man
  • Wolverine
  • Star Trek
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I read this series as it came out, and today I feel as conflicted about it as I did then. After many false starts with mini-series and one-shots, as well as a short-lived series that I actually liked, this series really changed things up. It’s not that change itself is bad, but I had a hard time with a lot of the specific changes in this series. The costume, the hand/hook (and the “shocking” incident that caused it), and most of all, the temperament of Aquaman. He just seemed angry so much of the time, and the relationship with Mera being broken apart really affected the character. So those were all pretty hard changes for me to accept. But it actually got ’90s readers’ attention, and sales were pretty good for awhile. Hence the mixed feelings.

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So, you list all the reasons I personally shouldn’t like it and they’re all true. I would hate for Aquaman to be this way now, and I love that Mera today has been elevated both in the Aquaman books and the broader DCU. Yet, for me David’s run still really works. Yeah, it’s over-the-top, he fights everyone he meets, he’s literally caught with his pants down by the love of his life, he has conversations with sharks. And yet, the stories move fast, they’re funny, the action and art are great and it’s just a very enjoyable read. Best of all, everything that we both think goes too far when it’s cranked to 11 here, gets dialed back a few notches and works now. It’s like this is new Aquaman’s teenage years. He’s calmed down now, and everything is okay.

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  1. I have never read this run of Aquaman before. I have actually not read much of Aquaman at all, so I am looking forward to reading more.
  2. I know I have seen Aquaman with the harpoon hand in other things, so this look has endured. I haven’t seen the movie.
  3. I like what I saw of Dolphin in these issues. I don’t know much about her.
  4. I have not yet read the Atlantis Chronicles.
  5. I enjoyed these first issues. I know David is a good writer, as I read his run on the Hulk back in the day.
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@scoop001 in da history house.
This isn’t a bad place to pick up some Aquaman reading. While Aquaman’s history obviously informs David’s writing, he gives you any info you really need. And, like I’ve said the stories are fun.
Dolphin’s thing has morphed over the years, at least from my memory. I think she’s starts out not talking a lot. In David’s run, she talks, a lot. But, she’s funny and sweet and throws a nice punch.
I’ll post something more about Atlantis Chronicles, but it’s about as different from this as you could get. More Underwater Game of Thrones with less nudity and murder, but some of each.
Your final point is what I take away from all of this. David is a good writer. I personally don’t find solo Hulk books that interesting. He gets mad, pounds stuff, his friends stop him, rinse repeat. But, David’s Hulk run is fantastic. Between his influence on Hulk & Aquaman, and his creation of YJ, this dude puts long-term money in the pockets of DC and Marvel.

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I was never much of an Aquaman fan, Namor is my guy, but I jumped on this series when it came out, cause I’m a Peter David fan. I enjoyed it, the series gave me an appreciation of the character. I love the harpoon and hope we’ll see it appear in the movies.

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Gotta have a harpoon in the movies at some point

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Peter David on Peter David writing Aquaman:

To a great degree, I look upon my time writing Aquaman as a spectacularly ambitious failure.

I took on the series for two major reasons: First, The Atlantis Chronicles remains, all these years later, some of my favorite work….I was hoping that by taking on Aquaman, and incorporating storylines and elements which originated in Chronicles, that it would finally spur a TPB collection of that series…. Secondly, I took on the series because I wanted to establish Aquaman as a character who not only would be taken seriously, but would forever be a major player in the DC Universe [Note: David wrote this prior to Aquaman’s latest revival launched by John’s]

My tenure on Aquaman started with a four-issue arc which was originally intended to be incorporated into the then-running series. I would have been perfectly content with that, but it was decided that the arc, titled “Time and Tide,” should be broken out into a separate miniseries followed by a relaunch.

The single most controversial aspect of my tenure was, naturally, Aquaman’s losing a hand and replacing it with a harpoon… I had to do something extremely drastic just to get people to sample it. It wasn’t an easy sell to the DC powers-that-be. I had to jump through a lot of memo-writing hoops explaining it before it was okayed.

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Peter David on Peter David’s Memo Concerning Ideas for Peter David’s Aquaman:

1) Aquaman seeks to free Mera, only to discover that his other-dimensional son has become a monarch of the other worldly realm in which he resides… and now wants to take over this one. (His arrival was actually foreshadowed back in the dream Aquaman had thirty or so issues ago.)

2) Aquaman is reunited with Mera once more and they create their own city.

3) Naiad, the water elemental, is obliterated by Triton, and he enslaves Corona. Aquaman subsequently battles Triton and dies a fiery death defending Poseidonis… and then becomes earth’s new water elemental. He still maintains human form, but has a whole new set of powers (drastically different from Naiad’s.)

4) Dolphin realizes that she completely screwed up, that Aquaman is the one she truly loves, she and Aquaman reunite and they get married.

5) Aquaman is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

6) Aquaman is made the Secretary-General of the United Nations

7) Aquaman shows up one day in Poseidonis with his hair cut, beard gone, back in his old uniform, his hand intact, and asking where Mera and Arthur Junior are. When people ask what the hëll happened, he says he has absolutely no idea what they’re talking about, and claims that he was caught in a freakish whirlpool but escaped after a few minutes, and what do you mean Mera’s gone, Arthur’s dead, Aquagirl’s dead, Garth grew up, and I lost a hand? That’s insane!

8 ) Arthur becomes the adopted son of Poseidon.

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Atlantis Chronicles
Prior to Aquaman: Time and Tide, and Aquaman, David wrote a seven-part series with 40+ page count per issue of the centuries long history of Atlantis. Each of these series are very different in tone and purpose. Chronicles feels far more a Sword and Sorcery story in the vein of Game of Thrones with less violence than it does the wild adventure ride of his Aquaman. But, it’s still an engaging read. What’s more, as David noted above he incorporates that history into his Aquaman run. You don’t need to read Chronicles to enjoy Aquaman, but it can add to the enjoyment. David had hopes, and says some at DC shared those, that his Chronicles would be one of those trades that continuously in print like Watchmen. I don’t think it’s that, but I do think it’s good.

Issue #1, page 5 for a small taste

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Aquaman: Time and Tide

In '93, David gets a second limited series with Aquaman: Time and Tide. As he said above, this was originally going to be an arc in the ongoing Aquaman, but was eventually broken off into it’s own mini, leading to a new ongoing. Like the ‘94 series, it starts off with a contemplative Aquaman alone in a cave looking back on his and Atlantis’ history. But, Aquaman doesn’t have a beard, still has two hands and only something of an attitude. If you’re really into David’s Aquaman run and enjoyed Chronicles, this is a nice bridge and has some decent stories, but it’s hardly a ‘must read.’ But, it does involve a trip to Alaska that turns out to be pretty important later on.

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I read this miniseries for the first time. I liked it a lot, but it was highly inspired by the Tarzan origin. Aquaman raised by dolphins vs. Tarzan by apes. I did like the leave me alone vibe and slightly angry version of Aquaman.

The journal as a framing device was interesting, but several pages of him writing which include panels that contain the written narration but in cursive written in the journal seemed a waste of limited comic book real estate.

I really liked the art by Kirk Jarvinan. It had a cartoony Michael Golden vibe and was very expressive. I’ve never heard of Kirk, but the 90s are a big blind spot for me. I need to check out the other series and see if they match this one.

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Is the Aquaman (1994) on DCUI? I can’t seem to find it. Can you provide a link? Thanks.

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