Wonder Woman vs. Aquaman
Two of the greatest members of the Justice League each come from isolated kingdoms, separate from the chaotic tumultuous world of mankind. Each decide to take a stand and extend a helping hand far beyond the reach of their people, far beyond what any mortal must do.
But they aren’t quite mortals. They are the gods that walk among us. They are Wonder Woman and Aquaman. The Princess of the Amazons and the King of Atlantis. Which of these titanic champions of the DC Universe do you think would win in a fight? To decide this, we will need to examine their origins, powers, and weaknesses to truly compare these godly heroes.
(As always, comic book characters will long publications histories often have many retellings and alternate versions of their origins. Given that many people already know these origins, we will paint with broad brushstrokes and leave the detailed origins to another article.)
Diana Prince is the daughter of the Queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta, and the God of Storm, Zeus. She grew up on the island of Themyscira, where she was raised to become one of their greatest warriors. When Steve Trevor arrived at the hidden island in need of aid, there was a competition to decide who would help Man’s World and return Steve Trevor to his home. Diana won the competition, solidifying her position as the greatest fighter in Themyscira, and proving once and for all that she was worthy to wield the island’s most prized weapons.
She arrived in the world of men and has stayed ever since, fighting to do what’s right no matter the cost. She was a founding member of the Justice League, and she is a voice of wisdom and a champion for truth.
Wonder Woman has been gifted with the powers of the Gods of Olympus. Superhuman strength, durability, speed, healing, and more. In some iterations, she can fly, and she has all manner of enhanced senses and reflexes. More than anything, though, her training on Themyscira made her a brilliant warrior and tactician.
She wields the Lasso of Truth, which grants her the ability to extract the truth from a person, or even fend off illusions. The Lasso of Truth also grants her the ability to connect telepathically with all those who hold it or are held by it.
Wonder Woman’s Bracelets of Submission act can deflect projectiles and act as indestructible defense mechanisms. She often carries weapons made by the Greek God Hephaestus himself. Her divine power fluctuates, but through the years, has only continued to grow.
Wonder Woman is so immensely powerful that in some versions of her story, her bracelets actually hold back her true power, primarily because she is unable to control the absurd amount of divine energy within herself. She has no means of containing her energy, and she can’t take her bracelets off to unleash a greater power. That is almost certain death for herself and everyone in the surrounding area.
And while it would be practically impossible for someone to be quick enough, strong enough, or dumb enough to pull off her bracelets, it could hypothetically be exploited. If nothing else, Wonder Woman always knows that she’s not reaching her true potential. And despite her own intelligence and compassion, she has proven susceptible to lies, deception, and mind games in certain storylines.
Arthur Curry has a unique origin. He is an Atlantean hybrid, the son of the Atlantean queen Atlanna and lighthouse keeper Tom Curry. Atlanna died young, and only on her deathbed did she reveal the truth of her Atlantean origin to the lighthouse keeper. Tom raised Arthur alone for quite some time, but eventually, Arthur’s own Atlantean abilities began to change him. Eventually, he was trained by his mother’s royal advisor, Vulko, in how to harness his powers.
He traveled through the oceans and learned of the many different factions, as Atlantis was not the only underwater civilization. He would eventually become the King of Atlantis and marry a Xebelian Princess, Mera. Aquaman would go on to join the Justice League and save the world time and time again. As the most powerful underwater metahuman, he fights to protect 75% of the Earth. It’s a large territory, and one that he protects well.
Aquaman is a hybrid Atlantean, so he can breathe both in and out of water, in any depth of pressure. He is unnaturally powerful when compared with many other Atlanteans, let alone humans. He has superhuman strength, a dense molecular and bone structure to accommodate the deep sea, and he is resistant to energy and heat blasts. He has been dipped in open lava with absolutely no ill effects. He has superhuman speed, but swims much faster than he runs on land.
One of his most well known and versatile powers is his telepathy, at first thought to be exclusive to marine life. However, it’s been revealed that Aquaman is tied to the Life Force, which ties him to the life-giving powers of the oceans themselves. And so, while these powers are new, he can telepathically connect to all living beings. His telepathy is second only to Martian Manhunter‘s.
He also wields the Trident of Poseidon, which gives him divine empowerment, weather manipulation, the ability to create lightning and ice, and even fly. He also has Atlantean magic (though limited) and technology at this disposal.
Taking away Aquaman’s trident will dramatically reduce his abilities already. Without his telepathy, he can only rely on his strength. And while he is leagues stronger and faster than any human, he does not rank the highest within the Justice League.
And of course, he is much weaker on land than he is in the sea. It’s unclear whether he entirely loses his powers when he’s away from the ocean too long, but he would certainly be at a disadvantage if he was led to a fight on land.
But this doesn’t mean that Aquaman doesn’t have a few tricks up his scaled sleeves. He’s trained with Batman quite a few times as well. Most members of the League have, since he’s by far the most talented martial artist. But when it comes to hand to hand combat, Diana is faster and better suited for it.
That said, with comic book histories that pre-date most fans, both Wonder Woman and Aquaman’s abilities have shifted throughout the years. Wonder Woman has been without super strength, and Aquaman has shifted entire tectonic plates, completely changing the shape of the Earth itself. But in these imagined fights, we assume the best of each character. And thus, we must assume that Wonder Woman can contend with the likes of Zeus, just as Aquaman can shift the foundations of the Earth itself.
Wonder Woman is faster. She is generally more durable. But if they were to be in water, there is no doubt that Aquaman would have the upper hand. That is his domain. He commands all living creatures in the ocean, and of course, his connection to the Life Force might give him an advantage in any area with animals.
Even though Wonder Woman has a connection with animals, it is nothing like the ability to communicate that Aquaman has. And with two powerhouses like Wonder Woman and Aquaman, it’s likely that their fight could be on a global scale.
With his heightening use of telepathy and his connection to the Life Force, perhaps Aquaman has a chance to overpower Wonder Woman’s mind, thought it would be difficult due to the Lasso of Truth’s ability to clear minds. Perhaps it will be Atlantean technology or magic that gives Aquaman the edge above ground, though it isn’t usually in his arsenal.
That said, nothing would be “usual” about a fight between Wonder Woman and Aquaman.
Who do you think would win in a fight? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!