April 18, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Slightly Misplaced Comic Book Characters Case File #462: Kordax

Wait, that Aquaman movie used who as the secret bad guy?

Well, here’s a character I never thought I’d be writing up.  Normally I like to pick a character that maybe had a really memorable if brief appearance or a time when the character was running around in a prominent role but then disappeared.  This guy?  I think he was in one or two storylines, there’s hardly any pictures of him on Google Images, and I had mostly forgotten him myself.

But then the character went and appeared as the secret villain in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.  So, here’s what’s probably a quick entry on Kordax.

It was the 90s, and Peter David was doing what he tended to do when he took over the writing of the book:  he took a secondary character (or lower) that no one cared about that much, and then he did all kinds of creative stuff with the character.  That could be how the Hulk gained his “Professor Hulk” allegedly combined Hulk/Banner persona or how Supergirl became an “Earth-born Angel.”  When David went to do his thing with Aquaman, that meant the hook-hand and a brand new origin that cut out the lighthouse keeper and had the King of the Seas getting raised by dolphins after he’d been kicked out of Atlantis because he was born with the Curse of Kordax.

That meant he was a blonde-haired baby.  And if you think that’s maybe a bit much, David had some precedence for that sort of thing because the Silver Age showed Garth, the first Aqualad, was banished from his own underwater city because he had purple eyes, and that was considered a bad omen.  Basically, underwater people suck.

But hold on, there must have been a reason for that, and there was:  as revealed in Atlantis Chronicles #4 in June of 1990 by David and artist Esteban Maroto, Kordax was an ancient ruler for the undersea city of Tritonis.  The product of a sexual assault by the son of a sorcerer on his own royal cousin, Kordax had pretty much all the same powers as Aquaman (strength, ability to survive underwater and at tremendous depths, the ability to communicate with or dominate sea life) but also with a head full of blonde hair, clawed hands with webbed fingers, and a body covered by green scales.  With his evil father, Kordax led Tritonis in war against neighboring Poseidonis, but when he was finally defeated, he had a hand hacked off and replaced with a sword.

See?  He was, like, an evil Aquaman.

Kordax would be revived in the present when a group of Atlanteans were out exploring when they inadvertently found the cave he was holed up in.  He came out, made mincemeat of some guards, and eventually battled Aquaman.  He was defeated and…well, his name may occasionally get attached to various ancient evils Aquaman battles.  Case in point:  Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom where he was Black Manta’s boss.  And even though Black Manta is easily the most recognizable Aquaman villain around, he’s always second banana to someone else in those Jason Momoa/James Wan movies.  How odd.

The action figure made for movie Kordax.

Now, David’s Aquaman run had Aquaman himself, when going down a dark path, start to look more and more like Kordax until he fixed himself.  David, if I remember right, had plans where Arthur would die, go to the Greek afterlife, and eventually defeat the sea god Triton and take his place, leaving Garth, then going by “Tempest,” to become a new Aquaman, but DC nixed that plan, causing David to eventually leave the book.

But that may be a story for another day…or not.  Oh well.