Aquaman just fixed one of Marvel’s biggest sins
The future Aquaman designed his own virtual training space similar to the X-Men’s Danger Room, but without the horrific ethical cost.
Warning! Spoilers for Aquaman: Becoming # 1 before!
The future Aquaman began training for his future role in a much more ethical version of the X Men‘s Hazard room. Being a superhero takes a lot of physical labor, especially for heroes who spend most of their time in extreme conditions, like Aquaman and his allies. To keep fit and develop skills, most superhero teams and wealthy heroes use dedicated training spaces. While the X-Men’s peculiar approach to a workout room is downright obnoxious, Aquaman avoids that sin.
In Aquaman: Becoming # 1 of Brandon Thomas and Diego Olortegui, current Aqualad and future Aquaman Jackson Hyde, continue to prepare and train to take up the torch. After practicing in the Curry Family Cave in Atlantis, Hyde returns to the surface to reconnect with his mother and face a low-level criminal threatening Amnesty Bay. When he returns to Atlantis to continue his training, Aqualad finds himself attacked by a mysterious figure clad in Atlantean armor. After a fierce fight and a series of explosions, Aqualad wakes up to find himself surrounded by Atlantean peacekeepers and under arrest for terrorist acts.
Aqualad’s training at Atlantis takes place in a virtual reality nanite pool housed in the Curry Family Cave. This pool fulfills a role similar to the facilities of other heroes’ bases, such as the danger room of the Xavier Institute or the many training modules that Batman installs in the Batcave and its shelters. The Curry Family Cave uses virtual reality and nanite simulation to recreate a variety of environments and scenarios, giving it great flexibility that only really compares to the legendary X-Men’s Danger Room. This flexibility, and the fact that the user of the room is completely safe during training, are not the only advantages of Aquaman’s version of the Danger Room; it’s also a lot more ethical than the classic X-Men’s gym of choice.
The X-Men Danger Room is a cutting-edge technological marvel that allows young mutants with all kinds of powers to hone their skills and learn how to effectively use their unique gifts. This versatility is impressive, especially considering the number of students who enroll in Xavier’s school, although not without a huge and frightening cost. Using hyper-advanced Shi’ar technology to create realistic environments and training programs in the danger room, Professor Xavier has found that the artificial intelligence that powers the room is becoming aware of itself. Xavier made the choice to ignore this and effectively enslaved the AI (later named “Danger”) to meet the needs of his school. While the Danger Room allowed the X-Men to hone their skills, one would think that enslaving a sentient being, organic or synthetic, would go against the typically noble morals of Charles Xavier.
Interestingly, Aquaman’s VR training program isn’t the only example of a human danger room in the DC Universe. Tim Drake, aka Robin, created his own Bat Family Danger Room, codenamed “Mudroom,” which was powered entirely by a reformed and willing Clayface. While a lively, sensitive intelligence might be needed to create a compelling danger room, it seems slavery isn’t a necessary part of the equation, and Aquaman has found the best way to implement the space.
Training and exercise are key parts of most heroes’ routines and often require specialized equipment to function well. While the X Men have set up an iconic and efficient system Hazard room, the price to pay was the enslavement of a sentient being. Aquaman uses advanced Atlantean nanotechnology to create a space that allows heroes to train in a safe environment, with a variety of scenarios, without requiring the bondage of a sharp mind.
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