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Could The Deep From The Boys Beat Aquaman In A Fight?

Superheroes have been fighting one another since before it was cool, but these days it seems to have become something of a trend. From fan-made videos on YouTube to big-budget films like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it's hard to turn a corner in superhero culture without encountering two of these modern-day icons coming to blows. Even more non-traditional heroes like Goku from Dragon Ball can't escape fans' imaginary matchup charts; the idea of him fighting Superman is almost as popular as the characters themselves.

The members of The Boys' preeminent superhero team, the Seven, hold a bit of an interesting position in the ongoing superhero-vs.-superhero discussion, because they're based on already-established characters. Homelander (Antony Starr), for instance, parallels Superman, and Black Noir (Nathan Mitchell) bears much similarity to Batman. It may not be true of their personalities, but as far as powers and costumes are concerned, the resemblance is uncanny. For that reason, mirror matches between the Seven's heroes and their respective inspirations would be intriguing.

The Deep (Chace Crawford) is an obvious reference to Aquaman. What would happen if they fought? Which of these marine heroes would claim the right to rule the waves over the other? Though The Boys never quite specifies how powerful its heroes are, and though comics have a tendency to throw consistency out the window, it could still be fun to try and figure out who comes out on top. Let's take a closer look at each hero's abilities first.

Some spoilers for The Boys ahead!

Deep-diving into the Deep's powers

Like all superheroes in the world of The Boys, the Deep attained his powers not from a mutation at birth or some freak accident, but from Compound V, a miracle drug developed by Vought International. It grants enhanced degrees of strength, speed, endurance, and durability, though it all varies from hero to hero. Compound V can also result in additional powers, such as Starlight's (Erin Moriarty) ability to convert electricity in her surroundings to energy blasts.

The Deep is a bit of a mixed bag in respect to Compound V. As far as strength goes, he hasn't shown anything truly exceptional, failing even to break down a door (though he was drugged up at the time). Compare that to basically any other member of the Seven (except maybe Lamplighter, who's no longer a part of the team) and ... well, it's kind of a joke. His speed, endurance, and durability are a little more promising — but only if he's in the water.

As he's The Boys' Aquaman equivalent, most of what makes the Deep a threat has to do with his aquatic abilities. He can swim at impressive speeds seemingly without tiring or needing to come up for a breath, courtesy of the gills on his lower torso. The Deep even claims to have dived as far down as the Mariana Trench, which — if true — means his body is able to withstand immense pressure. But again, that's all in the water; on land, it's hard to say to what degree these attributes hold up.

The one thing the Deep can do whether beneath the waves or on the shore is communicate with all forms of aquatic life, from the largest whale to the tiniest krill. It's how he earned his reputation as "the fish guy," as Starlight mockingly dubs him. But the fish guy can do more than just talk to fish: he can rally them to his cause, becoming the leader of a briny brigade. He nearly takes the titular Boys out of commission with this very ability in season 2.

Touching the Deep's gills can hurt him, but his real Kryptonite is massive lack of self-esteem when it comes to his public image and place (or lack thereof) in the Seven. He spends the majority of season 1 tarnishing that image, and the majority of season q attempting to repair it. Bringing it up is an easy way to throw the Deep off in a verbal spar, and it might produce even worse results in the midst of an actual fight. Confidence matters in battle, and the Deep has little to spare.

Aquaman stirs up the seas

Aquaman has a long, storied comics history that's seen him sitting pretty at various places on the power scale. One thing that hasn't changed, however, is his mixed heritage: He is half Atlantean, half human. Surprisingly, this actually makes him more powerful than most of his Atlantean kin, who are already powerful to begin with. They can all survive the ocean's depths, but only Aquaman is able to remain on land for an extended period of time. He may not have the Deep's gills, but they share an amphibious nature.

Aquaman is a confirmed threat both in the sea and on land. Possessing considerable super strength, speed, endurance, and durability (Compound V, anyone?), he's more than a match for most — especially considering his reflexes and proficiency in hand-to-hand combat. Though often depicted as strongest when he's submerged in water, his abilities don't suffer so much when he's dry that he can be written off. Indeed, he's come to blows with many of DC's heavy-hitters, notably Wonder Woman and Superman, and stood his ground despite being the weaker fighter.

Like the Deep, Aquaman shares a connection with aquatic lifeforms of the smallest and highest orders alike. He doesn't necessarily talk with them as the Deep does, but he can hear and summon them via his telepathic link. This telepathy can reach across the globe, allowing Aquaman to amass a veritable underwater army in a matter of moments. The DC comics universe has more than just fish swimming around, too; Aquaman has access to some pretty terrifying sea creatures.

Aquaman's trident imbues him with additional abilities, never mind the fact that he's also deadly with it in hand as a three-pronged weapon. He can manipulate the weather, control the waves, blast electricity, freeze his enemies,and more. Again, though, comics writing can be somewhat inconsistent as time passes, so we'll leave it at that.

Inconsistent as well are Aquaman's weaknesses. There have been times where staying out of water for too long could be dire, or when Aquaman dehydrated quicker than the average person. A more general weakness of his is that he's not invulnerable, but the same could be said of most DC heroes short of Superman. Pride could certainly be considered a hubris of his, the polar opposite of the Deep's battle with self-esteem. Overall, though, the way to knock a chink out of Aquaman's armor is simply to be stronger, a better fighter, or more intelligent — a tall order on all three accounts.

The Deep vs. Aquaman: Who wins?

Hypothetically speaking, which of these heroes sinks the other? Both may be the butt of their respective universes' jokes, but Aquaman is more of a joke in popular culture than he is in-universe or to fans who really know him. The Deep, on the other hand, is simply a joke — and The Boys isn't afraid to show it. In all likelihood, Aquaman wins ten times out of ten.

On land and underwater, Aquaman's array of abilities is far vaster and more impressive than the Deep's. Sea creatures might struggle over who to side with, but the inevitable mano-a-mano clash between the heroes leans heavily in Aquaman's favor. He's stronger, faster, and better trained than the Deep; his trident alone would give the Seven's fish guy an extremely difficult time.

There are also the Deep's self-esteem issues to consider. What happens when he realizes Aquaman has the upper hand, or when one of the Deep's ocean friends dies in battle? Aquaman is a warrior at heart, and understands that war begets death, and saddened though he would be if fish perished in his name, he'd move on. The Deep, on the other hand, grieves for a long time over Lucy, the whale that Billy Butcher (Karl Urban) runs through with a speedboat. "A long time" is a luxury he won't have when Aquaman is charging at him, trident held high.

It's difficult to imagine a single scenario in which the Deep comes out on top. Even without his trident, Aquaman has his combat training and the mind of a king. The Deep has ... funny commercials he made? Yeah, there would have to be quite a miracle for the Deep to even come close to winning.

Come The Boys season 3, maybe the Deep will finally prove himself — and prove that Aquaman's victory isn't set in stone. Time will tell.