Aquaman is now searching for Scavenger after being given the suggestion from Vulko that it's a distinct possibility it could be him. While Aquaman searches, the forgotten aged "King of Atlantis" confronts Mera.
According to his first origin story, Aquaman aka Arthur Curry was the son of Atlanna, an Atlantean princess banished from Atlantis due to her interest in and frequent visits to the surface world; and Tom Curry, a surface man and lighthouse keeper. One night, amidst a terrible storm, Tom Curry would find Atlanna thrown up on the shore by storm-tossed waves, and rescue her from harm. Both Curry and Atlanna made the lighthouse their home and developed a strong bond that would quickly lead to a sentimental relationship, which in turn, would lead to the birth of Arthur Curry.
Tom Curry accepted his relationship with Atlanna, and though he always knew there was more to her than she would let on, he'd never ask her about her origins. After Arthur was born, all of that became even more irrelevant as his presence there cemented the bond between the two. Two years after his birth, young Arthur was found by his father playing underwater after he had apparently been there for an hour without drowning. Several years later, both Tom and Arthur himself would learn the truth about Atlanna's origins, as she would reveal that she came from the lost continent of Atlantis while she lay in her deathbed. Atlanna would also reveal to Arthur that he had inherited her ability to live and breathe underwater, as well as her power to communicate with and control all marine life.
After Atlanna's death, Arthur's father became determined to train him both phisically and mentally so that he would one day be in complete control of his powers. Arthur was also taught by his father to view himself as someone special, as a savior of the oceans, as The King of the Seven Seas. Later, after his father's death, Arthur Curry would leave the lighthouse which had been a home to him and his family for years, to venture into the oceans and find his true destiny. He would later become the King of Atlantis and marry Mera, a visitor from an other-dimensional water-world known as Xebel. Arthur would also take young Aqualad under his wing and fight the forces of evil side by side with the occasional help of his wife, Mera.
Aquaman was created by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris and first appeared in More Fun Comics #73. Geoff Johns is currently writing for the character.
Golden Age: Earth-Two (1938-1950)
In his first appearances in comics, Arthur was able to breathe underwater, swim at high speeds, and communicate with marine life. He was seen to directly communicate to the aquatic creatures, rather than telepathically and worked best on sea life that were in close distances. Arthur also possessed superhuman strength inherited from his Atlantean ancestry. Although he was depicted as a "sovereign of the seas" with the entire ocean at his domain, it was never fully established and that Aquaman explored places all across the world; having an ancient temple of lost Atlantis kept underwater has his solitary throne. During his early adventures, most of Aquaman's enemies were Nazi U-Boat commanders and axis villains. However, he soon was dealt with having to fight off the likes of various criminalized mariners as well as other various threats to sea life and aquatic activities. Aquaman made his last appearance in More Fun Comics on issue #107 and continued on in Adventure Comics alongside Green Arrow and Superboy, starting with issue #103 in 1946.
Silver Age: Earth-One (1956-1970)
Aquaman's adventures continued on in Adventure Comics throughout the 1950's as one the few superheroes to last through the decade in a continuous publication, also implying new elements along the way to expand on the Aquaman mythology with the introduction of various supporting characters and slight adjustments in his origin, powers, design and persona. The first of these elements came about in Adventure Comics #229 when they introduced Aquaman's sidekick octopus, Topo.
In Adventure Comics #260, it was revealed that Aquaman was the son of Tom Curry, a lighthouse keeper and Atlanna, an Atlantean royal princess banished from Atlantis due to her interest in and frequent visits to the surface world. Having been born half-human/half-Atlantean not only was Arthur able to survive on land but also breath underwater without any gasp for air. He also possessed superhuman abilities such as his strength, communication with sea life, and accelerated swimming prowess. Eventually, Arthur decided to use his talents to protect the ocean floor, venturing off as Aquaboy; soon having his first encounter with Superboy (at the time was the one of the only active superheroes of Earth). Later on, when Arthur grew up, he called himself "Aquaman".
It then revealed that after the death of Atlanna, Tom Curry later married an ordinary human and had a son named Orm. Orm grew up a troubled child and was always getting bailed out by Arthur. Being in the shadow of his brother, Orm grew up to have lots of hatred towards Arthur not only for the powers he never could possess, but also because he thought that his father favored Arthur more. Orm eventually disappeared for some time and resurfaced years later as one of Aquaman's greatest adversaries known as Ocean Master.
During the Silver Age, Aquaman's ability to connect with sea life soon expanded to a completely developed telepathic communication with aquatic creatures even from great distances; however began to retroactively develop a specific weakness. Despite being depicted to been able to breathe properly both in and out of the water in prior stories, he was now required to make contact with water every other hour or he'll die of dehydration.
Modern Age: New Earth (1985 - present)
Aquaman's origins altered when the universe was rebooted during the Crisis on Infinite Earths. Orin was the son of Queen Atlanna and Atlan, born heir to the throne of Atlantis. Knowing that King Trevis could not conceive a child with her, Atlan impregnated Atlanna during a dream. He soon prophesied the child's future and named him after his ancestor, Orin. Trevis immediately knew that he wasn't his son because of his blonde hair who might possess the curse of Kordax. With great superstition the baby was announced a miscarriage and left to die on Mercy Reef, where his ability to communicate to sea life allowed him to be raised by Dolphins. His adopted mother Porm gave him the name Swimmer, although he left this new family after fishermen killed is adopted brother Drin. His next encounter with humanity was Tom Curry, a lighthouse keeper who took him in as a son and named him Arthur Curry before his death. He then resided in Alaska where he had met and fell in love with Kako. While Kako was pregnant, a demonic god named Nuliajuk forced Arthur to leave before knowing about the pregnancy. His next confrontation with a god would be Poseidon's son, Triton when he rescued the life of Princess Diana. Returning to Atlantis, Arthur was arrested and sent to hard labor in the Aquarium prison where he found mentorship from Vulko, a former professor who taught him how to speak Atlantean; however, Arthur escaped after he had learned of his birth mother who had died soon after his discovery. His first encounter with another superhero was The Flash, who named him "Aquaman" during a press conference in Crescent Shore after they had taken on the likes of Trickster. Upon, his next return, Orin learns that Vulko had led a revolution and claims his birthright as the King of Atlantis.
Though later on this origin story would be retconned out by writer Keith Giffen in the one - shot titled The Legend of Aquaman, to give way to a more modern approach, it has been adopted once more by writers Geoff Johns and Peter Tomasi as Aquaman's official background story for the 26 part maxi-series Brightest Day.
New 52: Earth-0
Aquaman's first chronological appearance in the New 52 took place in Justice League #3 (set five years prior to the events of the main continuity) where he teamed up with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash (Barry Allen) and Hal Jordan (and later joined by Cyborg) to battle against the Apokoliptan invasion of Earth by Darkseid and his Parademons. Following the successful defeat of Darkseid's forces, Aquaman and the others formed the Justice League.
In relation to his origin-story and history, post-Flashpoint marked a significant change with the character. The relaunch cements Aquaman's Silver Age origins as the half-human/half-Atlantean son of Tom Curry and Atlanna, and sees him return to Amnesty Bay along with Mera. Greatly distressed by the harsh treatment given during the years from Atlantis, Arthur decides to abdicate from his role as their King, returning to full-time heroics. On the surface, Aquaman struggles with his lack of reputation with the greater public, still seeing him as an inefficient, weak metahuman with useless powers, constantly subject to ridicule. However, after the events in which Ocean Master and the Atlanteans waged war on the surface world, Arthur regains the throne and becomes king of Atlantis to try settle all differences between both worlds, more so to make Atlantis a powerful and striving nation once again.
Major Story Arcs
Modern Age: New Earth
Return to Atlantis
Arthur still had memories of his time in the sea so he decided to find out who he really was and where he came from. He swam deeper and further than he had ever done before, and after a time he came across the place of his birth, Atlantis. However, his joy was short lived; he was captured by Atlantean soldiers and was thrown into an Atlantean concentration camp. It was revealed that the Atlantean Queen, Atlanna (Orin’s mother) and her government had been overthrown by a dictatorial and cruel group that wanted to rule Atlantis with an iron fist. They had thrown Atlanna and her government and anyone who supported her into a concentration camp.
Orin was scared, alone, and an outsider. Fortunately, two people recognized him: Atlanna and Vulko. Vulko felt the need to help the young prince teaching him how to speak Atlantean so he could understand the other prisoners. Atlanna revealed her identity to Orin, and told him that he was her son and the rightful heir to the throne of Atlantis. She was killed soon after.
Becoming a Superhero and Member of the JLA
Orin managed to escape the camp and vowed he would one day return to save the people of Atlantis. He returns to the surface world where at some point he meets the second Flash (Barry Allen) who convinces Arthur to become a superhero. Arthur and Barry eventually becomes friends and soon thereafter became founding members of the Justice League of America along with other costumed heroes. For a period of time, when they were based in Detroit, Michigan, he even became the leader of the JLA. He went and lead the team on many adventures until he eventually left the team because he needed to return to Atlantis for personal and political reasons.
Death of a Prince
Orin returned to Atlantis to free his people from control under dictatorship. Due to Orin being an Atlantean hybrid he was much stronger, faster, and more durable that any other Atlantean. He also had his ability to telepathically talk to marine life, thus he was able to take back most of Atlantis on his own. His actions inspired the Atlanteans to fight back, drive away the government, and free their city.
The Atlanteans learned of Orin’s true origin: that he was Atlanna’s son and rightful heir to the throne of Atlantis; he was made the new king of Atlantis. Orin began to slowly introduce Atlantis to the surface world. It was around this time that Orin took on a sidekick named Garth who would be known as Aqualad (and later becomes Tempest). They went on many adventures together and would also marry a Queen from another dimension named Mera. They eventually had a son named Arthur Curry Jr. together. However, Orin would struggle to balance out his responsibility as a King and as a superhero.
Eventually, Aquaman's foe, Black Manta, kidnapped and murdered Orin’s son, causing a rift between Orin and his wife. Mera had been driven insane by grief and was soon committed to an asylum in Poseidonis (a city of Atlantis). Shortly afterwards, an alien force conquered Atlantis. Arthur was forced to save the day, and in the process was hampered by an escaped Mera who blamed Arthur for the death of their son. In a fit of rage, Mera left Aquaman's dimension. After Atlantis was freed, Arthur knew he had to remain in Atlantis, and thus he resigned from the Justice League. For a time, he served as Atlantis' representative to the United Nations, but always found himself thrust back into the superhero role.
Becoming more and more of a workaholic and solitary figure, Aquaman eventually returned to the oceans. He soon became tangled up in Black Manta's latest attempt at destroying Atlantis by dragging it into a war with a surface nation. In the aftermath of the war, Arthur received the Atlantis Chronicles, thus learning all about the history of his people and discovering that Ocean Master was really his half-brother, Orm. With all the chaos in his life, Arthur fell into a bout of severe depression. He became deeply depressed and distancing himself from Garth and his people and having no real interest in Atlantis or super heroics.
Called Back to Action
Arthur was soon forced to return to action, compelled by his long-time partner, Aqualad. Shortly after his return, Aquaman lost his left hand when the madman Charybdis stole his ability to communicate with sea life and stuck Arthur's hand in a pool of water teeming with piranhas. This may have caused him to become slightly unhinged and more aggressive; Orin soon began having strange prophetic dreams.
Orin soon after, fitted a harpoon to replace his missing hand, which led to an entirely new look. Discarding his classic orange shirt for a more gladiator looking silver piece of armor that only covered the upper right half of his chest and part of his right arm, while growing long hair and a scraggly beard. Aquaman was also joined by Dolphin after Aqualad disappeared on a solo mission. Early on, Aquaman learned he had an illegitimate son named Koryak upon a visit up Northern Canada. Aquaman fended off an attack by some villains from Apokolips. Koryak joined his father and returned with him to Atlantis. Aquaman's harpoon was soon destroyed in a battle, so Orin had it replaced with a cybernetic replacement from S.T.A.R. Labs. This new harpoon had a retractable reel that he could fully control.
Return of Thanatos
After the king of Poseidonis was killed in one of a series of earthquakes, Koryak managed to convince the population to follow him on an exodus from the city. Aquaman returned to the empty city with Dolphin and they enjoyed a passionate night, unfortunately for Arthur, Mera returned and walked in on the two. Mera was briefly amnesic to her recent whereabouts and still in love with Arthur, she fled the city. Orin and Dolphin pursued her to a nearby trench, where they were pulled into a parallel dimension by Thanatos. The alien/demonic beings who ruled that dimension pitted Thanatos against Aquaman. When Orin defeated Thanatos but refused to kill him, it was decreed that he must remain until he was sufficiently evil and that Thanatos would be freed to come to Earth. Thanatos expected to find a kingdom to rule, but instead arrived to an empty city. Posing as Orin, he declared war on the surface world only to be unexpectedly killed by a massive earthquake. Orin learned that Mera had been living in this other dimension for about nine years in its time (about one year in the real world) and that she had a son exactly nine months after arriving. The son, A.J., could have been either Arthur's or Thanatos's, since she was under his complete domination at the time. Orin managed to contact his father, Atlan, who came to his son’s aid and used his magic to release Orin and his friends back onto Earth. Unfortunately, given the difference in time between the two worlds and that A.J. was a native of the other universe, he began to age rapidly. To save his life, Mera took him back through the portal.
Orin and Dolphin discovered they were beneath Poseidonis and that the entire domed city rest on top of an enormous, skull shaped spacecraft. The sentient star-craft was pulling itself up from the ocean floor, which had been the source of the recent earthquakes. It finally managed to break through, coming to a stop with Poseidonis resting just above the ocean surface. Orin managed to forge a psychic link with the sentient starship, giving him insight into its purpose, an impending alien invasion. Aquaman decided he had to seek out the five lost cities of Atlantis and join them with Poseidonis and Tritonis. Orin is confronted before he can begin by the JLA who are seeking an explanation for Thanatos’s declaration of war. Aquaman abruptly turns them away. Orin recruited the city of Hy-Brasil without too much trouble. Unfortunately, Aquaman and Dolphin encountered Ocean Master at one of the other cities, a city that was destroyed in the subsequent battle. Also during the battle, Garth returns from his training with Atlan in another dimension and was now an extremly powerful mage who has changed his name to Tempest. Aquaman then recruits the cities of Thiena Na Oge and the floating city of Basilia, and his father Atlan to their cause. While they all head for Tritonis, the aliens (known as the Hunter/Gatherers) turn up in Washington, D.C., under the guise of seeking peaceful relations.
Aquaman finds Tritonis in ruins, Koryak and Vulko had led the people of Poseidonis into the forbidden tunnels beneath the city and awakened Kordax from antiquity. Kordax, used his mind control power to force Koryak and the Poseidonis citizens to attack their relatives in Tritonis, maiming or killing much of the population. Orin helped the Tritonis people out before rallying all of his allies for the final confrontation. His father, Atlan, The Guardian of Hy-Brasil, Arion, his former sidekick and close friend Tempest, Tsunami, Nuada, Dolphin, the Sea Devils, Power Girl (at this time still thought to be a descendant of Atlantis), Spought the Guardian of Basilia, and his half sister Deep Blue. Orin leads the others to Washington, D.C. by flying the skull ship straight to the capital. A major battle ensues inside the White House with Orin and allies battling against Kordax, Tiamat, and Koryak (still under Kordax's control). Kordax kills himself in the battle when he cannot defeat Orin. Basilia is destroyed in the fighting that happens there. The Hunter/Gatherers leave the Earth without any further destruction. Orin leads his small army to victory further proving his leadership skills.
Role in the Infinite Crisis
During Infinite Crisis, Aquaman was being kept at his home at the laboratory where his father worked. Storms created by the Spectre during his attack on Atlantis, forced Atlantean refugees to flee to Sub Diego, where Aquaman's allies help defend the city from the Secret Society of Super-Villains. Aquaman is later seen during the Battle of Metropolis fighting Bane and Headhunter. Manta decides to abandon his political plans for Sub Diego, and simply strike Arthur while he's at his weakest. However, an enraged Aquaman destroys Manta's ship and leaves him to die in a frenzy of sharks. He then meets with Ralph Dibny in the ruins of Atlantis during 52, where's he's depicted of being insanely delusional due to the tragedy. Trying to restore San Diego and its inhabitant's he makes a pact with the Sea Gods in exchange, he becomes a vessel for something secretly important as his mind and body is warped into new form.
One Year Later
Arthur Joseph Curry had his first comic book appearance in May of 2006 in Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #40 (#39 was merely under the Aquaman title). It was marked with the One Year Later stamp as it was part of the storyline. It began with Arthur swimming downward, and eventually hearing a voice asking him his name. The voice mistakes him for Aquaman because their first and last names are the same. The voice directs him to a large battle between King Shark, and many other sea creatures. The voice tells him to help King Shark, and the two of them hold off the sea creatures until more sharks arrive. At this point, King Shark grabs Arthur, and then, the voice leads them to itself (the voice gives them his location). It is revealed to be a creature known as the, Dweller-in-the-Depths. It gives Arthur a set of armor that is similar to that of the original Aquaman (orange shirt, green pants) (because Arthur's current outfit consists of a pair of shorts). The armor also includes a sword. Arthur soon meets many of the original Aquaman's allies or supporting characters. This includes Mera, Vulko, the Sea Devils, and Ocean Master. It is during this journey of Arthur's that the Dweller-of-the-Depths realizes he is the original Aquaman, but his memories of that time have been lost. Arthur then proceeds to meet a humanoid squid, Topo, who seeks to become a sidekick. He also finds an amnesiac Tempest, who is no longer able to breathe underwater and through hypnosis warns of a battle yet to come. And when it comes the Dweller-of-the-Depths (Orin) is believed to be killed, though the Justice League wonders if his magical nature would allow him to resurrect himself or if he is truly dead.
However, the Lady of the Lake explains his origins to him. It seems that the original Aquaman gave a sample of his water hand to Dr. Philip Curry so that the man could resurrect his dead son ( Arthur Joseph Curry), who he named after Orin.
But when Orin tried to resurrect Sub Diego, part of his soul bonded with the dead Arthur Joseph Curry and his body mutated into the Dweller-of-the-Depths. So, Arthur Curry blamed himself for the death of Orin and decided he would no longer be known as Arthur Curry, rather he would be Joseph. Batman considered Joseph to be a potential member of his new Outsiders but he decides against this after he is seen in action with Metamorpho.
Through Blackest Night . . .
In the Blackest Night miniseries, Aquaman's corpse was reanimated and he became a murderous zombie. He sought out Mera and Tempest, and along with Black Lanterns Tula and Dolphin, murdered Garth. At the conclusion of the miniseries, Aquaman was one of a dozen DC characters that was resurrected (with both hands).
This shock was enough to extinguish the Red Lantern Rage in Mera's heart which, unfortunately, caused it to stop beating. In an attempt to save her life Arthur channeled his love for Mera through Carol Ferris' ring along with the hope of Saint Walker. These combined energies were enough to kick start her heart, thus saving her life. Aquaman and Mera then reunited once more.
Brightest Day begins with Aquaman and Mera reconnecting but Arthur has yet to enter the water, cautious and fearful of his Black Lantern past. When Aquaman and Mera attempt to save a group of people from pirates, he ends up summoning dead creatures of the deep, who kill the pirates against his command. He and his wife are obviously shaken about Aquaman's powers.
Aquaman's resurrection and place among the twelve will continue to unfold in the pages of Brightest Day. Aquaman is attacked by a woman who looks similar to Mera. After the fight, Mera reveals that it was her sister Hila aka Siren who attacked them. She tells Arthur that she was sent to Atlantis to kill Arthur, but ended up falling in love with him. Hila was sent with a Death Squad to finish was Mera started. Later, Arthur is contacted by the Entity, which tells him he must locate Jackson Hyde before "they do".
The Justice League
Aquaman teams up with the Justice League during Darkseid's invasion of Earth. Along with Wonder Woman, Arthur temporarily blinds Darkseid's after stabbing him in the eyes with his trident. In subsequent outings with the Justice League, Green Arrow attempts to join the league, only to be met with opposition by each of the league members, with Aquaman being particularly vocal in his objection (alluding to an earlier confrontation between the two).
The emotional nature of the conflict with Graves led to instability within the league (including the resignation of Hal Jordan from the league), prompting Aquaman to suggest that, due to his experience as both King of Atlantis and with The Others , he should be made leader of the league, instead of Batman. This has resulted in a somewhat uneasy relationship between Arthur and Batman as they both try to exert their authority over the league, and each other.
The main villain in the first story arc are a race horrific amphibious creatures called the Trench which he was forced to (seemingly) exterminate the entire race to save innocent hostages from Amnesty Bay. These creatures, living in a trench located at the depths of the ocean, had wondered onto the shore in search of food to feed their queen and dying race. Locating the creatures and the missing people, Aquaman had closed off the trench by triggering an underwater volcanic eruption.
In the aftermath, Aquaman found a downed Atlantean ship date pre-dates the catastrophe that befall on Atlantis. While investigating on a glyph found while saving the civilians he was attacked by Atlantean soldiers only to find out that prior the sinking of Atlantis, someone was plotting its destruction thus prompting Arthur to investigate further.
On the other hand, Mera is still having a hard time coping with the surface world. Later, the two go to talk to Dr. Stephen Shin, in hopes to unearth the mystery behind the sinking of Atlantis. There, Ya'Wara appears with the intent of killing Shin as she blames him for the death of Kahina the Seer committed by Black Manta. Ya'wara then warns Arthur that his former team (The Others ) is being hunted by Black Manta, who is in the process of claiming the seven relics of Atlantis - six of which are in the possession of Aquaman and the Others. It is later revealed that the hatred that Black Manta and Aquaman share was due to Aquaman mistakenly killing Manta's father (intending to kill Black Manta) - seeking vengeance for the death of Arthur's father following an attack by Black Manta.
Shin is later captured by Black Manta in order to help him uncover the remaining relic - the scepter of the dead King of Atlantis (the weapon that had in fact sank Atlantis). There, Manta is confronted by both Aquaman and the Others, however in the ensuing battle, Vostok, attempting to save Aquaman's life, is then killed by a blow to the spine by the scepter-wielding Manta. Vowing to finally kill Manta, Aquaman and the Others are able to locate Manta (who had stolen Ya'wara's orb, enabling the holder to teleport to different locations across the globe), where they witness Manta handing over the scepter to Atlanteans in return for treasure that Manta and his father were attempting to recover (which took place during Aquaman's killing of Manta's father) from a sunken ship, as well as the land in the aftermath of a storm to be created by the Atlanteans. Aquaman and the Others then ambushes Manta, and in this confrontation, Aquaman rips off Manta's helmet with his trident before snapping his arm as Manta was attempting to kill Prisoner of War, in what would have been the third death of the Others suffered at the hands of Manta. Seeing death at the hands of Aquaman as inevitable, Black Manta urges Arthur to kill him so that the world would see Aquaman as a cold-hearted murderer - however, Aquaman had already decided that he would not kill Manta then, declaring "one day probably. But not like this."
Throne of Atlantis
This is a cross-over event between the New 52 titles Justice League & Aquaman. Ocean Master has declared war on the surface world after U.S missiles were launched near Atlantis. As he surfaces from the waters of Boston, Aquaman tries to halt his war plans; however when the Justice League arrives and tries to intervene, Ocean Master gets aggravated and with his sceptor, banishes Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, & Aquaman down to the Dark Waters which lies the flesh-eating Trench. As a death sentence in Atlantean law, they are held captive in the depths of the Dark Waters, concealed in same the paralytic fluid-like pods of the Trench for them to feed on. However, Aquaman seems to break away with his trident, being immune to the poisonous substance and with the help of Cyborg and Mera saves the Trilogy from their captivity. While this is taking place, Ocean Master and his Atlantean army has surfaced battling the likes of the reinforcement team that Cyborg had assembled as they go about their war plans by placing bombs all around the city to try and sink what's left of Boston. Evidently, the reserved Justice League members are having a hard time cooperating as a team during the battle, as we see Firestorm trying to create helium with his fire, however blocking the vision and breathing of both Black Canary and Zatanna. Hawkman tries to attack Ocean Master with his mace but is stopped as Ocean Master throws a detonator to Hawkman, knocking him off his wings. As the fight is taking place, Aquaman, Mera, Cyborg, and the Trinity escape the school of Trenches; however Aquaman doesn't sense them anymore meaning that the only way they went his up to the surface. Aquaman then confronts Ocean Master about him controlling the Trench, however he's also thinking the same thing and is in complete confusion.
In the epic conclusion of the 'Throne of Atlantis' crossover we see Ocean Master and the Atlantean army being attacked by the Trench from behind, just when Aquaman and the rest of the Leaguers resurfaces to battle both sides. Aquaman trying to put some sense into Ocean Master tells him that Vulko is the one controlling the Trench and as king needs him to command the Atlantean army to join forces with the surface-dwellers in order to defeat them. However, Ocean Master refuses believing that Aquaman has been corrupted by the surface world. As they confront one another in a hand-to-hand combat, Ocean Master expresses that when he was a little kid and found out that he had an older brother stuck on the surface it made him tear up having the thought that he actually had a brother, that the surface world has been pulling them apart from uniting; as Aquaman expressed the same feelings towards Orm as well. He then tries to detonate the bombs around the city of Boston, but is prevented by Element Woman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and other Justice League members. In rage after figuring out what had happened, he uses his helmet to create a tidal wave to flood the city, but Mera manipulates the water, turning it into stone. Ocean Master then starts to conflict some damage towards his brother but is not enough for the outraged Aquaman who delivers the final blows, breaking his helmet and knocking him off his feet. Aquaman having believed it's his responsibility of this cataclysmic disaster, demands Ocean Master to give up his position as King of Atlantis so that he can make things right for Atlantis and the Atlantean people, as well as create an alliance with the surface world. Coherently, he yields his position, giving Aquaman the rightful powers as King of Atlantis. Ocean Master is judged for his immunity crimes having no Atlantean law on the surface and is therefore sentenced to Belle Reve Prison. As Ocean Master is taken away, Aquaman sincerely apologies saying it was what he had to do and his only option. In Belle Reve Prison, we see Ocean Master in a cell asking for more water, trying to keep himself hydrate having the fact he's only surfaced a couple times, for only short period of time. The issue ends with him sitting in the cell telling himself that he doesn't belong there.
As we go into Aquaman #17, the epilogue to the Throne of Atlantis, writer Geoff Johns takes us back into the underwater adventures of Aquaman, being somewhat disconnected with the rest of the world once again. Aquaman is now trying to reconnect with the sea life as we'll as with the people of Atlantis, vowing to the sea life that he'll never fail them again. He's once again the King of the Seven Seas, trying to protect the aquatic life from any threat to the ocean and serve as a greater purpose for the Atlanteans; but will they accept his leadership? His obligations as king has placed a great burden onto himself, being forcedly separated from his wife, Mera due to the fact that she is completely forbidden in Atlantis, lacking the origins of Atlantean heritage. Arthur is truly lonely, and you can feel how much pain he's internalizing, leading up to him bellowing a psychic promise across the seven seas, a promise to be better, for everyone.
In this epilogue we get to see the re-appearances of the Sea Devils in the New 52 as they're seen trying to stop criminalized whalers from hunting and killing the lives of the scared singers of the ocean. However, not until Aquaman and his Atlantean guards come leaping out of the ocean bringing forth a whirlpool of waves crashing down onto the ships of the cold-blooded killers. As Aquaman is prosecuting the whalers of their crimes, we are introduced to Murk, leader of the Men-Of-War, the frontline army of the nation of Atlantis where he attacks Dane Dorrance believing that he should have no rights to talk to King Arthur in such manners. He's depicted to be a very strong brute, loyal to the king of Atlantis and have saved King Orm's life multiple times in battle. Murk doesn't really go by precautions nor the rules of conduct, but rather acts by what is right. However, Aquaman pulls him back and warns him that they should bid by the surface laws and do the rightful thing to call the authorities to arrest them. Afterwards, we see Aquaman talking to Amanda Waller about the aftermath of the war and the effects it has put onto the Atlanteans and national government. Both are also discussing about the fate of Vulko and Ocean Master for their actions committed during the events that happened. He is now trying to set grounds between the surface world and people of Atlantis believing the only way to do so is by showing that Atlantis has the desire to help them and be of an alliance. The Scavenger is revealed to be the one searching for Atlantean weaponry and artefacts upon the ocean floors, which will evidently only lead to trouble. Aquaman vows to the sea creatures of the seas promising to protect them from any threat saying "I will not fail you again." During his telepathic communication with the marine life, a strange shadow exiting a cave in Antarctica appears saying, "King of the Seven Seas? How wrong you are!"
Death of a King
Arthur is now trying to track down the thieves responsible for stealing Atlantean weaponry and selling them to the highest bidders. He also has a conversation with a concerned Tula questioning the fate of their brother Orm, who awaits trial for his crimes committed on the surface world. She then tells Aquaman that if he really wants to find the con that is stealing their weapons, he should go to the Atlantean prisons and talk to Vulko. Arthur goes to seek Vulko's advice and meets an elderly Atlantean named Urn, the keeper of the prisons who tells him that three of his guards were killed when the missile hit Atlantis and wants a trial to begin for Vulko so that the dead can have their peace. Aquaman asks Vulko if he knows who might be involved in stealing and selling Atlantean firearms and responds by telling Aquaman that it's most likely the weapons dealer named Scavenger.
Powers & Abilities
Aquaman has a number of superhuman powers, most of which was inherited from his Atlantean origins and ability to live in the depths of the ocean floor. Although, most Atlanteans possess the same abilities as Arthur, his royal lineage and double heritage makes him superior to any other Atlantean (Aquaman is for all intents and purposes as super Atlantean), allowing him to breathe outside of the water longer than the normal Atlantean and possess great amount of superhuman powers that follows:
Aquaman possesses great superhuman strength sufficient to toss a tank or punch a hole in a submerged submarine. It is generally accepted that Arthur can lift well over 100 tons, as it's evident when he pushed a tectonic plate downward onto the trench in Aquaman #4, towed a boat with the waves pushing down onto it in Aquaman #7, and sucker punched Superman in Justice League #16. Even before the New 52 he is depicted carrying really massive objects appearing to have great amount of weight such as an oil rig platform and a city block of Sub-Diego (as shown in picture) which both weighs easily over 100 tons. His strength enables him to demolish through anything from thick wood to heavy metal and would take reinforced barriers to have a chance of slowing him down. Aquaman's strength is on a category that allows him to defeat and hold his own in a physical fights against brute powerhouse characters like Olympian, Slig, Wonder Woman, Triton, Lobo and Superboy.
Aquaman's enhanced physiology enables him to withstand heavy impacts that would kill any normal human and gives him the ability to go down to the bottom of the ocean floor. He possesses superhuman durability high enough to be unaffected by the immense pressure and the cold temperature of the ocean depths, this also makes him tough enough to be almost invulnerable to extreme heat and gun fire. Aquaman's durable enough to the point where he can trade hits with powerhouses like Wonder Woman and Despero. He has been shown to be able to swim across the globe non stop for extended periods of time, fight in a dimension with multiple suns for hours and be unaffected by The Trenches paralytic venom that would incapacitate a normal human. Arthur's capable of taking direct hits from automatic weapons at point blank range, head on collisions with trucks, resist powerful energy based attacks that would harm most superhumans, and even rocket propelled grenade blasts (as shown in the New 52).
Aquaman's said to be the fastest being underwater and capable of swimming at a constant speed of 175 mph for several hours. He's able to swim at very high speeds, having the ability to reaching speeds of 10,000 feet per second (20,000 under stress) and is known to have swam through Niagara Falls upstream. In the New 52, Aquaman remains one of the fastest swimmer, having been able to severely outswim The Operative's special plane (The Living Room) which can reach hypersonic speeds (Anything between Mach 5 and Mach 10). Second only to Mera (According to her), his upper limit is still unknown but at minimum Aquaman can surpass Mach 5. On land, Aquaman has displayed his superhuman speed, agility and reflexes against meta-humans like Deathstroke, the Talons, Power Ring, and even Wonder Woman (who he was able to tackle during a fight using his speed).
He's also capable of jumping vast distances on land and from out of the water reaching heights up to 4 stories tall (nearly appears to be flying similar to the Hulk). In Aquaman #17, it was shown that his leaping power was so powerful that he nearly flipped over a whaling ship merely by jumping onto it. Blue whales are on average heavier than 100 tons and whaling ships carry them after killing, so it's fair to assume they already had a few whales on board.
Arthur also has the ability to hear and smell much greater than human capacity and possesses superhuman reflexes 15 times greater than a normal being. While no speedster, Aquaman's reflexes are superior even metahumans such as Deathstroke the Terminator. His ability to see through murky waters gives him remarkable vision at night while on the surface and is capable of seeing far deep as 36,000 ft below the ocean floor with a clear sight.
Aquaman has many powers, but his telepathic ability to communicate with marine life is known most widely. Although this power is most often and most easily used on marine life, Aquaman has demonstrated the ability to affect any being that lives upon the sea or even any being that's evolved from marine life. His telepathy works best on marine life, but that has not stopped him from using mind control on other telepaths. He's such an achieved telepath - having communicated to aquatic creatures all his life - that he can engage in mind to mind communication and mind domination who are non-aquatic life (as seen on Steel, Vixen and Martian Manhunter). However, after the 2011 continuity he has been depicted to only communicate indirectly to marine life and instead try to compel them to alter their midbrain for assistance (although in one occasion he was able to affect a lizard like creature and gave the Trench leader a brief pause during a fight). Although his telepathy has been downgraded in continuity, he is still able to send his message world-wide if he needs to (as shown in Aquaman #17). His telepathic powers has yet to be determined in continuity.
Aquaman is considered to be the fastest being underwater, excelling speeds up to 150 mph at a constant rate for several hours. He is known to accelerate faster in tight situations reaching speeds up to Mach 10.
Aquaman has trained with the Atlantean army, Justice League, specifically Batman and various other sources such as the Others. He is exceptionally skilled with his trident and excels in hand-to-hand combat with exceptional martial abilities.
Aquaman has an advanced strategic sense and had natural leadership qualities, having led Atlantis and it's army multiple times, as well as the Justice League and the Others.
Arthur is Atlantean royalty, thus granted diplomatic immunity on the surface world, as well as the ability to act as a diplomat for his kingdom. He was a natural born leader, having served him well while protecting Poseidonis.
The mechanical harpoon hand was replaced by a magical hand made out of water given to him by the Lady of the Lake, which grants Aquaman numerous abilities; the ability to dehydrate anyone he touches with it, killing them instantly, the ability to change the shape and density of the hand for example Orin can make his hand into a sword or harder than steel, shoot jets of scalding water, healing abilities, the ability to create portals into mystical dimensions, communicate with the Lady of the Lake through the water bearer hand and the ability to nullify magic even powerful sorcerers like Tempest. Since the transformation to the Dweller and his return to the living, Aquaman now appears to have a normal hand. Whether he retains any mystic abilities has yet to be determined.
Access to The Clear
Aquaman also had the ability to access "The Clear" which Swamp Thing and Animal Man also came in contact with it as well. With Arthur being able to access the Clear he has the ability to sense primal emotions of aquatic creatures. The Clear seems to function as a universal consciousness of all sea life enabling him communicate to them from across the other side of the world and catch sight of what they see. Aquaman also had the potential to reach out to land creatures by finding the elements of their brain that was passed from their marine hereditary. His ability to access to "The Clear" has yet to be determined in continuity.
Weaponry & Equipment
The King's Trident
Aquaman's Trident (crafted by the first king of Atlantis) is his standard weapon of choice. It's indestructible, and able to hurt even the toughest of opponents, even being the only leaguer to puncture Darkseid. He has also been depicted of breaking though the magical ice barrier of Graves that seemed impossible at the time. Said to be the most powerful among a set of weapons created by Atlantean artifacts from the hands of the first king of Atlantis, Aquaman is always carrying it with him as a symbol of his authority and a deadly weapon if the need arises (although any further powers have yet to be revealed).
Although he can remain underwater indefinitely without suffering an ill effects, Aquaman grows weak if he continues to dwell on land for a period of time without hydrating (like all humans)
- Height: 6'1
- Weight: 325 lbs (148 kg)
- Eye Color: Blue
- Hair Color: Blonde
- Identity: Public
- Place of Birth: Amensty Bay, Maine U.S.A.
- Citizenship: U.S. Citizen, Atlantean
- Base of Operations: Formerly Poseidonis, Amnesty Bay
- Education: High School; tutored by Atlantean scholars
- Occupation: King of Atlantis
- Known Relatives: Mera (Wife), Queen Atlanna (Mother, Deceased), Tom Curry (Father, Deceased), Orm (Half-Brother); Pre-New 52: Atlan (Father, Deceased), Atlanna (Mother, Deceased), Mera (Wife), Porm (Adopted Mother), Tom Curry (Adopted Father, Deceased), Orm (Half-Brother), Debbie Perkins (Half-Sister), Arthur Curry Jr. (Son, Deceased), Orin (Ancestor), Kordax (Ancestor)
Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths
He made a brief appearance in the animated movie Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths fighting in the JLA satalite and again with other heroes at the end, was voiced by Josh Keaton.
Justice League: The New Frontier
He also had a cameo in Justice League: The New Frontier, again voiced by his Smallville actor Alan Ritchson.
Superman/Aquaman: Hour of Adventure
Aquaman has been one of DC's stars on television. He was very popular in the 1960s and had his own cartoon. This cartoon later merged with a Superman cartoon to become the Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure (1968). Aquaman had some powers on this show that was not in the comics at the time. He had the ability to throw hard water balls and the ability to create whirlpools while swimming at super speed. Storm and Imp and Tusky, along with Aqualad were in every episode and Mera was not openly his love interest, but a woman from Atlantis who appeared in less than a third of the episodes. While Aquaman did not live in Atlantis, he and Aqualad rescued Atlantis frequently. Some of his villains were from the comics, but others like Queen Vassa and The Brain were new.
Aquaman was also popular enough to be one of the early stars of the Superfriends (1973), and the various derivative series (Superfriends Hour (1977), Challenge of the Superfriends (1978), World's Greatest Superfriends (1979), Super Powers Team (1985), etc. Collectively these are known as Superfriends I - VI ). Throughout much of the series his role and image diminished as his abilities were ignored or portrayed as ineffective. It was at this time that he became the butt of many jokes and was stereotyped as useless. Aquaman was voiced by Norman Alden in the 1973 and 1977 shows. From Challenge of the Super Friends onward, he was voiced by William Callaway. It is interesting to note that Aquaman did not have a speaking role in the 1st episode of Challenge of the Super Friends and that Callaway voiced the Flash in that show and voiced Aquaman after that.
Superman: The Animated Series
He first appeared in the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Fish Story" where he had his more classic costume. He is shown to be considered an urban legend voiced by Miguel Ferrer. He comes into conflict with Lex Luthor whos experiments are damaging Atlantis. He is shown to be suspicious of "Surface Dwellers".
When the Justice League was made into a cartoon, Aquaman was dropped as one of the founders and replaced with Hawkgirl to have more of a gender balance. But he did go on to make an appearance later. Aquaman first appears in Justice League in the episode "The Enemy Below". He recruits the Justice League to help him fight his half-brother, Orm, known in the comics as Ocean Master. Both Mera and his son make cameo appearances. In the beginning of the episode, Aquaman has no hook hand, but resembles his late 90s counterpart.
Soon he is forced to cut off his hand to save his son. Once Orm is defeated, Aquaman returns to his kingdom. He later seeks out the villain Solomon Grundy in the events of the episode "The Terror Beyond". He takes Grundy to Dr. Fate and his wife Inza. Superman, Wonder Woman, and Hawkgirl intervene when they realize Aquaman is doing this. They accompany Fate, Aquaman, and Grundy to fight the monster Chithulthu, who destroyed most of the Thanagarian civilization. Hawkgirl is captured by the monster, and Grundy sacrifices his life to save who he calls "BirdNose". Aquaman is seen paying his respect to Grundy afterward. When Aquaman is not residing in Atlantis, he is seen living at Dr. Fate's tower with Amazo and Shayera Hol, after she leaves the League.
Justice League Unlimited
In Justice League Unlimited, Aquaman appears in the episode "Ultimatum". He helps the Justice League fight some lava monsters until the group made by Cadmus, the Ultimen arrive. When the majority of the Ulitimen go rogue, Aquaman helps take down the members known as Downpour and Shifter. He then appears in the episode "Wake the Dead". He encounters a newly resurrected Solomon Grundy along with Shayera Hol, Vixen, Green Lantern, Dr. Fate, Amazo, and Superman. He attempts to fight Grundy, but in the end Shayera is the only one capable of taking him down. Aquaman makes a cameo in the episode "Hereafter pt.1", on a monitor screen that Superman finds when he is thrown into an alternate future. In this timeline, Aquaman is shown to be dead, along with the rest of the league. Aquaman is voiced by Scott Rummel.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Voiced by John Di Maggio, Aquaman has become a popular and regular supporting member of the cast, even producing his own catch phrase "Outrageous!". His costume is a more classic look with short hair but he incorporates the beard. His personality is larger than life and outgoing, often giving his adventures long names. Aquaman had followed Batman on many adventures along with his supporting cast of Aqualad, Mera and Authur Jr. His enemies Black Manta, Fisherman and Ocean Master also are reucurring characters. One notable episode "Aquaman's outrageous adventure!" stars Aquaman and Mera as they take a road trip through the USA and team up with many heroes, despite Mera wanting a nice vacation.
Aquaman is one of DC's most recognized heroes. A version of the Aquaman character appeared in the live action drama Smallville in 2005. Played by Alan Ritchson first appearing in the episode "Aqua" before others. His costume is that of an orange and green wetsuit. He is shown to be able to throw Water Balls that cause massive damage just like in his earliest animated depictions. The appearance of Aquaman was very well received. He appeared in 4 episodes (Aqua, Justice, Odyssey, and Patriot. The last of which introduced Mera as his wife) A pilot for a potential live action was produced. See next entry -
Aquaman series (Mercy Reef) pilot was created in 2006, starring Justin Hartley. But it came just as the WB and UPN networks were merging into the CW Network, and the Network decided not to pick it up as a series. Hartley instead became a regular on Smallville in the role of Green Arrow. The pilot may be found on occasionally on Youtube or as an extra from one of the Smallville season DVD's.
Aquaman has made many appearances in Young justices as part of the Justice League and has at least 6 speaking roles, 3 of which were from the Second Season. He is with Nightwing a lot at the Watchtower, coordinating events when not tending to sea related crises.
Saturday Night Live
Spoofs of Aquaman have appeared numerous places, including various YouTube performances, Saturday Night Live.
Craig Ferguson Show
Aquaman is/was a recurring bit on the Craig Ferguson Show.
The third season of the show Entourage revolved around the plot of an Aquaman Movie in production directed by James Cameron doing huge numbers at the box office. Since the British Petroleum oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico he has had numerous mentions in various media.
Aquaman has also spoof on numerous animated sitcoms. In South Park season 5 episode 3, we are introduced to one of the "Super Best Friends", Seaman who operates along with his sidekick Swallow. The rest of the team constantly makes fun of him, pronouncing his name "semen", which triggers his rage and a snappy "it's SEA-MAN" answer each time. Parody versions have appeared many times on Robot Chicken and he was a starring character in that show's season five opener. The timing corresponded with a Robot Chicken variant cover for Aquaman #12.
Justice League Task Force
A fighting game on the Sega Genesis and SNES systems, Aquaman serves as one of the playable Justice League heroes alongside Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Arrow. Aquaman uses his trident to fight and Atlantis serves as his home stage.
Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis
A game released on the Xbox and Gamecube. This game was voted as one of the worst games of all time.
Justice League Heroes
Aquaman appears as a playable character in the game where he uses water based abilities like forming water swords or summoning whirlpools. He is obtained by paying 25 Orange Shields to unlock.
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
While not appearing in game the prequel comic shows Aquaman being destroyed by the violent merger between the DC and MK worlds.
Batman Brave and the Bold: The Game
Aquaman plays a support role in the game.
DC Universe Online
Aquaman in this game is voiced by Jens Anderson. Aquaman ends up mind controlled by Circe into attacking the surface world. This causes the players characters to team with Martian Manhunter to defeat him. Aquaman commands a variety of undersea monsters as minions.
Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes
Aquaman is an unlockable charger.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
Aquaman is set to appear in this upcoming fighting game by Netherrealm Studios. Aquaman appears neutral in the conflict between Batman and Superman, though scenes show him fighting against Shazam and Amazons while staying friendly with Batman. In the preview trailer, Aquaman is seen summoning the army of Atlantis and the creatures of the deep to the surface.