A "New 52" initiative title starring Aquaman and Mera as they strive to find a new life on the surface. Written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Ivan Reis. After Reis resigned from the title during the "THRONE OF ATLANTIS" crossover, Paul Pelletier became the leading penciler. Aquaman's look has been redesigned by Jim Lee.
Written by: Geoff Johns (#0, 1-19, 21 - ongoing) John Ostrander (#20)
Drawn by: Ivan Reis (#0, 1-13) Pete Woods (#14) Paul Pelletier (#15-19, 21-ongoing) Manuel Garcia (#20)
This new book continues with Aquaman's most popular origin of his father being a lighthouse keeper and his mother from an Atlantean royal family. Black Manta has not killed Aquaman's son, as he and Mera have no children yet; however Aquaman did kill Black Manta's father. Also, Ocean Master is still Aquaman's half-brother, although in a different origin. No longer do they have the same father but instead the same mother Atlanna, which means that Orm is also from the royal bloodline. We see Aquaman return to Amnesty Bay along with Mera. Greatly distressed by the harsh treatment given during the years from Atlantis, Aquaman decides to abdicate from his role as their King, returning to full-time heroics. However, he now 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. Ocean Master, who is depicted to be the King of Atlantis, has only gone to the surface world twice and is believed to have sent Black Manta to steal the ancient Atlantean artifacts and relics. Having the fact the U.S missiles were manually launched near the city of Atlantis, Ocean Master waged war on the surface world carrying out the Atlantean War Plans, he and Aquaman created. In the aftermath of the war, Aquaman is again the rightful king of Atlantis and 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?
In September 2013 DC is having all its books focus on the villains because of Trinity War and Forever Evil and number them '.1' and '.2'.
The 2 Villain books that are from Aquaman are
Aquaman #23.1 - Black Manta #1 (Written by Geoff Johns and Tony Bedard and Drawn by Claude St. Aubin)
Aquaman #23.2 Ocean Master #1 (Written by Geoff Johns and Sterling Gates and drawn by Geraldo Borges)
Geoff Johns ended his run with the "Death of a King" storyline. The Dead King turned out to be Atlan. Atlan ruled Atlantis before it sank and merged with other nations incorporating them into the Kingdom of Atlantis. Atlan's brother Orin did not like the idea of Atlantis not being of pure blood and stood against the king. Atlan's wife and children were killed by Orin and Atlan fled into the sea. He spent years cultivating the artifacts of Atlantis. He returned and killed Orin and his wife and then sunk Atlantis into the sea. Aquaman Geoff John's explains Aquaman's disappearance after the Trinity war at the end of Aquaman 23, when he wake's up from a 6 month coma. In the next issue, we learn that Vulko took care of him after he collapsed due to the strain of controlling Topo. The sea king learns about the truth of Atlantis in issue 24 and that his (and Orm's ancestry goes back to Orin, villain of Atlantis.) Apparently when Atlantis sunk, 7 races were around but 4 seemingly perished. The 3 that remained was Atlantis Itself, Xebel (the kingdom Mera came from) and the Trench. Issue 25 ends John's run with a double sized extravaganza. Vulko tells Aquaman that he has searched for the lost kingdoms without success. Aquaman reasons that if the Trench is one then the others may not be lost. Aquaman had the dead king's scepter hidden beneath sunken treasure. He grabs it in order to try and summon the Trench in an attempt to retake the 1st kingdom of the 7 Seas, Atlantis, from Atlan. Atlan has Nereus, ruler of Xebel, search for the other kingdoms but Nereus claims they are not found. They storyline ends with Aquaman defeating Atlan who reunites with his family in death. The Sea King takes the throne of Atlantis again. Mera, leaves to go back to Amnesty Bay and rejoins Arthur. The Epilogue tells us that Orm has been staying with the woman and son her sescued in Aquaman 23.2 Nereus tracks him down, recognizing Orm as the true king of the 7 Seas. He also says that he knows where the other kingdoms are and asks the Ocean Master to join him in unting the 7 Seas. (Geoff John's will be continuing this storyline) in the Justice League book. The story will be called "Rise of the 7 Seas" and looks to be an epic story with Aquaman playing a major role.
New writer Jeff Parker took over with issue 26 and Reintroduces Stephen Shin. Hercules is brought in with issue 29. Aquaman and Mera returned to Amnesty Bay to attend Arthur's 10 year HS reunion. So Salty appears again. Vulko and Tula have not yet appeared since Parker began but it looks like Aquaman will be busy in the DCU as a pending crossover with Swamp Thing is looming after the Hercules Storyline. So far Aqualad has not been introduced although in the Throne of Atlantis Prologue (issue 14) there was talk of a boy with purple eyes and Orm wanted him protected. So at some point, Garth may be introduced into the New 52.
For Pre-Flashpoint volume 4, refer to Aquaman.