Ocean Master first appeared in Aquaman #29, introduced as Orm and was Aquaman's half-brother, son of Tom Curry (Aquaman's father) and a woman named Mary O'Sullivan. Orm had no super powers, being fully human, he was jealous of Aquaman. Designing a special suit that would allow him to operate underwater, he became a menacing pirate and terrorist and would often attempt to usurp Aquaman's throne.
When writer Peter David re-imagined the Aquaman mythos post- Crisis on Infinite Earths, Aquaman was no longer the half-human son of Tom Curry but rather his adopted son. This meant that Orm too was no longer a child of Tom Curry, but instead shared Aquaman's new father, the ancient wizard Atlan along with an un-named Inupiat woman. In Aquaman's youth, Arthur happened to rescue a woman named Kako, who was also Orm's cousin. The two developed a relationship which lead Orm to attack Kako out of jealousy.
Later, when Orm learns of his father, he wishes to overthrow Aquaman as the king of Atlantis, though he was not initially aware that Aquaman was his brother.
After the New 52 reboot of the DC Universe, Orm is once again the half-brother of Aquaman. This time, however, he is the son of Aquaman's mother Atlanna. After she had birthed Aquaman on the surface world with Tom Curry, Atlanna was forced to marry a man of the Atlantean Guard upon her return, thus birthing Orm. After Orm's father's death, he kills his mother and seizes the Atlantean throne for himself. Orm, spear heading The Atlantean War, eventually yields the throne to Arthur, is abandoned to the top side to serve his time in Belle Reve prison while awaiting trial. In Current events, Orm is sentenced to Belle Reve Prison, awaiting trial for his crimes done on the surface world.
Ocean Master was originally created by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy, first appearing in Aquaman vol 1 #29 in September of 1966. Revisions to his origins were later done by Peter David, post-Crisis and Geoff Johns, post-Flashpoint. His New 52 debut appearance is in Aquaman #14.
Originally, Orm is depicted to be a high-tech pirate and terrorist who attacked ships and causes disasters for ransom. After acquiring his suit he often challenged Aquaman and Aqualad and attempted capturing the throne of Atlantis. He frequently teamed up with Black Manta, the Injustice Gang, and other villains.
The modern age version of Ocean Master was much more magic based, preferring sorcery to technology. The demon Neron granted him a powerful mystical trident in exchange for his soul. This trident, while powerful, would cause Orm great pain if separated from him. He remained determined to take over the throne of Atlantis believing it his rightful place. In one issue, all of his (now out of continuity) memories were triggered, so he remembers all his appearances, but doesn't know which ones actually happened in the continuity he is now in, driving him mad.
In the post-Flashpoint universe, Orm is already the King of Atlantis and later wages war on the surface world as part of the current Throne of Atlantis story arc, a cross over event between Aquaman comics and the Justice League. He is believed to have only visited the surface world twice.
Major Story Arcs
Orm Curry did not have a happy childhood. His parents were cordial but distant toward one another. His father Tom was only concerned for his half-brother Arthur, Tom's son by his first marriage to an Atlantean woman. Thus Arthur had undersea powers that Orm could never compete against, however Orm insisted on competing. That competition filled his life with bitterness, anger and hatred for his half-brother.
Even after Arthur had become famous as the undersea hero Aquaman, Orm persisted in getting into trouble. He dropped out of sight, changed his name to Marius, and became the infamous international marine criminal, Ocean Master.
Aquaman and Ocean Master first clashed over Orm's illegal whaling activities, but whaling was small change to Marius. His favorite pastime was raiding the sunken cities of Atlantis with his favorite discovery, a device that enabled him and his men to breathe underwater.
Orm was to later discover the secret of the 12 crystals of ancient Atlantis. He managed to locate 6 of them and, using his own hatred of his half brother as well as Arthur's hatred for him as fuel, Orm became a powerful sorcerer. However, when Arthur realized he truly loved Orm, the spell was broken and Orm was defeated. The magical feedback from that defeat caused an explosion that buried Orm under tons of rubble.
Ocean Master was one of many villains who agreed to sell their soul to the demon Neron in exchange for power. Orm was granted a powerful magic trident, which he used to take over an Atlantean nation of Dreaming City. It was here that Aquaman told him of their shared father, which caused Ocean Master's mind to become unstable.
Ocean Master was seen as a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains.
Ocean Master was seen in the Inner circle in Libra's Secret Society of Super Villains.
Arthur locates his brother Orm and and believes he has hired Black Manta to locate the ancient artifacts of Atlantis.He tells Arthur that he would have asked for them, if he wanted them. He tells Arthur that he only journeyed to the surface world twice. Once to beg Arthur to take up the throne and the second was not revealed.
Throne of Atlantis
Ocean Master is currently appearing in the Throne of Atlantis crossover between the Aquaman and Justice League books. He's depicted to being the King of Atlantis that has waged war on the surface world after U.S. missiles were manually launched and detonated near Atlantis, carrying out the Atlantean War Plans he and Aquaman created. As the first initial attack, Ocean Master sends giant title waves through many costal cities including Gotham City,Metropolis and Boston, planning to invade and eventually sink the city hit the hardest. When Ocean Master rises from the harbors of Boston, it's up to Aquaman and the Justice League to stop his plans from going any further. After a short confrontation, Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman are short on fuse and wishes Aquaman to seize Ocean Master before more destruction is done. However, Aquaman conflicted between the two, pleads to the Justice League that fighting him will only make things worst. Soon afterwards, Ocean Master blasts Batman with his trident but not before Aquaman yields Orm from finishing him off. While Both brothers argue, Wonder Woman eventually tries to take the back of Ocean Master, but at this time the Atlantean Army has risen from the waters. Ocean Master then uses his spector to create a whirlpool that would capture Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Aquaman in the midst of it sending them straight to the dark waters of the Trench as a death sentence in Atlantean law.
Continued on from Justice League #16, Ocean Master has declared war on the surface world 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. The issue ends with Aquaman confronting 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 the Justice League 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. 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.
In the DC sweeping event Flashpoint, Ocean Master aids his brother, Emperor Aquaman in fighting the pirate Deathstroke. Soon after taking him out, Ocean Master attempts to incapacitate the leader version of Deathstroke but is yielded by his brother who forces them to leave due to his plans with other doings. Oblivious to Aquaman, Ocean Master was revealed to have been the one to cause the war between the Atlanteans and Amazons, as he had joined forces with Artemis and Penthesileia to prevent the alliance of the two civilizations. The battle ends when Hippolyta, Penthesileia's sister and mother of Princess Diana (Wonder Woman), she took the blow of Artemis meant to target Diana. Emperor Aquaman assigns Ocean Master and Siren to assassinate Terra in New Themyscira, but the mission failed with Siren being killed by Penthesileia. Later on, Wonder Woman caught Ocean Master and her aunt having an affair, evidently making clear that both were involved with the conflict between the Atlanteans and Amazons. Soon afterwards, they agreed to plan on stopping each of the opposing powers in hopes to be thought of as heroes and rule the world together.
Powers and Abilities
Orm's powers vary considerably based on the time and storyline.
Early versions had him relying on gadgets and equipment that allowed him to function underwater. Making a deal with Neron, he possessed a trident that allowed him to become a sorcerer. Sometimes he is dependent on items for power, or even to function but after the deal with Neron he is always shown as possessing some sort of magical powers.
From his brief appearances in the New 52, Ocean Master has shown that that he is a formidable opponent with a variety of powers.
Ocean Master is a fully bred Atlantean unlike his brother Aquaman who is only half-Atlantean which may account into Ocean Master having substantial superhuman abilities and/or enhanced levels of the powers. Ocean Master is the brother of Aquaman and therefore share similar genetics, thus should have most of the powers that Aquaman possesses (though to a lesser degree than Aquaman as shown in Aquaman #21).
Ocean Master has been shown to be able to lift a male of average height and build with one hand on the human neck. Ocean Master has a number of superhuman powers, most of which derived from the fact that he is adapted to live in the depths of the ocean, coherently having the ability to breathe underwater. As all normal Atlanteans he possesses super human strength (though to a lesser degree than Aquaman). He was shown punching through concrete and tearing apart a bus with his hands.
Ocean Master's enhanced physiology enables him to withstand heavy impacts that would kill any normal human being and gives him the ability to go far down 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, in addition to surviving a bus thrown and landing on him.
He can function normally underwater and is able to withstand the high pressures and extreme temperatures of the deep, like all Atlanteans..
Orm also has the ability to hear and smell much greater than human capacity and possesses superhuman reflexes. His ability to see through murky, dark waters gives him remarkable vision at night while on the surface.
Ocean Master has an expertise of magic manipulation and can utilize it for many effects including magical bolts and telepathy.
Shown as a capable leader and warrior, leading the Atlantean armies to battle, and briefly defeating the Justice League.
Weapons and Equipment
From his appearances in Justice League and Aquaman Ocean Master has been shown wearing Atlantean armor and possessing a special Trident and a Helmet.
Unique Atlantean Trident that allows Orm to control lightning, fire magical lightning bolts directly and is durable enough to withstand a direct clash with Aquaman's established invulnerable Trident.
Unique Atlantean Helmet that allows Orm to control water (in the same way that Mera does).
Justice League: War
Ocean Master appears in an end credits scene where he seen emerging from the waters and swears to exact revenge on the surface world. The film was released on February 4, 2014.
Justice League: Throne of Atlantis
Ocean Master will also appear in the film, based off of the comic book story line of the same name. The film is set for release in 2015.
Lord Orm appears in the first season storyline of "The Enemy Below." Though the name Ocean Master is not used in the episodes, Lord Orm plots to assassinate Aquaman to claim the Atlantean throne for his own.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
He appears in third episode "Evil under the sea!" It is shown in a flashback how Atlanna chose Aquaman over Orm as the new ruler of Atlantis. He allied with Black Manta to destroy Aquaman and become the new king. He was betrayed by Black Manta and fettered beside Aquaman. They managed to escape from their prison and fought with Black Manta henchmen. At the end of the episode, he stays in prison while Aquaman reads his adventures to him.
In the Young Justice Comics, he is shown to be the leader of the Purists, or the human looking Atlantean extremists who wants to kill all the non humanoid looking Atlanteans, such as Lagoon Boy and Lori Lemaris.
Prince Orm appears in the Young Justice episode, "Downtime." The Ocean-Master identity was first mentioned in a retelling of the origin of Aqualad as he helped Aquaman in a battle against Ocean-Master. However, the identify of Ocean-Master was not revealed in the episode, but in the comics. Prince Orm did not show any hostility to his brother, Orin.
He is a member of the Light as L-5
DC Universe Online
Orm appears in DC Universe Online as a villain in the "Tides of War" Summer event.