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 lighthouse keeper living in Amensty Bay, Maine. Both parents first meet each during a terrible storm one night, when Curry finds Atlanna thrown up on the shore by storm-tossed waves, and rescues 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 when Arthur was born. Although Curry always knew there was more to his wife than she would let on, he'd never ask her about her origins.
Arthur grew up making his presence in life irrelevant than most children, further cementing the bond between his parents. By age two, he was found by his father playing underwater after he had apparently been there for an hour without drowning. Several years later, both Tom and his father learn the truth about his mother'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 physically 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.
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 #107 and continued on in Adventure Comics #103 alongside Green Arrow and Superboy, starting in 1946.
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 have 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.
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 his 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.
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.
Carrying over from his New 52 standpoint Arthur Curry has now been recognized as the monarch of a very real world power that is Atlantis. The Rebirth run focus's mainly on his role as the hidden nations king and the heavy set tensions between his country and its people with the surface world. Delegations towards diplomacy have been anything less than smoothe however as a great many powers both within his borders as well as without have desired nothing less than absolute turmoil between land and sea interrelations. Insurgents with anti-land based sentiments, Black Manta making his ressurgence to disrupt peace talks at the Atlantean embassy, incompetent politicians shutting down any progress of working relations out of fear and mistrust of Atlantis and disrespect towards Aquaman as a king. Most prominent of all being the threat represented by the mysterious N.E.M.O Organization who secretly controls large interests over control of the worlds oceanic potential markets and investments, who see Arthur's soverignty over it as a threat; not to mention a personal challange to their claim of sea based authority.
Major Story Arcs
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 extremely 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.
To Brightest Day
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 that pre-dates the catastrophe that befell Atlantis. While investigating on a glyph found while saving the civilians he was attacked by Atlantean soldiers only to find out that prior to 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 scepter, 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 artifacts 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 The Scavenger.
Heading out to locate the Scavenger with an Atlantean entourage, Arthur locates and attacks the Scavenger's ship, only to find that he isn't there in person, but only via video-link. After confronting the Scavenger about the stolen Atlantean weapons as well as the Atlantean that was dissected at the hands of the treasure-hunter, it is revealed that the Scavenger's plan involving the weapons are not confined solely to Arthur as it was alluded to a previous confrontation between the two.
When returning to Atlantis, Arthur hears of the news of Mera's disappearance following an attack during a snowstorm at Amnesty Bay and leaves for the Bermuda triangle as a similar snowstorm has broken out there. Meanwhile, Tula, Murk and Swatt plan to go to Belle Reve to rescue Ocean Master from his execution.
When Arthur, reaches Xebel he discovers it's inhabitants frozen solid and that Mera is being held captive by 'The First King of Atlantis.'However, unknown to Aquaman, in his absence, Atlantis is attacked by the now armed Scavenger with a fleet of his submarines.
Arthur is then told to bow by The Dead King, he refuses. The Dead King then asks Arthur to tell him what he knows of him. Arthur then explains that he was told by Vulko how he was was Atlantis' Greatest king and was responsible for creating Aquaman's Trident and the other Six Artifacts of Atlantis and how when Atlantis sank he went with his family to die.
Arthur then demands that The Dead King releases the people of Xebel and Mera and telepathically commands a group of Sharks to attack him. As then Dead King kills the Sharks he goes on to tell Aquaman that it was Arthur who woke him up after all these years, when he made his proclamation to the creatures of the sea that he was their king. The Dead King then tells him that he is a false king and that he is the true king of Atlantis. As the Dead King is talking Arthur breaks the ice construct that Mera was held in and tells her to get ready to fight.
As this was happening, Scavenger's invasion of Atlantis was also taking place. Thinking that it might be an escape attempt for Vulko, an Atlantean Guard tries to kill him, however, this is prevented by Urn who then goes off to battle the Scavengers army.
As Arthur and Mera are swimming away from the Dead King, Arthur contemplates what the Dead King wants with them. As the Dead King gained on them, Arthur sent Mera to free her people and provided the distraction she need by throwing a ship at him. However, the Dead King is not fazed an rips through it to get to Arthur. As they fight the Dead King laments on how Arthur had never been to Xebel and how he nearly annihilated the Trench. He then proceeds to punch Aquaman through a plane and reveals that that Aquaman is not his descendant but rather, he is the descendant of the people who stole his throne and murdered his family and cements this information by stabbing Aquaman in multiple place with his ice constructs. After Aquaman's defeat, Mera tries to rally her people to battle the Dead King but they reveal that while in the ice, the Dead King spoke to them and they now accept him as the true king of Atlantis. As this is happening, the Scavenger is able to find Arthur's throne in Atlantis and claim victory over Atlantis.
Aquaman and Mera are able to escape certain death but are still chased by the people of Xebel up to the barrier that cuts them off from the rest of the world. As they swim, Mera reveals to Arthur that the only person who had the authority to open the barrier was the King. Aquaman thought that was Nereus, Mera went on to tell him that Nerues wasn't the King but rather the king was her father but that Nereus was promised to her in marriage and that while she can open the barrier, Nerus can also close it.
Although they are able to escape from Xebel and return to Atlantis, their situation isn't any better. Arthur and Mera arrive to find the warriors of Atlantis fighting the army of the Scavenger. Scavenger seeing Arthur's return orders his men to launch the Shredder missile, Urn noticing the missile gives his life to protect Arthur form the blast. Arthur realizing that there are too many Submarines orders his men to fall back. However, not defeated Arthur uses his telepathy to summon Topo to aide Atlantis. However, just as Topo finishes the job, the Dead King reaches Atlantis along with the Xebel warriors at the same moment as Arthur passes out from the strain of telepathically ordering Topo.
Aquaman later wakes up to find Vulko standing over him who reveals that Arthur has been unconscious for 6 months. Vulko reveals that the Dead King took over control of Atlantis and that he would have died if Vulko hadn't pulled him away and that Mera has possibly been captured by the Dead King as Vulko last saw her face to face with him.
Vulko then tells him that they are in Antarctica at he location of the Dead King's tomb. He then tells Aquaman that he has to go to the Dead King's tomb as it will reveal to him the Secret of the Seven Seas. When they enter the tomb Vulko tells Aquaman that he has to sit on the Dead King's throne as it will reveal to him how to stop the Dead King.
As he is encased in ice, Aquaman is told the story how the Dead King was once Atlan the King of Atlantis and how he was betrayed by his brother Orin and by his people. How they killed his wife and children and how he was hunted and within that time he forged the Six Artifacts of Atlantis with his Arcane knowledge How he returned years later and without uttering an single word killed his brother and his queen and as Atlantis was plunged into a civil war he finally spoke after years of silence, "Let it all...die" and using his great strength sunk the great nation he had spent his lifetime building.
As Aquaman broke out of the ice that gave him the vision, Vulko explained to him that he was not a descendant of Atlan but rather the descendant of his brother Orin. He goes on to say that Arthur's ancestor had betrayed the rightful king of Atlantis in a coup which ended with all of his supporters killed and his family murdered; all out of his brothers fear of over extended gene blending leading to their once great nations collapse. Out of rage and despair Atlan went silent from the death of his family, eventually vanishing from the world at large once the treacherous king Orin and his wife claimed ownership of Atlantis. Until one day returning after having forged Seven Artifacts of unspeakable power to help him single-handedly overthrow the entire continent; killing both the current king & queen of the once great empire before speaking his final words as he brandished the Scepter of Atlantis to sink his former kingdom beneath the ocean. After having heard such a harrowing tale, Arthur set back out immediately to reclaim the kingdom he had lost from the Dead King.
Searching for a means to combat Atlan and the armies of Xebel, Aquaman and Vulko head to an ocean floor off the coast of Spain to retrieve the most powerful of Atlantis's Seven Artifacts; The Dead Kings Scepter in order to gain control over the Trench, after making battle with The Dead King once more; whom decides that the seas of Atlantis have betrayed him again, preps to destroy Atlantis one final time but aquaman interrupted him; his few loyal subjects marveling at how he stopped a weapon that sank Atlantis years ago. Pushing himself and the Dead King into an open lava vent, Arthur melted the vengeful and maddened revenant along with his scepter into molten slag soon pulling himself from the lava flow to safety. With the relic destroyed, thusly dissolving his hold over the trench who had just fled and the Xebelian army also having retreated to parts unknown. Atlantis was safe once again and its people now free Arthur embraces Mera lovingly after six long months and the two kiss passionately; much to the jealousy of a watching Nereus, Still on the outs after all that has transpired. Mera opts for her and Arthur to leave Atlantis behind knowing full well their adversaries madness came about from the betrayal by his responsibility, but Arthur retorts that he can't run from such a responsibility anymore as it's his disposition to bring unity between land and sea. That he could bear such a burden if she were by his side, however Mera felt otherwise inclined and retreated back to their lighthouse back at amnesty bay. The lonely king sits upon his throne lamenting his wife's departure only for him to perk back to life the minuet she returns to his side, all under the pretense that he simply lose the beard he was sporting.
Resurface of the Past
Over the next couple of months Arthur would extend his criteria as ruler of Atlantis by searching through its colorful but lost history. All beginning with his battle against it's long thought dead protector, the Karaqan. A massive sea beast nearly twice the size of Arthur's own leviathan; Topo, which began causing a disturbance in Iceland, Reykjavik after awakening from millennia of sleep beneath the North Atlantic Trench. During battle with the beast Arthur tries making telepathic contact with it only to be swept up in its own memories of its distant past as a protector of old Atlantis, seeing as he could not reach out to the beast even with his psychic prowess nor with being the current monarch of the kingdom it once protected. Arthur had no choice but to induct a mercy kill in order to keep it from causing more havoc, much to the irritation of many an Atlantean delegate who'd been observing his battle.
The appearance of this creature began to raise a host of questions on the kings mind. For starters, as to what it was that could awaken such a slumbering behemoth from the ocean depths in the first place. Until he received word from one of his elders that a surface world designed undersea establishment had been constructed within their borders. When Aquaman went to investigate this disturbance in his kingdom however, taking note of a deep sea diver who was getting mauled by sharks in the process; he was fired upon by the facilities torpedoes. Barely avoiding open conflict between his search party and the government sanctioned facility, Aquaman was eventually invited into Triton Base by non-other than Dr. Shin who was conscripted by a higher authority in the running of the undersea study team sanctioned by the United States Government. Unbeknownst to everyone at the time, save the director of Triton Base, an unscrupulous doctor by the name of Edrid Orson had taken the shredded remains of the employee in question to run some under the table experiments on him in order to save his life.
Meanwhile Arthur and Mera would attend an old highschool reunion back at amnesty bay. Where Arthur would recount about when and how his powers'd first kicked in back in middle school, and he would deck one of his old classmates for etching his name on an injured whale. While a lot has changed many of his old classmates still see him as the lovable outsider they all grew up with, putting Arthur's fears of an awkward moment with people he barely remembers to rest as they all laugh while getting drunk by a campfire at Amnesty Bay. Meanwhile a world a whole world away, an archaeologist by the name of Daniel Evans manages to make off with his sacred trident. Looking to use it on a device of Atlantean Origin which he found buried in Terceira Island; in the Azores. While Atlantis was discussing of events regarding a certain plant elemental about an odd occurrence of algae bloom which heavily oxygenated the atmosphere of the eastern hemisphere, the deadly Giant-Born unleashed by the misguided aims of the same man who stole Arthur's trident. As they were about to eat the rest of the digging crew, Curry managed to crash in just in time to save the few still alive; recognizing their ancient foe in old Atlantis in his colorful symbolism. Celeana would go onto summon a legendary hero who aided the former king of the adversarial nation whom caste himself into the hellish prison dimension with the giant-born in order to seal them away, one whom she'd driven to madness with her malefic songs into cursing and hating the Atlantean King's line for leaving him to their torments for thousands of years, he who was once regaled as the greatest hero in the history of the ancient world, the legendary Hercules.
While the maddened lion of Olympus did battle with the beleaguered King of New, Arthur tricked Hercules into trying to drown his enemy. Not knowing that the sinking of Atlantis had adapted all of it denizens into water breathers; giving Aquaman the edge he needed in order to batter the insane fallen hero into submission. Having no real means of detaining him on Earth, AC would emplor the help of Prof. Evans in reopening the Atlantean transmatter device to send him back in. But this time to a less mind shattering dimension until he could get the poor immortal the help that he needed.
Aquaman would later encounter Swamp Thing at the Terribone Perrish of Louisiana with help from the globe of travel belonging to Ya'Wara; where they would encounter him accosting a couple of poachers. They eventually come to blows due to a misunderstanding as Aquaman took his globe spanning abilities to manipulate and control plant life, as well as there being numerous others within his sect who have the same branch of world ending power at their fingertips for cause of alarm. It wasn't until he mentioned to Alec that whatever he'd done has taken on a life of its own that hostilities were eventually abated. While catching a ride back home from the Batplane, more than a little surprised at Bruce's determining the location of his Kingdom. He's soon attacked by a slew of sea creatures under the mental dominance of The Chimera; as the two made telepathic contact with one another there was a psychic feedback loop that made their minds reject each other. He was eventually found by the Atlantean coast guard led by Commander Neol. Meeting his queen in the dungeons after she'd survived an assassination attempt by a radicalist sect of Atlanteans, right around the time they meet up again an earthquake commences nearly knocking over the underwater jail cell they'ed reunited in.
After conversing with his wife about the creature he encountered and its escape from the now defunct Triton Base, word comes to him that a lone survivor had been airlifted to a facility to a naval hospital in Boston Harbor; said survivor was Dr. Shin. As the two conversed over what Chimera truly was; he or it being the fruits of various medical breakthrough cultivated by Triton's study of marine biology meshed with the brain tissue samples of the deceased Karaqan. How it had intended to enslave Arthur's mind but but could not due to it's subservient nature to Atlantis's former kings.
While the two were conversing however, Chimera managed to follow Arthur all the way from Amnesty Bay. A battle broke out between the two, the former displaying his unique physiology and all the powers it bestows upon him as an amalgamation of the seas most deadly predators. During the two's clash they re-interface on the mental plane, where each gains insight into the other's past and personal self. Arthur trying to coax the man who used to be Jed Coombs into submission while the Chimera looks into the life and times of a hero and a king who is disparaged by his own people for his hybrid nature. As the fighting escalated, Chimera pressed an advantage by using a heat lamp to dry him out, in that instance Arthur remembered the downed gas tanker that was knocked over during their battle. Where he proceeded to knock the deadly assailant into it and dove into an open manhole before his heater ignited the fuel; triggering a massive explosion. Afterwards Aquaman would proceed to help the fire department pick up the pieces while looking for survivors in the wreckage, not knowing that Chimera had survived as he'd left a shedding of his skin behind.
Maelstrom of Atlantis
When next seen, Arthur and an envoy of Atlantean guardsmen in an advanced undersea vessel. The good king needing the help of his old mentor, Dr. Shin in order to delve into the past in order to find out the answers as why Atlantis itself is acting strangely. Professor Evans was also brought along on their half-year expositional tour of the undersea city of Atlantis, he needed their help in understanding his kingship of the lost nation and the meaning behind the images he saw from the Karaqan part of Chimera's brain just as another sea quake began to stir.
Before looking into the past of Atlantis, Arthur looked to deal with the under realmers who attacked his wife Mera the other day. Having them all transported to a vessel headed towards a trench in Antarctica, where these would be assassins would live the rest of their lives in exile while building their own little colony away from Atlantis. While the elder's council advised against this coarse of action, seeing as the rival kingdom of Xebel was created the same way the day Atlantis of Old banished their watershifting cousins to the penal dimension within the Bermuda Triangle. But while Arthur acknowledges these claims he also rebuts them, seeing as such actions led to the longstanding grudge of an entire nation agaisnt their homeland for so long that the reasons behind such hatred have been lost to the annals of time. That while these dissidents hate the surface as much as they hate other sea dwellers of differing nations, that despite humanities lacking traits the humans never stop progressing in life; Arthur Curry's reasoning behind letting these would be assassins go is based on the grounds of their doing the same.
As Arthur and co litigate on the action of leniency on his part, which in turn earned a great many respects among his subjects. Dr. Shin and Prof. Evans come back in order to reveal the truth of why Atlantis seemingly rejects Arthur's sovereignty. They explain that the city itself possesses a sort of sapience grown in evolved over time by the harvesting of a collective conscientiousness belonging to every atlantean being who died in its service. The very souls of it's citizens becoming part of the strata which comprises it, thus instating in-depth protocols within it determine whose fit to be king.
With further deliberation on the matter, Shin postulated that even though he's only half-atlantean the spirit of his dead mother should've long acknowledged him as the rightful heir to the throne. Provided that her own soul had merged into the geophysical structure of the kingdom, through this bit of insight Arthur journeyed to the resting place of his maternal figure; only to find the coffin empty of its contents. Insinuating that the former queen of Atlantis is in fact alive. With this truth now revealed, Arthur drags the former grand councilor Vulko from his cell and brings him to the grave sight of the person they both knew and loved. To filter his poisonous former aids words Arthur enlists the help of an old friend in order to find out the truth for himself. Using his telepathy J'onn was able to discern the truth as they carried on their conversation, but not everyone was as welcoming of The Martian Manhunters presence. Tula in particular was unnerved at such a powerful outsiders presence within their home, nonetheless they trekked onward. Their latest find involved his mother's rough patch marriage to the former king of Atlantis proceeding either Orm or Arthur, the abusive Orvax Marius, former captain of the Atlantean naval fleet and father to both Orm and Tula. On the day of his assassination by an unknown assailant, Queen Atlanna orchestrated a theater play for her youngest son's Meritunis; the right of adolescent ascendance by atlantean custom on his twelfth birthday.
On that day however she'd every intent of leaving Atlantis and never returning, with her son in tow. But an accident on stage of his brother's favorite historical reenactment claimed her life, Manhunter immediately went to work picking up on the psychic engrams of the play area, showing that Atlanna had in fact not died but instead faked her death by proxy of a dummy corpse when the staging area blew. Arthur found the secret passage with which his mother used in order to traverse Atlantis's underground without fear of discovery.
As Shin and Evans found another touch stone area similar to what they'ed uncovered during their studies in the Archives, Arthur had Elder Leot activate it with his Atlantean Elder Key as Elder Wavi had done previous. When activated the sudden influx of memories causes J'onn to go berserk lashing out at everyone within the immediate area.
Exiled King, Otherworldly Incursion
Mystery of Dead Water
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 a 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 hundreds of 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.
In Throne of Atlantis, he has shown to be able to punch Superman, and take on Wonder Woman. He has been shown among other things lifting a transatlantic ocean liner (around 160000 tons) on land, throwing an enormous cargo ship at the Dead King and throwing a nuclear submarine from the bottom of the ocean to the surface. Perhaps his most impressive feat of strength yet would be when he went toe to toe with a legendary hero and held his own.
Superhuman Durability / Stamina / Healing
Aquaman's enhanced physiology enables him to withstand heavy impacts that would kill any normal human and gives him the ability to function normally on the ocean floor. He possesses superhuman durability high enough to be unaffected by the immense pressure and the cold temperature of the ocean depths (to a greater degree than any other Atlantean), 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. 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 or kill most superhumans (such as Amazo's heat vision or the continent size Starro's blasts), or even Neutron's nuclear blasts, a fall to Earth outside of Earth's atmosphere and being fully submerged in lava.
His stamina is also far beyond anything human as well as the vast majority of most metahumans. In a Nightwing issue Aquaman's stamina was used as the ideal benchmark for powerful metahumans, which the League of Shadows tried to replicate (and failed). 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.
Aquaman also heals much faster than humans and normal Atlanteans (as shown in Aquaman: Throne of Atlantis #57 or Aquaman v4 and Aquaman v6).
Superhuman Speed / Reflexes / Agility
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, Mach 17,7) and is known to have swam through Niagara Falls upstream. In the New 52, Aquaman remains possibly the fastest swimmer in comicdom, having been able to severely out-swim 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, something that has yet to be proven), his upper limit is still unknown but at minimum Aquaman can surpass Mach 5. He can also create huge whirpools by moving at super speed or even entire tidal waves by swimming at super speed, or more impressivelly replicate the speed tricks of Flash (such as spinning his hands so fast they create minature whirpools, similar to the ones Flash uses to propel himself through air) or spin so fast he creates a vacumn in water. In Justice League v1 #86, an injured Aquaman even mentions that normally he is faster than Superman underwater. In Action Comics #366 a disguised Aquaman out reacts Superman in saving the lives of numerous swimmers and then swims away at superspeed before Superman can reach him. In Justice league #5 (2016) he travels to the four corners of the Earth Australia (South), Russia (North), Japan (East) and Atlantis (West) and then to Canada in the same amount of time a battle between the Justice League and the Kindred takes place and in Aquaman #9 (2016) he travels from Atlantis (middle of the Atlantic Ocean) to Baltimore in mere moments, both of which require high hypersonic speeds.
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) and Superman (who he was able to send flying after charging at him and landing a blow before Wonder Woman who was between them could react), in addition to performing feats such as dodging point blank gunfire, lightning (multiple times against Weather Wizard, after the lightning was fired), keeping up with the Flash in water (multiple times) and being able to surprise him or even cutting the weapons of 2 trained soldiers in half, before they even realized it. and possesses superhuman reflexes 15 times greater than a normal being. While not quite a "super-speedster," Aquaman's reflexes are superior even to metahumans such as Deathstroke the Terminator
He's also capable of jumping vast distances on land and from out of the water reaching heights of multiple stories tall (nearly appears to be flying similar to the Hulk). His leaps are so fast that allow him to cover the distance between Boston harbor/port and Boston centre/bank district near instantly and land precisely infront of a speeding vehicle (that would make his leaps at least High Hypersonic, Mach 10). 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.
Enhanced Senses / Sonar
Arthur also has the ability to see, hear and smell at much greater than human capacities. His ability to see through murky waters gives him remarkable vision at night while above water, and is capable of seeing far deep as 36,000 ft below the ocean floor with a clear sight. He also possesses super human hearing, able to hear the heartbeat of a living being through the bulk of a submarine.
Furthermore he has also displayed an innate sonar sense in some occasions, and the ability to feel water in near proximity.
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, Martian Manhunter and even the White Martian Zum). His control was so fine he could even control the bacteria and plankton inside another person's body, making him nigh impossible to beat for any other water based character. 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) and after some strain control the colossal New 52 Topo in order to defend Atlantis. After the first attempt Aquaman can now control even Topo at will (as shown in Aquaman #43). His telepathic powers have yet to be determined in continuity.
He is able to normally function and move underwater, unfazed by the pressure, temperatures or lack of light. Due to his super Atlantean dual origin, he is able off much greater physical feats than any other Atlantean (as seen for example in his fight against the mutated Black Manta, where Dolphin couldn't follow due to the pressure). In Aquaman: Death of King, Tula specifically states that Aquaman has far greater physical powers than any other normal Atlantean.
In new story Arthur seems to gain a whole new grasp of abilities related to or are an extension of this aspect. Using his limited connection of what quite possibly is reminiscent to The Clear/The Blue, Aquaman was able to part an intruding field of thule magic bile in order to infiltrate a different dimension structure showcasing him using some mystic liquid bending capability, later when truly sanctified by Poseidon Arthur had been granted a host of mystical attributes which served to protect him from foul power.
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 17,7. He has been trained since he was a child by his father and Dr. Shin (probably the DCnU's premier marine biologist).
Aquaman has trained with the Atlantean army (and at some point he was the one training his most skilled warriors), the Justice League, specifically Batman and Hawkman and various other sources such as the Others (even before the Justice League was formed). It's also revealed in that all the Others, including Aquaman, are trained in team tactics with specific destinations such as "defensive alignment", depending on the situation.He is exceptionally skilled with his trident (and also swords) and excels in hand-to-hand combat with exceptional martial abilities.
Expert Tactician / Leader
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. He has also come up with effective attack strategies against JL opponents such as Darkseid and the Cheetah and even managed to end an alien invasion on his own when he tricked the Hunters/Gatherers in revealing their plans to the entire world, after uniting all of Earth's underwater Kingdoms.
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.
Weaponry & Equipment
Trident of Poseidon
After the event's of Maelstrom, Aquaman now possesses the weapon of an old sea monarch, given to him by the Greek God himself, further increasing his already impressive powers. The new Trident allows Aquaman to control and channel the power of the storm. Such as generating tsunami's, calling down lightning, conjuring ice and making the earth tremble as well as enabling instant teleportation anywhere using water as a medium, even to different planets (although it happened by accident, due to Aquaman not being completely focused) and enables unaided flight. The Trident is also indestructible, having been forged by Hephaestus the Greek God of Fire and Smithing, creator of Wonder Woman's indestructible Lasso of Truth and Weapon procuring Bracers. The Trident can also shrink down to the size of a Short Sword, making it easier to carry or hide.
The King's Trident
Aquaman's Trident (crafted by the first king of Atlantis) is his standard weapon of choice. It's indestructible, able to hurt even the toughest of opponents; having been the only member of the Justice League to puncture and bleed Darkseid. He has also been depicted of breaking though the magical ice barrier of Graves that seemed impossible at the time, cut through steel like nothing or even deflect magical blasts back to their source. 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).
Former Powers & Equipment
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.
After being drained by his powers and loosing his hand to Charybdis, Aquaman replaced his hand with a harpoon tip. eventually he had to retrofit after losing said weapon to Corona, with one created by S.T.A.R. Labs (one of DC Earth's most prominent technological institutions) which had a multitude of uses such as firing the spear end along a cable line, that could be energized, at great distances and absolute accuracy (the line being powerful enough to restrain Angels and a charging Superboy), spinning like a drill (allowing him to burrow through the surface of the Earth) and the tip itself being incredibly sharp (able to cut through powerful opponents such as Power Ring and/or the Deep Six). In it's final form the harpoon hand was made by atlantean design crafted from indestructible liquid smart metal, allowing Aquaman to control it directly with mental commands, discharge powerful energy blasts, transforming into various weapons, shielding or armor, discharge energy blasts and can turn into a fully functioning hand form (which was the standard when not in battle)
The mechanical harpoon hand was replaced by a magical hand made out of water from the secret sea, given to him by the Lady of the Lake which grants Aquaman numerous abilities. Ones such as the ability to control water on a massive scale (like creating, controlling and splitting colossal tidal waves plus creating hard water construct's), 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 from powerful sorcerers like Tempest and utilize magic of it's own to dispel potent reality warps by individuals like Ocean Master. 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.
Trident of Neptune/Poseidon
A gift given to Aquaman by the greek God of the Sea; Poseidon (who also gallivanted as Neptune) after Aquaman defeated Poseidon's treacherous son, Triton. Leaving it behind in the new King of the Seas capable hand. Orin utilized the trident quite a few times, when the situation demands it, and showed the ability to manipulate water, fire powerful energy bolts, open and close fissures between dimensions and amplify inherent magical powers. Due to it being forged by cyclops's from the fabled adamantine it is also indestructible as well, and able to hurt even the most powerful of opponents, such as the heralds of Imperiex.
Ocean Embodiment / Water Elemental
Numerous times king Orin had been mystically or metaphysically trans-morphed into living water, water which when bonded to any other liquid body would give him full control over it. Becoming an elemental manifest of the four elements and quite possibly the clear's avatar on earth, Arthur could literally utilize planetary water bodies as his ultimate weapon, once having been merged to the sea itself in order to drown the then risen city of Atlantis back beneath the waves. Again when he merged with the anti entity of the Water Bearer known as The Thist and nearly sucked the life giving oceans of the world bone dry if left unchecked, and finally again during Brightest Day after Aquaman had been tasked with finding Jackson Hyde and undoing the release of dangerous Xebelian prisoners. Where he had been atomized by the white light only to be reborn as an elemental of water meant to re-imbue the resurrected Alec Hollend with his natural power and restore it's planetary guardian to life.
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).
- Real Name: Arthur Curry
- Occupation: Atlantean king, superhero
- Height: 6' 0"
- 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: Formerly Poseidonis, Amnesty Bay
- Education: High School; tutored by Atlantean scholars
- Known Relatives: Mera (Wife), Queen Atlanna (Mother, Deceased), Tom Curry (Father, Deceased), Ocean Master (Half-Brother); Pre-New 52: King Atlan (Father, Deceased), Atlanna (Mother, Deceased), Mera (Wife), Porm (Adopted Mother), Tom Curry (Adopted Father, Deceased), Ocean Master (Half-Brother), Deep Blue (Half-Sister), Arthur Curry Jr. (Son, Deceased), Orin (Ancestor), Kordax (Ancestor)
- Partnerships: Mera, Aqualad, Green Arrow, Topo; Pre-New 52: Vulko, Dolphin, A.J., Guardian of Hy-Brasil, Tsunami, Nuada, Sea Devils, Power Girl, Deep Blue
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.
In 2013, an animated movie based on the DC Comics event, Flashpoint, was released. Aquaman played a rather large part. In the beginning, Aquaman helps remove a bomb from one of the rogues. In the altered timeline, he cheats on Mera with Wonder Woman. Angered by his actions, Mera engages in a battle with Diana. Unfortunately, she loses, as Diana cuts off her head. This escalates into a war between the Atlanteans and the Amazons. He was voiced by Carey Elwes.
Aquaman appears in the film as a member of the Justice League. He voice was provided by Liam O'Brien.
Aquaman appeared in the film, based off the comic book story arc of the same name. The film was released in 2015. The film is a sequel to Justice League: War which also took inspiration from The New 52. He was voiced by Matt Lanter.
Jason Momoa portrayed Aquaman in a brief cameo appearance, marking his first live-action cinematic appearance. Wonder Woman finds footage of Aquaman that Lex Luthor had somehow obtained, which includes the other future members of the Justice League. In the footage, Aquaman is seen swimming in a sunken ship, and attacks the camera before swimming away at with superhuman speed.
Despite being featured only briefly, Aquaman was included in the marketing for the film, with a teaser poster showing Momoa being released to the public. He was also included in the film's action figure line from Mattel, including a version that featured the character in his classic orange and green costume.
Aquaman makes his first full appearance in the crossover movie, with Jason Momoa reprising his role. In a departure from the comics, Aquaman is initially portrayed as a surly loner of sorts. Despite being the heir to the throne of Atlantis, he has refused to claim his birthright. Bruce Wayne first encounters Arthur Curry after tracking him to Iceland, where Arthur has been using his powers to bring fish to feed the hungry. He rejects Bruce's offer to join the team, but is forced into action when Steppenwolf attacks Atlantis in search of one of the Mother Boxes. After Steppenwolf escapes with the item, Mera convinces Arthur to go after him, saying it's what his mother would have done. Arthur dons the suit of Atlantean battle armor that had been worn by King Atlan and arms himself with a trident, determined to get the Mother Box back. During the final battle, Arthur joins the other member of the League in fighting off Steppenwolf's army of Parademons.
Aquaman will star in his own spin-off film, with Jason Momoa once again reprising his role. The film will explore Aquaman's origin in greater detail, as Justice League only hinted at his backstory. The film will be directed by James Wan, with a cast that includes Amber Heard as Mera, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, Patrick Wilson as Prince Orm/Ocean Master, Willem Dafoe as Professor Vulko, Temuera Morrison as Thomas Curry, Nicole Kidman as Atlanna and Dolph Lundgren as King Nereus.
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. This is the most infamous version of Aquaman, and it has tainted Aquaman's reputation and turned him into a joke in the public's eye. It should be noted that Aquaman was not the only one to have his reputation tainted by this show, as Hawkman suffered just as much, though his poor reputation did not enter into public consciousness the way Aquaman's did.
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, whose 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, having drastically changed his appearance since his last appearance in Superman: The Animated Series.
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.
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.
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 appears in a number of episodes of the animated series, voiced by Phil LaMarr. In the show, he is the king of Atlantis and is known by the name Orin rather than Arthur. It is revealed that he was attacked one day by Ocean Master, but was saved by the intervention of two Atlantean teens named Kaldur'ahm and Garth. He offered to take on the boys as his apprentices, but Garth declined. Kaldur agreed, and became Aqualad, Aquaman's sidekick.
He acts as a mentor to Aqualad in Season 1, and to Lagoon Boy in Season 2, after Aqualad seemingly defects to join Black Manta (though this is merely a ruse).
Aquaman makes a number of cameo appearances in Teen Titans Go!. He is matched with Starfire in the episode "matched" causing Robin to try to be like him.
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
Aquaman made his video game debut in this title for the Sega Genesis and SNES systems. In the game, Aquaman serves as one of the playable Justice League, alongside Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, and Green Arrow. Aquaman fights hand-to-hand in the SNES version, but wields his triend in the Sega Genesis version (which was produced by a different team). In the SNES version, Aquaman is also able to throw water balls, much like in the old Filmation cartoon, while he can throw his trident in the Genesis version.
Aquaman: Battle for Atlantis
In 2003, Aquaman received his first (and only) solo video game, which was released on the Xbox and Gamecube. A third-person action game, the title featured Aquaman trying to defend Atlantis from Black Manta, as well as a conspiracy from Ocean Master to steal the throne from him. Aquaman sported his 90's design, complete with the long hair and hook hand. The game is notable for its negative critical and commercial reception, and is frequently listed as one of the worst games ever made.
Justice League Heroes
Aquaman appears as a playable character in the game, voiced by Bryce Johnson. In battle, he uses water-based abilities, like forming water swords or summoning whirlpools. He sports his water hand look from the early 2000's, rather than his classic look or his 90's appearance with the long hair. 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 character.
Aquaman is a playable character in now defunct Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) video game developed by Turbine and Warner Bro. Interactive Enterntainment. As of August 2015, Infinite Crisis and it's servers are shut down.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
Aquaman is one of the 24 playable characters in this game, with Phil LaMarr reprising his role from Young Justice. The good version of Aquaman is one of the characters summoned to the Regime universe, alongside Hal Jordan, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, Batman, and Joker (the latter two were summoned by accident). The alternate Aquaman is on Regime Superman's side, and is negotiating for Regime Superman to have full control of Atlantis, much to the main Aquaman's horror. Aquaman teams up with the others plus Insurgency Batman to put an end to the Regime once and for all.
Aquaman returns in the sequel, once again voiced by Phil LaMarr. Aquaman has now returned to Atlantis after the events of the first game, and has cut off all contact with the surface world. Now jaded and cynical due to the heavy losses Atlantis suffered in the last game, he initially rejects Green Lantern's request to help fight off Brainiac's invasion. This leads to a fight between the two, and Aquaman is forced back into action after Brainiac's forces attack Atlantis. Green Lantern's defense of the kingdom wins Aquaman's respect, though the king is still hesitant to help. However, Aquaman finally joins Green Lantern's cause after Brainiac captures Atlantis for his collection.
- The same year Super Friends debuted on television, Aquaman was given his own figure from Mego. He was chosen due to the Filmation Aquaman cartoon, reruns of which were still airing during the 70's.
- Aquaman was later featured in the DC Super Powers Collection by Kenner.
- The long-haired, hook-handed version of Aquaman from the 90's was later featured in Kenner's Total Justice series.
- Aquaman received numerous figures and statues from the DC Direct line.
- Mattel produced numerous figures of Aquaman, including his animated and cinematic incarnations.
- Companies such as Sideshow Collectibles, Iron Studios and Kotobukiya have produced various statues and busts of Aquaman.
- DC Collectibles has also produced many Aquaman products, including a version from the Injustice video game.
- Funko produced several Funko POP! figures of Aquaman.
- Aquaman has been featured in several Lego kits, including some for the Justice League film.
- Hot Toys produced an Aquaman figure for the Justice League film.