Five Awesome Aquaman Stories You Need to Read

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Posted by inferiorego (25733 posts) - - Show Bio

For decades, Aquaman was a joke, and to some folks, he still is. However, the New 52 stories have really revamped who this character is and proved to most people that Aquaman isn't someone to make fun of. Even if you're one of the few that still rag on Aquaman, we're here to let you know that the character actually has some really awesome stories you should check out. We put together this list of some of Aquaman's best stories, once you're done, you can actually check almost all of these iisues out of Comixology.

Everything Peter David Wrote (1990-1998)

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THE ATLANTIS CHRONICLES #1-7, AQUAMAN TIME & TIDE #1-4, and AQUAMAN #0-46 (This is also the reading order)

Written by Peter David

Peter David really made Aquaman into the character he is today. He was the premiere writer for the king of Atlantis throughout the 90s. Before this, he was just another hero who would occasionally bang out some jazz tunes with his octopus buddy Topo. While all three of these stories are separate volumes, they also work together as one very large piece of work.

His work starts with ATLANTIS CHRONICLES, drawn by Esteban Maroto, which is the grand and quite epic tour through the vast history of Atlantis, which ends with the birth of Aquaman. Next comes AQUAMAN TIDE & TIDE, a four issue mini-series telling the tale of Aquaman during his early years. You can think of this more as an origin piece than anything else. This series features the art of Kirk Jarvinen, Brad Vancata, and the colors of Tom McCraw. Finally, there's David's 47 issue run of AQUAMAN, the 5th volume of the series. We got a rougher version of the character, and one that lost his hand. Remember the Aquaman from the Justice League Unlimited cartoon? This is where that design came from.

What makes it great: Peter David redefined the character here as well as spending a lot of time redefining all things Atlantis. David's run took Aquaman from the guy who could help out the Justice League if there was a problem at the Aquarium, to a full-fledged hero, with his own vast and deep mythos. We wouldn't have Aquaman the way he is today without Peter David.

American Tidal AKA Sub-Diego (2004)

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AQUAMAN #15-20

Written by Wil Pfeifer

Pencils by Patrick Gleason

Inks by Christian Alamy

Colors by Nathan Eyring

"American Tidal," which many fans lovingly call "Sub Diego," is the longest arc in this volume, which does run a bit longer than issues #15-20, as the Sub Diego world does come back into play. Anton Geist sinks the city of San Diego and its inhabitants and Aquaman helps find a way for its residents to continue living underwater.

What makes it great: For me, this run really got me to be an Aquaman fan. Pfeifer makes Aquaman more than a hero. He becomes a savior here as he gives the residents of San Diego a reason to go on and gives them a new lease on life. In addition, you have the art of Patrick Gleason, moving this story forward, which makes this one killer arc that is a must read for Aquaman fans, especially in a pre-Flashpoint world.

Aquaman's New 52 Origin (2012)

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AQUAMAN #0

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Ivan Reis & Joe Prado

Colors by Rod Reis

We live in the world of the New 52, and things have been shaken up. Luckily, during a month back in 2012, DC gave readers a whole bunch of zero issues which told the origins for their heroes and villains of this new DC universe. Here, Johns retells Aquaman's voyage of leaving the human world to find Atlantis. Along the way, he meets Vulko, who helps him on his mission and tells Arthur about his past.

What makes it great: It is a nice one-off issue that gives a decent summation of Arthur's past without feeling like an information dump. We get a broad sense of who this character was and where he came from. We also see how Arthur evolved and how his personality changed, without the character feeling completely foreign. It may just be a single issue, but it's an essential read for fans of the New 52 version of the character.

The Trench (2011)

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AQUAMAN #1-4

Written by Geoff Johns

Pencils by Ivan Reis

Inks by Joe Prado

Colors by Rod Reis

For the longest time, well, since the Super Friends cartoon back in 1973, Aquaman has been a bit of a joke. With the launch of the New 52, writer Geoff Johns seemingly made it his mission to reintroduce the world to an Aquaman folks could take a bit more seriously. He accomplished that in his first story line of the new series entitled "The Trench." In this story, Aquaman goes up against a new enemy from the depths of the ocean. They come to the surface looking for food and the outnumber Aquaman and his wife Mera by quite a bit.

What makes it great: It's a reintroduction to the character for a whole new generation. Geoff Johns does go over the idea that Aquaman is a joke, but he proves those folks wrong by taking on the Trench, which is more than your average villain. The finale of this story has Aquaman make a very difficult decision, which will gain the respect of the reader.

Throne of Atlantis (2013)

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AQUAMAN #14-17, JUSTICE LEAGUE #15-17

Written by Geoff Johns

Pencils by Ivan Reis

Inks by Joe Prado

Colors by Rod Reis

Someone has attacked Atlantis and Aquaman's brother, Orm, blames the surface world. To retaliate, Orm sends his forces to the coastal cities and lays waste to them. Aquaman, along with the Justice League, team up to try and stop Orm from his destruction and killing and try to find out who attacked Atlantis.

What makes it great: This is the first time the reader gets a full scope of how large Atlantis' army is. It's not just a couple guys in SCUBA gear. This also feels like the first time, in a long time, that Orm AKA Ocean Master (a terribly named character) feels like an actual person and not just a villain of the week for Aquaman. Johns does a great job developing Arthur's brother. Also, this is just a pretty dang epic storyline for fans of the Justice League.

Bonus: MAELSTROM (2014)

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AQUAMAN #35-

Written by Jeff Parker

Pencils by Paul Pelletier

Inks by Sean Parsons

Colors by Rain Beredo

Aquaman finds out that his mother never died. She's out there and still alive. He goes on the hunt to find her in hopes to get some answers about his past. We don't have all the answers yet, but the story is moving along smoothly.

What makes it great: Currently, we're about halfway through this arc, it seems. This has been Jeff Parker's best story during his run and what makes it so great is that he builds on the mythos and lore of Atlantis. Before it sunk, it had many connections to what they now call the "surface world," including Gorilla City. While other New 52 arcs have built on the characters and complementary Atlantis, Maelstrom builds on the history of Atlantis and will really get fans excited about Aquaman's world.

There you have it, some of Aquaman's best stories. What moments from Aquaman's past are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comment section below!

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#1 Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

Good list, I'll be sure to bookmark it when I give people Aquaman related reading suggestions.

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#2 Posted by kidchipotle (15763 posts) - - Show Bio

I really enjoyed Obsidian Age. I know that's not a direct Aquaman story but it was a huge Atlantis mythos story.

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#3 Posted by Squalleon (9994 posts) - - Show Bio

Ιt makes me happy to know I have read most of them(I have read only parts of David's run).

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#4 Posted by pinecone1510 (1063 posts) - - Show Bio

My favorite arc in the Johns Aquaman run is surprisingly the one you didn't mention... The Others.

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#6 Posted by deactivated-5c901e667a76c (36557 posts) - - Show Bio

I really needed an article like this.

@pinecone: I liked The Others a lot more than The Trench.

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#7 Posted by StMichalofWilson (5631 posts) - - Show Bio

Throne of Atlantis is my fave

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#8 Posted by Admiral_IronBeast (177 posts) - - Show Bio

@pinecone said:

My favorite arc in the Johns Aquaman run is surprisingly the one you didn't mention... The Others.

This. The Others was really cool, definitely helped build the mythos of Atlantis and show off some really powerful Atlantean weaponry in the hands of Aquaman's allies

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#9 Posted by SynCig (1105 posts) - - Show Bio

Great list. I haven't read any of Peter David's run unfortunately. I really want to but it is hard to come by pretty much any Aquaman trades pre-New 52. He is one of my favorite characters but I have been forced to experience him primarily through Justice League pre-New 52. That said, I'm reading Mark Waid's run on JLA right now and he writes Aquaman really well. If one day in the future Mark and DC patch things up then I'd love to see him tackle Aquaman.

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#10 Posted by Claymore1998 (16541 posts) - - Show Bio

Awesome stuff

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#11 Posted by Dernman (25909 posts) - - Show Bio

The New 52 has been good to Aquaman.

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#12 Edited by Jslab425 (54 posts) - - Show Bio
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#13 Posted by Ostyo (14103 posts) - - Show Bio

Interesting choices. Don't really get the hate for the Ocean Master name though.

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#14 Edited by Synack1138 (219 posts) - - Show Bio

Jeff Parker's run has been so-so. Geoff John's entire run has been spot on.

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#15 Posted by deactivated-5c9535a734784 (2578 posts) - - Show Bio

Glad the Johns run made it. It's one of my favorite New 52 book.

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#16 Posted by dagmar_merrill (12701 posts) - - Show Bio

Would be nice if they collected David's run in one masisve omnibus.

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#17 Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@jslab425: Thanks for the list, I love your website, and I absolutely love the Firestorm fansite too (although I've never commented on either page). Like this page, I'll be sure to bookmark that page as well.

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#18 Posted by Farkam (12019 posts) - - Show Bio

Thanks for this. I just want to read something where Aquaman kicks some ass, lol.

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#19 Posted by Blackdog2009 (3706 posts) - - Show Bio

@ostyo: agree. Ocean Master is a bad ass name.

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#20 Posted by viin (953 posts) - - Show Bio

One of my favorites is the Death of a King arc that followed Throne of Atlantis. I am also looking forward to Rise of the Seven Seas in Justice Leage...whenever that will finally happen.

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#21 Posted by CaptainMarvel4Ever (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

What's wrong with Ocean Master's name? I think it sounds awesome.

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#22 Posted by Pokeysteve (12017 posts) - - Show Bio

The Trench is what made me an Aquaman fan. Happy to see it here.

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#23 Posted by tomlikesfries (5341 posts) - - Show Bio

Glad to see The Trench in the list. It's really good.

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#24 Edited by Anjales_II (1026 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly, articles like this is the reason I voted for Aquaman as the COTM. Good job

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#25 Posted by Ostyo (14103 posts) - - Show Bio
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#26 Posted by lagoonman (149 posts) - - Show Bio

I have read all of this! i also suggest death of a prince, Dan jurgens run, and some parts of Brightest day. what about an article about Aquaman greatest moments, like whe he one shot a white martian with Telepathy or when he took a massive blast from starro (the same one that KO the new god Orion) survive and continue helping

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#27 Posted by The_Kid_Lantern (222 posts) - - Show Bio

I loved what I read of David's run, but American Tidal is what made me a real fan of the character. Sub Diego was an incredible concept that should be explored again in the New52. I enjoyed that Aquaman was a protector though not a king or ruler and he wasn't lugging around that trident all the time.

~KL~

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#28 Posted by CitizenJP (782 posts) - - Show Bio

Throne of Atlantis is pretty amazing.

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#29 Posted by Blackdog2009 (3706 posts) - - Show Bio

What Peter David did is hit and miss. He did a lot of bull&hit nonsense... made Mera a psycho, Dolphin a whore, handicapped Aquaman, and left a mess that none of the following writers could fix.

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#30 Posted by NightFang3 (12361 posts) - - Show Bio

Good to see more Aquaman love on CV.

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#31 Posted by RustyRoy (16610 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice list.

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#32 Posted by Wilbertus (535 posts) - - Show Bio

3 down, 2 to go.

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#33 Edited by SevanGrim (2193 posts) - - Show Bio

Weirdly, as much as I acknowledge and even appreciate that the new Aquaman comics are doing... They are losing me.

I think I'm disconnected from Arthur's "home turf" per se because it's so big and so... not something I'm connected to.

I would be more excited for a title focusing on AC dealing with threats IN Atlantis as opposed to things that are a threat TOO Atlantis. Something more like (I hate that I'm saying this) everything else. I think something more like other heroes and their connection to their home cities, with the filter of "underwater and with ocean threats" would interest me more than Aquaman leaving Atlantis all the time to deal with other carp.(I'm gonna let autocorrect have that one because pun).

I know I was biased for GJ's writing style, and that plays a part in my loss in interest. But right now I'm not huge on seeing AC outside of the JLA,and that's weird considering how much I clamored for him before.

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#35 Posted by mak13131313 (1601 posts) - - Show Bio

Great List! I've enjoyed most of those stories. In my opinion his whole New 52 run has been awesome!

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#37 Posted by Guru_Crack (11568 posts) - - Show Bio

awesome love Aquaman.

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#38 Posted by scavengerFist (1935 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice, gonna dig this article if I get the urge to read (or I have nothing to read).

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#39 Posted by PeterDavid (3 posts) - - Show Bio

Much thanks for the kind words.

Of course, I like the headline. Stories you "need to read." Which is relatively easy with the other ones since I'm reasonably sure they've all been collected into trade paperback. With the exception of "Time and Tide" (long out of print, of course) DC never collected any of my Aquaman work. Not even "Atlantis Chronicles" which DC higher ups so loved that they told me they were going to give it the "Watchman" treatment. So that was nice.

PAD

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#40 Posted by The_Kid_Lantern (222 posts) - - Show Bio

^^^Top notch guy that one! Loved everything I've read from his novelization of the Rocketeer film, old X-Factor and Hulk, and of course Aquaman. DC should really try to get this guy back!

~KL~

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#41 Posted by PeterDavid (3 posts) - - Show Bio

What Peter David did is hit and miss. He did a lot of bull&hit nonsense... made Mera a psycho, Dolphin a whore, handicapped Aquaman, and left a mess that none of the following writers could fix.

They didn't need to fix it. Because it all worked: sales were fantastic. Instead they undid it and sales immediately plummeted. So maybe it was less bull&hit nonsense and more exactly what the character needed. Oh, and by the way: Mera wasn't psychotic, Dolphin wasn't a whore, and Aquaman was hardly handicapped.

PAD

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#42 Posted by Krypton-115 (545 posts) - - Show Bio

Considering picking up some N52 volumes....

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#43 Edited by comicfan11 (1419 posts) - - Show Bio
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#44 Posted by Knightsofdarkness2 (8155 posts) - - Show Bio

Great list!

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#45 Posted by Knightsofdarkness2 (8155 posts) - - Show Bio

What's wrong with Ocean Master's name? I think it sounds awesome.

This.

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#47 Posted by TomHunter (50 posts) - - Show Bio

Personally, there is too much current stuff on this list.

One of my personal favorite Aquaman stories / arcs? The two limited series that used the camo-blue aqua suit. A completely different type of Aquaman story that sorta expanded out the mythology.

If you haven't read these two limited series, you need to search em out.

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#49 Posted by KingWillie (597 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice, this is just what I needed. I always thought Ocean Master was a cool name too though haha.

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#50 Posted by ComicBloo (20 posts) - - Show Bio

Agree on all of these.... Aquaman is awesome!

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