The Trench were once regular Atlanteans before Atlantis sank by the hand of King Atlan. When the kingdom sank it was split into seven parts. Four of the parts were lost forever and the other three remained. Over 90% of the Atlantean population drowned in the sinking while the other 10% survived, adapting to live in the water. One part of the population would remain in the underwater nation of Atlantis, the other part would become Xebel and the final part would be the home of the Trench, who had taken on their present appearance to live underwater.
The Trench were created by Aquaman writer Geoff Johns as a ocean-dwelling race of evil creatures to take on Aquaman in The New 52.
Major Story Arcs
For further information: Aquaman
In the first arc of Aquaman, the Trench rise from far beneath the ocean floor in search of one thing, food. With their first attack, they demonstrate a complete lack of empathy, relying on only the primal instinct to feed, even eating their own slain brethren. All the creatures seem to be similar with the exception of one alpha member of the race. When that alpha member marks it's food, they others back off. After massacring a boat and local fishing community, the police call in Aquaman and Mera to help investigate. The police divers eventually find what looks to be a cocoon in the water, which contains many creatures of the Trench. While fighting off the creatures' attacks, the alpha marks Aquaman as food to be brought back to the ocean floor, where they originated.
Aquaman fiercely battles the alpha as Mera holds off the rest. The alpha calls for a retreat with their captured food as they dive back into the deep. Aquaman takes one of their fallen to be further examined. Mera and Arthur dive into the Trench to save the townspeople. They discover a crashed Atlantean ship that had been attacked by the creatures. They also find the spawn of the Trench creatures to be sick and dying. Arthur and Mera then discover the throne room/breeding chamber where the Queen and her alpha King are. The Trench creatures were just trying to gather enough food for their Queen's children. Aquaman rips off the roof of the cave containing the cocooned townspeople and heads to the surface. The Trench, their King and Queen follow them as Arthur triggers a volcanic reaction with his trident. The Trench begins to collapse as Arthur seals it with another large rock.
The Throne of Atlantis
During the battle between atlantis and the surface city of Gotham, The Trench were released from they're undersea prison by an unknown player to be used against both sides in the war of the two worlds. Arthur had been investigating involvement regarding the the Dead King's Scepter he'd attempted to intercept during an exchange between Black Manta and a mysterious Atlantean convoy who made off with it, only for The Trench to later attack both the surface world and the armies of Atlantis at Vulko's command.The latter of whom revealing himself to have started the whole conflict in the first place using the scepter he bought off of manta.
Which he was using to guide the latter invading force against both Atlantis and the world at large as vengeance, in part against Stephen Shin for outing Arthur for public notoriety and against Atlantis itself for denouncing him after Aquaman bequeathed the throne to his younger brother orm. After having bested the former king the Justice League presented a relenting Vulko to Arthur; who willingly handed his belated king the sceptre he used to unseal said deep dwellers to aid in his gambit to put Aquaman back on the throne.
But after hearing all of this Arthur harshly reprimanded his former adviser backhanding him into a ruined street utterly disgusted by Vulko's lack of abandon at his plans which cost hundreds of thousands their lives. With the scepter in hand using it in conjunction with his own psionic capacities, Arthur ordered to trench back into the ocean depths. Awaiting their chance to rise again.
Death of a King
For more information see: Death of a King
Aquaman uses the Dead King's Trident to command the Trench and help him fight the Xebel and the The Dead King, banking on the fact that while the relic itself doesn't directly move them into action but acts as a instinctive imprint relating to subconscious subservience to the first monarch of said kingdom.
Aquaman looses control of the Trench when the Dead King's Scepter is destroyed. It is also revealed that the Trench are a mutated form of humans who survived Atlan's destruction of his city decades ago, by mutating into monsters.
Powers & Abilities
- The Trench have razor sharp teeth and claws, the strongest of their ilk being capable of puncturing Aquaman's skin and also able to cause mild paralysis in humans.
- They have a primitive means of communication and mark their food with their saliva.
- The Trench can be injured by intense heat, such as a flare gun.
- Trenchers excrete a powerful neurotoxin which can immobalize their target prey, it's even semi-effective on a Super-Atlantean like Aquaman
- Their physiology allows their bodies to endure the water pressure at the ocean floor as well as on land.
- Trench biology gives them mimicry akin to deep ocean sea life, such as the angler fish's bio-luminescence.
- Their metabolism requires them to consume twenty to thirty times their own weight in food to survive.
- The Trench can create a cocoon to transport their food from the surface back to the trench.