Aquaman
Overview
 
Aquaman is a fiction
Fiction
Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

al superhero
Superhero
A superhero is a type of stock character, possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers", dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas —...

 who appears in comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

s published by DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

. Created by Paul Norris
Paul Norris
Paul Leroy Norris was an American comic book artist best known as co-creator of the DC Comics superhero Aquaman, and for a 35-year run as artist of the newspaper comic strip Brick Bradford.-Early life and career:...

 and Mort Weisinger
Mort Weisinger
Mortimer Weisinger was an American magazine and comic book editor best known for editing DC Comics' Superman during the mid-1950s to 1960s, in the Silver Age of comic books...

, the character debuted in More Fun Comics
More Fun Comics
More Fun Comics, originally titled New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine a.k.a. New Fun Comics, was a 1935-1947 American comic book anthology that introduced several major superhero characters and was the first American comic-book series to feature solely original material rather than reprints of...

#73 (Sep. 1941). Initially a backup feature in DC's anthology titles, Aquaman later starred in several volumes of a solo title. During the late 1950s and 1960s superhero-revival period known as the Silver Age
Silver Age of Comic Books
The Silver Age of Comic Books was a period of artistic advancement and commercial success in mainstream American comic books, predominantly those in the superhero genre. Following the Golden Age of Comic Books and an interregnum in the early to mid-1950s, the Silver Age is considered to cover the...

, he was a founding member of the Justice League of America
Justice League
The Justice League, also called the Justice League of America or JLA, is a fictional superhero team that appears in comic books published by DC Comics....

. In the 1990s Modern Age
Modern Age of Comic Books
The Modern Age of Comic Books is an informal name for the period in the history of mainstream American comic books generally considered to last from the mid-1980s until present day...

, Aquaman's character became more serious than in most previous interpretations, with storylines depicting the weight of his role as king of Atlantis
Atlantis (DC Comics)
Atlantis is a fictional location in the DC Comics Universe. The very first DC Universe version of Atlantis debuted in Action Comics #18 , and was created by...

.
Aquaman's first origin story was presented in flashback
Flashback (narrative)
Flashback is an interjected scene that takes the narrative back in time from the current point the story has reached. Flashbacks are often used to recount events that happened before the story’s primary sequence of events or to fill in crucial backstory...

 from his debut, narrated by the character himself:
In his early Golden Age appearances, Aquaman could breathe underwater with gills, had superhuman strength enabling him to swim at high speeds, and could communicate with sea life and have them do his bidding.
Encyclopedia
Aquaman is a fiction
Fiction
Fiction is the form of any narrative or informative work that deals, in part or in whole, with information or events that are not factual, but rather, imaginary—that is, invented by the author. Although fiction describes a major branch of literary work, it may also refer to theatrical,...

al superhero
Superhero
A superhero is a type of stock character, possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers", dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas —...

 who appears in comic book
Comic book
A comic book or comicbook is a magazine made up of comics, narrative artwork in the form of separate panels that represent individual scenes, often accompanied by dialog as well as including...

s published by DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

. Created by Paul Norris
Paul Norris
Paul Leroy Norris was an American comic book artist best known as co-creator of the DC Comics superhero Aquaman, and for a 35-year run as artist of the newspaper comic strip Brick Bradford.-Early life and career:...

 and Mort Weisinger
Mort Weisinger
Mortimer Weisinger was an American magazine and comic book editor best known for editing DC Comics' Superman during the mid-1950s to 1960s, in the Silver Age of comic books...

, the character debuted in More Fun Comics
More Fun Comics
More Fun Comics, originally titled New Fun: The Big Comic Magazine a.k.a. New Fun Comics, was a 1935-1947 American comic book anthology that introduced several major superhero characters and was the first American comic-book series to feature solely original material rather than reprints of...

#73 (Sep. 1941). Initially a backup feature in DC's anthology titles, Aquaman later starred in several volumes of a solo title. During the late 1950s and 1960s superhero-revival period known as the Silver Age
Silver Age of Comic Books
The Silver Age of Comic Books was a period of artistic advancement and commercial success in mainstream American comic books, predominantly those in the superhero genre. Following the Golden Age of Comic Books and an interregnum in the early to mid-1950s, the Silver Age is considered to cover the...

, he was a founding member of the Justice League of America
Justice League
The Justice League, also called the Justice League of America or JLA, is a fictional superhero team that appears in comic books published by DC Comics....

. In the 1990s Modern Age
Modern Age of Comic Books
The Modern Age of Comic Books is an informal name for the period in the history of mainstream American comic books generally considered to last from the mid-1980s until present day...

, Aquaman's character became more serious than in most previous interpretations, with storylines depicting the weight of his role as king of Atlantis
Atlantis (DC Comics)
Atlantis is a fictional location in the DC Comics Universe. The very first DC Universe version of Atlantis debuted in Action Comics #18 , and was created by...

.

Golden Age

Aquaman's first origin story was presented in flashback
Flashback (narrative)
Flashback is an interjected scene that takes the narrative back in time from the current point the story has reached. Flashbacks are often used to recount events that happened before the story’s primary sequence of events or to fill in crucial backstory...

 from his debut, narrated by the character himself:
In his early Golden Age appearances, Aquaman could breathe underwater with gills, had superhuman strength enabling him to swim at high speeds, and could communicate with sea life and have them do his bidding. Initially, he was depicted as speaking to sea creatures "in their own language" rather than telepathically, and only when they were close enough to hear him. While he was often described as the "sovereign of the sea," with the waters of the entire globe his "domain," and almost every sea creature his "loyal subject," the title was never an official one. Aquaman's adventures took place all across the world, and his base was "an ancient temple of lost Atlantis, kept underwater," in which he kept a solitary throne.

During his wartime
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 adventures, most of Aquaman's foes were Nazi
Nazism
Nazism, the common short form name of National Socialism was the ideology and practice of the Nazi Party and of Nazi Germany...

 U-boat
U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

 commanders and various Axis
Axis Powers
The Axis powers , also known as the Axis alliance, Axis nations, Axis countries, or just the Axis, was an alignment of great powers during the mid-20th century that fought World War II against the Allies. It began in 1936 with treaties of friendship between Germany and Italy and between Germany and...

 villains. The rest of his adventures in the 1940s and 1950s had him dealing with various sea-based criminals, including modern-day pirates such as his longtime archenemy Black Jack, as well as various threats to aquatic life, shipping lanes, and sailors.

Silver Age

Starting in 1959, Aquaman's backstory was revised, with various new supporting characters added and several adjustments made to the character, his origins, his powers, and persona.

In Adventure Comics #260 (May 1959) and subsequent Silver Age comics, it was revealed that Aquaman was Arthur Curry, the son of Tom Curry, a lighthouse keeper, and Atlanna, a water-breathing outcast from the lost, underwater city of Atlantis
Atlantis (DC Comics)
Atlantis is a fictional location in the DC Comics Universe. The very first DC Universe version of Atlantis debuted in Action Comics #18 , and was created by...

. Due to his heritage, Aquaman discovered as a youth that he possessed various superhuman abilities, including the powers of surviving underwater, communication with sea life, and tremendous swimming prowess. Eventually, Arthur decided to use his talents to become the defender of the Earth's oceans. It was later revealed that he had, in his youth, adventured as "Aquaboy" and met Superboy
Superboy (Kal-El)
The original Superboy is a fictional superhero who appears in DC Comics. The name of Superman as a boy, Superboy has adventures that occur in the relative past to those of Superman and take place predominantly in his hometown of Smallville...

 (Earth's only other publicly active superpowered hero at the time) on one occasion. When Arthur grew up, he called himself "Aquaman".

It was later revealed that after Atlanna's death, Tom Curry met and married an ordinary human woman and had a son named Orm Curry, Aquaman's half-brother. Orm grew up as a troubled youth in the shadow of his brother, who constantly bailed him out of trouble with the law. He grew to hate Aquaman not only for the powers that he could never possess but also because he believed that their father would always favor Aquaman. Orm disappeared after becoming an amnesia
Amnesia
Amnesia is a condition in which one's memory is lost. The causes of amnesia have traditionally been divided into categories. Memory appears to be stored in several parts of the limbic system of the brain, and any condition that interferes with the function of this system can cause amnesia...

c and would resurface years later as Aquaman's archnemesis, Ocean Master
Ocean Master
The Ocean Master is a fictional supervillain published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Aquaman #29 , and was created by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy.-Pre-Crisis:...

.

Aquaman's ability to talk with fish eventually expanded to full-fledged telepathic communication with sea creatures even from great distances and he was also retroactively developed a specific weakness akin to Superman
Superman
Superman is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective...

's vulnerability to kryptonite
Kryptonite
Kryptonite is a fictional material from the Superman mythos —the ore form of a radioactive element from Superman's home planet of Krypton. It is famous for being the ultimate physical weakness of Superman, and the word kryptonite has since become synonymous with an Achilles' heel —the one weakness...

 or Green Lantern
Green Lantern
The Green Lantern is the shared primary alias of several fictional characters, superheroes appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The first Green Lantern was created by writer Bill Finger and artist Martin Nodell in All-American Comics #16 .Each Green Lantern possesses a power ring and...

's vulnerability to the color yellow: Aquaman had to come into contact with water at least once per hour, or he would die (prior to this story Aquaman could exist both in and out of water indefinitely.

Allies and foes

Aquaman was included in the Justice League of America
Justice League
The Justice League, also called the Justice League of America or JLA, is a fictional superhero team that appears in comic books published by DC Comics....

comic book series, appearing with the team in their very first adventure, and was also a founding member of the team. Aquaman took part in most of the 1960s adventures of the superhero team.

Aquaman's supporting cast and rogues gallery soon began to grow with the addition of Aqualad
Garth (comics)
Garth is a fictional character, a superhero in publications from DC Comics, originally known as Aqualad, and later known by the codename Tempest. As Aqualad, he is the teen sidekick and protege to his guardian, the super-hero known as Aquaman, bearing the same super-abilities as his mentor that...

, an outcast, orphaned youth from an Atlantean colony whom Aquaman takes in and begins to mentor. Aquaman later discovered the submerged fictional city of New Venice, which was later revealed to be based in Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, and which also became Aquaman's base of operations for a time.

Aquaman was recognized as the son of Atlanna and was later voted to be the King after the death of the former regent, who had no heirs. By this time Aquaman had met Mera
Mera (comics)
Mera is a fictional undersea queen that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. She first appeared in Aquaman #11 , and was created by Jack Miller and Nick Cardy.-Publication history:...

,, a queen from a water-based dimension, and married her. They soon had a son, Arthur, Jr. (nicknamed "Aquababy").

The 1960s series introduced other such archenemies as the Ocean Master
Ocean Master
The Ocean Master is a fictional supervillain published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Aquaman #29 , and was created by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy.-Pre-Crisis:...

 (Aquaman's amnesiac half-brother Orm),, Black Manta
Black Manta
Black Manta is a supervillain appearing in DC Comics, primarily as the archenemy of Aquaman. The character debuted in Aquaman #35 .-Fictional character biography:...

, the Fisherman, the Scavenger, and the terrorist organization known as O.G.R.E.. Other recurring members of the Aquaman cast introduced in this series include the well-meaning but annoying Quisp (a water sprite); Dr. Vulko
Nuidis Vulko
Nuidis Vulko is a fictional DC Comics character and one of the most recurring members of the Aquaman supporting cast. He was created by Bob Haney and Sal Trapani in The Brave and the Bold #73 in 1967...

, a trustworthy Atlantean scientist who became Aquaman's royal advisor and whom Aquaman eventually appoints to be king after leaving the throne himself; and Tula (known as "Aquagirl"), an Atlantean princess who was Aqualad's primary love interest.

After becoming king of Atlantis, Aquaman began a policy of slowly reintroducing the once-secretive Atlantis to the surface world. After he was briefly ousted from the throne by the Shark
Shark (comics)
Shark is the name of three fictional characters in DC Comics publications.-Shark :The first Shark is a non-superpowered commando. Along with his other companions named Sardine and Whale, he is part of the World War II-era fighting unit called the Frogmen. His sole appearance is in Showcase #3...

 (whom he defeated), he made the decision to leave the throne to become a more traditional superhero, and Dr. Vulko was elected as the new king.

End of an Era

In the mid-1980s, after his own feature's demise, Aquaman was briefly made the leader of the Justice League of America. In a storyline told in Justice League of America #228-230, an invasion of Earth by a race of Martian
White Martian
The White Martians are one of three fictional extraterrestrial races native to Mars in the DC Comics' shared universe. White Martians, also known as Pale Martians, appear in the comics of the DC Universe, chiefly JLA, Martian Manhunter, and Son of Vulcan.-History:As a race of shapeshifters,...

s occurred at a time when the core members were missing. Aquaman was thus forced to defend Earth with a League much-depleted in power and capability, and he took it upon himself to disband the Justice League altogether in Justice League of America Annual #2 (1984), thereafter reforming it with new bylaws requiring members to give full participation to the League's cases. With the help of Martian Manhunter
Martian Manhunter
The Martian Manhunter is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in publications published by DC Comics. Created by writer Joseph Samachson and artist Joe Certa, the character first appeared in Detective Comics #225...

, Zatanna
Zatanna
Zatanna Zatara is a fictional character in the DC Comics universe. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Murphy Anderson, Zatanna first appeared in Hawkman vol. 1 #4...

, and Elongated Man
Elongated Man
The Elongated Man is a fictional comic book superhero in the DC universe. He is a reserve member of the Justice League. His first appearance was in The Flash vol. 1, #112...

, veteran Justice League members willing to fully commit to the team, Aquaman recruited and trained four new and untried members, Gypsy
Gypsy (comics)
Gypsy is a fictional character, a DC Comics superheroine. She first appeared in Justice League Annual #2 and was created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton. She is a member of the Birds of Prey and has been a member of the Justice League.-Fictional character biography:Cindy Reynolds is born to...

, Vibe
Vibe (comics)
Vibe is a fictional character, a comic book superhero published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Justice League of America Annual #2 , and was created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton.-Paco Ramone:...

, Vixen
Vixen (comics)
Vixen is a fictional character, a comic book superheroine published by DC Comics universe. She debuted in Action Comics #521 , and was created by Gerry Conway and Bob Oksner.-Publication history:...

, and Steel, also relocating the team's headquarters to a reinforced bunker in Detroit, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 after the destruction of the JLA's satellite headquarters during the invasion. Aquaman's participation in this new version of the Justice League ended in #243 (Oct. 1985), when he resigned to work on his marriage with Mera.

Modern Age

After the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Crisis on Infinite Earths is a 12-issue American comic book limited series and crossover event, produced by DC Comics in 1985 to simplify its then 50-year-old continuity...

limited series, several short limited series were produced in the late 1980s and early 1990s — beginning with 1986's four-issue Aquaman (Feb. – May 1986), written by Neal Pozner
Neal Pozner
Neal Pozner , sometimes credited as Neil Pozner, was an award-winning art director, editor, and writer known for his work in the comic book industry...

, featuring Aquaman in a new, largely deep-sea blue, costume. The series was well received and a follow up limited series was in the works, though it was eventually canceled due to creative problems. This series also expanded on several details of the Silver Age Aquaman's origin as well as Aquaman's relationship with his half-brother, Ocean Master, whose origin was retold in more complete detail. The series also added mystical elements to Aquaman's mythology and reinvented Ocean Master as a sorcerer. Aquaman reappeared in his blue costume in the Aquaman Special #1 (1988).

In late 1988, the character appeared in the Invasion!
Invasion! (DC Comics)
Invasion! was a three issue comic book limited series and crossover event published in late 1988-early 1989 by DC Comics. It was plotted by Keith Giffen, and ties up a great many plotlines from various Giffen-created DC series, including Omega Men, Justice League International, and Legion of...

crossover, guest starring with the Doom Patrol
Doom Patrol
The Doom Patrol is a superhero team appearing in publications from DC Comics. The original Doom Patrol first appeared in My Greatest Adventure #80...

, again in the orange and green costume.

Retelling origins

In 1989, the Legend of Aquaman Special (officially titled as Aquaman Special #1 in the comic's legal indicia, the second Special in back-to-back years) rewrote Aquaman's mythos and origin, though keeping most of his Silver Age history intact. The special was by writer Robert Loren Fleming
Robert Loren Fleming
Robert Loren Fleming is an American comic book writer.-Biography:Fleming worked for DC Comics initially as a proofreader and later writer, creating Thriller, and was writing an Aquaman limited series and one-shot special in 1989 with plotter/breakdown artist Keith Giffen and artist Curt Swan.He is...

, with plots/breakdown art by Keith Giffen
Keith Giffen
Keith Ian Giffen is an American comic book illustrator and writer.-Biography:Giffen was born in Queens, New York City....

 and full pencil art by artist Curt Swan
Curt Swan
Douglas Curtis Swan was an American comic book artist. The artist most associated with Superman during the period fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books, Swan produced hundreds of covers and stories from the 1950s through the 1980s.-Early life and career:Curt Swan, whose Swedish...

.

The Modern Age Aquaman is born as Orin to Queen Atlanna and the mysterious wizard Atlan in the Atlantean city of Poseidonis. As a baby, he was abandoned on Mercy Reef (which is above sea level at low tide, causing exposure to air which would be fatal to Atlanteans) because of his blond hair, which was seen by the superstitious Atlanteans as a sign of a curse they called "the Mark of Kordax." The only individual who spoke up on Orin's behalf was Vulko, a scientist who had no patience for myth or superstition. While his pleas fell on deaf ears, Vulko would later become a close friend and advisor to the young Orin.

As a feral child
Feral child
A feral child is a human child who has lived isolated from human contact from a very young age, and has no experience of human care, loving or social behavior, and, crucially, of human language...

 who raised himself in the wilds of the ocean with only sea creatures to keep him company, Orin was found and taken in by a lighthouse keeper named Arthur Curry who named Orin "Arthur Curry" after himself. One day, Orin returned home and found that his adoptive father had disappeared, so he set off on his own. In his early teens, Orin ventured to the far north, where he met and fell in love with an Inupiat girl named Kako. He also first earned the hatred of Orm, the future Ocean Master who was later revealed to be Arthur's half-brother by Atlan and an Inupiat woman (Time and Tide, no. 4). Orin was driven away before he could learn that Kako had become pregnant with his son, Koryak
Koryak
Koryak may refer to:*Koryak Autonomous Okrug, a federal subject of Russia*Koryaks, a people of northeastern Siberia*Koryak language, language of the Koryaks*Koryak, the illegitimate son of Aquaman, a fictional character in DC Comics...

.

Orin then returned to the seas mostly staying out of humanity's sight, until he discovered Poseidonis. He was captured by the city's then-dictatorial government and placed in a prison camp, where he met Vulko, also a prisoner of the state, who taught Orin the language and ways of the Atlanteans. While Orin was there, he realized that his mother was also being held captive, but after her death he broke out and fled. Eventually, he made his way to the surface world, where under the name of "Aquaman" he became one of several superheroes emerging into the public view at the time. Upon his return to Poseidonis, he was made the king, and sometime later he met and married Mera. The Modern Age Aquaman's history is nearly identical to that of the Silver Age Aquaman from this point on.

As detailed in the five-issue Aquaman limited series (June – Oct. 1989) (by the same creative team of the 1989 special of Robert Loren Fleming
Robert Loren Fleming
Robert Loren Fleming is an American comic book writer.-Biography:Fleming worked for DC Comics initially as a proofreader and later writer, creating Thriller, and was writing an Aquaman limited series and one-shot special in 1989 with plotter/breakdown artist Keith Giffen and artist Curt Swan.He is...

, Keith Giffen
Keith Giffen
Keith Ian Giffen is an American comic book illustrator and writer.-Biography:Giffen was born in Queens, New York City....

, and Curt Swan
Curt Swan
Douglas Curtis Swan was an American comic book artist. The artist most associated with Superman during the period fans and historians call the Silver Age of comic books, Swan produced hundreds of covers and stories from the 1950s through the 1980s.-Early life and career:Curt Swan, whose Swedish...

), which continued a few of the themes from the Legend of Aquaman Special, Mera was eventually driven insane by grief over the death of Arthur, Jr., and was committed to an asylum
Psychiatric hospital
Psychiatric hospitals, also known as mental hospitals, are hospitals specializing in the treatment of serious mental disorders. Psychiatric hospitals vary widely in their size and grading. Some hospitals may specialise only in short-term or outpatient therapy for low-risk patients...

 in Poseidonis. Shortly afterwards, an alien force conquered Atlantis. Arthur was forced to save the city but was hampered by an escaped Mera who personally blamed Arthur for the death of their son. In a fit of rage, Mera left Aquaman's dimension.

The publication of writer Peter David
Peter David
Peter Allen David , often abbreviated PAD, is an American writer of comic books, novels, television, movies and video games...

's The Atlantis Chronicles #1-7 (March – Sept. 1990), which told the story of Atlantis from antediluvian
Antediluvian
The antediluvian period meaning "before the deluge" is the period referred to in the Bible between the Creation of the Earth and the Deluge . The narrative takes up chapters 1-6 of Genesis...

 times to Aquaman's birth, successfully revived interest in the character introduced the ancient Atlantean characters Orin (after whom Aquaman was named) and Atlan (who was revealed to be Aquaman's father).

A new Aquaman ongoing series with creative team Shaun McLaughlin
Shaun McLaughlin
Shaun McLaughlin is an American producer and writer and sometime director and actor notable for his work in animation which includes shows such as Animaniacs, Pinky and the Brain, Superman, The New Superman/Batman Adventures, Batman Beyond, Static Shock, Justice League and Justice League...

 and Ken Hooper (#1-13) thereafter ran from December 1991 to December 1992, which portrayed Aquaman reluctantly deciding to remain in Poseidonis as its protector once again. For a time, he served as Atlantis' representative to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 but always found himself thrust back into the superhero role. Becoming more and more of a workaholic
Workaholic
A workaholic is a person who is addicted to work.The term generally implies that the person enjoys their work; it can also imply that they simply feel compelled to do it...

 and solitary figure, Aquaman eventually returned to the oceans. He soon became tangled up in another attempt by Black Manta
Black Manta
Black Manta is a supervillain appearing in DC Comics, primarily as the archenemy of Aquaman. The character debuted in Aquaman #35 .-Fictional character biography:...

 to destroy Atlantis by dragging it into a war with a surface nation.

Peter David returned to the character in another limited series, Aquaman: Time and Tide, a 1993/1994 four-issue series which further explained Aquaman's origins as he finally learned all about the history of his people through the Atlantis Chronicles (presented as historical texts passed down and updated through the centuries). Aquaman learned that his birth name was Orin and that he and his enemy Ocean Master shared the same father, "an ancient Atlantean wizard" named Atlan. This revelation sent Orin into a bout of rage and depression, setting the stage for later confrontations between the two, as it was said in the Chronicles that "two brothers will also battle for control of Atlantis" (the Silver Age Aquaman had always known that the Ocean Master was his half-brother Orm, although Orm's amnesia prevented him from remembering that fact for some time). This series is credited by Kevin Melrose of Comic Book Resources
Comic Book Resources
Comic Book Resources, also known as CBR is a website dedicated to the coverage of comic book-related news and discussion.-History:Comic Book Resources was founded by Jonah Weiland in 1996 as a development of the Kingdom Come Message Board, a message forum that Weiland had created to discuss DC...

 with helping the character reach the height of his modern-era popularity.

New direction

Aquaman received his own series again with the publication of the fifth Aquaman #1 (Aug. 1994), initially scripted by Peter David, following up on his 1993 Aquaman: Time and Tide limited series. This new Aquaman series was the longest-running for the character, lasting until its 75th issue. David left the series after issue #46 (July 1998) after working on it for nearly four years.

David began by giving Aquaman an entirely new look, forsaking his former clean-cut appearance. Following his discoveries reading the Atlantis Chronicles during the Time and Tide series, Aquaman withdraws from the world for a time. Garth finds him weeks later, with his hair and beard grown long, brooding in his cave. Soon after (vol. 5, #2, Sept. 1994), Aquaman loses his left hand when the madman Charybdis steals his ability to communicate with sea life and sticks Arthur's hand into a piranha
Piranha
A piranha or piraña is a member of family Characidae in order Characiformes, an omnivorous freshwater fish that inhabits South American rivers. In Venezuela, they are called caribes...

-infested pool. This causes Aquaman to become somewhat unhinged, and he begins having prophetic dreams, and then, in need of a "symbol", attaches a harpoon
Harpoon
A harpoon is a long spear-like instrument used in fishing to catch fish or large marine mammals such as whales. It accomplishes this task by impaling the target animal, allowing the fishermen to use a rope or chain attached to the butt of the projectile to catch the animal...

 spearhead to his left arm in place of his missing hand. His classic orange shirt is shredded in a battle with Lobo (#4), and rather than replace it he goes topless for a while before donning a gladiatorial manica (#5). After the destruction of the harpoon (#8), Aquaman has it replaced with a cybernetic prosthetic from S.T.A.R. Labs
S.T.A.R. Labs
S.T.A.R. Labs, is a fictional research facility, and comic book organization appearing in titles published by DC Comics. They first appeared in Superman vol. 1 #246 , and was created by Cary Bates and Rich Buckler.-Publication history:...

 (#9). This new harpoon has a retractable reel that he can fully control.

A major storyline, culminating in #25, concerns the Five Lost Cities of Atlantis. Facing an unearthly invading species linked to the origin of the Atlanteans, Aquaman has to search out and unite the lost cities. This storyline establishes him as a Warrior King, and he becomes a major political power, ruling largely undisputed over all the Atlantean cities. The remainder of Peter David's run focused on Orin coming to terms with his genetic heritage and his role as a king. During this time he discovers the remnants of a sentient alien ship beneath Poseidonis, and is able to take control of it, returning Poseidonis to the surface and bringing Atlantis into greater contact with the outside world. The cultural changes this brings about, including increased tourism, as well as his conflicting duties as superhero and king, bring him into increasing tension with the political powers in his city.

After a brief stint by Dan Abnett
Dan Abnett
Dan Abnett is a British comic book writer and novelist. He is a frequent collaborator with fellow writer Andy Lanning, and is known for his work on books for both Marvel Comics, and their UK imprint, Marvel UK, since the 1990s, including 2000 AD...

 and Andy Lanning
Andy Lanning
Andy Lanning is a British comic book writer and inker, known for his work for Marvel Comics and DC Comics, and for his collaboration with Dan Abnett.-Career:Lanning works primarily at Marvel Comics and DC Comics as an inker...

, David was replaced as writer by Erik Larsen
Erik Larsen
Erik J. Larsen is an American comic book writer, artist and publisher. He is best known for his work on Savage Dragon, as one of the founders of Image Comics, and for his work on Spider-Man for Marvel Comics.-Early life:...

 with issue #50 (Dec. 1998) and again by Dan Jurgens
Dan Jurgens
Dan Jurgens is an American comic book writer and artist. He is best known for creating the superhero Booster Gold, and for his lengthy runs on the Superman titles Adventures of Superman and Superman , particularly during The Death of Superman storyline...

 in issue #63 (Jan. 2000); the series ended with #75 (Jan. 2001). During this time his wife Mera returns, now sane again, from the otherworldly dimension where she had been trapped, and Aquaman narrowly averts a coup d'état orchestrated by his son Koryak and his advisor Vulko. His second harpoon is also destroyed, this time in a battle with Noble, king of the Lurkers; he replaces it with a golden prosthetic hand developed by Atlantean scientists which can change shape at his command, thus retaining the powers of the harpoon but being more all-purpose. After a brief war with an island nation, Aquaman expands Atlantis' surface influence by annexing the country to Atlantis.

Hiatus between series

Aquaman had no regular series of his own from 2001–2003, but his plot went through several developments via his cameo appearances in several other titles.

Aquaman had rejoined the JLA when it reformed and remains an active, if sometimes reluctant member of that team until the Our Worlds at War
Our Worlds at War
"Our Worlds at War" was a comic book crossover, published by DC Comics during the summer of 2001. OWAW was written by Jeph Loeb, Joe Casey, Mark Schultz, Joe Kelly, Phil Jimenez, and Peter David...

event in 2001 (shortly after the cancellation of Aquaman vol. 5), during which Aquaman and the city of Poseidonis disappeared and were presumed to be destroyed during a confrontation between Aquaman and an Imperiex
Imperiex
Imperiex is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appears in Superman #153 , and was created by Jeph Loeb and Ian Churchill...

 probe. In its place was simply a huge rift in the water of the ocean, with a vast spectral statue of Aquaman standing over it that the JLA installed as a holographic 'beacon' to both warn ships away from the trench and provide a signal for the Atlanteans to use if they were ever able to find their way back.

The Justice League eventually found that the city was still there, just magically shielded, but in ruins and apparently uninhabited. The Atlanteans were trapped in the ancient past, where Tempest had sent them as a last measure when it appeared that the city would be destroyed by the probe. There, however, they were enslaved by their own Atlantean ancestors, led by a powerful sorceress named Gamemnae
Gamemnae
Gamemnae is a fictional character in the DC Comics Universe, who was an enemy of the Justice League.-Fictional character biography:Born over three thousand years ago, Gamemnae was an Atlantean, exiled at birth for having blonde hair - considered a curse in Atlantean culture...

, and Aquaman himself was transformed into living water and imprisoned in an ornamental pool. Over time, this civilization had collapsed until only Gamemnae herself, now immensely powerful, inhabited the ruins.

After a few months of their time — but fully fifteen years for the Atlanteans — the JLA free Aquaman in "The Obsidian Age" storyline in JLA. Although the original League were killed by Gamemnae, their souls were contained by the magician Manitou Raven
Manitou Raven
Manitou Raven is a fictional character and superhero from DC Comics. Manitou Raven was known to shout "Inukchuk!" when he cast spells. This is a reference by writer Joe Kelly to Apache Chief from the Super Friends animated series. Like Apache Chief, Manitou would shout this phrase in order to...

 to use in a spell to contain Gamemnae in Atlantis until the present day, when he was able to resurrect them. With the aid of Nightwing
Dick Grayson
Dick Grayson is a fictional superhero that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger and illustrator Jerry Robinson, he first appeared in Detective Comics #38 in April 1940....

, Hawkgirl, Firestorm, Zatanna
Zatanna
Zatanna Zatara is a fictional character in the DC Comics universe. Created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Murphy Anderson, Zatanna first appeared in Hawkman vol. 1 #4...

 and Manitou Raven
Manitou Raven
Manitou Raven is a fictional character and superhero from DC Comics. Manitou Raven was known to shout "Inukchuk!" when he cast spells. This is a reference by writer Joe Kelly to Apache Chief from the Super Friends animated series. Like Apache Chief, Manitou would shout this phrase in order to...

- the first four being members of the 'reserve JLA' that had been put together by an automatic program created by Batman
Batman
Batman is a fictional character created by the artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger. A comic book superhero, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 , and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics...

 that kicked in after the League vanished into the past, who had gone back in time with the aid of the Manitou Raven of their time-, Aquaman is freed from his prison in the pool, Firestorm linking the pool to the ocean and Zatanna enhancing his powers so that he can now control the entire ocean as a water wraith. With this power, Aquaman is able to sever Gamemnae's connection to the city by sinking it under the sea again, While he fought Gamemnae, the League members returned the modern Atlanteans to the present where they could begin rebuilding the city, which in the present too was once again at the bottom of the sea.

Back to basics

A sixth Aquaman series began shortly afterwards, initially written by Rick Veitch
Rick Veitch
Richard "Rick" Veitch is an American comic book artist and writer who has worked in mainstream, underground, and alternative comics.-Early career:...

 who sought to take Aquaman in a more mystical direction. Subsequent writers who contributed to the series include John Ostrander
John Ostrander
John Ostrander is an American writer of comic books. He is best known for his work on Suicide Squad, Grimjack and Star Wars: Legacy, series he helped create.-Career:...

, Will Pfeifer, Tad Williams
Tad Williams
Robert Paul "Tad" Williams, born in San Jose, California, is the author of several fantasy and science fiction novels, including Tailchaser's Song, the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series, the Otherland series, and The War of the Flowers....

, and John Arcudi
John Arcudi
John Arcudi is an American comic book writer, best known for his work on The Mask and B.P.R.D., and his series Major Bummer.-Career:Arcudi worked for Malibu Comics upon its founding in 1986, working on its Eternity line...

. This series ran 57 issues starting in February 2003; starting with #39 (April 2006), following the events of Infinite Crisis
Infinite Crisis
Infinite Crisis is a 2005 - 2006 comic book storyline published by DC Comics, consisting of an eponymous, seven-issue comic book limited series written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Phil Jimenez, George Pérez, Ivan Reis, and Jerry Ordway, and a number of tie-in books...

, it was renamed Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis.

Aquaman was blamed by his people for the initial decision to take them back in time, and sentenced to death. He escaped, and met the Lady of the Lake
Lady of the Lake
The Lady of the Lake is the name of several related characters who play parts in the Arthurian legend. These characters' roles include giving King Arthur his sword Excalibur, enchanting Merlin, and raising Lancelot after the death of his father...

, who gave him a new prosthetic hand composed of mystical water with unusual properties. From there he gradually returned to his more traditional look—orange shirt, short hair, and beardless—but did not return to his city for several years.

Later, Aquaman went to San Diego after a massive earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

 plunged half the city into the Pacific Ocean
Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, bounded by Asia and Australia in the west, and the Americas in the east.At 165.2 million square kilometres in area, this largest division of the World...

. He discovered that many people had survived the catastrophe, somehow gaining the ability to breathe underwater, and he began helping them to rebuild the submerged portion of the city they now called "Sub Diego". During this time, Aquaman picked up a new sidekick named Lorena
Aquagirl (Lorena Marquez)
Lorena Marquez is one of several fictional characters to use the codename Aquagirl. She is a comic book superhero published by DC Comics. Lorena debuted in Aquaman vol...

, who eventually became the new Aquagirl
Aquagirl
Aquagirl is the name of several fictional characters featured as superheroines in the comic books and other media produced by DC Comics.- Lisa Morel :...

: she was the only one of the Sub Diegans who retained the ability to breathe air as well as water.

Aquaman's exile turned out to have been orchestrated by a sorcerer class who had come to power using knowledge gained in the Obsidian Age; after they were overthrown the city made overtures for him to return as their king. He declined, but for a time, it appeared that Aquaman might reconcile with Mera, as he attempted to take her to the surface in order to save her from the Atlantean mages who had transformed her into an air-breather.

As a metatextual nod to the positive reception of the new series, a scene in Grant Morrison
Grant Morrison
Grant Morrison is a Scottish comic book writer, playwright and occultist. He is known for his nonlinear narratives and counter-cultural leanings, as well as his successful runs on titles like Animal Man, Doom Patrol, JLA, The Invisibles, New X-Men, Fantastic Four, All-Star Superman, and...

's Seven Soldiers
Seven Soldiers
Seven Soldiers is a comic book metaseries written by Grant Morrison and published by DC Comics. It was published as seven interrelated mini-series and two bookend issues. The series features a new version of the Seven Soldiers of Victory fighting to save Earth from the Sheeda.-Publication...

event shows Aquaman winning the "Best Comeback" award at a popular superhero convention.

Shortly thereafter, during the Infinite Crisis
Infinite Crisis
Infinite Crisis is a 2005 - 2006 comic book storyline published by DC Comics, consisting of an eponymous, seven-issue comic book limited series written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Phil Jimenez, George Pérez, Ivan Reis, and Jerry Ordway, and a number of tie-in books...

event, Atlantis was destroyed by the Spectre
Spectre (comics)
The Spectre is a fictional character and superhero who has appeared in numerous comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in a next issue ad in More Fun Comics #51 and received his first story the following month, #52...

, and many of its citizens were killed, including Aquaman's son Koryak and his oldest friend, (and father figure), Vulko. Aquaman led the survivors to Sub Diego in the hope that the two displaced peoples could help each other. When Black Manta
Black Manta
Black Manta is a supervillain appearing in DC Comics, primarily as the archenemy of Aquaman. The character debuted in Aquaman #35 .-Fictional character biography:...

 attacked the sunken city, Aquaman defeated him and left him for dead, surrounded by carnivorous fish (it was later revealed that Manta survived, although it remains unclear whether Aquaman intended his death).

The Missing Year through Final Crisis

Following the One Year Later
One Year Later
"One Year Later" was a 2006 storyline event running through the DC Universe. As the title suggests, it involves a narrative jump exactly one year into the future of the DC Comics Universe following the events of the Infinite Crisis event, to explore major changes within the continuities of the many...

 event (starting with Aquaman vol. 6, #40, May 2006), the series was renamed Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis and taken in an entirely different direction by writer Kurt Busiek
Kurt Busiek
Kurt Busiek is an American comic book writer notable for his work on the Marvels limited series, his own title Astro City, and his four-year run on Avengers.-Early life:...

. Aquaman is missing and presumed dead. A youth by the name of "Arthur Joseph Curry" is summoned by the mysterious Dweller in the Depths to take up the mantle of Aquaman, but it gradually emerges that the Dweller himself is Aquaman, having lost much of his memory and been strangely mutated, while gaining magical powers. (See the Arthur Joseph Curry section, below.)

These changes were explained only later: during the "missing year" depicted in the weekly comic book 52
52 (comics)
52 was a weekly American comic book limited series published by DC Comics that debuted on May 10, 2006, one week after the conclusion of the seven-issue Infinite Crisis. The series was written by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid with layouts by Keith Giffen...

, Aquaman makes a brief appearance at the memorial for Superboy
Superboy (Kon-El)
Superboy is a fictional character, a comic book superhero in the DC Comics universe. A modern update of the original Superboy, who is a younger version of Superman, the character first appeared in Adventures of Superman #500 , and was created by writer Karl Kesel and artist Tom Grummett.Originally...

. Sometime later Ralph Dibny
Elongated Man
The Elongated Man is a fictional comic book superhero in the DC universe. He is a reserve member of the Justice League. His first appearance was in The Flash vol. 1, #112...

, seemingly accompanied by Dr. Fate
Doctor Fate
Doctor Fate is the name of a succession of fictional sorcerers who appear in books published by DC Comics. The original version was created by writer Gardner Fox and artist Howard Sherman, and first appeared in More Fun Comics #55...

's helmet, meets a bearded, long-haired, and amnesic Orin in the ruins of Atlantis. The helmet portends that "if he lives... if he lives... it is as a victim of the magicks of legend and the power of the sea."

Orin had made a deal with the gods of the sea in a desperate bid to gain the power to save the lives of several Sub Diego inhabitants who had lost the ability to live in water. Using the bones of his severed left hand in a magical ritual, the sea gods gave Orin the power to raise Sub Diego onto dry land. However, Orin mutated into the "Dweller of the Depths" (via the events of "WWIII"/52's Penultimate chapter) as a side effect of gaining his new abilities and lost his memories as a result. The fate he foresaw for Arthur Joseph Curry was a confused memory of his own past.

In the midst of trying to help his successor, Orin was murdered. Upon the receipt of Orin's body, members of the Justice League of America
Justice League
The Justice League, also called the Justice League of America or JLA, is a fictional superhero team that appears in comic books published by DC Comics....

, including Superman
Superman
Superman is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective...

, Batman
Batman
Batman is a fictional character created by the artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger. A comic book superhero, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 , and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics...

, Green Lantern
Hal Jordan
Harold "Hal" Jordan is a DC Comics superhero known as Green Lantern, the first human shown to join the Green Lantern Corps and a founding member of the Justice League of America. Jordan is the second DC Comics character to adopt the Green Lantern moniker...

, and the Flash
Wally West
The Flash is a fictional character, a superhero that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. He is the first Kid Flash and the third Flash....

, examine the body in Atlantis and wish the best for Mera
Mera (comics)
Mera is a fictional undersea queen that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. She first appeared in Aquaman #11 , and was created by Jack Miller and Nick Cardy.-Publication history:...

 and the new Aquaman.

The Orin Aquaman seemingly reappears in Atlantis
Atlantis (DC Comics)
Atlantis is a fictional location in the DC Comics Universe. The very first DC Universe version of Atlantis debuted in Action Comics #18 , and was created by...

 during the Final Crisis
Final Crisis
Final Crisis is a crossover storyline that appeared in comic books published by DC Comics in 2008, primarily the seven-issue miniseries of the same name written by Grant Morrison. Originally DC announced the project as being illustrated solely by J. G. Jones; artists Carlos Pacheco, Marco Rudy and...

to fend off the forces of Darkseid
Darkseid
Darkseid is a fictional character that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen #134 and was created by writer-artist Jack Kirby....

, but the Aquaman that appeared is revealed to be from another Earth in the multiverse
Multiverse (DC Comics)
The DC Multiverse is a fictional continuity construct that exists in stories published by comic book company DC Comics. The DC Multiverse consists of numerous worlds, most of them outside DC's main continuity, allowing writers the creative freedom to explore alternative versions of characters and...

. The appearance of this Aquaman was later perceived by Hal Jordan
Hal Jordan
Harold "Hal" Jordan is a DC Comics superhero known as Green Lantern, the first human shown to join the Green Lantern Corps and a founding member of the Justice League of America. Jordan is the second DC Comics character to adopt the Green Lantern moniker...

 and Barry Allen as an unsubstantiated rumor, since the Aquaman was never seen nor heard from again. Some time between his death and the beginning of Blackest Night, Orin's body was moved and buried on land at Mercy Reef alongside Tom Curry in accordance with his final wishes.

Blackest Night

In Blackest Night #1, Garth
Garth (comics)
Garth is a fictional character, a superhero in publications from DC Comics, originally known as Aqualad, and later known by the codename Tempest. As Aqualad, he is the teen sidekick and protege to his guardian, the super-hero known as Aquaman, bearing the same super-abilities as his mentor that...

 returns to Atlantis and tells Orin's wife Mera
Mera (comics)
Mera is a fictional undersea queen that appears in comic books published by DC Comics. She first appeared in Aquaman #11 , and was created by Jack Miller and Nick Cardy.-Publication history:...

 that he is angry at the notion of Aquaman's body being buried on land. Mera relays to Tempest that Orin felt safe on land and that it is indeed what he wanted. Some time later, a black power ring
Power ring (weapon)
A power ring is a fictional object featured in comic book titles published by DC Comics. It first appeared in All-American Comics #16 .-Origin:...

 is seen entering Orin's grave, bidding him to rise. Aquaman rises with Tula
Aquagirl
Aquagirl is the name of several fictional characters featured as superheroines in the comic books and other media produced by DC Comics.- Lisa Morel :...

 and Dolphin
Dolphin (comics)
Dolphin is a fictional character, a superheroine in the DC Comics universe. Created by writer-artist Jay Scott Pike, she debuted in Showcase #79 Dolphin is a fictional character, a superheroine in the DC Comics universe. Created by writer-artist Jay Scott Pike, she debuted in Showcase #79 Dolphin...

, demanding that Mera reunite with him in death (even offering a chance to see her son again). Garth is killed and joins the Black Lantern Corps
Black Lantern Corps
The Black Lantern Corps is a fictional organization of revenants appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The group is composed of deceased fictional characters that seek to eliminate all life from the DC Universe.-Publication history:...

. Mera fights back against Orin's reanimated corpse (denying that he's her husband) before fleeing. In the climax of Blackest Night, Aquaman was among those resurrected by The White Lantern Entity, and he was reunited with his wife. Because the Black Lantern Ring helped reconstruct Orin's body, when he was resurrected his hand was returned to him.

Brightest Day

Aquaman and Mera spent the night together in the lighthouse of Amnesty Bay, but in the morning Mera finds Arthur on the dock looking at the sea and wondering why he was resurrected. Mera comforts her husband and invites him to swim with her, but Arthur is hesitant, seeing only his Black Lantern form reflected back at him in the water. Later, he and Mera intercept a pirate
vessel but finds that he can only call on dead sea life to help him, Boston Brand had been using his white ring to watch and is unable to explain how Aquaman was able to keep one of his Black Lantern abilities.

While cleaning up an oil spill, Aquaman and Mera are attacked by soldiers from Mera's homeworld and leading them is Siren. Mera pulls Aquaman away from them and reveals that she was sent to kill him. She also hints that, despite the long-lasting exile of her people, Xebel's soldiers had been enemies of Black Manta himself from a distant time, even preceding the first public appearance of Aquaman, and states that, despite Mera's original mission being a solo one, Siren is now backed by the entire Death Squad, elite Xebel soldiers, at the orders of the acting princess. Mera explains later that Siren is her younger sister.

Aquaman is told by the Entity to find Jackson Hyde
Aqualad (Jackson Hyde)
Jackson Hyde is one of two fictional characters codenamed Aqualad. He is a comic book superhero published by DC Comics. Jackson Hyde, created by Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis, debuted in comic books in Brightest Day #4 and is based on the Aqualad character originally created for the Young Justice...

 before a second unidentified group. Aquaman is about to start searching for Jackson when Mera claims that she knows who he is. After she tells him, Aquaman leaves to find Jackson on his own, sending Mera instead to get help because he needed time to mull all this new information over. He then rescues Jackson from a Xebel attack and It is revealed in conversation between the two that Aquaman's Silver Age origin has been re-established and he is once again the half-human son of Tom Curry and an Atlantean queen.

While Aquaman repels the Xebel Soldiers, the white ring brought Deadman to the beach were it reveals that it was the Entity that freed the Xebel Soldiers from the Bermuda Triangle so that Aquaman could acknowledge the truth about Mera and Xebel. When the Xebel Soldiers were sent back to the Bermuda Triangle, the Entity reduces Aquaman to what appears to be white water.

When the "Dark Avatar", made his presence known, Aquaman is revealed to be part of the Elementals. Aquaman was transformed by the Entity to become the element of water and protect the Star City forest from the "Dark Avatar", which appears to be the Black Lantern version of the Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing, a fictional character, is a plant elemental in the created by Len Wein and Berni Wrightson. He first appeared in House of Secrets #92 in a stand-alone horror story set in the early 20th century . The Swamp Thing then returned in his own series, set in the contemporary world and in...

. The Elementals are then fused with the body of Alec Holland in order for him to be transformed by the Entity into the new Swamp Thing and battle against the Dark Avatar. After the Dark Avatar is defeated, Swamp Thing brought back Aquaman to normal. Afterward, Aquaman is reunited with Mera where he discovered that the Xebel's weapons were effectively made of Atlantean technology.

The New 52 relaunch

Announced during Orlando
Orlando, Florida
Orlando is a city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan area. According to the 2010 US Census, the city had a population of 238,300, making Orlando the 79th largest city in the United States...

's MegaCon
MegaCon
MegaCon, short for Mega Convention, is a large convention that caters to the comic book, sci-fi, anime, fantasy, gaming, and multi-genre community, occurring between late February and early March at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, USA.An attendee will find over of exhibit...

 and later confirmed via Geoff Johns
Geoff Johns
Geoff Johns is an American comic book writer, best known for his work for DC Comics, where he has been Chief Creative Officer since February 2010, in particular for characters such as Green Lantern, The Flash and Superman...

' official Twitter
Twitter
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

 page, Ivan Reis
Ivan Reis
Ivan Reis , born 1976 in São Paulo, is a Brazilian comic book artist. He is known for his work on books such as Marvel Comics' Captain Marvel, and DC Comics' Green Lantern books...

 and Joe Prado will serve as pencillers on Johns' upcoming Aquaman ongoing series were released September 28, 2011. The relaunch series cements Aquaman's status as the half-human son of Arthur Curry and Atlanna, and has Aquaman returning at Mercy Reef along with Mera. Greatly distressed by the harsh treatment given during the years from Atlantis, Aquaman, after his resurrection in the Brightest Day decides to abdicate from his role as King of Atlantis, returning to full-time heroics. However, he now struggles with his lack of reputation with the greater public, still seeing him as an inefficient, weak metahuman with useless powers.

Arthur Joseph Curry

Arthur Joseph Curry is the second DC Comics
DC Comics
DC Comics, Inc. is one of the largest and most successful companies operating in the market for American comic books and related media. It is the publishing unit of DC Entertainment a company of Warner Bros. Entertainment, which itself is owned by Time Warner...

 superhero
Superhero
A superhero is a type of stock character, possessing "extraordinary or superhuman powers", dedicated to protecting the public. Since the debut of the prototypical superhero Superman in 1938, stories of superheroes — ranging from brief episodic adventures to continuing years-long sagas —...

 to be known as Aquaman. Created by Kurt Busiek
Kurt Busiek
Kurt Busiek is an American comic book writer notable for his work on the Marvels limited series, his own title Astro City, and his four-year run on Avengers.-Early life:...

 and Jackson Guice
Jackson Guice
Jackson "Butch" Guice , is an American comic book artist who has worked steadily in the mainstream comics industry since the early 1980s.-Biography:...

, he first appeared
First appearance
In comic books and other stories with a long history, first appearance refers to the first occurrence to feature a fictional character.-Monetary value of first appearance issues:...

 in Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #40 (May 2006).

Publication history

As part of DC Comics' One Year Later
One Year Later
"One Year Later" was a 2006 storyline event running through the DC Universe. As the title suggests, it involves a narrative jump exactly one year into the future of the DC Comics Universe following the events of the Infinite Crisis event, to explore major changes within the continuities of the many...

event, Aquaman's series was renamed Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis with issue #40 (May 2006). The new developments include a new lead character, a new supporting cast, and the inclusion of sword and sorcery
Sword and sorcery
Sword and sorcery is a sub-genre of fantasy and historical fantasy, generally characterized by sword-wielding heroes engaged in exciting and violent conflicts. An element of romance is often present, as is an element of magic and the supernatural...

-type fantasy elements in the series.

Fictional character biography

While awaiting transport to Miami, Florida
Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, a young man named Arthur Joseph Curry is washed out to sea when a storm ruptures the tank he is in. This Arthur Curry, whose origin closely resembles that of the Golden Age Aquaman as well as that of Neptune Perkins, is the son of oceanobiologist
Marine biology
Marine biology is the scientific study of organisms in the ocean or other marine or brackish bodies of water. Given that in biology many phyla, families and genera have some species that live in the sea and others that live on land, marine biology classifies species based on the environment rather...

 Dr. Phillip Curry. Arthur's mother, Elaine, died in childbirth and Dr. Curry was forced to use a mutagenic serum on his son when he was born three months premature. Arthur has lived his whole life in the main tank of his father's research facility at Avalon Cay, his only window to the outside world being television.

Shortly after his arrival in the sea, Arthur is mentally contacted by the mysterious "Dweller of the Depths," a deformed humanoid with tentacles instead of hair and a left hand made of water. The Dweller urges him to help King Shark
King Shark
King Shark is a DC Comics supervillain. The character was introduced in Superboy vol.3, #0 in October 1994.-Origin:Born in Hawaii, Nanaue is a humanoid shark. His father is "The King of all Sharks"—also known as the Shark God...

, who still bears scars from a previous battle with Aquaman during the recent Crisis
Infinite Crisis
Infinite Crisis is a 2005 - 2006 comic book storyline published by DC Comics, consisting of an eponymous, seven-issue comic book limited series written by Geoff Johns and illustrated by Phil Jimenez, George Pérez, Ivan Reis, and Jerry Ordway, and a number of tie-in books...

. The Dweller, confusing Arthur for Aquaman and calling him his "charge," tells Arthur and King Shark of a prophecy regarding Arthur's future, a prophecy which seems to be a distorted version of the original Aquaman's history. The Dweller reveals that the original Aquaman was "transformed into one akin to a great and terrible enemy of your people and became the vessel of power strange, ancient and terrible."

Arthur's first trip causes him to meet many of Aquaman's supporting characters including Mera, the Sea Devils, Vulko, and eventually Ocean Master
Ocean Master
The Ocean Master is a fictional supervillain published by DC Comics. He first appeared in Aquaman #29 , and was created by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy.-Pre-Crisis:...

. During this adventure, the Dweller progressively realizes that he himself is the original Aquaman, despite having no memory of his former life.

Later, Arthur finds a humanoid squid named Topo, a naive youth attracted by superheroics and seeking to become a sidekick, and Tempest
Garth (comics)
Garth is a fictional character, a superhero in publications from DC Comics, originally known as Aqualad, and later known by the codename Tempest. As Aqualad, he is the teen sidekick and protege to his guardian, the super-hero known as Aquaman, bearing the same super-abilities as his mentor that...

, now amnesiac, unable to breathe water, and implanted with a post-hypnotic suggestion warning of an upcoming battle. The battle soon occurs, and the Dweller/Orin is apparently killed. The Justice League
Justice League
The Justice League, also called the Justice League of America or JLA, is a fictional superhero team that appears in comic books published by DC Comics....

 is called in to evaluate Orin's situation, but are unable to determine if he is truly dead, or if he can somehow resurrect himself due to his new magical nature.

In Sword of Atlantis #57, the series' final issue, Aquaman is visited by the Lady of the Lake, who explains his origins. The original Aquaman had given a sample of his water hand to Dr. Curry in order to resurrect Curry's dead son, Arthur, whom he had named after Orin. When Orin attempted to resurrect Sub Diego, a part of his soul attached itself to the dead body of Arthur Joseph Curry, while Orin mutated into the Dweller. Blaming himself for Orin's death, Aquaman vows to never be called "Arthur" again, refraining from using the "stolen" name, asking only to be called Joseph in the future.

Joseph is considered as a candidate for the new Outsiders
Outsiders (comics)
The Outsiders are a fictional DC Comics superhero team. As its name suggests, the team consists of superheroes who allegedly do not fit the norms of the mainstream superhero community, namely the Justice League....

 by Batman
Batman
Batman is a fictional character created by the artist Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger. A comic book superhero, Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27 , and since then has appeared primarily in publications by DC Comics...

. After seeing him in action with Metamorpho
Metamorpho
Metamorpho is a fictional character, a superhero in the . He is a founding member of the Outsiders, and has also joined multiple incarnations of the Justice League.-Publication history:...

, however, Batman decides against his induction.

In their quest to rid the Earth of all forms of kryptonite
Kryptonite
Kryptonite is a fictional material from the Superman mythos —the ore form of a radioactive element from Superman's home planet of Krypton. It is famous for being the ultimate physical weakness of Superman, and the word kryptonite has since become synonymous with an Achilles' heel —the one weakness...

, Superman
Superman
Superman is a fictional comic book superhero appearing in publications by DC Comics, widely considered to be an American cultural icon. Created by American writer Jerry Siegel and Canadian-born American artist Joe Shuster in 1932 while both were living in Cleveland, Ohio, and sold to Detective...

 and Batman journey deep below the sea and find a large amount of it. The two of them are met with hostility by Aquaman and King Shark. A brief fight ensues, but eventually Joseph allows them to take that for which they came. Before doing so, he points out that not everyone may want Superman to find all of Earth's kryptonite, and that he would have to be at least part human to know that.

Joseph Curry would continue to be the stand-in king of Atlantis until after the "Final Crisis
Final Crisis
Final Crisis is a crossover storyline that appeared in comic books published by DC Comics in 2008, primarily the seven-issue miniseries of the same name written by Grant Morrison. Originally DC announced the project as being illustrated solely by J. G. Jones; artists Carlos Pacheco, Marco Rudy and...

" event. It was revealed that Joseph had stepped down from his position due to being unable to deal with the pressure of carrying on Orin's legacy. Tempest
Garth (comics)
Garth is a fictional character, a superhero in publications from DC Comics, originally known as Aqualad, and later known by the codename Tempest. As Aqualad, he is the teen sidekick and protege to his guardian, the super-hero known as Aquaman, bearing the same super-abilities as his mentor that...

 later finds Joseph's trident and costume draped over Orin's throne, confirming that he has abandoned his duties.

Orin

Aquaman's most widely recognized power is the telepathic ability to communicate with marine life, which he can summon from great distances. Although this power is most often and most easily used on marine life, Aquaman has at times demonstrated the ability to affect any being that lives upon the sea (e.g., sea eagle
Sea Eagle
Sea eagle mainly refers to Sea eagle, birds of prey of the genus Haliaeetus.It may also refer to:-Aerospace:* Sea Eagle , British, anti-ship missile* Sea Eagle * Supermarine Sea Eagle, 1920s British passenger flying boat-Sports:...

s), or even any being evolved from marine life (e.g., humans). As per the 2011 DC continuity reboot, Aquaman's telepathy has been greatly downplayed: aknowledging that most marine life doesn't possess enough intelligence to carry a meaningful telepathic communication, Aquaman is now stated to to simply add compulsions and needs in the mindset of aquatic life, compelling them to do his bidding by a subtle altering of their midbrain

Aquaman has a number of superhuman powers, most of which derive from the fact that he is adapted to live in the depths of the ocean. He has the ability to breathe underwater. He possesses superhuman durability high enough to remain unaffected by the immense pressure and the cold temperature of the ocean depths, this also makes him tough enough to be invulnerable to machine gun fire. He also possesses superhuman strength. He can swim at very high speeds, capable of reaching speeds of 10,000 feet per second and can swim up Niagara Falls. He can see in near total darkness and has enhanced hearing granting limited sonar. Although he can remain underwater indefinitely without suffering any ill effects, Aquaman grows weak if he remains on land for extended periods. However, when Batman invented Aquaman's water suit he was able to walk on land for an indefinite amount of time and was no longer vulnerable to a "dehumidifier".

After the loss of his left hand, Aquaman initially replaced it with a cybernetic retractable hook, then a cybernetic hand. The mechanical hand was replaced by a magical hand made out of water given to him by the Lady of the Lake
Lady of the Lake
The Lady of the Lake is the name of several related characters who play parts in the Arthurian legend. These characters' roles include giving King Arthur his sword Excalibur, enchanting Merlin, and raising Lancelot after the death of his father...

, which grants Aquaman numerous abilities, including but not limited to: the ability to dehydrate anyone he touches with it, killing them instantly; the ability to change the shape and density of the hand; the ability to shoot jets of scalding water; healing abilities; the ability to create portals into mystical dimensions; the ability to communicate with the Lady of the Lake through the waterbearer hand; and the ability to nullify magic. Aquaman also has the ability to control water and make it any shape with his own will. However this has been portrayed rarely.

Following his death in Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis and resurrection at the end of "Blackest Night", Aquaman has regained his natural hand, but seems to have retained some of his altered powers from the Black Lantern Corps, such as the ability to control undead sea-life.

Arthur Joseph

The new Aquaman has many physical abilities in common with the original Aquaman, including underwater breathing, submarine speed, and superhuman strength. Like the Golden Age Aquaman, Arthur cannot survive outside of water for long. He also gained telepathic powers. He now speaks and understands the languages of the sentient sea peoples unaided, and has a limited ability to communicate with nonsentient sea life. He cannot speak directly to them as his predecessor could, but can send and receive emotional impressions and desires, such as communicating a need for help.
The latter ability, and in one instance has been able to "see" through the eyes of nearby fish.

Justice

In the 2005–2007 miniseries Justice
Justice (DC Comics)
Justice was a twelve-issue American comic book limited series published bimonthly by DC Comics from August 2005 through June 2007, written by Alex Ross and Jim Krueger, with art also by Ross and Doug Braithwaite...

, Aquaman has regenerative powers. After having brain surgery experiments performed against his will, Aquaman is left to die (and presumed dead). He later appears having healed completely without scarring.

Earth-Two

In the mid-1960s, following the establishment of DC Comics' multiverse
Multiverse (DC Comics)
The DC Multiverse is a fictional continuity construct that exists in stories published by comic book company DC Comics. The DC Multiverse consists of numerous worlds, most of them outside DC's main continuity, allowing writers the creative freedom to explore alternative versions of characters and...

, the Golden Age Aquaman became known as the Aquaman of "Earth-Two
Earth-Two
Earth-Two is a fictional universe appearing in American comic book stories published by DC Comics. First appearing in The Flash #123 , Earth-Two was created to explain how Silver-Age versions of characters such as the Flash could appear in stories with their Golden Age counterparts...

", and the modern-day Aquaman became the Aquaman of "Earth-One". In modern-day comics, the original Aquaman appeared only in All-Star Squadron
All-Star Squadron
The All-Star Squadron is a DC Comics superhero team that debuted in a special insert in Justice League of America #193 . Created by Roy Thomas, Rich Buckler and Jerry Ordway.-The concept:...

#59-60 (July – Aug. 1986), just before the character was retroactively eliminated from existence via the crossover
Fictional crossover
A fictional crossover is the placement of two or more otherwise discrete fictional characters, settings, or universes into the context of a single story. They can arise from legal agreements between the relevant copyright holders, or because of unauthorized efforts by fans, or even amid common...

 event "Crisis on Infinite Earths
Crisis on Infinite Earths
Crisis on Infinite Earths is a 12-issue American comic book limited series and crossover event, produced by DC Comics in 1985 to simplify its then 50-year-old continuity...

".

Just'a Lotta Animals

Aquaduck, a funny animal
Funny animal
Funny animal is a cartooning term for the genre of comics and animated cartoons in which the main characters are humanoid or talking animals, with anthropomorphic personality traits. The characters themselves may also be called funny animals...

 version published by DC and member of the Just'a Lotta Animals
Just'a Lotta Animals
Just'a Lotta Animals is a fictional superhero team that appeared in stories published by DC Comics. The team was an anthropomorphic funny animal parody of the Justice League of America....

, first appearing in 1983.
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