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"King of the Seas, remember?"[2]

King Arthur, know to the wider world as Aquaman, was the fierce but noble king of the undersea realm of Atlantis, and a part-time member of the Justice League.


Meeting Superman[]

For years, Aquaman was considered an urban legend, until he was kidnapped and caged by Lex Luthor. He called out, telepathically, to all sea creatures to attack the "surface dwellers." The attack was stopped by Lois Lane, with the help of Superman.[1]

A new era[]


Aquaman's new look.

Years later, Aquaman sank the nuclear submarine USS Defiant for intruding into Atlantean territory. When the Justice League responded to the distress call from the Defiant, Aquaman allowed the League to rescue the crew on the condition that the vessel be left at the bottom of the ocean, while Superman encouraged him to address his concerns to the World Assembly. However, Aquaman remained skeptical. His military advisers urged him to take the necessary measures and wipe the "surface-dwellers" out from the face of the Earth, but Aquaman instead opted to visit the World Assembly building and met with the council. There he imposed a peace treaty that would implicate a near-surrender by the surface-dwellers. When his demands were declined, Aquaman stormed out of the World Assembly building, where he was attacked by Deadshot. Aquaman was badly injured but was promptly saved thanks to the genius of Batman, who provided a special water tank where he recovered. Escaping from the League's custody, Aquaman headed back to Atlantis, only to find his brother, Lord Orm, had usurped his throne.[3]

Aquaman was taken away and shackled to a reef near a volcano together with his son, and Orm sent them plummeting toward the lava. Aquaman managed to break one arm free, but in the face of the imminent death of his infant son, he used his metal belt buckle to sever his own left hand, which he later replaced with a prosthetic harpoon.

After rescuing his son, Aquaman learned that Orm had activated the Doomsday Thermal Reactor, a last-resort weapon Aquaman had built to melt the polar ice caps in case of war with the surface-dwellers. Aquaman set off to disarm it and stop his brother. The two brothers sparred until the ice bridge collapsed. Aquaman ignored his brother's pleas for his life and let him fall into his death. Thereafter, Aquaman pondered about how his own fear for the surface-dwellers put his kingdom and family in peril.

Aquaman attended Superman's funeral. Afterwards, he was a candidate to replace Superman on the Justice League's initial roster. While Lobo claimed the initial spot, only by intrusion and force, the records Superman uncovered in the destroyed Earth's future listed Aquaman as a member. It is safe to assume, then, that had Superman not returned to his present, Aquaman would have become the eighth member.

Justice League[]

Aquaman arrived first to help and save civilians from magma creatures and to prevent an oil spill. He also criticized humans for their stupidity for not considering the possibilities there would be creatures living in the magma chamber they drilled into.

Aquaman dealt with the Ultimen along with Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. He faced off against Downpour, who realized far too late that the Atlantean's innate aquatic advantage made him the worst opponent he could face.

He also led an attack against the otherworldly Icthultu. After the Thanagarian invasion, he began working with Doctor Fate. He took a personal investment in the recovery of Hawkgirl, perhaps due to her involvement in the Icthultu conflict. He was also with the Justice League's response to the Dark Heart landing.

In the 2040s, Aquaman's daughter, Aquagirl, had succeeded to his League post. It was also likely that his son has since succeeded him as King of Atlantis after his passing/disappearance.[4]

Powers and abilities[]

As an Atlantean, Aquaman was both stronger and tougher than ordinary human beings and could breathe underwater as well as in the air.

His strength was of the level where he could knock out opponents with just one blow (as demonstrated by how he knocked out John Stewart),[3] break metal chains, and even hold his own against Wonder Woman in a physical fight.[5]

He also seemed to possess superhuman durability, given how his skin was difficult to pierce (with a syringe breaking upon impact), and described to be "tougher than a rhino's". However, he was able to cut off his own left hand with his metal belt buckle, and Superman was still capable of easily knocking him out with just one punch.

He had the speed and reflexes to catch a harpoon shot at him from behind[1], and the agility to leap to from collapsing debris while Orm fired electric blasts at him.[3]

Aquaman's most powerful ability was, perhaps, his ability to telepathically communicate with marine life, which enabled him to sense impending threats to his kingdom as well as to summon marine creatures to aid him in battle.[6]

As the King of Atlantis, Aquaman wielded the Trident of Poseidon, which endowed him with great magical powers. It was also possible that his kingly status made him either highly resistant or even immune to water-based attacks, given how Downpour's hydrokinetic attacks left no visible damage on him at all.[2]

Background information[]

  • Aquaman first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941) and was created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger. Originally, Aquaman was the son of a human man and a woman from Atlantis. He had the ability to breathe underwater, communicate with sea creatures, and possessed superhuman strength, durability, endurance, and an unmatched swimming prowess. Aquaman’s origins and powers eventually underwent changes over the course of the years. Initially conceived as a supporting character during the Golden and Silver Ages, Aquaman later became a founding member of the Justice League of America, until he got his own series in Aquaman #1 (Jan-Feb 1962).
  • In the Silver Age, Aquaman was given a more detailed background. He was Arthur Curry, son of a human lighthouse keeper called Tom Curry, and Atlanna, an outcast woman from the lost city of Atlantis. He eventually was accepted by the Atlanteans as a son of Atlantis and their king. He married Mera and together they had a son, Arthur, Jr.
  • The Modern Age Aquaman, after the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths, featured a reshaped origin. He was no longer a half-breed, but he was Orin, the offspring of Queen Atlanna and Atlan, a wizard from the Atlantean city of Poseidonis. Orin was abandoned on Mercy Reef because his blond hair was an Atlantean bad omen. The infant ended up being found by a lighthouse keeper named Arthur Curry, who christened Orin after him. After his mysterious disappearance, Orin hit the road, and eventually came upon Poseidonis, the city of his birth. He was imprisoned by its dictatorial government, and was taught the Atlanteans by Vulko, a prisoner of the state, who would become Aquaman’s friends and adviser. Orin broke out and went to the surface to become the hero known as Aquaman.
  • In the Third Series (1994), Aquaman adopted a more radical look, abandoning his traditional orange shirt and clean-cut appearance. He grew a beard and long hair, and after losing his left hand, he replaced it with a retractable harpoon, and put on a piece of armor. This incarnation was the latest used on Justice League / Justice League Unlimited. Afterwards, Aquaman was driven out of Poseidonis and went to Ireland. There, he met the Lady of the Lake, who gave him the Waterbearer Hand, a new prosthetic hand composed of mystical water. After this, Aquaman took up his conventional look again. Aquaman's first animated appearance was in The Superman/Aquaman Hour of Adventure, where he gained a sidekick, Aqualad. Then, he joined in the line-up of Super Friends, and its subsequent follow-ups.
  • At one point, Alan Burnett was working on an Aquaman spin-off for Kids' WB! that would have focused on the characters younger years. According to Burnett, he had worked on three or four different pitch bibles for the series before coming up with something that could cater to DC Comics demographic of mid-20's readers as well as a 6–11 year-old audience.[7]


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Justice League

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  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bader, Hilary J., Fogel, Rich (writers) & Tsuji, Shin-Ichi (director) (May 8, 1999). "A Fish Story". Superman: The Animated Series. Season 3. Episode 9 (airdate). Episode 54 (production). Kids WB!.
  2. 2.0 2.1 McDuffie, Dwayne (story) & DeMatteis, J.M. (teleplay) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (December 4, 2004). "Ultimatum". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 9 (airdate). Episode 9 (production). Cartoon Network.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hopps, Kevin (writer) & Riba, Dan (director) (December 3, 2001). "The Enemy Below, Part I". Justice League. Season 1. Episode 6 (airdate). Episode 6 (production). Cartoon Network.
  4. Dini, Paul, Burnett, Alan (story) & Berkowitz, Stan (teleplay) & Lukic, Butch (director) (November 11, 2000). "The Call, Part I". Batman Beyond. Season 3. Episode 7 (airdate). Episode 50 (production). Kids WB!.
  5. McDuffie, Dwayne (writer) & Lukic, Butch (director) (November 15, 2003). "The Terror Beyond, Part II". Justice League. Season 2. Episode 16 (airdate). Episode 40 (production). Cartoon Network.
  6. Berkowitz, Stan (writer) & Riba, Dan (director) (November 22, 2003). "Secret Society, Part I". Justice League. Season 2. Episode 17 (airdate). Episode 45 (production). Cartoon Network.

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