Who doesn't love Aquaman? Since his debut in 1941, he's become one of the most iconic Super Heroes of all time. Just last year, Aquaman was able to star in his own solo movie that garnered over a billion dollars at the box office. While some will still give him crap over his campy appearance in Super Friends, we here at CBR can't help but love DC's ruler of Atlantis, Arthur Curry. So, we decided to give 10 Aquaman comics to check out, if you're new to the King of the Undersea.
9 The Trench
Kicking off this list is the first story in Geoff Johns's fantastic run on the character. As part of the New 52, Aquaman was given a fresh start, making this one of the most accessible books to check out. The story has Aquaman dealing with the titular Trench, a group of bloodthirsty creatures bent on devouring anything that has a pulse. It may be a straight forward tale, but Johns's script and fast pacing managed to make this one a breeze for anyone to jump on into. Ivan Reis, meanwhile, manages to make the Trench creatures look terrifying.
8 Throne of Atlantis
Quite possibly the best Aquaman story of the modern age, Throne of Atlantis is also one of the most epic works in the medium. After an unknown attack destroys part of Atlantis, Ocean Master, Brother of Aquaman and then ruler of Atlantis, declares war on the Surface World. It's a story that not only manages to be as grandiose as it sounds, it also manages to have a lot of internal conflicts, as Aquaman struggles with his place as ruler of the sea and why it has to be him as the king. Orm is a worthy foe, but it's also understandable why he set Atlantis loose on the Earth. It all makes for a compelling tale that's hard to put down.
7 The Drowning
What better place for new readers to start is one of his more recent adventures, which also happens to be one of his best tales in a quite a while. While Geoff Johns's Aquaman was great, it did take a while for Aquaman to become the king he was before the New 52 (Long story). The first major storyline of DC Rebirth's Aquaman has the Arthur genuinely acting like a King; coordinating with his followers, engaging in political meetings with the surface realm, all while being framed for a crime that Atlantis didn't commit.
This may sound dull, but writer Dan Abnett manages to keep the reader's interest with excellent characterization of each of the stories significant players. It even has Aquaman and Superman duking it out. What more could you want?
6 More Fun Comics #73
Why, of course the comic that gave birth to the iconic hero has to be on this list. Not reading this issue is like not reading Detective Comics #27 or Action Comics #1; It's practically required. More Fun Comics was the series that gave birth to heroes like Dr. Fate, Green Arrow, and Arthur Curry. Sure, the story is only about eight pages long, but it's a classic Super Hero tale through and through. The artwork holds up, even after all these years, and the dialog is just as tongue-in-cheek as a lot of the stories from the Golden Age of heroes.
5 Death of a Prince
They say that Aquaman isn't a character who doesn't experience much in the way of angst or depression. However, Death of the Prince is one of the darkest moments in comics history. After years of fighting and scheming, Black Manta has developed the ultimate revenge plot: killing Aquaman's infant son. This results in dealing a huge blow that Arthur has still yet to recover from, and it's one that almost destroyed his marriage with his wife, Mera. If you want a story that shows even the "campiest" heroes can have a horrible thing happen to them; this is the story for you.
4 Black Manta Rising/The Deluge
Black Manta is to Aquaman what Lex Luthor and The Joker are to Superman and Batman. In the most recent tale on this list sees Manta teams up with the evil terrorist group, N.E.M.O, in an attempt to not only kill Aquaman but to ruin his public image. It's a story that shows the more methodical/machiavellian side of Aquaman's Arch-nemesis, and it almost works. The story is filled with unforgettable moments, such as Aquaman fighting against a giant crocodile monster and an impressive battle between Arthur and Black Manta.
3 Time and Tales
After Crisis on Infinite Earths gave the DC Universe a soft-reboot, many creators were able to re-tell a lot of the origins of DC's greatest heroes. Like what Frank Miller did with Batman: Year One, Peter David re-told the early years of Aquaman in Time and Tales. This version sees a much more aggressive version of the character as recounts his first adventures on land, his time as a baby swimming with Dolphins, and his first encounter with the Flash. It's an engaging tale that manages to feel both fresh and exciting, even after all these years.
2 Aquaman by Peter David Vol 1
While the '90s were a time of gloom for the medium, there were a few brights spots in the era. One was Peter David's run on Aquaman, which did a complete 180 turn on the undersea boy scout. In this version, Aquaman ditches is iconic Orange shirt, grows a beard and long hair, and has his hand replaced with a hook. If you grew up with the Aquaman from the Justice League cartoon series, this is the story that gave birth to the Aquaman from the show. Peter David's run may be too "edgy" for some, but it manages to find the perfect balance in darkening the character and made for some of his best tales.
1 Atlantis Chronicles
Atlantis Chronicles is less a story about Aquaman and more about the world of Atlantis. In this seven-issue series, Peter David explores the early days of Atlantis. From how the city sank underwater to Atlantian's deep-seated prejudices against the surface world, David manages to expand the lore of Aquaman's kingdom. It also features some gorgeous artwork by Esteban Maroto, creating a unique look for each person and landmark that we meet along the journey.