Aquaman is one of the most underrated heroes of all time. Now that Jason Momoa has been cast to play Aquaman, he’s finally getting the respect and attention he deserves, but that does not make up for the decades of DC fans that overlooked and underappreciated the Atlantean hero. Even now, many fans do not realize Aquaman’s deep, complicated history and his phenomenal power. There are still people who think he is a man in an orange jumpsuit who likes to talk to fish. That is far from true.
REBIRTH: 15 Unforgettable Aquaman Fights
Aquaman is not only a hero, he is one of the founding members of the Justice League, the King of the largest nation on Earth, and a great husband. He has taken on heroes, inter-dimensional villains, and death itself. Aquaman has been around since 1941, when he fought Nazis and spoke to sea creatures. Since then, his origin, powers and path have changed, but his legacy remains intact. With so much history and change, it is guaranteed that there are some facts about Aquaman that are forgotten or unknown. Now that he is gaining popularity and is featured prominently in the Rebirth timeline, it’s time to review these 15 facts about Aquaman, and get him the recognition he deserves.
15. HE’S A KILLER
Batman doesn’t like guns. Superman has a strict moral code. Aquaman, on the other hand, is a little more flexible. While he tries his best to find non-lethal ways to dispose of his enemies, he seems more willing than other heroes to take whatever steps necessary to ensure the safety of others. He has accidentally killed, too.
The most serious example is when he killed Black Manta’s father, but he has suffered for that due to Black Manta’s subsequent revenge grudge. From Mera’s point of view, it’s Aquaman’s fault their baby died, too. Aquaman shows mercy and restraint when he can, but he doles out justice with a heavy blow. For a man who has punched death in the face, taken down legendary sea monster, and even stabbed Darkseid with his Trident, this isn’t much of a surprise. If you thought Aquaman was nice or harmless, think again.
14. HE WAS RAISED BY DOLPHINS
You’ve heard of being raised by wolves, but raised by dolphins? Aquaman is a grown hero now, but he was never meant to grow up at all. He was born to Atlanna, the Queen of Atlantis, and the evil wizard Atlan. Unfortunately for young Orin, he was cursed with blonde hair, which was an evil portent in Atlantean culture. He was, as tradition dictated, left on the reef to die in the open air.
Orin possessed the ability to breathe outside the water, and he could communicate with animals. This led to him being found and adopted by dolphins, who raised him as their own until he was ready to leave the pod. His dolphin mother, Porm, loved her little human swimmer as she would her own children, until Orin met Arthur Curry, the lighthouse keeper who would teach him to be human.
13. HE DOESN’T “TALK” TO FISH
Aquaman gets a bad rap for just talking to fish. When he was first introduced in comics, he spoke to fish in their own language. When compared to his fellow Justice League members, like the Man of Steel and Batman, being a little too in tune with the ocean seems like a throwaway superpower. However, he does not talk to fish anymore, he can communicate telepathically and even control them. This doesn’t just apply to a school of sardines, but to every animal in the ocean.
He also has the normal superhero powers: super strength, invulnerability and speed. Aquaman has even been known to have bullets bounce right off of him, fight sea monsters, and take on other Superheroes. If you ever thought Aquaman was a joke, it’s time for you to read more comics.
12. HE WENT THROUGH A HOOK PHASE
Aquaman has gone through many changes since his first appearance in comics, from long hair and different colored gloves to more extreme changes like his famous harpoon hand. Depending on what era of Aquaman you are reading, he either lost his hand when the villain Charybdis submerged his arm in a swarm of piranhas, or it is cut off by his arch enemy, Black Manta.
In both disturbing scenarios, he didn’t replace his hand way like Luke in Star Wars or Jamie Lannister in Game of Thrones, but instead went more of a captain Hook route, and slapped a huge harpoon on the end of his arm. While this made Aquaman a menacing foe and opened up a lot of Moby Dick opportunities if he strayed from the Justice League, it was a strange choice, and fans are happy to see that Jason Momoa has two hands…so far.
11. HE HAD A BABY
Aquaman and Aqualad are just friends, but Aquaman did have a child once. Technically, he had a child more than once, but Aquababy is the baby that almost ruined Aquaman and Mera forever. Aquaman and his wife, Mera, were happy and in love, and they had a baby, Arthur Jr. He was lovingly known as Aquababy, and he was pretty adorable. While Aquaman was off fighting with Aqualad, his baby was kidnapped by his enemies and murdered. Aquaman became cold and distant, because it was his fault, after all.
Instead of being a supportive husband, he blamed Mera for being hung up on the death of their child and he ran off with other women. The real story is that Aquababy wasn’t going over well with readers, but DC took it too far when the poor baby was murdered, resulting in one of the most depressing Aquaman stories in history.
10. HE CAN BREAK A SLEEPING CURSE
Aquaman is a true superhero. He is a fearsome enemy, a strong leader and a powerhouse. Unlike Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League, he has a storybook power that no one would expect. He can break a sleeping curse. The Queen of Fables was introduced to the Justice League in 2000. No, this isn’t some weird Fables crossover, this is the real queen from Snow White going up against the Justice League.
She assumes Wonder Woman is her daughter, and punishes her for being beautiful by putting her under a sleeping spell. While other heroes might have tried to break the spell, super-strength can’t combat this magic. Wonder Woman needed Aquaman to wake her with a kiss, because he is the lost Prince of Atlantis. One kiss from a prince, and she was awake again! Aquaman can add sleeping curse breaking to his superhero resumé.
9. HIS TRIDENT HAS SUPERPOWERS
Aquaman is a powerful hero on his own. He can control the creatures of the sea, swim at astounding speeds, and go head to head with Superman’s strength. Like Wonder Woman’s Lasso, Aquaman also possesses a powerful weapon with amazing powers. His Trident, the Trident of Neptune, is not just a merman-inspired accessory. Though the Trident has been granted different powers in newer iterations of Aquaman’s history, it always remains a powerful weapon.
It is suited to his fighting style, so it is dangerous even without augmented powers. It can also control the weather and tides, and even make things disappear. Aquaman’s Trident is so much more than an accessory or just a big fork to hit people with, it is an ancient, powerful weapon and a symbol of his royalty and skill.
8. HE HAS A SUPER WIFE
Aquaman and Mera are one of the most iconic couple is the history of DC Comics. Mera may not be a traditional superhero, but she is often just as integral to saving the world as Aquaman. Mera is no mere human, or even an Atlantean. She is an exiled queen from another world, Dimension Aqua. She has the power to travel between dimensions and the power to change the density of water, using water to create hard objects.
She is also a telepath, and partially amphibious. She is a powerful woman, especially when protecting her family. When her son was in danger, she defeated elemental monsters trying to save him. Mera endured a lot, especially in the death of her son. Thankfully, the Rebirth timeline has brought Aquaman and Mera together again, to resume their reign as one of the most powerful DC couples.
7. HE HAS AN EVIL BROTHER
The Aqua-family is bigger than some fans know, and not all of the members are heroes like Aquaman and Mera. Aquaman’s father was an evil wizard, some of his love interests are questionable, and his brother is certainly a problem. Aquaman’s half-brother, Orm, is known as Ocean Master. He is scarred and angry, and soon becomes one of Aquaman’s greatest enemies, despite their family ties.
Orm shares a father with Aquaman, the wizard Atlan, and an Inupiat woman. Ocean Master has mystical powers and a trident similar to Aquaman’s, but he suffers pain if he uses his trident or is separated from it. He is also jealous, and attacked his cousin Kako when Aquaman developed a romantic relationship with her. When Orm discovered his Atlantean heritage, he sought to become the King of Atlantis, but Aquaman always stood in his way.
6. HE CONTROLS A MASSIVE ARMY
Aquaman does not just have fish and other ocean animals at his disposal, he is also powerful in other capacities. Aquaman is not only a superhero and a member of the Justice League, but also a King. Atlantis is not a small country, but a kingdom that spans all the oceans. Essentially, Aquaman rules over the entire ocean, which makes up well over half of the entire surface of Earth.
He commands Atlantean armies, which are legendary and powerful. He can also convince sharks to tear his enemies to shreds, or cause the Ocean to overtake entire cities. Though his superpowers and his political prowess are often ignored in favor of making Aquaman out to be a joke, he could take on any hero if he chose to. He could easily be one of the most threatening villains the world has ever seen. Luckily, he’s one of the good guys.
5. MERA IS NOT HIS ONLY LOVE
Mera and Aquaman are iconic. Even the events of the New 52 and the death of their child did not keep them apart forever. This Atlantean power couple is one of DC’s most important matches. However, both Aquaman and Mera have had adventures of their own. Aquaman started off with a very strange dolphin romance that most fans, and Aquaman, try to forget.
He met Kako in Alaska, and she bore a child he did not learn of until later. He showed interest in a sidekick, Dolphin, and a woman he met when San Diego was submerged under water, Esther Maris. Aquaman also has a bit of an unrequited love for Wonder Woman, and he manages to fend off Maxima, who wanted to make Aquaman her new King. Mera had her own relationships as well, when she was in her own dimension. Luckily, they ended up together.
4. IT TOOK FOREVER FOR A COVER DEAL
Aquaman is well-known now, even if he does not get the respect he deserves. He is being played by Jason Momoa in the upcoming Justice League movie, which has significantly added to his popularity. There was a time, though, when Aquaman was not even important enough to be featured on the cover of his own comics.
Aquaman made his first appearance in comics in 1941, in More Fun comics. That first issue is worth a lot, but that is not necessarily because of Aquaman. Most collectors are after that first issue for the first appearance of Green Arrow. Aquaman did not appear on the cover of an American comic until 1960, almost 20 years after his debut. As his origin story and powers were re-worked, he gained popularity, but the first decade of Aquaman in comics is pretty sad.
3. HE (ALMOST) HAD A TV SHOW
Aquaman is about to star in movies on the big screen (after a very gratifying 30 second appearance in Batman V Superman) but this is not his first time on screen. He appeared as Arthur “AC” Curry on Smallville, a marine biology major from the University of Miami. After his success on Smallville, probably due to his super cool custom green and orange wetsuit, the creators of the show designed a spinoff series for Aquaman.
The pilot was set to air, but the network decided not to buy it. The episode was a top seller on iTunes, and was eventually aired on Canadian TV, and was massively popular. Unfortunately, the show still wasn’t picked up. An Aquaman show would have been amazing. Maybe an Aquaman TV series will happen someday, now that his popularity is steadily growing.
2. HE GOES THROUGH A LOT OF SIDEKICKS
Batman is famous for how many sidekicks he has worked with over the years. Robins have been adopted, injured, killed and gone off on their own. Aquaman flies under the radar here, but he has been through his fair share of sidekicks, too. Tula, the first Aquagirl, was killed by the villain Chemo, though she has been revived several times since.
Aquagirl II, Lorena Marquez, takes on the mantle when San Diego is submerged in water, another Aquagirl, Mareena, was created for the Batman Beyond cartoon. Garth, the first Aqualad, eventually became Tempest. Jackson Hyde takes on the name of Aqualad in “Brightest Day”. In Young Justice, Aqualad is Kaldur’ahm, who used to work with Black Manta. Aquaman’s protegés and friends have been subjected to danger, poisoning, death matches, and more. Maybe he should work alone from now on.
1. FISH FRIENDS
Aquaman does not only have human sidekicks and companions, but animals, too. Aquaman can communicate with and influence sea creatures, but this is not slavery. It is a symbiotic relationship: Aquaman protects the oceans, the ocean animals help Aquaman. It makes sense, then, that Aquaman would have some animal sidekicks, though his choices are strange from any angle.
For a long time, Aquaman was often accompanied in comics by his purple octopus friend, Topo. In later comics, Topo was adapted to be a humanoid squid that accompanied Aquaman on adventures and stayed home to babysit Aqua Baby. Aquaman was also raised by dolphins, so his mother, siblings and his first love…were all dolphins. Aquaman might have a little too much connection to the animals of the sea.
Are there any Aquaman facts we missed? Let us know in the comments!
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