Aquaman is The Champion of The Life Force
Obviously, Arthur's power isn't going to be left in the clutches of Black Manta. At least, that seems highly doubtful considering how the writers of this larger Aquaman/Justice League story are making it sound. But first, the reveal: we'll skip over the ancient Sea Gods of far-flung worlds who flood Earth and pull Aquaman out into a cosmic gathering place called The Blood Reef, and get to the moment his true powers are explained to him. As Fleet Admiral Tyyde explains while ripping the power from Aquaman's body, their goal has been to remove the "Life Energy" given to him by the oceans of Earth.
If the parallel to The Flash's selection as champion of the Speed Force doesn't work, then Justice League writer Scott Snyder explained to Newsarama just what fans are supposed to understand about this introduction of the Life Force into DC's universe:
One of the things I’ve really been fascinated with is why he has these powers. Nobody else in Atlantis seems to have his particular form of powers, because he’s half-Atlantean/half-human. And then even more interesting to me than that was what do they represent? Talking to fish is one thing, but is there a bigger meaning to them, even if that’s their physical limit? It got us thinking about what that means.
For me, the idea of fish communicating, fish in schools, is that they’re the root of life on land as well, and the fact that they coordinate with each other and can communicate, even in visual ways to make schools to protect themselves, is sort of the beginning of a kind of chain of achievements that leads to us. So it connects him to this primal idea of the ways in which we need to connect with each other, to be able to survive and evolve.
And we took that to this notion that all life is connected, not just in terms of people or mammals, and not in just it being a physical ecosystem, but that life that came before you to now - all of it is connected by this almost evolutionary force that has to do with communication... Aquaman’s powers are what they’ve always been. They’re not changed. We’re not looking to expand them in any radical way. But we wanted to kind of go back and see if there’s a way to expand the meaning behind them.
So there you have it, Aquaman fans: Arthur Curry can talk to fish for the same reason Barry Allen can run faster than light. Sure, the Forces at work are different, but it seems to function the same way. But as Snyder suggests, Aquaman could master the Life Force to communicate with all life, potentially. But will he be able to, now that this power has been transferred to his worst enemy?
Will Aquaman Rejoin The Life Force?
The similarities to Flash's Speed Force should show just how much more powerful Aquaman may become if he regains his link to the Life Force. The question, of course, is whether that will actually happen. It's possible that Aquaman could use his powers to deepen his link to Life, now that he knows what he's even tapping into, and communicate with all forms of life on land, sea, and air. But that supposes he'll be able to stand with the rest of the Justice League against the Life Force's opposite, also on the way as part of the Drowned event. And judging by Aquaman's coming change in creative team, we're not betting on him restoring the status quo.
That's right, with the molder of the modern Captain Marvel Kelly Sue DeConnick taking over Aquaman with artist Robson Rocha in Aquaman #43, the odds seem to favor Arthur being wiped clean. Of his memories, his identity, and possibly even his powers. However, DC's storytellers have set this twist up nicely, since Aquaman may get his powerful connection to The Life Force back just in time to save the day in Drowned-- before losing any memory of his newfound knowledge.
Even if that's the solution fast approaching, the DC fans will still know how Aquaman's power really works. Not to mention how much more powerful he may grow over time, once he realizes he can do a lot more than 'talk to fish.'
Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth Special #1 and Justice League #11 are available now from DC Comics.