Despite decades of demeaning jokes about the hero, Aquaman, a.k.a. Arthur Curry, stands as one of the most iconic heroes in the DC universe, even if it's not always for the right reasons. While many viewers know Aquaman from his Super Friends days, he also makes many other appearances in comics and animated movies and TV series. Thanks to the amazing writers over at DC, Aquaman has even been "rebooted" into one of the most badass characters the comics giant has at their disposal.
These changes have given us a new perspective on the King of Atlantis; one that isn't so indebted to the humorous, cheesy aspects of the character. With Jason Momoa’s Aquaman making his first big screen appearance in next week's Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, it’s a good time to learn about this founding member of the Justice League, and to find out why he should no longer be the butt of your superhero jokes.
Let’s dive into Screen Rant’s 11 Things You Need To Know About Aquaman!
12 he can do more than talk to dolphins
Beyond just talking to fish, Aquaman has a plethora of other abilities that have made him into a force to be reckoned with. Aquaman has a high level of invulnerability. Bullets have been shown to bounce off of him, not unlike his Justice League pal Superman.
In addition to that, he has super strength, which has allowed him to go toe to toe with the likes of Superman and Wonder Woman. Not only is he physically strong enough to fight superpowered beings, but his combat skills are extremely fine-tuned. He is considered one of the best fighters and tacticians in all of the DC Universe. He also has super speed when he's underwater, and can reach speeds of over 6,000 knots (roughly 7,000 mph). His senses are incredibly enhanced underwater, but even on land he possesses better reflexes than some of the fastest characters in the DC Universe.
Of course, it's Aquaman’s aquatic powers make him the hero we all know. His telepathy is used to communicate with sea life, and to ask for their help whenever he needs it. Aquaman is unaffected by depth, lack of light, and pressure in the sea. He can go anywhere in the ocean unharmed. He can also use a sonar ability that gives him even more of an advantage underwater.
11 his wife is pretty super, too
Right by Aquaman’s side stands (swims?) his wife, Mera. Not only is she the queen of Atlantis, but she also has superpowers of her own. Together, they are one of comics’ strongest couples.
Despite some of the fallouts over the decades, they are still a power couple. Both lean on each other when it comes to ruling Atlantis. Running an entire civilization like that takes strong, intelligent people. Not only do they run Atlantis well, but they have each other’s backs in combat. They fought crime together before their marriage, so it's obvious that they work well together in dangerous situations.
10 he often has to battle with sea-monsters
Aquaman not only fights villains, like other superheroes, but also faces off against a plethora of sea-monsters. Considering how scary and dangerous the real ocean is, you can imagine how scary it is in DC comics. Often, Aquaman has to face a race known as the Trench, one of the kingdoms and races that lived underwater before the seven kingdoms of Atlantis were plunged into the sea. The Trench are a big-eyed, and sharp-teethed race of beings that are not only vicious, but are also monstrous in appearance. Even scarier than the Trench are the bigger sea monsters Aquaman is often forced to fight to keep the Earth safe.
Every year, Aquaman battles enormous beasts that come through an interdimensional portal to conquer the Earth. Aquaman then not only defeats them, but comes back every year to kick them back into their own dimension. These creatures are hundreds of times bigger than he is and have immense power, but thanks to Aquaman’s skills, superpowers, and his trident, he is able to vanquish them every time they think they can come and conquer Earth.
9 he has killed before
Many heroes, like Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man, feel a moral compunction not to kill. Aquaman is a bit different in this regard. While Aquaman tries to practice restraint and mercy, he has killed his enemies more than a few times. The brutality with which Aquaman doles out justice is unlike the that of Batman, Cyborg, or the Flash. Aquaman has not just beaten his foes with his fists and trident, but has also directed sharks to rip apart his enemies.
Not only does Aquaman intend to kill some of his foes, but he has accidentally killed people as well, such as the father of his nemesis, Black Manta, who learned to hate Aquaman because of this. Despite Aquaman’s killings, he still remains a hero for his many triumphs and the empathy he often shows to enemies.
8 he has had a hard life
For a character that many consider to be campy, Aquaman has actually had devastating events in his life. He has had to learn to live with pain and deal with anguish, while continuing to not only lead Atlantis but to be a superhero as well. An event that has helped shape Aquaman’s determination over the years is the loss of his hand. In one variation of this, the villain Charybdis directs piranhas to eat it off. In other iterations, his hand is cut off by his nemesis Black Manta, but it all depends on which era of Aquaman you are reading. Despite the initial horror of losing his hand in such a violent way, Aquaman equips the missing limb with a harpoon.
To Aquaman and Mera’s joy, they eventually had a son whom they named Arthur Curry Jr., after his father. Unfortunately, one of Aquaman’s greatest foes, Black Manta, took his life before he could grow up and take Aquaman's place. After this, Aquaman lost his marriage for a time. He lost everything closest to him in a second and still had the iron-clad will to go on being the hero he once was, even if he became slightly unhinged for a time. Even while fighting with Mera about his inability to protect their son, he still went on. Other heroes have taken time off, or have been too grief-stricken to continue their heroics after something terrible happens to them, but Aquaman swallowed his sorrows and kept on going.
7 he is one of the founding members of the justice league
Some may not know that Aquaman was one of the seven founding members of the original Justice League of America, as well as some of the new version of the Justice League in the New 52 universe. Being a founding member of the JLA, Aquaman is one of the seven titans who stand above the rest of the heroes on the JLA roster. A symbol of resilience, strength, and leadership, Aquaman’s position on the JLA has not only shaped his own comics, but the heroes surrounding him.
While serving on the roster of the JLA, Aquaman has been present for many of the biggest and best storylines in all of DC. Holding his own weight, and sometimes far surpassing the heroes around him in strength, Aquaman has continuously earned his keep against villains like Darkseid, Starro, and the Crime Syndicate.
6 his trident has special powers
Beyond his miraculous skill and power, Aquaman’s trident, known as the Trident of Neptune, is by far his most powerful weapon. Granting him powers beyond his own, and being a weapon suited to his natural fighting abilities, the Trident has become Aquaman’s most iconic piece of gear. The Trident itself has had several origins, but it is always a source of awesome power that Aquaman must use to vanquish his enemies, but it's also essential for him to keep it out of the hands of those who would use it for evil.
In the New 52, the trident may not have all of the same mystical abilities, but it is still a powerful symbol used by those who wish to rule over Atlantis and the oceans. However, before the reboot, the Trident had several incredible abilities. For instance, the Trident could manipulate water and the weather, and it could shoot bolts of lightning and create force fields. Perhaps one of the weirder powers, the Trident could be used to not just make things disappear, but it could also turn living creatures into other beings. The Trident also stands as a symbol of Atlantean royalty.
5 he is no longer the laughing-stock of dc
We’ve all seen the countless memes and clips throughout pop-culture that mock Aquaman, but he is anything but a joke. Currently one of the most badass heroes in DC, Aquaman even rivals Batman in his inability to care about those who want to make fun of him or challenge him. He is so confident in his abilities that he has punched Death straight in the jaw and even fought with gods.
In fact, he has performed some of the most impressive feats of all the Justice League members. Many of us take notice of Batman dodging Darkseid’s Omega Beams, or Superman surviving a nuclear blast, but we don't always give credit to Aquaman for all of his achievements. For instance, he stabs Darkseid right in the face with his trident in one storyline of the New 52. Aquaman is so intense that he literally replaced his hand with a harpoon!
4 he is the King of Atlantis
Aquaman is more than just a hero who fights for the sake of it. He is also a king of the most powerful army in the world, the army of Atlantis, and 70% of the Earth's surface.
That kind of power is not to be taken lightly. His role as King of Atlantis and the Seven Seas is a major responsibility and one he must constantly defend. Aquaman’s ability to call upon the creatures of the ocean to do his bidding increases the scope of his power immensely. Aquaman has used this army and his fish friends to help him defend the Earth from many villains and creatures. For instance, before stabbing Darkseid in the face, he used an army of sharks to attack Darkseid’s parademons, who are flying soldiers for the galactic god.
Unfortunately, Aquaman's Atlantean army can be used for evil when led by the wrong man. Ocean Master, Aquaman's power-hungry evil brother, uses the army to attack "surface dwellers" when he seizes control over the throne. Luckily, the one true king of Atlantis beats Ocean Master to a pulp and seizes back the throne, restoring order to the relationship between the surface dwellers and Atlanteans.
3 his rogues gallery is large and varied
Aquaman's rogues' gallery is filled with unique villains specifically fitted for an underwater king. Aquaman has two arch-nemeses, Black Manta and Ocean Master. Both have dealt some of the harshest blows to Aquaman and continue to be the biggest threats to Aquaman. Beyond these two there is also the monstrous King Shark, who you’ve probably just seen in the hit series The Flash on the CW.
There is also Charybdis who like caused Aquaman to lose his hand in via piranha bites. Another villainous team that has suffered at the hands of Aquaman is the Deep Six, a group of fish-like creatures who do Darkseid’s bidding. Fortunately, Aquaman kills them time and time again, but they are resurrected multiple times by Darkseid. On top of all these listed villains, there are dozens more. Aquaman never runs out of monsters to kill, people to punch, or bad guys to defeat.
2 he will be played by jason momoa in the dc extended universe
Like many other members of the Justice League, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman will make his big screen debut in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Jason Momoa’s involvement with the character has been a point of contention for fans ever since he was rumored for the role.
Not only is Jason Momoa spot-on casting for the tough as nails King of Atlantis, but his knowledge of the character is promising. After the CW Dawn of Justice Special, we learned more about the DC Extended Universe’s version of Aquaman. We had already seen a photo of Jason Momoa with the Trident of Neptune, but now we know more about Aquaman's background as it will be shown on screen. We know that he is still Arthur Curry and the son of a lighthouse keeper. We also know that he will use the Trident and have all of the same powers as his comic book counterpart including: he will be bulletproof, superstrong, very good at swimming, and able communicate with sea-life.
All the signs are pointing towards a promising and authentic adaptation of Aquaman.
The King of Atlantis is without a doubt one of the most interesting and compelling characters in all of DC Comics. With all of the powers and hardships he has, Arthur Curry is not just strong, but also extremely resilient. Obviously, Aquaman isn’t just the joke of a character that many have assumed him to be for decades.
Not only has Aquaman proved how badass he is in the pages of his own solo comic, but he has cemented his position as one of DC’s iconic characters in the pages of Justice League comics as well. Hopefully you learned a bit more about Aquaman. Be sure to let us know which fact was your favorite!