As a baby, he was abandoned on Mercy Reef which is above sea level at low tide, causing exposure to air which would be fatal to Atlanteans because of his blond hair, which was seen by the superstitious Atlanteans as a sign of a curse they called "the Mark of Kordax. While his pleas fell on deaf ears, Vulko would later become a close friend and advisor to the young Orin.
As a feral child who raised himself in the wilds of the ocean with only sea creatures to keep him company, Orin was found and taken in by a lighthouse keeper named Arthur Curry who named Orin "Arthur Curry" after himself. One day, Orin returns home and finds that his adoptive father has disappeared, so he sets off on his own. In his early teens, Orin ventures to the far north, where he meets and falls in love with an Inupiat girl named Kako. He also first earned the hatred of Orm, the future Ocean Master who was later revealed to be Arthur's half-brother by Atlan and an Inupiat woman.
As detailed in the five-issue Aquaman limited series June—October by the same creative team of the special of Robert Loren Fleming , Keith Giffen , and Curt Swan , which continued a few of the themes from the Legend of Aquaman Special , Mera is eventually driven insane by grief over the death of Arthur, Jr. Shortly afterwards, an alien force conquers Atlantis. Arthur is forced to save the city but is hampered by an escaped Mera, who personally blames Arthur for the death of their son.
In a fit of rage, Mera leaves Aquaman's dimension. The publication of writer Peter David 's The Atlantis Chronicles 1—7 March—September , which tells the story of Atlantis from antediluvian times to Aquaman's birth, introduced the ancient Atlantean characters Orin after whom Aquaman was named and Atlan who was revealed to be Aquaman's father.
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Another Aquaman ongoing series with creative team Shaun McLaughlin and Ken Hooper 1—13 thereafter ran from December to December , which portrayed Aquaman reluctantly deciding to remain in Poseidonis as its protector once again. For a time, he serves as Atlantis' representative to the United Nations but always finds himself thrust back into the superhero role. Becoming more and more of a workaholic and solitary figure, Aquaman eventually returns to the oceans.
He soon becomes tangled up in another attempt by Black Manta to destroy Atlantis by dragging it into a war with a surface nation. Peter David returned to the character in another limited series, Aquaman: Time and Tide , a — four-issue series which further explained Aquaman's origins, as he finally learns all about the history of his people through the Atlantis Chronicles , which are presented as historical texts passed down and updated through the centuries. Aquaman learns that his birth name was Orin and that he and his enemy Ocean Master share the same father, "an ancient Atlantean wizard" named Atlan.
This revelation sends Orin into a bout of rage and depression, setting the stage for later confrontations between the two, as it is said in the Chronicles that "two brothers will also battle for control of Atlantis". This is in contrast to the Silver Age Aquaman, who had always known that the Ocean Master was his half-brother Orm, although Orm's amnesia prevented him from remembering that fact for some time. This series is credited by Kevin Melrose of Comic Book Resources with helping the character reach the height of his modern-era popularity.
Aquaman starred in his own series again with the publication of the fifth volume of Aquaman 1 August , initially scripted by Peter David, following up on his Time and Tide miniseries. This series was the longest-running for the character, lasting until its 75th issue. David left the series after issue 46 July after working on it for nearly four years. David began by giving Aquaman an entirely new look, forsaking his former clean-cut appearance.
Following his discoveries reading the Atlantis Chronicles during Time and Tide , Aquaman withdraws from the world for a time. Garth finds him weeks later, with his hair and beard grown long, brooding in his cave. Aquaman loses his left hand when the madman Charybdis , attempting to force Arthur to show him how he can harness Arthur's ability to communicate with sea life, sticks Arthur's hand into a piranha -infested pool.
His classic orange shirt is shredded in a battle with Lobo ,  and rather than replace it, he goes shirtless for a while before donning a gladiatorial manica. A major storyline, culminating in 25, concerns the Five Lost Cities of Atlantis. Facing an unearthly invading species linked to the origin of the Atlanteans, Aquaman has to search out and unite the lost cities.
This storyline establishes him as a Warrior King and a major political power, ruling largely undisputed over all the Atlantean cities. The remainder of Peter David's run focused on Orin coming to terms with his genetic heritage and his role as a king. During this time he discovers the remnants of a sentient alien ship beneath Poseidonis and is able to take control of it, returning Poseidonis to the surface and bringing Atlantis into greater contact with the outside world.
The cultural changes this brings about, including increased tourism, as well as his conflicting duties as superhero and king, bring him into increasing tension with the political powers in his city. The series ended with 75 January His second harpoon is also destroyed, this time in a battle with Noble, King of the Lurkers; he replaces it with a golden prosthetic hand developed by Atlantean scientists which can change shape at his command, thus retaining the powers of the harpoon but being more all-purpose. After a brief war with an island nation, Aquaman expands Atlantis' surface influence by annexing the country to Atlantis.
Aquaman had no regular series of his own from —, but his plot went through several developments via his cameo appearances in several other titles.
Aquaman was a founding member of the reformed JLA  and remained an active, if sometimes reluctant member of that team, until the " Our Worlds at War " storyline in shortly after the cancellation of Aquaman vol. The Justice League eventually found out that the city was still there, just magically shielded, but in ruins and apparently uninhabited.
The Atlanteans were trapped in the ancient past, where Tempest had sent them as a last measure when it appeared that the city would be destroyed by the probe. There, however, they were enslaved by their own Atlantean ancestors, led by a powerful sorceress named Gamemnae , and Aquaman himself was transformed into living water and imprisoned in an ornamental pool. Over time, this civilization had collapsed until only Gamemnae herself, now immensely powerful, inhabited the ruins. Aquaman is freed from his prison in the pool, and Zatanna enhances his powers so that he can now control the entire ocean as a water wraith.
With this power, Aquaman is able to sever Gamemnae's connection to the city by sinking it under the sea again. While he fights Gamemnae, the League members return the modern Atlanteans to the present, where they can begin rebuilding the city, which is once again at the bottom of the sea. A sixth Aquaman series began shortly afterward, initially written by Rick Veitch who sought to take Aquaman in a more mystical direction.
This series ran 57 issues, starting in December cover dated February Initially focusing on Aquaman's efforts to survive after he was exiled from Atlantis and the ocean, the theme of the storyline changed when Aquaman became involved after a sizeable portion of San Diego sunk into the ocean. Over the next few months, it was discovered that the sinking was the work of a scientist who had acquired a sample of Aquaman's DNA. Believing that the human race as it currently existed would destroy Earth, he had sunk the city while using the sample he took from Aquaman to convert most of the residents into water-breathers.
Aquaman goes on to establish himself as the protector of 'Sub Diego', aided by new Aquagirl Lorena Marquez , despite such problems as the human residents' poor reaction to being trapped underwater or Ocean Master's attempt to 'rewrite history' so that he is Aquaman while Orin is Ocean Master.
Starting with 40 May , following the events of the " Infinite Crisis " storyline, it was renamed Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis which ended with issue 57 October Following the " One Year Later " storyline starting with Aquaman vol. In this version, Aquaman is missing and presumed dead following the events of Infinite Crisis.
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A young man with aquatic powers by the name of Arthur Joseph Curry is summoned by the mysterious Dweller in the Depths to take up the mantle of Aquaman, but it gradually emerges that the Dweller himself is Aquaman, having lost much of his memory and been strangely mutated while gaining magical powers. See the Arthur Joseph Curry section, below. These changes were explained later during the "missing year" depicted in the weekly series Aquaman makes a brief appearance at the memorial for Superboy.
Sometime later Ralph Dibny , seemingly accompanied by Dr. Fate 's helmet, meets a bearded, long-haired, and amnesic Orin in the ruins of Atlantis. The helmet portends that " if he lives During Infinite Crisis, Orin makes a deal with the gods of the sea in a desperate bid to gain the power to save the lives of several Sub Diego inhabitants who had lost the ability to live in water.
Using the bones of his severed left hand in a magical ritual, the sea gods give Orin the power to raise Sub Diego onto dry land. However, as a side effect of this, Orin mutates into the "Dweller of the Depths", and loses his memories. In the midst of trying to help his successor, Arthur Joseph, the Dweller Orin is murdered by Narwhal. Orin seemingly reappears in Atlantis during the " Final Crisis " storyline to fend off the forces of Darkseid , but this Aquaman is revealed to be from another Earth in the multiverse. In Blackest Night 1, Garth returns to Atlantis and tells Orin's wife Mera that he is angry at the notion of Aquaman's body being buried on land.
Mera relays to Tempest that Orin felt safe on land and that it is indeed what he wanted. Sometime later, a black power ring is seen entering Orin's grave, bidding him to rise. Garth is killed and joins the Black Lanterns himself. Mera rejects the corpse before fleeing.
In the climax of the miniseries, Aquaman is among those resurrected by The White Lantern Entity , and is reunited with Mera. Because the Black Lantern Ring helps reconstruct Orin's body, when he is resurrected his hand is restored as well. Aquaman and Mera spend the night together in the lighthouse of Amnesty Bay, but in the morning Mera finds Arthur on the dock looking at the sea and wondering why he was resurrected.
While cleaning up an oil spill, Aquaman and Mera are attacked by soldiers from Mera's homeworld, led by Siren. Mera reveals that she was sent to kill him. She later reveals that Siren is her younger sister. Aquaman is told by the White Lantern Entity to find Jackson Hyde before a second, unidentified group does. It is revealed that Aquaman's Silver Age origin has been re-established and he is once again the half-human son of Tom Curry and an Atlantean queen. Afterward, Aquaman is reunited with Mera, at which point he discovers that the Xebels' weapons were made of Atlantean technology.
As part of The New 52 , DC's relaunch of their entire superhero line, Geoff Johns , Ivan Reis and Joe Prado served as the initial creative team of the company's new Aquaman series, the first issue of which was released September 28, The relaunched series cemented Aquaman's status as the half-human son of Tom Curry and Atlanna , and saw him return to Amnesty Bay with Mera.
Greatly distressed by the harsh treatment given to the oceans during his time as ruler of Atlantis, Aquaman decides to abdicate the Atlantean throne and return to full-time heroics. However, he struggles with his lack of reputation with the greater public, which views him as a lesser metahuman with less impressive powers than those of his peers. All of The Others have in their possession an enchanted relic from Atlantis. From to , an independent Aquaman and the Others series was launched based on the success of these new characters. The " Convergence " storyline gave Aquaman a new look at issue In this story, he has been deposed from his throne by Mera, now Queen of Atlantis, who is now hunting him as a fugitive.
Along the way, Arthur acquires some new powers and new equipment giving him access to powerful mystical capabilities. It is later revealed that Atlantis is really being run by Siren, identical twin sister of Mera, whom she has taken prisoner. Following the company-wide rebranding in DC Rebirth with one focus point to bring back legacy and relationships, Arthur finally proposes to Mera in DC Universe: Rebirth 1.
Notes on Contributors
Aquaman was given an eighth volume of his eponymous series, which started with a one-shot comic book entitled Aquaman: Rebirth 1 August This series kept writer Dan Abnett, who had taken over the title for the three last issues of the New 52 and who had previously written the character for a short time a decade earlier. The eighth volume of Aquaman focuses on Aquaman's role as king and diplomat, with Arthur attempting to strengthen Atlantis-surface relationships by opening an Atlantean embassy in Amnesty Bay, with Mera appointed as ambassador.
The series largely focuses on the main cast featured in the New 52 series consisting of Aquaman, Mera, and Black Manta, while also fleshing out forgotten side characters such as Lagoon Boy, Tula Aquagirl , Black Jack, and others. After the events of Drowned Earth Arthur losses his memories, he finds himself living amongst an enclave of island dwellers making their home on Unspoken Water. Namma, whose real name is actually Mother Salt, has every intention of drowning the world in brine with the intended consequence of killing everything that lives and breathes on it in revenge and to start over—remaking the universe in her own image.
Aquaman and the sea gods return to Amnesty Bay, the gods settle on Amnesty Island, in an abandoned lighthouse formerly occupied by Tristram Maurer, a 19th Century horror writer. An Amnesty Bay civilian named Ralph is killed during the fight, and at his funeral, Aquaman meets the resurrected Tristan Maurer. In Justice League 30, an unidentified man in a hooded cloak and mask is briefly shown lurking in the Hall of Justice, watching as the League brief an assemblage of superheroes of the current situation with the Legion of Doom.
This mysterious figure is revealed to be Aquaman, who has allied himself with the Anti-Monitor against Lex Luthor and Perpetua. Aquaman claims that the current fight against Doom is destined to fail, and that only he can avert disaster, insisting that the Totality must be transported to Atlantis. The new developments included a new lead character, a new supporting cast, and the inclusion of sword and sorcery —type fantasy elements in the series.
The character was short-lived, and was not seen much leading up to the revival of Aquaman in the Blackest Night miniseries, and he was not featured in DC continuity at all following its reboot, The New Arthur's story resembles versions of the original Aquaman's.