History of DC – Aquaman

by Anthony R. Ramirez
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As requested by one of our readers, here is the history of Aquaman.


Aquaman, who was created by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris, first appeared in More Fun Comics issue #73. The character is known for amazing swimming abilities, communication/mental telepathy with sea life and has superhuman strength. Though he has had other incarnations of his uniform, he most famously known for his orange long sleeve shirt and green pants. Throughout the character’s history, he has been ridiculed as being a “lame” superhero. Though recently with the New 52 incarnation of the character, he has turned into a hero not to be reckoned with. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves though. Let’s begin with the Golden Age of Aquaman.


Golden Age:
In the first origin story of Aquaman, the character narrates about his father being a famous undersea explorer who discovers what is believed to be the lost city of Atlantis. The explorer creates a watertight home for his son and himself and began studying the various records and devices of the underwater race. From these records and books, the explorer learned how to survive under the ocean, drawing oxygen from water and using the power of the sea.


Silver Age:
Writer Robert Bernstein and artist Ramona Fradon, who created the now famous alias of the character, Arthur Curry, created the Silver Age origin of the character. Arthur was the son of a lighthouse keeper and outcast Atlantian, Tom Curry. Finding out about his heritage, young Arthur discovered his various superpowers including the power of surviving underwater, communication with sea life and superhuman swimming abilities. With these newfound powers, Arthur became the hero of the sea calling himself, Aquaman.

Modern Age:
The character’s origin was expanded more in the mid-1980’s where he began wearing a new, deep-sea blue costume. Most the elements from the Silver Age were kept but expanded further into the characters mythos, adding mystical elements such as having Aquaman’s half brother, Ocean Master become a sorcerer.


By 1989, Aquaman’s history was again revamped again keeping much of the Silver Age plot in line. This new version of Aquaman was born as Orin to Queen Atlanna and the wizard Atlan in the Atlantean city of Poseidonis. As a baby, he was abandoned to the Mercy Reef due to his blonde hair, which was an Atlantean superstition that meant a curse known as “the mark of Kordax.”  As a child, various wild ocean creatures raised him. Eventually, Orin would be found by a lighthouse keeper named Arthur Curry, who then names Orin, you guessed it, “Arthur Curry.”


Orin or Arthur returned to the seas and discovered Poseidonis where he was captured and placed in a prison camp. There he met Vulko, a fellow prisoner who taught Orin the culture and language of Atlanteans. Orin learned that his mother was being captive but broke out of prison after her death. He returned to the surface where he took the name of “Aquaman.” Eventually, Aquaman went back to Poseidonis where he was made king.


In the New 52, Aquaman has been written to become a character not to be messed with. This new era of the character brought a few changes. One of them being that the hero wants to help humans more, rather than fighting the enemies of the sea. The new series also mentions how he doesn’t talk to fish; he uses telepathy to push sea creatures to help him. Within the first story arc the whole being a “joke hero” issue takes place as well. He is not taken seriously and is constantly made fun of by cops or criminals, to later be proven wrong as he saves lives or stops the criminals. Aquaman also returned to be a founding member of the Justice League and continues to be an amazing and powerful character in DC’s new era.


Well, that is it for the history of Aquaman. Remember, every week I’ll be covering the history of a requested character by you the fans. So which DC Comics character’s history would you like to see for next week? Just leave a comment below or on our Facebook page with the character’s name and the character most requested will be in the next weeks “History of DC.”

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