Aquaman is one of the most well-known names in all comic books. The DC superhero first appeared on panel in More Fun Comics #73 in November of 1941 and has become a lasting face both in print and in other media – the character has appeared in live action television shows, animated televisions shows, computer games, in toy form and on countless forms of merchandise.
This year he will make his debut in a live action movie. He’s the wildcard character in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice in the DC Extended Universe – where he will go on to become a key member of the live action Justice League – and that has raised a few eyebrows – mainly because he’s often very underestimated by people who don’t know too much about him (thanks largely to depictions such as the Super Friends version of the character).
This article will put a few things straight about the aquatic superhero, highlight some of the reasons he’s often laughed at, and list some little-known facts about him. Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about Aquaman:
10. He Is The King Of The Biggest Country In The World
When you think of big countries, you think of the like of Russia, Canada, the United States of America and China. However, in the DC Universe, the biggest country in the world is Atlantis. Contrary to common opinion, Atlantis is not just a small city-state or a small continent – it comprises the five oceans and the seven seas, which makes it by far largest state in the world in DC continuity.
Atlantis has a total surface area covering around 361,900,000 kilometres squared – that makes it literally nine times bigger than the moon. Aquaman is the king of that place – perhaps some people should take him a little more seriously on that basis alone!
9. There’s Been More Than One Aquaman
Although there have obviously been several non-comic book versions of Aquaman (live action television show versions, animated versions, etc.), most people tend to believe that there has only ever been one version in the actual comic books – but that’s not actually the case at all. There have been two.
The first and classic version of Aquaman, is Arthur Curry AKA Orin. But he was temporarily succeeded by Arthur Joseph Curry when he died. Arthur Joseph Curry had his own adventures for several years, until Orin was resurrected during the 2009-2010 Blackest Night story arc and reclaimed his title.
8. His First Love Was A Dolphin
See, this kind of thing is why the poor guys gets laughed at so much. Lots of superheroes have love interests – Superman has Lois Lane, Spider-Man has Mary Jane Watson, Bruce Banner has Betty Ross etc – but Aquaman’s love life couldn’t be that normal, could it?
For some reason, DC’s writers originally decided that Aquaman’s first love would be a Dolphin. Yes, really. The dolphin in question was called Nera and the relationship (thankfully) came to an end though when Aquaman’s adopted brother (a dolphin as well) started to compete with him for her affection. Not only was the whole thing pretty weird, it’s actually pretty disgusting when you think about it!
7. The First Comic He Appeared In Has Sold For $75,000
November 1941’s More Fun Comics #73 saw the first appearance of Aquaman. It wasn’t a very prominent role, but the fact that the comic also saw the first appearance of another key DC superhero – Oliver Queen AKA the Green Arrow – makes the comic a very valuable item.
In fact, in mint condition, the comic has sold for a whopping $75,000. Even in terrible condition it is valued at a reasonable $300. It is actually considered to be the 86th most valuable comic in existence which, when you think about the number of comic books that have ever been published, is actually quite remarkable.
6. His Sidekick Was A Walrus
Again with the reasons he’s often laughed at – Aquaman once had a walrus sidekick by the name of Tusky. Tusky first appeared in Aquaman #36 in December of 1967 and has made sporadic appearances ever since.
Although he’s not the only animal sidekick that the character has had, he’s certainly the most bizarre. Tusky is unusually intelligent and has assisted Aquaman in various ways over the years. He also appeared in Aquaman’s animated series in which, bizarrely, he could survive for prolonged periods of time underwater – in spite of the fact that’s he’s quite obviously a marine mammal and shouldn’t be able to breathe underwater.
5. He Fought Namor
Aquaman and Namor are essentially the DC and Marvel equivalents of each other, as they are both members of their company’s respective Atlantean royal family. The debate about which of them would win in a fight is often discussed – but it has actually happened on the odd occasion of a crossover!
One of their confrontations ended with Aquaman dropping a whale on Namor. But during their fights a few things have been established; Aquaman struggles to telepathically control Namor because of his half-human nature, Aquaman is faster than Namor, but Namor is stronger than Aquaman. Interesting stuff!
4. The Justice League Isn’t The Only Team He’s Been In
Aquaman is, quite famously, a member of the Justice League – just like he will be in the DC Extended Universe – but they aren’t the only team he has ever been a member of in the comic books. In fact, he’s been a part of two others.
For starters, he inadvertently became a part of the Black Lantern Corps during the Blackest Night story arc, when a Black Lantern Ring arose him from his grave. But he has also been a member of The Others – a team consisting of himself, Ya’Wara, Prisoner-of-War, Operative, Sky Alchesay, Sayeh and Vostok-X – who were tasked with protecting a collection of powerful Atlantean weapons.
3. He Doesn’t “Talk To Fish”
One of the most common misconceptions about Aquaman is that his main ability is simply that he can “talk to fish.” This is wrong. The misconception stems from the fact that Aquaman can indeed communicate with sea-life, but it is in the form of telepathy, it includes every single creature that lives in the sea (fish included!), and it actually involves having near complete control over them all.
Aquaman could command an army of sharks, whales, octopus, stingrays, dolphins and whatever else he wished to attack an enemy on his behalf – that’s not a power that should be taken lightly (he can even say “release the Kraken” and THAT WILL HAPPEN). Of course, it’s not his only power – not by any stretch of the imagination…
2. He’s Nowhere Near As Weak As You Think
Most non-comic book fans, when they think of Aquaman, assume he’s just this half-man, half-sea-life dude who can talk to fish. That’s not actually the case at all – in fact that guy is pretty damn frighteningly powerful.
In addition to being able to telepathically control sea-life (again, NOT “talk to fish”), Aquaman is super-strong, super-durable, super-fast, able to survive in the sea or on land, has a regenerative healing factor and incredibly long lifespan, can control water to an extent and is a master of all Atlantean forms of combat. So, when Jason Momoa appears on screen as the character in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice – and indeed beyond that (he gets a solo movie in 2018) – don’t laugh him off. Give him a chance. You might be surprised.
1. He Did This…
See that picture above? That’s Aquaman and Darkseid. And do you see what is happening? That’s Aquaman shoving his trident straight into Darkseid’s face and actually injuring him severely.
Darkseid is one of the most powerful villains in DC comic books. He’s generally considered to be a Superman villain and is more powerful than the Man of Steel, but he has also been a villain to the entire Justice League and has proven himself capable of standing up to the entire team on his own in battle. Aquaman remains the only member of the team to ever puncture and make him bleed out. The dude is a big deal and deserves more respect for certain.