If you think you know Aquaman because you watched Super Friends growing up, you don’t know him at all. Aquaman is impressive, but Super Friends depicted him as a jovial dolphin lover with the ability to call on fish for help. His comic book persona is nothing like his lame Super Friends persona; in fact, Aquaman is a bona fide badass and there’s a lot that people don’t know about him. It’s a good thing DC is finally going to do fans some justice by reintroducing Aquaman to the mainstream in an upcoming live-action film.
The film, “Aquaman,” is slated to hit theaters sometime in 2018. Actor Jason Momoa will play Aquaman in the self-titled film and in the upcoming Justice League movie. In Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Aquaman was briefly introduced, but the role wasn’t terribly significant. Here’s hoping DC directors and producers will take into account Aquaman’s cooler abilities and overlooked storylines, including these lesser known facts about Aquaman.
15 He Has An Emotional Backstory
Aquaman’s humble beginnings are the basis for a difficult journey. He was born to Atlanna, an Atlantean princess and her human lover, Tom Curry. His mother died when he was quite young, leaving him to his father who trained him to use his abilities for good. His dad died before he could see his son become the hero he’d trained him to be.
To add to Aquaman’s already tragic background, he had a son with his wife Mera. His son, nicknamed Aquababy, was eventually murdered by his nemesis Black Manta. In “Death of a Prince,” an Adventure Comics offering, Mera blames Aquaman for the death of their son. It was a story so rife with emotion, and so well-told, it actually revived the Aquaman series, which until then seemed on its last leg.
14 His Enemies Are Frightening
Aquaman routinely squares off against sea monsters, as well as supervillains and other superheroes. Most heroes only face villains and each other, but the oceans are full of massive sea-monsters and it is Aquaman’s duty to protect the innocent from these monstrosities. The Trench, massive creatures with huge sharp teeth, are one of the more common sea-monsters Aquaman faces.
When he’s not battling sea monsters, Aquaman is fighting a slew of villains. Ocean Master is Aquaman’s brother and his archenemy. Like Aquaman, he has telepathy and can manipulate magical energy. Black Manta, famous for killing Aquababy, is arguably Aquaman’s most infamous and deadly nemesis. The Dead King and The Thirst are also notable enemies, and there’s Charybdis who caused Aquaman to lose his hand in 1994. This is just scratching the surface of Aquaman’s long list of formidable and frightening opponents, including many of the land enemies that threatened the Justice League.
13 He’s Basically A Necromancer
At one point, DC killed off Aquaman only to revive him for the Brightest Day crossover event. Aquaman was imbued with a dark power that allowed him to resurrect undead marine life.
Aquaman’s story arc had him battling enemies to rescue Aqualad (his main sidekick), but instead of calling on his traditional battle aids (meaning: live animals), he summoned dead animals to help him defeat Black Manta and prevent a war between Xebel and Atlantic. It was never fully explained why Aquaman chose to revive the rotting carcasses of sharks and others to fight alongside him in battle, but he did and that makes him a necromancer.
12 He Is A Killer
Traditionally, DC superheroes abhor killing. The biggest names, Superman and Batman, do whatever they can to avoid taking a life (even sparing the lives of their enemies). Aquaman has routinely strayed from this moral obligation, and has chosen to kill a number of his enemies. Although Aquaman has shown empathy to many of his enemies, he often goes into battle planning to kill them. He wields his weapons against them, but also commands vicious sea creatures, such as sharks, to tear them apart.
He has unintentionally killed too, such as when he accidentally killed Black Manta’s father. This mistake would lead to the death of Aquababy, as Black Manta swore revenge after Aquaman killed his dad. It would also lead to a number of troubling and violent marital problems, but thankfully he never kills his wife; she tries, unsuccessfully, to kill him many times.
11 He Can Create And Control Tidal Waves
Over the years, Aquaman has been imbued with some pretty amazing powers. He wasn’t born with the ability to create and control tidal waves; instead, this power was granted to him by the Lady of the Lake. It’s called the Waterbearer Hand, and it’s responsible for many of Aquaman’s coolest abilities.
For a long time, he was imprisoned in the past in a pool of water. His Justice League buddies traveled back in time and were able to rescue him. During this storyline, Zatanna makes Aquaman a water wraith and grants him a number of new powers, including the ability to control the entire ocean. With this power, he’s able to create huge tidal waves and direct them to destroy at his command.
10 He Can’t Talk To Fish
You’ve probably heard that Aquaman can talk to fish and other sea animals, but that’s not even scratching the surface of his telepathic ability. In fact, he doesn’t talk to fish at all. He controls their minds. There’s no back and forth dialog here. He gets inside their heads, and he directs them to aid him in battle or perform separate rescue missions. He can do this from a great distance using his advanced sonar ability.
His telepathy power isn’t inherent to the sea. He can telepathically communicate with land creatures too, if they evolved from the ocean. This means he can telepathically communicate with humans, and influence their choices or weaken their minds.
9 His Trident Has Some Extraordinary Abilities Too
Aquaman was born with a great deal of magic and, as previously mentioned, had magic gifted to him by other characters in the DC universe. His trident, iconic and quintessential to his character, is imbued with some magic of its own. It’s unknown which of the many origin stories the trident will receive in the upcoming film, but it certainly will be in the film because it’s integral to Aquaman’s character.
The trident can create incredible force fields, shoot lighting from its blades, and control water. Although not on par with Thor’s ability to control weather, Aquaman’s trident has some weather-controlling abilities. In some comic and television storylines, Aquaman has used the trident to turn creatures into other creatures and make stuff disappear, but these powers come and go depending on the program.
8 His Wife Is A Badass Too
Red-headed Mera is a badass warrior of the sea. She’s from Xebel, located in the Bermuda Triangle, and only met Aquaman because she was charged with killing him. Instead, they fell in love and got married, but like their tumultuous start, Mera never takes much crap from her husband. They fight a lot, and she has an entire storyline dedicated to her battles with mental illness. Gorgeous Amber Heard is cast to play her in the movie, but there’s no word yet if they’ll tackle the years she spent in an insane asylum.
While separated from Aquaman, because she blamed him for the death of their son, she caught her hubby in bed with Dolphin (not a dolphin, but a character named Dolphin). The two also fought over her original plan to kill him, and many of these arguments turned violent. Mera holds her own in battles with Aquaman because she’s royalty too, and shares many of his same powers.
7 He Is The King Of Atlantis
As a child, Aquaman’s dad taught him to be a leader. This eventually led to his taking the throne in Atlantis, although he took it begrudgingly. He wasn’t exactly comfortable ruling, but that’s perhaps why he is such a good ruler. As Atlantis’ ruler, he has control of the entire Atlantean army, which is the most powerful army on earth.
Unfortunately, his kingship is constantly tested. He frequently has to defend the throne, and at one point his brother and archenemy, Ocean Master, was able to lay claim to the throne. This gave him power over the Atlantean army, and resulted in a pretty epic battle. Of course Aquaman won, but it was no easy feat taking down the most powerful army on earth.
6 He’s Punched Death In The Face
Aquaman isn’t egotistical, but he is very confident. Unlike other DC characters, he doesn’t let the tragedies of his past effect his current self-esteem. He’s neither depressed nor conflicted, which makes him pretty badass. He frequently displays his confidence (not to be confused with cockiness; he’s not cocky). One of his most courageous and badass moments comes when he punches Death right in the jaw.
Triton is another of Aquaman’s legendary enemies, and it’s he who sends Aquaman to the other side. In the afterlife, he meets and is threatened by Hades. In true badass form, Aquaman punches Death square in the jaw and sends him crashing into the River Styx. Ever the wordsmith, when Hades tells Aquaman, “Pay the Ferryman,” Aquaman knocks him out and says, “Keep the change.”
5 He Co-Founded The Justice League
The founding members of the Justice League are Aquaman, Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, and The Flash. As a founding member, Aquaman is one of the Seven Titans, and has faced off against some of the Justice League’s most formidable foes, including the Crime Syndicate, Darkseid, and Starro.
He in the Justice League of America series. He was widely seen throughout the 1960s gallivanting with his Justice League team saving the world. In the 80s, a very depleted Justice team relies on their new leader, Aquaman, to defend the Earth against a race of Martians.
4 He Has A Much Larger Universe Than Any Other DC Character
The earth is more than 70 percent water-covered, and protecting all of that water is Aquaman’s responsibility. Other DC heroes, including Batman and Superman, basically care for a single city (Gotham and Metropolis respectively). They get out of town to save the world every once in a while, but that’s nothing compared to being responsible for all the conflicts in all the earth’s oceans.
Given that he also sets on adventures with the Justice League, Aquaman must traverse the world in order to defend Earth against enemies hell-bent on destroying the world. That, and defending the world's oceans, Aquaman truly is a global superhero.
3 He Lost A Hand And Replaced It With A Trident
In the comics, there are a few variations in regards to the loss of his hand. In one story, Aquaman’s hand is cut off by Black Manta. In another more violent encounter, Charybdis uses his mind control over sea creatures to command piranhas to chew Aquaman’s hand off. In the Charybdis version, Aquaman actually sacrificed his hand to save innocent sea creatures, proving his empathy supersedes self-preservation.
In true badass form, Aquaman doesn’t live without a hand for long. He attaches a harpoon to the wrist, and uses it to attack and impale his enemies. His harpoon hand is among his most iconic weaponry, second only to his trident.
2 His Powers Are Far From Lame
Aquaman has an incredible arsenal of powers. Over the years, he’s gained and lost more powers than any other character in the DC universe. Not only can he control the sea and communicate/control beings telepathically, he can create portals between worlds. He has superhuman strength, and is so strong he is a formidable against Superman and has bested Gods.
He has super hearing, super sonar, and he can fly. Poseidon granted Aquaman the power of flight, but he doesn’t use it very often. He’s more skilled underwater where he can swim faster than Superman can fly. On land, he’s a bit slow, but under the sea he can swim up to 7,000 miles per hour. The Waterbearer Hand also grants him the power to heal the injured, but the extent of his healing capabilities hasn’t been fully tested in the comic books.
1 He Can Travel Between Worlds
Few characters in the DC universe can leave earth for other dimensions. Aquaman is one of the special few with this gift. He can open interdimensional portals and instantly travel to anywhere on earth and beyond. Not only is this an awesome power, it’s also made for some interesting battles too. He has bested enemies from other planets and dimensions using teleportation.
It will be interesting to see if the Aquaman film tackles the Waterbearer Hand storyline, or if the film focuses more on his origin story and eventual rise to king of Atlantis. It is doubtful Aquaman will have all of these powers in the upcoming Justice League film, which is slated to release sometime in 2017, but he should have a cool sampling of many of them. What powers Aquaman has in Justice League should provide some clues about the powers he’ll nurture and gain in the self-titled film.