Arthur Curry: 1983 - 2001
Princess Atlanna's first husband, Lord Trevis died in battle shortly after the two were wed. As is customary among grieving Atlanteans, Atlanna undertook a journey intended to help her regain her composure. Still young and foolhardy, Atlanna dared to undertake her sojourn among the surface-dwelling humans. It was while visiting Amnesty Bay that Queen Atlanna met Tom Curry, a human lighthouse keeper, and fell madly in love. Atlanna had a child with Tom, a child they named Arthur (after the titular character of “The Once and Future King”, which Tom had read to Atlanna) and for years, Atlanna was happy to live among the humans, neglecting her heritage and responsibilities... until the passing of her father required her to return home.
While sailing with Arthur, Atlanna's ship was scuttled by Atlantean scouts sent to retrieve Atlanna so she could be crowned. In the process, mother and son were both knocked unconscious and while Atlanna was claimed by the Atlanteans, Arthur was mistook for a human casualty and left floating in the sea by the scouts that had taken his mother. Arthur was later rescued by his father, washed up on the shore, injured but alive. Unable to find Atlanna, Tom and Arthur held a funeral and mourned their loss.
Tom took to drinking and though he was never an abusive father, he was never quite the same. Arthur was a troubled kid with a juvenile record to prove it. He was prone to violence and trouble never seemed to be far from him, but Arthur claims he never went looking for it... He just had a knack for letting it find him.
Uh huh, right. After Arthur's graduation, Tom celebrated with a few too many beers. In his drunken stupor, he saw Atlanna checking on her family from the sea, only to disappear when she realized she had been seen. Drunk, Tom jumped in after his believed to be dead wife. Arthur jumped in after him. Arthur saved his father from drowning that day, but one night after that summer, while Arthur was sleeping, Tom Curry took their sailboat out for a late-night voyage to look for Atlanna. Tom Curry was never seen again.
Orin of Atlantis: 2001 - 2009
After the death of his father, Arthur Curry found himself suffering from migraine headaches and, like his father before him, tried to self-medicate through alcohol, only to find no amount of beer, whiskey, or anything else he could find in Amnesty Bay would get Arthur drunk. Arthur kept this to himself and continued to run the lighthouse, becoming more and more reclusive.
One morning, Arthur went for a morning swim. Upon returning to the shore, Arthur found a ghost awaiting his return. Atlanna embraced him, proving she was alive and began the long story of where she had been these many years, and how she was the Queen of the underwater nation of Atlantis. It took some convincing to get Arthur to believe this tale of magic and mer-folk, but it explained many of the mysteries about his own life... except the migraines. When hearing of these headaches, Atlanna insisted that Arthur be brought to Atlantis.
Under the sea, Arthur learned many more things (like he could breathe underwater and he had a half-brother) and after meeting with the Royal Wizard of Atlantis, also learned that he had a rare gift. All Atlanteans were mildly telepathic, it is how they communicate underwater, but Arthur possessed the “Gift of Kordax”, a recessive trait present only among Atlanteans of royal lineage which enhanced their psionic ability to allow them to command sea-life, but also allowed them to not only project their thoughts for communication, but instinctively detect the intentions of others, giving them an edge in combat, diplomacy, and leadership.
Atlanna decided to legitimize Arthur, giving him the Atlantean name of Orin. Within a year, Arthur married his mother’s attendant, Mera. As Prince Orin, he talked his mother into officially making contact with the surface world in 2005 and became the nation’s ambassador to surface affairs, even becoming a superhero when the JLA invited him to join them (Flash named him “Aquaman”). Impressed with her son’s clear mastery of his gifts and hybrid heritage, Atlanna named Arthur heir to the throne, hoping to usher in a bright future for Atlantis. Instead, she brought her own death at the hands of her son, Orm, and bloody war for the throne of Atlantis.
Aquaman: 2010 - Present
It took Arthur years to rally the people of Atlantis against the armies and mercenaries of his half-brother Prince Orm (now calling himself Ocean Master). After the war, Arthur insisted he had work that needed to be done (and even a newborn son on top of it all), but at the urging of Mera and his Royal Court, with the war over, it was time for Arthur to pay his respects to his mother by undertaking the traditional journey of mourning.
So while Orin may have been forced to take a break, Arthur was always one who found manual labor the best way to clear his head. Arthur returned to the surface, with Mera and his son (Arthur, Jr, aka: “AJ”) in tow, restored his father’s lighthouse to working order, and began to take a more active role among the Justice League (which was now under the supervision of the United Nations). When it came time to return to Atlantis, Arthur did so, but realized more than ever he had before that he was meant to be a bridge between the people of the surface and the sea. To that end, Arthur trusted the daily operations of his kingdom to his wife, advisers, and even his young son, AJ who was already being trained to be much more proper monarch than his father.
This freed Arthur up to travel as a guardian and enforcer of the peace, whether in the sea or on the surface, often accompanying the Justice League on their adventures and representing the interests of Atlantis among the United Nations.
In his many years as Aquaman, Arthur has taken many pupils (two Aqualads, two Aquagirls, and even a Lagoon Boy) but through it all he has only had one real partner: Mera, his queen and consort, who he adores to this day, much to the complaint of many Justice League fangirls out there... Yes, even I admit I’ve gotten weak in the knees seeing him without a shirt.
When not on an adventure, Arthur is usually at home, and whether that is his castle under the sea or his humble lighthouse beside it, Arthur remains, above all, a champion of his people, human and Atlantean alike.
- Atlantean-Human Hybrid Physiology
- Superhuman Durability and Resilience
- Extreme Temperature Resistance
- Enhances Senses of Hearing, Balance and Touch
- Superhuman Speed and Reflexes
- Superhuman Strength and Stamina
- "Gift of Kordax" (Telepathic Ability)
- Trident of Neptune (Magical Weapon)
Trivia and Notes
- "Waterbearer" is his Oracle-given codename.
- Aquaman joined the Justice League of America in 2005 nominated by Superman.
- Stephanie Brown, Cassandra Cain and many other female heroes consider him hot, as seen in Oracle Files: Arthur Curry 1.
- Thanks to his power of telepathy he once caught Dick Grayson thinking dirty thoughts about Mera.
- His identity as Aquaman and Orin is known to the public (he is a public celebrity), but his identity as Arthur Curry is a secret to most.
- To the Atlanteans, Aquaman is Orin. Aquawoman is Mera. Tempest is Garth. They do not really have secret identities under the sea. Some have titles. Tempest is a title. Aquaman, Aquawoman, Aqualad, and Aquagirl are all essentially seen as roles to be filled. Tula was Aquagirl, now she is simply Tula. Kaldur'ahm was Aqualad, now he is simply Kaldur'ahm. Dolphin is and always was Dolphin. Kaldur and Tula do not really need hero names anymore. Both spend most of their time in service to the Throne in one form or another and both can use their Atlantean names among humans just as easily. They do not have secret identities to conceal.
- Orm often calls his brother "Orin zin'Atlan" ("zin" is used in Atlantean naming conventions to call someone a 'bastard child').
- In E27 Aquaman is a jovial badass. He likes to have fun and party with his friends, family, and subjects... but when he throws down, he throws down hard. He can hold his own against the likes of Kryptonians, Dark Knights, Amazonian demigoddesses, Green Lanterns, and Speedsters.
- His appearance is based on Jason Momoa, who portrays him in the Justice League and Aquaman DC Extended universe films.
- According to Roy, regarding Arthur's name, “I just felt like Arthur would feel like he was actually a Curry more so than an Atlan. After all, the people who raised him were Curry.”