Aquaman: a journey through the comic history of cinema’s hero of the moment

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Following success on the big screen, the king of Atlantis, Aquaman, portrayed by the highly acclaimed Jason Momoa, is establishing himself within the imagination and in the merchandise of DC Comics.

The comic character, as well as being aesthetically distinct from his cinematic counterpart, is little known by the wider public. That’s why we’ve decided to offer you a little foray into the print history of the Atlantean hero.

Aquaman, half human and half Atlantean

Aquaman makes his debut in 1941 within the pages of DC Comics with the name Arthur Curry, born of the union between a lighthouse keeper, Thomas Curry, and the Atlantean Atlanna.

Upon the death of his mother, Arthur becomes aware of his powers, adopts the name Aquaman and decides to join the Justice League of America, created with the mission of protecting human beings.

Aquaman Justice League DC

A new beginning for Aquaman

The renowned DC Comics release entitled Crisis on Infinite Earths marked an utter transformation of the stories of several heroes. Aquaman was not excluded from that transformation, and thus his character was completely rewritten by Peter David. According to this new version, Aquaman was born of the union between Atlanna and a wizard named Atlan. Then, adopted by the lighthouse keeper Tom Curry, he acquires his original name, Arthur Curry, bestowed upon him by his adoptive father.

Unlike the previous Aquaman, this version of the character exhibits greater difficulty integrating within a civilisation he perceives as alien and as the adversary of the marine world to which the hero feels he belongs.

aquaman dc comics

Another, more human Aquaman

In 2006 a second Aquaman makes his appearance in issue 40 of the DC comic Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis, created by Kurt Busiek and Jackson Guice. This character is called Arthur Joseph Curry and is the unfortunate son of Philip Curry, born with a severe lung deformity. It is because of that congenital defect that his father decides to try out a special serum on Arthur that will allow him to breathe underwater.

After coming into contact with several iconic DC comic characters, the “second” Aquaman finds out the truth about his origins: his powers in fact stemmed from a sample of magical water derived from Orin, the original Aquaman, who had gifted it to Philip Curry.

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