AquamanBack to Heroes Main > Aquaman
Real Identity: Arthur
Affiliation(s): Justice League Unlimited
Appearances (STAS): A Fish Story
Appearances (JL/U): The Enemy Below Part One, Part Two, Terror Beyond Part One, Part Two, Hereafter Part One, Initiation, Ultimatum, Dark Heart and Wake the Dead
Appearances (JLI Comics): The Mirror Crack'd Part Three
Powers: Survival Underwater, Marine Telepathy, Enhanced Strength, and Unarmed Combat
Family: Mera (wife), Orm (brother), infant son Arthur & future daughter Marina
Voiced By: Miguel Ferrer and Scott Rummel
Arthur is the latest hereditary king of the underwater city-state of Atlantis. Arthur presides as a stern and austere leader and is dedicated to protecting his kingdom. Arthur possesses the ability to communicate on a telepathic level with sea life, including maritime birds, fish and other mammals. He also commands the Atlantean army, one of the most technologically advanced on the planet. However, he only had battled with natural reoccurring threats such as the Fire Trolls.
With the growing industrialization of the surface world, Arthur and his army have made brief appearances to stop encroachments on Atlantis. As a result, Arthur was dubbed 'Aquaman,' an urban legend. On one occassion, LexCorp began a series of explosives testing off the eastern seaboard. These explosions began to damage Atlantis' perimeter. Arthur journeyed to the surface alone to end the threat. Arthur was beaten, imprisoned and branded as an ecological terrorist by Lex Luthor. While being detained at an aquarium, Arthur telepathically communicated a distress call to all nearby sea life. Lois Lane stumbled upon Arthur's cell and freed him. After reuniting with the sea, Arthur activated his military. At Superman's behest, any deaths were prevented. Arthur remained wary of trusting the surface.
Some years later, Arthur and his wife, Mera had their first child together, Arthur Junior. Shortly after, the nuclear submarine USS Defiant got too close to Atlantis. Defiant was easily crippled. The Justice League replied to their SOS and convinced Arthur to voice his concerns to the World Assembly. However, he had no desire for drawn out, protracted negotiations but for an immediate solution. Arthur's brother, Orm took advantage of the political tension to usurp power. Orm hired the assassin, Deadshot to kill Arthur. Arthur was taken to the Metropolis Medical Center following an attempt on his life. His vitals failed to improve. Given his unique physiology, Batman deduced that Arthur's body needed 3.5% saline in his submersion tank to simulate a salt water environment. Arthur soon healed and briefly allowed the League to draw out Deadshot. Deadshot revealed he was paid off with Spanish gold, accessible to Atlanteans.
Arthur returned to Atlantis to find Orm staged a coup de'tat. Arthur was bound to an elaborate death trap with his son on an undersea fault line. Using his belt buckle, Arthur severed his left hand to save his son. With the aid of an Atlantean physician, a retractable hook was grafted to his arm. Arthur realized Orm intended to activate Atlantis' last line of defense, the Doomsday Thermal Reactor with Plutonium stolen from the USS Defiant. While Arthur confronted Orm, Batman and Green Lantern, John Stewart, attempted a manual shutdown of the reactor. After succeeding, Arthur regained control of Atlantis and liquidated his military cabinet.
Thousands of years ago, before Atlantis sank, the kingdom was ruled by sorceror kings. At the time, Poseidon presided. The ancient Earth was attacked by extradimensional beings called the Old Ones. Poseidon gathered the ambiuant mystical energy and forged it into the Trident. With it, he banished the Old Ones to another dimension. However, with the magic disturbed, Atlantis sank into the ocean. In the present, fissures began to form and allowed the Old Ones to attempt a second invasion. Arthur allied with Dr. Fate to reseal the holes. The third component of the plan required the presence of a deadman. They chose Solomon Grundy. Grundy's sacrifice won even Arthur's respect.
Arthur later joined the expanded Justice League as Aquaman. At one time, he attempted to jolt Shayera Hol out of her self-imposed exile. Even Arthur admired Hol's warrior ethics embodied in Hawkgirl. The series of chess games failed but Grundy was revived with Chaos magic by accident and it drew Hol out. Arthur's tenure with the League was short lived. The World Assembly refused to acknowledge the threat of global warming. As a result, Atlantis withdrew from the Assembly and Arthur went on leave. During the multiverse crisis, Aquaman reported to the Watchtower that half of Atlantis was replaced with something so alien he could not describe it.
Between the next 50 years, Arthur and Mera had their second child, a daughter who they named Marina. However, in that time, Arthur went missing for unknown reasons. To solve this mystery, Marina joined the Justice League and hoped they would eventually find a lead. 15 years later, Arthur was found and officially passed down his title to Marina, codenamed Aquagirl and ceded his belt buckle to her.