Another playable character confirmed for the upcoming videogame Injustice: Gods Among Us: this time is Aquaman, lord of Atlantis. Aquaman already appeared in Smallville played by Alan Ritchson, and this version saw him as an echo-terrorist turned superhero, a man who found out about his secret royal origins later in the series. Justin Hartley portrayed the hero in the pilot episode of Mercy Reef, a tv series that The WB chose not to buy, despite it having quite a huge fandom after its online release. The show would have saw a young Arthur Curry learning of his true origins and destiny as the future king of Atlantis. Anyway, Aquaman is sadly famous for being one of history’s most mocked heroes, since his power of “talking to fish” is often seen as quite stupid and useless. Actually, in the comics he’s one of the most powerful members of Justice League of America. Let’s see why.
There are many versions of Aquaman’s origins. The first and most known one tells that princess Atlanna from Atlantis was banished because of her interest to the surface world, and was found on the shore, during a storm, by lighthouse keeper Tom Curry. The two fell in love, and from their relation Arthur was born, a human-Atlantean hybrid, who would have used his natural powers, such as breathing under water, controlling every kind of sea life and an immense strength and speed, to claim his place as the rightful king of Atlantis. The story, anyway, has been retold: Atlanna was the queen of Atlantis, and her husband, King Trevis, was unable to conceive a son. One night, Atlanna was visited in a dream by Atlan, a centenarian wizard, who seduced her and impregnated her (Atlan would have had another son from Atlanna, Orm). When the baby was born, Trevis immediately understood that Orin wasn’t his own, because of his blonde hair: no Atlantean is born with blonde hair, and the few blonde ones are considered to be cursed. Little Orin was then abandoned on Mercy Reef, an outcropping of coral on which Atlanteans exposed their unwanted children. Thanks to his ability of communicating with sea life, Orin was adopted by a dolphin female, Porm. He met the humans when a group of fishermen killed his adoptive brother, Drin, but he managed also to see that there existed good humans when he met Tom Curry, a lonely lighthouse keeper who adopted him as a son, and named him Arthur. Tom immediately understood that the child was special: it’s not a common thing to see a kid speaking with any fish he met, breathing underwater and swimming at an incredible speed. He raised him with a strong moral code, teaching him justice and respect for any form of life. When Tom died, Arthur moved to Alaska, where he fell in love with an Eskimo girl, Kako. She got pregnant, but, before Arthur could learn of it, he was challenged by Nuliajuk, the Mother of All Monsters, an Inuit god who was haunting Kako. Arthur fought the goddess, but was forced to leave Alaska as a result. During his wandering, he met Diana of Themyscira, who was being chased by Triton, the sea god son of Poseidon; Arthur defended Diana from Triton, thus making another god an enemy. It was Diana that identified Arthur as an Atlantean, and taught him the way to reach his home country. When Arthur arrived in Atlantis, anyway, he was put under arrest and forced to hard labor. He met Nuidis Vulko, another outcast, who taught him Atlantean language, and informed him that his real mother, Atlanna, had died during his absence. Without a possibility of knowing his real mother, Arthur escaped, freeing others in the process, but with the intention of never to return in Atlantis.
Once again on the surface, in Crescent Shore, Arthur (who had learnt his Atlantean name, Orin) met a curious man, the super criminal known as The Trickster: another masked man, The Flash, was fighting him, and, upon learning who was the “good one” and who the “bad one”, Arthur helped Flash to capture him. During the press conference following Trickster’s arrest, The Flash introduced Orin to the world as “Aquaman”, with the first super-name he came up with. The two became friends, and they met again to fight the aliens Apellaxians, who were trying to invade Earth; along with them, this time, other heroes joined them in the battle: Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter. Together, they founded the Justice League of America, to face those threats that were too much for any of them alone. After some adventures on the surface, Orin eventually came back to Atlantis, unable to resist the call of his homeland. In here, he found out that Vulko, after being freed from the prison, had led a rebellion against the king, claiming the throne for Orin, sure that he would have returned. Vulko, in fact, had been a close friend of Atlanna, and voted against exposing Orin. Gratefull, Orin helped Vulko with the rebellion; together they defeated the royal army, and Atlanna’s son finally claimed Atlantis’ throne for himself. Since he had many commitments with the surface people, Orin named Vulko his regent, having him rule in his absence. With the years, Aquaman became one of the most popular heroes for the surface people, and proved to be a loyal friend and a reliable ally for his Justice League comrades. He took with himself another Atlantean abandoned child, Garth, and made him his sidekick, known on the surface as Aqualad. He also met the alien Mera, queen of Dimension Aqua, and he fell in love with her; the two eventually married, and had a son, Arthur Jr. Aquaman lost a hand in a fight with terrorist Charybdis, and replaced it first with a hook, then with an artificial hand made with magical water.
Arthur Curry, born Orin, is a noble and just king, always worried for his people’s sake; his double nature as a citizen of the abyss and of the surface often puts him in an uncomfortable position, trying to mediate between needs and interests often clashing. He protects the Seven Seas with his life, and has his to command the entire Atlantean army, and the most vicious and powerful sea creatures which he can summon thanks to his psychic powers. As Aquaman, he also possesses superhuman strength, speed, stamina and durability, which double when he’s under water (in the ocean, he can also be stronger than Superman). He’s able to adapt his physiology to survive both on the planet’s surface and in the bottom of the deepest oceans, breathing water or oxygen at will, with his body able to sustain incredible pressures. With great fighting abilities and a strong sense of justice, Aquaman is one of the Justice League’s most powerful members, but his divided interest between his friends and his kingdom often forces him to make unpopular choices in taking a position.