Since the launch of The New 52 in DC Comics no other character has had a more heroic (and appropriate) revamp than the King of the Seven Seas...Aquaman! Once to often the punchline in the past Arthur Curry has been re-imagined in the modern mythology has a force to be reckoned with...and he makes gold, green and gills look mighty fine at that.
In the new DC Universe Aquaman is (again) a founding member of the Justice League. He turns up early in their fight against invading forces from Darkseid and Apokolips and when the group of seven heroes decide to join forces as Earth’s Mightiest Heroes he rises to the occasion. Recently the group suffered a PR snafu that has shaken up the line-up and called to question who should lead the team.
Aquaman isn’t entirely happy with the way Batman runs the operation, and the Dark Knight calls to question Arthur’s loyalties, especially since for a short time early in his career the once-king of Atlantis was part of a subversive organization of clandestine mercenary agents called The Others. With their Justice League’s ranks currently experiencing a sense of desertion, whether the current roster can find a way to work past their internal issues is certainly putting the still fledging organization to the test.
Which seems like a perfect opportunity for the undersea forces of Atlantis to attach the surface world. After abdicating the throne to his brother, the warlord Ocean Master a recent accidental misfire by an American aircraft carrier running missile experiments, spurns the current leader of the undersea kingdom to unleash his fury on three major seaboard US cities including Boston, Metropolis and Gotham.
Aquaman quickly intervenes on the attack on Gotham, alongside his wife Mera and both help Batman to rescue the city. Superman and Wonder Woman are in Metropolis when the Atlantean tidal wave sends the offending aircraft carrier into the midst of the city streets. Boston is next to feel the onslaught which brings forth the Ocean Master who reveals his intentions to sink the city in retaliation for the accidental attack from the surface world.
Hoping to ease tensions, Aquaman confronts his brother and tells him to surrender, but the Justice League interrupt and leave Aquaman with no alternative but to choose sides!
Continuing the new tradition of reestablishing and reaffirming the mythology of its more than 75 year old characters the DC Universe is taking a very significant step to reshape its heroes to suit the more contemporary color of storytelling. Readers now expect their characters to have deep, conflicted personalities which tends to blur the lines between what’s right and wrong. And as the Justice League are practically gods walking among men (in Wonder Woman’s case this is very true) the new series is always toting the line between the group’s purpose as defenders of a civilization that questions their authority and sometimes fears their incredible might.
With this latest arc by the progenitor of the New 52 creative direction in the DC Universe, writer Geoff Johns continues to push the boundaries of the heroes own moral compasses, and as in this case the story with Aquaman, Johns is proving that the true King of Atlantis has risen to new heights, sitting formidably alongside the pantheon of heroes the likes of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman.
To find out who will sit on the “Throne of Atlantis” follow the tale that begins a bold new era in Justice League #15 and continues in Aquaman #15.
JC Alvarez is the Nightlife Editor for EDGE On The Net and a pop-culture columnist covering celebrity and entertainment. He is the voice behind the nationally syndicated Internet radio show “Out Loud & Live!” that broadcasts every Friday @ 9pm EST on www.modernworldradio.com.