Aquaman first appeared in
More Fun Comics #73, and was created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger.
Initially a backup feature in DC's anthology titles, Aquaman later featured
in his own title. Nearly two decades later, during the superhero-revival
period known as the Silver Age of Comic Books, he was a founding member
of the Justice League of America. Later still, in the 1990s-present Modern
Age of Comic Books, Aquaman's character became more serious, with storylines
depicting the weight of his role as King of Atlantis.
Aquaman has a number of superhuman
powers, most of which derive from the fact that he is adapted to live in
the depths of the ocean. Primary among his powers is the ability to extract
oxygen from water, allowing him to 'breathe' while submerged. He is unaffected
by the immense pressure and the cold temperature of the ocean depths; further,
he possesses an enhanced resistance to injury and superhuman strength (he
can easily throw a car hundreds of feet). He is likewise able to swim at
very high speeds. He can see in near total darkness and has enhanced hearing.
Although he can remain underwater indefinitely without suffering any ill
effects, Aquaman grows weak if he remains on land for extended periods.
Aquaman's most famous (or
infamous) power is the telepathic ability to communicate with/command oceanic
life. The range of this power is unclear; certainly he can summon sea life
from vast distances. Although this power is most often and most easily
used on marine life, Aquaman has on multiple occasions demonstrated the
capacity to affect any being evolved from marine life, or that lives upon
Aquaman's telepathic abilities
are otherwise unrefined but it has been demonstrated on multiple occasions
that he can use his abilities to supplement other more skilled telepaths
such as J'onn J'onzz. He has also demonstrated classic telepathic abilities
like telepathic eavesdropping on people's thoughts, but this ability was
After the loss of his hand,
Aquaman initially replaced it with a cybernetic harpoon that responded
to his thoughts and could be fired while staying attached via a retractable
line. Later, the harpoon was replaced by the Waterbearer hand, given to
him by the Lady of the Lake. This hand is magical in nature; it grants
Aquaman numerous abilities, including but not limited to the ability to
dehydrate anyone he touches with it, killing them instantly; to make the
Hand extremely dense, thus taking Aquaman to the ocean floor quickly; to
shoot jets of scalding water; healing abilities; and the ability to nullify
Black Manta is his arch-nemesis.