4 Aquaman Comics to Read Before the Movie

Updated on October 3, 2019
Daiana Gauna profile image

Bachelor of Audiovisual Production and Direction. Avid comic book reader. Proud nerd.

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There has never been a better time to be a superhero fan. From our shelves to the big screen, these marvelous crusaders have taken over the entertainment world, spreading his sense of heroism in an endless battle of good versus evil.

Back in the golden age of comics, when creators Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris created Aquaman, we can only imagine their dreams and aspirations for the character. Although we can guess they did not imagine that, in the year 2018, Aquaman’s movie would be one of the most anticipated of the year.

And to us, the fans, there are over 75 years of Aquaman stories to catch up on before the movie. Below is a list of Aquaman’s most relevant comics, those you would want to read before heading to the theatre; after all, you would not want to be the only one in your party who doesn’t know Vulko, Ocean Master, or Aquababy.

Even though there are hundreds of great Aquaman stories, this list is limited to those stories currently edited, that is to say, you can go to your local comic shop this very day and find them on the shelves. Or, you can always go to Comixology if you are more of a digital reader.

Without further ado, we plunge into the pages of Aquaman. Enjoy!

Many have heard the legend of Aquaman, but who will believe so strange a tale?

Most amazing of all the secrets of the sea is the story of Aquaman, who, like a water-god of old, dwells in the dim unknown depths of the ocean, leaping forth to do battle with the evils and injustices of the world we know…

— Extract from "More Fun Comics" #73, Aquaman’s first appearance, by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris.
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1. "Aquaman: The Trench"

  • Writer: Geoff Johns
  • Penciller: Ivan Reis

During the New 52 initiative, Aquaman, like most DC characters, got a new origin. This fresh start makes it easy for new readers to jump into the mythos of Aquaman, without the nuisance of feeling lost within decades of continuity.

In this volume, comic book superstars Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis bring us a man divided between two worlds, the surface and Atlantis. On the surface world, he is the object of jokes and demeaning remarks. In Atlantis, he is treated as a traitor who turned his back on his people. But, alas, will he prove everyone wrong, so wrong. When a species of deadly sea monsters attack the shores of Amnesty Bay, Arthur Curry must protect the same city who thinks him a joke.

The Trench is a great starting point to get to know Aquaman, his fearless partner Mera and shatter a few aqua-myths.

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2. "Aquaman" by Peter David - Book One

  • Writer: Peter David
  • Pencillers: Martin Egeland, Kirk Jarvinen, Gene Gonzales, Jim Calafiore, Casey Jones

Peter David’s Aquaman is the book to shove in the face of anyone who thinks Aquaman is lame. In this volume, Aquaman has had it with everyone. His mother is dead and he never knew his father. To the worry of his friends, Aquaman gets more and more secluded, and things only get worse for him when he loses his hand during a battle with the villain Charybdis. Far from being gloomy over the loss of his extremity, to everyone’s shock, Aquaman replaces it with a harpoon, a symbol of the cruelty of the surface world. I bet you don’t think Aquaman is lame now.

The complex storytelling and ground-breaking elements of this comic make it a must-read for every Aqua-fan. Besides, many would agree that Jason Momoa’s look—and attitude—for Aquaman was highly inspired in this book.

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3. "Justice League: Throne of Atlantis"

  • Writer: Geoff Johns
  • Pencillers: Ivan Reis, Paul Pelletier

Game of Thrones underwater, that is how we could describe the struggles of power and schemes taking place in this comic. When a mysterious orchestrator launches an attack on the oceans, Aquaman’s half-brother, Orm, now the king of Atlantis, starts a war with the surface world. Gotham City is the target of a massive Atlantean invasion and immense floods. With the help of the Justice League, Aquaman must protect the innocents while fighting his own people.

Arthur feels more out of place than ever when his fellow justice leaguers question him for not taking action against his brother, while Atlanteans see him more like an air-breather than one of their own.

This comic is a great look at Arthur’s responsibilities as a hero, his place within the Justice League, the story of his parents and his complicated relationship with Orm.

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4. "Aquaman: A Celebration of 75 Years"

Featuring multiple creative teams, this collected edition is a wonderful journey through seven decades of Aquaman’s adventures. From fighting pirates to his college days, his marriage with Mera, the story of his sidekick Aqualad, and some of the most brutal battles with Ocean Master and Black Manta.

Perfectly curated, the stories in this book are presented chronologically, from his first appearance in 1941 to his revitalization in modern-day comics.

Notable stories included in this collected edition are How Aquaman got his Powers, The Wife of Aquaman, Aquaman meets Aquagirl, Dark Destiny, Deadly Dreams, Single Wet Female—also included in Aquaman by Peter David—The End of the Justice League, among many others.

Hero, King, outcast, ruler of the seas, a man divided between two worlds, Aquaman has lived many adventures since his first appearance in 1941. Now, we look forward to seeing him conquering the big screen and the hearts of millions.

© 2018 Daiana Gauna

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