Pre-Crisis and Post-Crisis incarnationsThe most well-known aquatic superhero, Aquaman is the king of Atlantis. Known underwater as King Orin, and by surface-dwellers as Arthur Curry, he strives to protect the seas and the surface using his abilities.He disappeared sometime after Infinite Crisis due to making a deal with the water gods to save the inhabitants of Sub Diego, after which he became the Dweller in the Depths, the mentor to the second Aquaman, Arthur Joseph Curry. Orin died at the end of the Sword of Atlantis series, murdered by the undead assassin Narwhal, but during the events of Blackest Night, he was brought back as Aquaman thanks to the White Entity.
Badass Boast: Even though Arthur is pretty humble, you can expect him to throw one of these towards anyone who underestimates him.
Aquaman: "I know there are certain benighted souls who think I'm some kind of third rate hero, Scavenger, but I think you of all people would know better! But since you seem a bit confused, let me make this perfectly clear...I was in the world saving game when people like Firestorm and Black Lightning were still in diapers...I've worked hard to earn the respect and trust of every living creature below the waves, and I take my job very seriously...so get this through your head, punk, I'm Aquaman, King of the Seven Seas...and I'm the BEST!"
Berserk Button: Harming any of his friends, and especially his wife, is not a good idea in the least. Why? Because unlike many other heroes, Orin does not have a no-kill code.
Dead Guy Junior: Post-Crisis, he's given the name "Arthur Curry" from his adoptive human father.
Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Constantly. Aquaman throws down with Gods and Lovecraftian Horrors on the reg. He apparently has a yearly pact with Etrigan to drive down a very Cthulhu-like beast down to its home.
Hour of Power: He could only stay out of water for only one hour in the Silver Age.
In a Single Bound: Being fully adapted to live in the pressure of the deepest sea trenches, he's able to leap miles at a time through the air, with Incredible Hulk-like jumps.
Knight in Sour Armor: Most modern depictions of Aquaman have him somewhat grumpy and anti-social, but at the same time he can be very empathic towards others and does care a lot for the well being of both humans and Atlanteans, even if he has a hard time showing it.
Lightning Bruiser: Impossibly fast and agile in the sea (and still far faster than any normal human on land), and can take blows from Superman like it was nothing.
Mentor: To Arthur Joseph Curry, the second Aquaman.
To both Aqualads too.
Papa Wolf: Fuck with his kids or Atlantis and you'll have to answer to him before the day is over, and by "answer to", expect to either have to fight him or run like hell and hide behind someone who can handle him in a direct fight.
Telepathy: Contrary to popular belief, Aquaman can indeed do more than speak to sea creatures. His telepathy extends to anything that's evolved from the sea. Which includes Atlanteans and humans and even Martians.
Taken Up to Eleven when he learned to tap into the Clear, a matrix that connects all sea life in the world which allowed him to see, hear, and feel everything that all live in the ocean have ever experienced.
Unscrupulous Hero: Has crossed into this realm here and there. He's still easily the most brutal member of the League even on his best days.
New 52 IncarnationArthur is the son of Atlanna, the Queen of Atlantis, and Tom Curry, a lighthouse keeper. Atlanna returned to Atlantis soon after Arthur was born, but his father spent the rest of his life waiting for her. Arthur was raised to learn responsibility, and was trained in his powers by his father's friend Stephen Shin. However after the death of his father and Shin revealing him to the world, he leaves the surface after finding his mother's former adviser Vulko. There, he met him half-brother Orm, and became the King of Atlantis. Eventually, he abandons his duties after falling in love with Mera, the Princess of Xebel, and decides to fully commit to superheroing on the surface world, even founding the Justice League. Eventually, circumstances force him to return to the throne, to be ruler of people half of which hate him.
Badass: Though many people don't know it. He proves them wrong, and by this point no longer deals with the "Aquaman is useless" stigma in-universe.
Badass Beard: Grew one in the last stretch of the Death of a King storyline after six months unconscious. Mera makes him shave it though.
Battle Couple: Usually fights alongside Mera. Used to be this with Y'Wara of the Others.
Lightning Bruiser: Has a very fast reaction time, and is faster than humans, especially in the water.
Prongsof Poseidon: His trident is made of a special gold by the first king of Atlantis,one of Arthur's indirect ancestors. While it demonstrates no special abilities yet, it was capable of piercing Darkseid's armor, something not even Superman could do.
Royals Who Actually Do Something: He was the King of Atlantis, but left the throne to his brother Orm for years to live on the surface. After Orm invades the surface world, Arthur retakes the throne. He still has time for everyday superheroics, Justice League duties, and the Others, however.
Telepathy: He is capable of psychically moving sea life to do as he wants. But if their survival instinct is high enough, they can resist his orders. Why he has this ability has not been explained.
And recently it has been shown it does indeed work in alligators as well as mutant, monstrous sea life from an otherworldly prison dimension.
Unscrupulous Hero: Usually not. Among the Justice League, he's definitely one of the more moral members, even trying his hardest not to kill the Trench when they are trying to devour humans en masse! However, in his past with the Others, he was definitely the most amoral member of the team, to the point where he was willing to let an entire village die to kill Black Manta, only begrudgingly saving a little girl, then literally tossing her aside like garbage afterwards. And that's apparently with the team reigning him in! It's implied that, on his own, he was much worse. However, Arthur is very ashamed of how he used to be, and at best it's portrayed as the "angry young man" phase of his life.
Thou Shalt Not Kill: It's there, but he's with Wonder Woman in the "I'll kill when I really have to" category. He even tried to avoid killing the Trench, who possibly weren't even intelligent and were determined to feed on his home town.
Troubled, but Cute: In high school, he was always brooding. Didn't stop the ladies, however.
You Killed My Father: Kind of. Black Manta was hired to take some of Arthur's blood, but ran into Tom, and caused him to have a heart attack. Arthur blamed Manta, intending to kill him, but killed Manta's father.
Aquaman II (Arthur Joseph Curry)
When Orin disappeared due to the circumstances of Sub Diego's rising, Arthur Joseph Curry eventually came to become the second Aquaman. His origin was similar to the Golden Age version of Aquaman in that he was the son of a human scientist who was born prematurely, so his father gave him the abilities needed to survive underwater. He was mentored by the Dweller in the Depths, who was actually the missing Orin.
Important Haircut: He can be distinguished from Orin by his hair, which is longer than Orin's crew cut.
The wife of Aquaman, her origins have ranged from being the Queen of Dimension Aqua to being the princess of a separatist colony of Atlanteans. Nevertheless, she is a capable ruler and fighter, often assisting her husband in fighting for protection of the sea.
New 52 IncarnationMera is the Princess of Xebel and was sent by her father to kill Arthur, but realised he was a good man and decided to stay with him on the surface. The two aren't married, except they pretty much are, and live together in Tom Curry's lighthouse.
Berserk Button: Mocking her husband or not respecting her personal space.
Fiery Redhead: One of her defining traits, which usually get her into trouble.
I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Mera's mother told her that the plan to assassinate Arthur was just to get Mera to the surface so she could decide what to do from there on.
Making a Splash: She has the power to control water, which includes the ability to steal water from a person's body. Later revealed to be a trait of Xebel's royal family. If you marry into it, you will also get the power.
Unstoppable Rage: To put it lightly, Mera is nowhere near as patient as her husband. Though she learns some restraint, she's still the more easily angered of the two.
Aqualad I/Tempest (Garth)
Aquaman's first sidekick was Garth, an Atlantean who had the same powers as Aquaman. He was abandoned by an Atlantean group called the Idylists, but Aquaman took him in and raised him as his own. He was also a founding member of the Teen Titans like many other sidekicks of the day.He later obtained water-controlling abilities, after which he changed his heroic codename to Tempest. He was tragically murdered in Blackest Night by the Black Lantern of his former girlfriend Tula.
Trauma Conga Line: Following Infinite Crisis, Garth was turned into an albino and rendered powerless, and his wife and son were missing. Recently, he was restored to normal, only to learn Dolphin and Cerdian were both dead since Infinite Crisis. Was named King of Atlantis and then killed by Black Lantern Aquagirl (his ex-girlfriend) during Blackest Night, turning him into a Black Lantern.
Losing her parents at an early age, Tula was adopted by the Atlantean royal family and was given the title of Princess of Poseidonis. She eventually met and fell in love with Garth, the first Aqualad, and adopted the codename "Aquagirl" in order to honor him.
New 52 IncarnationAs of the New 52, Tula has never used the name Aquagirl, and is not even a superhero. She is the half-sister of Orm on their father's side and a high-ranking Atlantean warrior. While she does love her brother, she is loyal to Arthur and Mera.
Action Girl: The most effective fighter in the Atlantean guard shown.
Badass Abnormal: Tula lacks Mera's hydrokinesis and Arthur's brute strength, but still has a degree of Super Strength, being an Atlantean, and can still kick serious ass.
Depending on the Artist: Her hair. During Geoff Johns' run, her hair was a brownish red, as seen in the picture above. However, afterwards, it became straight up brown. It could be that the hair is just part of her helmet, but it's up in the hair. The reason is because the colourist changed.
Similarly, her armour changed from the earlier purple look (likely an homage to the second Aquagirl) seen above to normal yellow. Again, because of colourist change.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Captain of the Drift Forces, with plenty of reason to hate Arthur and Mera, but is actually pretty cool with them, and saved Mera's life and actually gives Arthur a chance to prove himself as King.
The Smurfette Principle: Is the only consistent female Atlantean warrior shown. While one or two very rarely show up in the background, Tula's usually the only one shown.
Super Strength: As an Atlantean, has this by default. As noted above, it's not at Arthur's levels, but she's still quite a bit stronger than normal humans.
Aqualad II (Kaldur'ahm/Jackson Hyde)
Canon Immigrant: He was originally created for the Young Justice cartoon, but DC liked him so much they integrated him to the comic before the show even came up.
Lorena was once an ordinary inhabitant of the Californian city San Diego, but she was present when an earthquake sunk part of it. Aquaman retrieved her and nursed her back to health, discovering that she, along with every other resident present during the sinking, had the ability to breathe underwater. She adopted the name of Aquagirl, leading the effort to rebuild the sunken portion of the city as Sub Diego.
Ret Gone: In the New 52, along with all of Aquaman's official sidekicks (Tula exists, but not as Aquagirl).
New 52 VersionVulko was the advisor to Atlanna, Arthur's mother, but was exiled when he tried to blame her death on Orm. Arthur eventually found him after being outed in being Atlantean by Dr. Shin. He waited his whole life to be found by the true King of Atlantis and took Arthur there. Eventually, Arthur would leave the throne to his brother,mlwaving Vulko alone.
0% Approval Rating: After it's discovered he was the one behind the war between Atlantis and the US, most people in Atlantis loathe him, to the point that one of the guards once tried to take advantage of the confusion during an attack on Atlantis to murder him and blame it on the battle.
The Good Chancellor: Averted. His actions come off more as him wanting his position back than anything else.
I Did What I Had to Do: How he justifies his war crimes; he genuinely believed forcing Arthur to take the throne was the best course of action for Atlantis
Well-Intentioned Extremist: Sort of. He says that Arthur needs to be king because Orm is a bad king... Except Orm is shown to have actually been a pretty good King until Atlantis was attacked, and his actions after that are even justifiable.
New 52 IncarnationThe former Queen of Atlantis and mother to both Arthur (Orin) and Orm. She was swimming one day when she witnessed Tom Curry risk his life to save a boat in need. She saved him, and the two fell in love. She eventually gave birth to Arthur, but had to leave him when he was a child to return to Atlantis. There, she married the Captain of the the Atlantean Guard and gave birth to Orm.
Aquaman's bastard son by the Inuit woman Kako, Koryak possesses the power to control water, and a whole host of parental issues. When his mother is apparently killed by the Deep Six, he allies with Aquaman to fight them, but later becomes jealous of Arthur's close relationship with Tempest. Responsible for freeing Kordax from his centuries long exile, Koryak temporarily sides with him against his father, is exiled to his village, and then finally aids Aquaman against Anton Geist.
The Queen of the Atlantean city of Thierna Na Oge, Nuada lost her arm when her sister Bres, deposed her and siezed the throne for herself, and gained a new, cybernetic arm instead. Imprisoned in the city's dungeons, Nuada aided a visiting Aquaman, also imprisoned by Bres, in escaping the city and defeating his brother, Ocean Master, before returning home and regaining her own throne from Bres. She has been his ally since.
Cain and Abel: With her sister Bres, resulting in the latter's death during the post-Crisis timeline.
Distaff Counterpart: She has a lot in common with Aquaman, right down to her rivalry with Bres, which mimics his problems with Ocean Master. Post-Crisis the similarities only became stronger, courtesy of his loss of his hand.
New 52 VersionTom Curry was a lighthouse keeper who fell in love and had a child with the Queen of Atlantis, Atlanna, after she saved his life. After she gave birth to Arthur, she was forced to return to Atlantis, and Tom waited everyday for her return, while also teaching his son responsibility. He eventually died of a heart attack when Arthur was a teenager.
Death by Origin Story: His death, combined with Dr. Shin outing him, starts Arthur on his path to discovering his heritage and becoming Aquaman.
Good Parent: Made sure his son learned the value of responsibility, and tried his hardest to make sure Arthur was kept safe.
Muggle Parents: He completely lacked understanding of Arthur's abilities and had to ask his friend, Stephen Shin, to help Arthur.
Papa Wolf: When Dr. Shin planned on outing Arthur, Tom went to his lab and wrecked the place, along with every scrap of evidence.
In the New 52, one of Arthur's oldest friends. A marine biologist and former friend of Tom Curry's who taught Arthur how to use his powers. Feeling that Arthur was a great discovery, he told his colleagues, who did not believe him. He convinced Tom to allow him to publicise the fact that Arthur was Atlantean, but Tom reneged on their agreement, and destroyed Shin's lab and all evidence. Shin eventually told the media, and Tom died, Arthur running away from home for years. Dr. Shin was disgraced and lost his only friends.
Heel-Face Turn: Started out a reluctant ally up but eventually became a straight-up ally.
It's All About Me: Wanted to be credited with discovering Arthur. He later regretted how he acted. It was later revealed that he wasn't being unreasonable, because Tom agreed to allow Shin to publicise his findings.
The Mentor: Taught Arthur how to control his powers.
My God, What Have I Done?: Sent Black Manta after Arthur to get his blood, leading to Tom Curry getting a heart attack, Arthur killing Manta's father, Manta becoming a super villain, and Then caused Arthur to run away from home.
Necromancer: He can take on the abilities of his dead comrades such as sharpshooting.
Shell-Shocked Veteran: He was the sole survivor of his team and he wears each of their dog tags around his neck. During his first appearance be was even in a mental hospital.
Black Manta (David)
Black Manta is Aquaman's arch enemy. A sociopathic Psycho for Hire and pirate who's dedicated his life to ruining Aquaman's. Dressed in a combination scuba suit and Power Armour, Black Manta's most infamous act was undoubtedly killing Aquaman's son.
Arch-Enemy: One of the top contenders for the title, alongside Ocean Master.
Breakout Villain: He started out as a minor recurring villain, but eventually established himself as Aquaman's main enemy and since then has had more media exposure than any Aquaman character aside from Aquaman himself.
Card-Carrying Villain: "Y'see, deep down, in my most secret heart of hearts, I'm still a totally depraved sonuvabitch whose main goal in life is to watch you die. Slowly and painfully. Just like your kid."
He has two vague Freudian excuses. The first one was that he was kidnapped and enslaved for an unspecified amount of time. He saw Aquaman and called out for help, but Aquaman didn't hear him. The other one was that he was autistic and underwent experimental treatment that left him angry and hateful.
Lack of Empathy: More or less goes without saying once you're dealing with somebody as sociopathic as Manta.
Psycho for Hire: Often found working in the employ of others, for the chance to hurt some people.
Scary Black Man: Upon hearing Aquaman is still alive, he butchers everyone in a fish market with a carving knife, burns the entire place down, silently wades into the ocean, and rises back up in his armor.
New 52 IncarnationArthur's first enemy. Manta was just a pirate/scavenger before being hired by Dr. Stephen Shin to take some of Arthur's blood. He caused Arthur's dad to have a heart attack, and Arthur killed Manta's father in retaliation, thinking he was Manta. The two became locked in a bitter cycle of revenge.
Arch-Enemy: Written as Arthur's, with a cycle if revenge thrown into the mix.
Badass: Held his own against both Aquaman and the Others and has succeeded in killing two of them.
Eye Beams: Heat-based lasers, though each helmet has a limited supply.
Freudian Excuse: Aquaman thought Black Manta killed his father, Tom Curry, when Manta attacked Arthur in order to get a sample of his blood for Dr. Shin, and Tom intervened. So, in revenge, Arthur killed Black Manta's father. It turned out Tom Curry suffered a heart attack and died in a hospital three days after the attack.
Made of Iron: His suit not only provides him protection from the crushing undersea depths, but allows him to fight on-par with Aquaman.
Ocean Master is Aquaman's jealous brother who wants to rule Atlantis. Originally depicted as a fully human pirate, utilising advanced technology, Orm became the son of Atlan the wizard and an Inuit woman post-Crisis, and a powerful sorcerer to boot. Whether he is human, Atlantean, or a mix varies, but one thing about Orm remains consistent: he wants the throne, and will trample anyone who gets in his way.
Archenemy: Aquaman's original one, and a strong contender for the title to this day.
New 52 IncarnationOrm is a full-blooded Atlantean, half-brother of Arthur and the would-be heir Atlantis. This version is more of an Anti-Villain, as he is depicted as a good king and he doesn't hate humans, though he does view Atlanteans as superior. After an accidental attack on Atlantis by a human-submarine, he wages war with the surface world and his brother and his associates in the Throne of Atlantis storyline. He is defeated, and Arthur becomes king of Atlantis. He is sent to Belle Reve to await trial, but before he does attend trial, the Crime Syndicate set every inmate free, and Orm makes his way to the ocean. However, he ends up protecting a woman and her child for a while, but Xebus, the king of Xebel, finds him and tells him that the two must take their place among the Seven Kings and rule the world.
Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Sure he attempted to drown a few cities, but it was in defense of Atlantis, from his perspective. He also seems to truly love his brother Arthur, a first for the character. He also became a sort of Parental Substitute for Erin's son Tommy, and stayed with them during the Forever Evil event.
The Evil Prince: Like Arthur, he is Queen Atlanna's son, and wants the throne for himself. However, he wasn't particularly evil until the Throne of Atlantis storyline, when he decided to wage war with the surface world.
The Good King: It is shown that he is actually this to the Atlanteans, and they do like him. The problem is he doesn't really like the surface dwellers all that much.
The Faceless: In his first appearance, Aquaman #14, his face is always obscured by shadows.
Fantastic Racism: This version doesn't hate surfaoce dwellers, he pities them. That said, he does think they're objectively inferior to Atlanteans.
Green-Eyed Monster: This seems to be subverted. He seems to genuinely care for Arthur, and wouldn't mind him being king. However, eventually, he comes to think that he would be the better king, though it's still not driven by envy.
Pet the Dog: Protects Erin and her son Tommy when criminals released from prison by the Crime Syndicate, albeit reluctantly. Aquaman #25 reveals that he actually ended up staying with Erin.
Shock and Awe: His trident can generate and control storms through unknown means.
Super Strength: All Atlanteans have this. Though Orm is quite a bit stronger than the average Atlantean.
Villain Has a Point: During one of his discussions with his human advocate while he is in prison, he criticizes how the death he caused during the war qualifies as murders in the eye of the government, whereas Atlantean death are completely ignored.
Piranha Man (Charybdis)
The villain who caused the loss of Aquaman's hand, Charybdis was a terrorist who lost his wife, Scylla, in the same incident that gave him control over fish. He attacked Aquaman, and was mutated into a piranha/human cross in the process.
Freudian Excuse: He was already a wanted criminal, but losing Scylla did nothing for Charybdis' sanity.
A mutated Atlantean prince with blond hair and green scales, Kordax was exiled at birth, only to return later in life and make a bid for the throne. The horrors of his invasion of Atlantis, and Kordax's own unnerving appearance, sparked the legends that led the Atlanteans to see all blonds as cursed. Returning in the present day, Kordax tried to usurp the throne of Atlantis, coming into conflict with Aquaman.
Red Right Hand: Cora viewed Kordax's deformities as proof his evil nature and abandoned him accordingly. This ultimately resulted in Kordax being raised by his father, Dardanus, and turning out to be every bit as bad as you would expect.
Super Strength: All Atlanteans are, but Kordax is capable of matching Aquaman himself.
Telepathy: A pretty damn powerful one. When he psychically clashed with Aquaman, every creature in the sea was nearly driven insane due to the mental shockwaves. Fish and Atlanteans.
Of course Kordax wouldn't care if they were mindless husks either way.
The personification of drought, and the ideological opposite of The Waterbearer, The Thirst is an ancient attacked Aquaman after he became guardian of the Secret Sea. Taking the form of a golem made from dry river mud, The Thirst tried to drain the Seven Seas (the reservoir of human imagination), and the entirety of the world's rivers, all as part of its attempt at claiming Aquaman's soul.
Names to Run Away From Really Fast: It's not as obvious as with some villains, but to anybody reading a comic about an aquatic auperhero, the presence of a being called "The Thirst" should instantly set off warning bells.
Necromancer: Can resurrect those that he has slain as mindless, zombie husks slaved to his will.
Six minions of Darkseid, the Deep Six are aquatic terrorists who carry out the will of their master. Originally dispatched to battle Orion, the Six were thought to have died at his hands, but resurfaced in Aquaman, during Peter David's run. It is revealed that this new Deep Six is made up of spawns of the originals, who were raised on Earth, and are thus more attuned to its oceans then those of their homeworld. They battled Aquaman, Dolphin and Koryak, after apparently killing Koryak's mother, Kako. The Six are Gole, Jaffar, Kurin, Shaligo, Slig, and Trok.
An Axe to Grind: Trok wields an axe on a leather thong, which he whirls about.
Super Strength: All of the six are stronger then your average human, and are capable of taking punches from the likes of Aquaman.
The sister of Nuada Silverhand, Bres launched a coup against her sister, gaining control of Thierna Na Oge for herself. A manipulative schemer, she came into conflict with Aquaman as well, when the latter arrived in Thierna Na Oge, hunting for Ocean Master. She was eventually deposed by Nuada, and post-Crisis, died when she allied herself with an alien force that sought to invade Atlantis.
The brother of King Orin I of Atlantis, Shalako was a sorcerer who grew jealous of his brother's position and power. Leading a group of exiles to live in Tritonis, Shalako manipulated events to transform them into fishlike merpeople. When it was revealed that this mutation was his own fault, his people ultimately killed him.
Expy: He's essentially a better looking Ocean Master. Given that he is supposed to be the originator of the prophecy about the brothers warring over rulership of Atlantis, and Ocean Master is a part of that prophecy, this is justified.
Face-Heel Turn: At one point he and his brother were genuinely close. Then the fall of Atlantis happened and it all went downhill from there.
Pride: His great sin. Shalako could not accept that anybody, including his own brother, might be better at something then he was.
Religion of Evil: Believed in dark gods and human sacrifice, ultimately killing his own wife on the sacrificial altar.
The son of Shalako, and the father of Kordax, Dardanus initially seemed like he would turn out to be one of the heroes. Having witnessed his father sacrificing his mother, Dardanus turned on Shalako, revealing to the people of Tritonis that it was Shalako, and not King Orin I of Poseidonis who was to blame for their mutated condition. Resurfacing as an adult, Dardanus proved himself every bit as bad as his father. He raped Princess Cora, impregnating her with Kordax. He later found Kordax after his abandonment, and raised him to be a weapon, eventually using his son as a pawn in a gambit to seize control of Atlantis.
Blatant Lies: Tells the people of Tritonis that their condition is Orin I's fault, despite he himself having revealed to them years ago that it was Shalako's.
Manipulative Bastard: Manipulated his own son, Kordax, into becoming a weapon, and played the people of Tritonis for fools.
Narcissist: Dardanus' every action was dedicated to his own advancement, and his egoism and sense of self-worth knew no bounds. Convinced the world revolved around him, and seeing almost everyone as a potential pawn, he was a textbook narcissist.
Patricide: Not directly, but by telling the people of Tritonis that it was Shalako who caused their mutations he ensured his father's death.
The architect, builder, and very first king of Atlantis, in the New 52. However, along with giving life to Atlantis, he also was the one to destroy it. He is also not Aquaman's ancestor. In fact, Aquaman descended from Atlan's brother, Orin, who killed his family and usurped the throne of Atlantis.
Cain and Abel: His brother, Orin betrayed Atlan and killed his family and servants to take hold of the throne.
Genius Bruiser: Physically strong enough to contend with Aquaman. Along with being the lead designer of the building of Atlantis, as well as having arcane knowledge which he used to forge the seven artifacts.
Fallen Hero: Even Vulko admits Atlan was a great hero while Aquaman's ancestors were the villains.
Magic Staff: His scepter, which can control the Trench, who are later revealed to be descended from the Atlanteans. Aquaman believes the scepter does not control them; instead, the Trench have a primal instinct that causes them to obey whoever holds the staff because of their shared ancestry with the Atlanteans.
Royally Screwed Up: After being woken by Aquaman's telepathy and re-taking the throne, Atlan enslaves any Arthur loyalists while he attempts to regain rule over the seven seas.
The Good King: He was this in the past. Not so much in the present.
Start of Darkness: Originally, Atlan was a wise and just king who believed that there could be peace between all species. His brother Orin and his advisers, however, were warmongers who betrayed Atlan and killed his family. Outraged, Atlan killed Orin and his wife and started a civil war. Using the scepter, Atlan sunk Atlantis.