You probably already think you know all there is to know about the hero called "Aquaman" -- he talks to fish and rides dolphins and has an adorable octopus buddy for a sidekick and pulls weirdo stunts like this, right?
Wrong! There's a lot more to the King of Atlantis than the dweeb made popular by "Super Friends." If you've seen the new look he's getting in "Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice," you have an inkling of just how cool the guy can be.
He's the ruler of an entire underwater nation.
When first introduced back in 1941, Arthur Curry's powers were the result of a series of experiments done on him by his father, a deep sea explorer. During the '50s, when Aquaman didn't have any more Nazi U-boats to chase down (more on that in a bit), he became the half-Atlantean, half-human son of a lighthouse keeper and a runaway princess, Atlanna -- which would kind of be like being the King of France and naming your daughter Francine. Anyway, in 1989 DC decided to spice things up and make Arthur exiled royalty instead; now Atlanna was a Queen who'd sired a child with a sorcerer, Atlan, and then gave him up because of an Atlantean superstition about blond hair. He was then taken in by that lighthouse keeper we were talking about earlier until he discovered his true heritage and was made king.
Of course, the New 52 reboot that DC Comics did back in 2011 changed things around again -- he's back to being a half-Atlantean with a human dad -- but he is still the king of Atlantis. You know, except for that time he abdicated the throne because he was pissed off at humanity for polluting the oceans so much, but now that he's back on the throne, dude's got more political clout and responsibility than basically anyone else in the Justice League. Which he FOUNDED, by the way.
He doesn't just talk to fish -- he can bend the wills of entire underwater armies.
Fun fact: Aquaman is the cause of at least a third of the world's Sharknados.
Like all '40s heroes, Aquaman got his start beating up Nazis.
But unlike Superman, Wonder Woman, Captain America, and everyone else fighting the good (totally fake) fight in World War II, Aquaman had a battleground all to himself -- the seas, where he was the scourge of U-boat captains everywhere. Admit it, that's pretty cool.
One time he threw a polar bear at somebody.
That HAPPENED, America! DEAL WITH IT.
Another time he waterboarded a guy.
Remember that time San Diego plunged into the ocean after a massive Earthquake and all of the inhabitants of the city mysteriously mutated to live underwater? Because it happened in the comics, and when Aquaman was hanging out playing sea detective down there, he traced the whole incident to a scientist who'd apparently orchestrated the whole event to prepare humans for living in a global warming-flooded post apocalyptic Earth. He was actually being controlled by a shadowy super villain and wasn't responsible for his own actions, but that didn't stop Aquaman from straight up torturing him and then forcing him to fake his death and live in Sub Diego (yes, that is literally what they called it) with the rest of the newly be-gilled.
And he's also gone up against Lovecraftian horrors.
Or "Pacific Rim" Kaiju, what have you. Basically, one time Aquaman went down to the depths of the ocean and, with the help of Etrigan the Demon, destroyed a giant nightmarish tentacle monster from another dimension.
He once had a totally rad harpoon hook for a hand.
Around the time that DC Comics was retconning Aquaman's origin story in 1989, they also decided to significantly revamp his character design as well. First, he became a hermit for a while and grew his beard and hair long, doing away with the cleancut look he'd been sporting for years. Then his left hand was eaten clean off by piranhas after his fish-communication powers were taken from him (long story) and he replaced it with a retractable prosthetic hook. Oh, and also he lost the weird orange shirt and replaced it with some badass ab-revealing silver armor -- similar to the stuff that Jason Momoa is currently sporting, as a matter of fact.
Then for a while he was an undead zombie monster...
Like all superheroes worth their salt, Aquaman was dead for a little bit some time around 2007, but was revived (sort of) by a supervillain during the "Blackest Night" crossover event in 2010 to become part of the Black Lantern Corps -- who, surprise, are SUPER evil.
And then after that he lost his hand AGAIN.
During "Blackest Night," Aquaman was revived with both hands intact once again (during which time he also had the unfortunate habit of accidentally summoning undead squid, whoops). But that didn't last for very long, because during the "Brightest Day" follow-up event, the supervillain Blank Manta sliced it off in battle. Womp womp.
Unlike the first go around, he didn't have time within the story to replace it, and instead just asked a friend to cauterize the wound with electrical powers so he could keep on kicking Black Manta's ass. Danf, dude.
Nowadays he is basically bulletproof.
Super strength has always been one of Aquaman's chief powers in the comics, but adaptions like the '70s cartoon "Super Friends" tend to forgo this in favor of more fish-talking so that DC's golden boy Superman is that much cooler in comparison. These days Aquaman is frequently depicted as having skin so thick that bullets glance off of him with only minor scratches.
And worst of all, he knows that you've been talking s--t.
When Aquaman was given his own comic series again in The New 52, comic creators Geoff Johns and Ivan Reis decided to lampoon his much-maligned reputation by having everybody he saves make fun of him in his first issue. Robbers laugh at him! Cops ask him if he wants a glass of water! It's all enough to make a mighty sea king snap, so you should probably think twice before you post another picture of him choking on an uncut plastic six pack ring to your Facebook -- or you might just get hit in the face with a polar bear.