2021 is jam-packed with many an 80th anniversary of our beloved marquee heroes, such as Wonder Woman and Green Arrow.
However, this year also sees Arthur Curry, Aquaman himself, hit the big 8-0. How you will ring in this major anniversary for the badass King of Atlantis and superhero who does much, much more than just talk to fish?
Check out Aquaman’s first appearance in More Fun Comics #73. While you’re there, be sure to read the first appearance of Green Arrow, aka The Emerald Archer, as well. It’s a titanic two-some of two badass heroes!
Dive into Aquaman’s very first ongoing series and thrill to his adventures alongside Aqualad, Mera and many other characters who would go on to become pillars of the Aquaman franchise.
Jump into Adventure Comics #103, which not only features Aquaman, but Green Arrow, Shining Knight, Superboy and Johnny Quick. It’s a fun read, and then some.
Swim over to Adventure Comics #444, which stars Aquaman and Ocean Master. If you came to be a fan of both characters due to the live-action Aquaman movie, then this issue will be perfect for you! Stick around for the other issues of Adventure Comics as well (in particular #478, which features Aquaman’s arch-enemy, Black Manta!) as Aquaman would become a starring feature in the book.
If you’re in the mood for a bite-sized morsel of an Aquaman tale, the 4 issue mini-series from 1986 will be a quick, yet highly entertaining, tidbit of an adventure for you. This series features Aquaman’s “wave suit”, which is absolutely one of his most interesting non-traditional outfits.
Craving more modern Aquaman adventures? There’s plenty to choose from! Check out the ongoing series that began in 1994. This is the acclaimed series that writer Peter David worked his magic on. If you’ve ever wanted an Aquaman that eschewed his traditional orange and green, short-haired look for a more grungy '90s look (complete with a harpoon hook in place of his left hand!) then this is your Aquaman.
San Diego becomes Sub Diego in Aquaman (2002-2006) #15. From writer WIll Pfeiffer and artist Patrick Gleason, this tale is worth taking a plunge into, as are the remaining issues of this series, which concludes at #39 before becoming Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis with #40.
The New 52 was very kind to Aquaman. Besides Justice League, the King of Atlantis also soared to new acclaim via writer Geoff Johns’ run on Aquaman, while writer Dan Jurgens (of Superman fame) unfurled adventures of Aquaman leading a team of adventurers known as The Others in Aquaman and the Others. Justice League and Aquaman are the homeruns of these three titles, but don’t overlook Aquaman and the Others, as it’s wildly entertaining.
If you want the very most current and modern Aquaman adventures, then the Rebirth series is just what you ordered. Dan Abnett kicks off the series in fine form, with the series featuring Aquaman in conflict with Black Manta and Ocean Master, along with the introduction of new foe Dead Water. My pick for the best of Abnett’s run is the Underworld arc, which begins in issue #25 and features stunning artwork by Stjepan Sejic.
If you’re interested in comic tales starring other characters from the Aquaman franchise, be sure to check out:
Aqualad is no more, as Garth’s Atlantean identity is reinvented for the '90s in Tempest, a tip-top tale written and drawn by acclaimed creator Phil Jimenez.
Aquaman’s one true love, Mera of Xebel, takes the spotlight in 2018’s Mera: Queen of Atlantis. Written by Dan Abnett, this tale sees Mera cross tridents with Ocean Master in a tale worthy of the Queen of Atlantis’s first solo series.
Movies and TV
HBO Max currently features several animated movies featuring Aquaman. Some of the more notable titles being:
- JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
- Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
- Justice League: Throne of Atlantis
- Lego DC Comics Super Heroes: Aquaman: Rage of Atlantis
Aquaman can also been on HBO Max in the following live-action movies:
- Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
- Justice League (theatrical cut)
- Zack Snyder’s Justice League (check out the black and white Justice is Gray edition as well, as Aquaman and Atlantis look quite striking in B&W)
The big screen aside, Aquaman is also featured in the following TV shows on HBO Max:
Aquaman, the 1960s Saturday morning classic produced by Filmation Associates and starring the voices of Ted Knight and Marvin Miller.
Justice League, the DC Animated Universe debut of the World’s Greatest Super Heroes™ united against all evil.
Justice League Unlimited. The follow-up to the above series that further expands the DCAU, the Justice League roster and featured the debut of Black Manta-inspired character Devil Ray.
Batman: The Brave and The Bold. Aquaman’s “outrageous!” adventures are a major highlight in this show, which is overflowing with all manner of highlights. From the Brave and the Bold, to the wild and wacky, this is a show fit for any fan.
June will also see even more animated adventures of Aquaman, via the June 18th arrival of Super Friends on HBO Max.
Finally, and to circle back to the medium that birthed Aquaman and continues to fuel his adventures, we have the Aquaman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular (whose main cover can be seen at the top of this post), due out later this year from DC. For more on this oversized celebration of the King of the Seven Seas, head over to the main DC site and read all about it.
The above comics, movies and TV shows are just a few options on how to ring in Aquaman’s 80th anniversary in 2021. Will you be reading or watching the above, or will you be checking out other entertainment starring the Aquatic Wonder? Sound off below, and let’s celebrate one of DC’s all-time greats, AQUAMAN!