The Terror From The Sea: DC Comic Books About the Horror Of The Deep Ocean

The ocean is a special place, below the surface world, there is an entirely different world down there that is wider and vaster than any continent. And for the DC universe, magical. People first thoughts about stories set in the sea would most likely would be about Aquaman; King of Atlantis and superhero from the sea. He battles sea monsters, underwater tyrants, pirates, ocean gods, and all matter of threats that threatened our world and his. Its honestly an amazing place, nothing quite like the beauty and spectacle can cross between the familiar and the fantastical quite like it.

Yet for all its charm, the sea is also an intimidating place.
The underwater world is as wide as it is deep, so deep that for us it left largely unexplored, eighty percent of the ocean not really known what’s below. That the light from the sun can get snuffed out the further you go down, where the immense pressure from the sea pulls anyone deeper into it. And that fear, yes, the fear that we truly don’t what is creeping around there is bone-chilling.

It’s honestly perfect for scary stories about the sea or involve creatures from the deep. I like to highlight a few of them here:

Aquaman(2011-2016) Volume One: The Trench
Aquaman’s first arc in the new 52. When ancient creatures arise from the deep attack inland, it’s up to Aquaman and Mera to stop them and dive deep into the realm of these grotesque and cannibalistic sea monsters.

Another Aquaman series but now a Black label book. Aquaman: Andromeda is a phycological thriller about a group of scientists who voyage into Point Nemo. The geographic zone in the sea that is the furthest point of any location on earth, and home to crashed spacecrafts and satellites. But something is discovered that causes the scientists, Black Manta and Aquaman to head toward this mysterious place of horror in the part of an ocean that we were never supposed to be in.

The Plunge
Part of Joe Hill’s horror comics imprint, the plunge inspired by John Carpenter the Thing follows a crew who are sent to a distant place in the arctic circle and uncover how a ship lost to sea for 40 years has mysteriously reappeared with its crew dead but seamlessly having something to say. There is something evil lurking in the seas and the plunge with its great cast of characters and macabre horror works well with bringing the terror of this story alive.

Finally, The wake
Written by Scott Synder, the wake is a surreal adventure horror series that is kind of like a love letter to all deep-sea horror stories. When research marine biologist Lee Archer is sent by the DOH to a secret underground rig in the Arctic Ocean, she uncovers a horror beneath the seas that begins a millennium spanning epic adventure and an ironic twist of horror storytelling that only Scott Synder can do well.

Honorable Mention to include here was John Constatine: Hellblazer #7 and #8 with Constatine solving the mystery of a fisherman and a mystical mermaid who provides the fisherman fish. It is not a deep-sea story but rather more nautical horror where we are presented here with a merwoman with monstruous features seeking out sailors on the shore. It’s still a recommendation for artist Arron Campbell grotesque art capturing the terror of mythological or folklore creatures from the sea.


Very well done & excellent choices too btw!!!

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I’m really behind on Aquaman reading :grimacing:

Of the books you mentioned: I’ve read “The Trench” and really liked it. In fact, the New 52 Aquaman book overall is actually legit good. I’m waiting to get a physical copy of “Andromeda” before I read it, which is usually how I handle Black Label titles.

Have to check out The Plunge, but I’ve read some similar Horror titles from Joe Hill’s imprint and generally liked them. I should check out “The Wake” - is that a mini-series or an arc from an ongoing? And those 2 Hellblazer issues I also thought were really great


Thank you @capo-mage.

I actually want to leave off with this message to all possible folk who might have a bit of Thalassophobia(The fear of being in deep water) to provide some levity.

I read these in different order for research but what I found from my favorite one The Wake was that toward the end it had a really touching message about overcoming that kind of fear. A fear of the unknown or the great leap where we need to show our selves to be brave against it unless we succumb to it and become our own worst enemies. The Wake itself is almost that great metaphor for submerging to the below and be within the sea of darkness only to rise above it and be brave and have the courage to seek out a challenge and adventure.
Yes, this a recommendation to read The Wake because it’s good. It’s also a reminder to not be afraid of the sea, be brave and basically, be like Aquaman.

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All very good instructions in this guy’s humble ,old , non-threatening opinion…
Paul Norris -co-creator (Aquaman )- is from Greenville, Ohio. There’s actually quite a few from Ohio on Aquaman thru the years. Aquaman is like old faithful for me. I can guarantee I’m going to enjoy the storyline anytime I crack one open.

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