As the half-Atlantean ruler of the world’s underwater civilizations, Aquaman swims in an ocean of enemies. Some lurk in the deepest parts of the sea, while others hide behind court robes in the Throne Room of Atlantis. Of course, the Aquatic Ace’s time with the Justice League has given him his share of enemies on the surface as well.
As a character who has been continuously published since the Golden Age, Aquaman’s battles vary in tone from the silly to the serious. Over the last eighty years, the Protector of the Deep has faced characters of all kinds, but a few stand out above the rest.
10 Qwsp is a malevolent lord Mxyzptlk
For a time in DC Comics, every major hero had an all-powerful, mischievous imp who gave them trouble. Superman had Mister Mxyzptlk, Batman had Bat-Mite, and Aquaman had Qwsp. Qwsp (formerly Quisp), an imp from the Fifth Dimension, had reality-altering powers and used them to aid Aquaman and play pranks on him.
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However, in the 1990s their relationship soured when, after some time apart, Qwsp returned to Earth and met the new, darker Aquaman. Qwsp changed his own personality to suit, but in doing so, he became malevolent. Qwsp’s growing power required the intervention of both the Justice League and the Council of Interdimensional Impositors to combat it.
9 The Scavenger Is A ’60s Supervillain Turned Sinister
Just as all DC heroes have a rogue foe with mind-blowing powers, they also have a variety of villains powered by 1960s sci-fi technology. Peter Mortimer, aka Scavenger, is one of Aquaman’s enemies. He is a scoundrel who searches for treasures at the bottom of the ocean.
The first Scavenger has a complicated history. After battling Aquaman over an alien object called the Time Decelerator, Scavenger’s molecules were thrown through a Limbo-like dimension. After her molecules reformed, she battled Aquaman once more and seemingly went over to the side of good. However, his moral reformation did not last, as Hawkman killed Scavenger for the creation and possession of violent pornography.
8 Siren Is Mera’s Evil Twin
Although two villains named Siren have threatened Aquaman, the most dangerous is the first. Twin sister of Mera, queen of Atlantis and romantic partner of Aquaman, Hila was the odd one out of her family, which led her to rebellion and then to violence against the king of Atlantis.
Siren stories usually stem from her family jealousy. As an identical twin, she has often posed as her sister to fool Aquaman. Siren also led the Death Squad, a group of elite underwater mercenaries, on a quest to help Black Manta find her biological child and kill Aquaman.
7 Nereus Is A Rival King To Aquaman In DC Comics
As king of Atlantis, Aquaman must face several attempts to occupy his throne. One of them is Nereus, a military leader of the Kingdom of Xebel. An underwater kingdom that is sometimes at war with Atlantis, Princess Mera of Xebel disappeared one day from her fiancé Nereus.
When Mera returned and revealed that she had fallen in love with the King of Atlantis, Nereus refused to accept it. Instead, he turned the Xebelian armies against Mera and her mate for not standing by Atlan, the original king of Atlantis, when he returned after a millennium. Although he was defeated, Nereus fled from Aquaman and sought an alliance with Ocean Master.
6 The Trench Are Monstrous Fish-People
When Geoff Johns set his sights on Aquaman as part of the New 52 relaunch, he reinvigorated the character, much like he did Green Lantern and the Flash. Johns expanded on the Aquaman lore and introduced the concept of seven underwater kingdoms, many of which were featured in the 2018 film, Aquaman. Without a doubt, the most fearsome of them all was the Pit.
A species of fish-like humanoids that live in the Mariana Trench, the Trench adapted to their lightless environment after Atlan raided Atlantis thousands of years ago. Neither good nor evil, the Trench follow whoever wields the Dead King’s Scepter.
5 Charybdis Made Aquaman Lose His Hand
When DC rebooted its main heroes for the darker, grittier ’90s, Aquaman and his bright orange robes needed a major reimagining. Charybdis appears, a terrorist with the ability to steal the powers of others. Seeking to kill Aquaman, he and his wife Scylla led Aquaman, Dolphin, and Aqualad into a trap.
The confrontation does not go well, and Charybdis kills Scylla. Aquaman chases Charybdis to land, where, in an attempt to get Aquaman to use his powers, the villain forces his left hand into a pool of piranhas. Aquaman loses his hand and Charybdis falls into the water, merging with the fish to become Piranha Man.
4 Atlan Built And Destroyed Atlantis
Aquaman (aka Arthur Curry) was not the first king of Atlantis. That honor fell to Atlan, a wise ruler who saw the land become seven kingdoms under his rule. However, Atlan’s brother Orin was enraged at his brother’s allowing his brother to mix the races and killed the entire royal family as punishment. Heartbroken, Atlan sank his kingdom along with the seven mystical weapons he had forged.
Atlan slept for centuries until Vulko brought him back to life. Now bearing the name of Dead King, Atlan tried to destroy Atlantis once and for all, uniting the Pit and Xebel behind him to wage war against Aquaman.
3 The Fisherman Has A Lovecraftian Secret
The Fisherman is one of Aquaman’s most mysterious enemies. A hooded pirate specializing in robberies, the Fisherman uses fishing-themed contraptions to pull off heists on him. However, the Fisherman was thwarted many times by Aquaman’s forces at the bottom of the sea.
The Fisherman has appeared both solo and in the company of groups such as Kobra and the Society, making it difficult for the heroes to learn the identity of the Fisherman. This is because the Fisherman is not a man, but an alien parasite that attaches itself to the heads of hosts and takes the form of a hood, pumping the host full of fear into doing his bidding.
2 Ocean Master Is Aquaman’s Tragic Brother
The story of Orm, the Master of the Ocean, is a tragic story. Traditionally, Orm is Arthur Curry’s stepbrother, at least by love if not by blood. However, his brother’s heroic actions made the Ocean Master very jealous, leading him into an endless spiral of failed revenge plots.
Alternatively, the Ocean Master has been depicted as a human pirate, a human sorcerer, and a xenophobic Atlantean nobleman. Orm’s actions have ranged from extreme violence to petty crime, something that is often explained in-universe as mental manipulation or amnesia. Still, Ocean Master’s attacks on the surface world have earned him a place in the highest circle of DC supervillains.
1 Black Manta Is Aquaman’s Most Iconic Enemy
Black Manta’s red-eyed helmet is perhaps the most recognizable image in Aquaman’s rogues gallery, worn by a man dedicated to Aquaman’s destruction. Like Ocean Master, Black Manta has a wide variety of origins, ranging from a kidnapped boy whose cries for help went unheeded by Aquaman to an autistic boy who was violently experimented on in Arkham Asylum, and finally as a mercenary. hired to steal Aquaman’s blood.
Regardless of his origin, Black Manta is always a thorn in Aquaman’s side. He has tried to steal Aquaman’s throne, joined teams of villains, and most of all, killed Aquaman’s young son in front of him. Cunning, ruthless and determined, Black Manta is Aquaman’s greatest enemy.
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