With the recent release of Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, where Aquaman has a pretty great role, alongside the Flash and Wonder Woman, I figured it would be a good time to look back on his previous animated appearances, both good and bad. Most images in this post appear courtesy of The World's Finest and I hope you all enjoy reading it! As with my previous retrospective for the DC forum, since I try to be as thorough as possible in this kind of threads, check out my next couple of blogs for a very brief* rundown of Aquaman's appearances in cartoons from the 60s up to the 80s. (*Sorry, but I just didn't feel like re-watching and reviewing 30+ episodes of Aquaman and 100+ episodes of Super Friends when it wasn't "mandatory" as on the Marvel forum). This thread will mention Aqualad and any other member of Aquaman's supporting cast only when necessary - meaning I won't focus on any show where any of these characters appeared, but Aquaman didn't. Aquaman (a.k.a. Arthur Curry, or Orin) was introduced in More Fun Comics #73 (November 1941), and was created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger. He is a human/Atlantean hybrid, able to breathe both underwater and on land, possessing some super strength (though he needs to come into contact with water every so often to replenish it) and the ability to telepathically control other sea life-forms. Aquaman is the king of Atlantis and protects it from anything he considers a threat, be it other Atlantean villains, or threats from the surface world or even other alien worlds. Throughout the years he has occasionally aided other heroes, and has been a member of the Justice League of America, during most incarnations of the team. Throughout his 70 years of existence, his origin has been rebooted, retconned and revamped a few times depending on the writer of the comic book but the fact remains that he's the son of a human and an Atlantean queen. Interestingly, none of his animated appearances have really touched upon his origins (only a couple of hints or allusions were given in one or two toons). His main two villains throughout his career have been Black Manta (the one responsible for killing Aquaman's son, Arthur Curry Junior), and the Ocean Master (his own brother, Orm who feels he should rule Atlantis). His classic design, with his traditional orange outfit (and without a hook for a hand, and the beard is optional) is the one that's appeared in the most cartoons. Despite being considered weaker than other super-heroes and sometimes useless in a battle, Aquaman has had a pretty rich career in animation, starting with his introduction in the DC Animated Universe. He first appeared towards the end of Superman: The Animated Series. The show premiered in 1996, and originally aired on Kids' WB!; it was the second entry in the DCAU, after Batman: The Animated Series. In 1999 the episode titled "A Fish Story" premiered, featuring Aquaman voiced by Miguel Ferrer. In this story Lois Lane investigates why marine life in Metropolis has started going wild and attacking the citizens, only to accidentally stumble upon Lex Luthor's plan to test high explosives off the eastern seaboard. These tests endangered the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, and Aquaman decided to journey to the surface world and stop this threat peacefully. However he was defeated and imprisoned by Luthor, kept inside a tank at the Metropolis aquarium, where Lois finds him. Even though it would have been nice to actually see Aquaman's original venture to Metropolis and how he was subdued, I thought the story worked out pretty well in the end (though the episode does end a little too abruptly). It's revealed that while he was imprisoned, he was communicating with any sea life-form that was within his telepathic range to come and rescue him, thus explaining the recent series of marine life attacks mentioned earlier. Lois frees Aquaman from his prison and try to escape but they are both captured by Luthor's men who try to get rid of both of them. Superman intervenes and saves Lois, while Aquaman leaves to stop Luthor's bombs from damaging more of his kingdom. I liked how Aquaman was presented here - he was considered some sort of urban legend until Lois actually meets him, and he does get some good scenes showcasing his powers and abilities. His Atlantean army (or at least part of it) is also seen towards the end, declaring war on Luthor's ship and ready to attack the surface world to ensure no other humans would threaten his kingdom again. However he is convinced by Superman to stand down, before anyone was injured. Aquaman agreed to return to Atlantis but remained somewhat distrustful of humans. His design here looked pretty cool - it's basically his classic costume with some darker colors and slightly updated to fit in more with the tone of the show. Overall it was a good episode though to be honest this was probably my least favorite of the few S:TAS episodes where other super-heroes guest-starred. Before being re-designed for the Justice League animated series, Aquaman made a brief cameo on Batman Beyond. The show premiered in 1999 and also originally aired on Kids' WB! Set in the future of the DCAU, this series focused on an elderly Bruce Wayne who trained a young Terry McGinnis to become the next Batman. In the two-part episode "The Call", the new Batman is asked by an older Superman to join the Justice League Unlimited - alongside the likes of Big Barda, Warhawk, a young Green Lantern and Aquagirl (Aquaman's daughter, Marina). There seems to be a traitor among them, and Superman needs Batman's help to figure out who exactly has gone rogue. Aquaman is briefly seen on a computer screen when Batman is looking through the files on the heroes, retaining his design from the S:TAS show, albeit slightly simplified. The computer file mentions his whereabouts are unknown; something similar would occur in an episode of Justice League set in the future, which I will cover in the next part of this retrospective. The story is pretty cool overall. There are some parts that don't really make sense but it was great seeing the future Justice League in action (even before we got to see a present-day incarnation of the team in this animated universe). Next: Aquaman on Justice League!