Golden Age Aquaman
Art by Paul Norris
|More Fun #73 (Nov 1941)
|Ark, Sea Sleuth
The Golden Age Aquaman is never given a name, but claims that his father is famous, so presumably he has his explorer father's name. We know nothing about his mother, but we do know that he considers himself American. From his origin in More Fun #73:
The story must start with my father, a famous undersea explorer — if I spoke his name, you would recognize it. My mother died when I was a baby, and he turned to his work of solving the ocean's secrets. His greatest discovery was an ancient city, in the depths where no other diver had ever penetrated. My father believed it was the lost kingdom of Atlantis. He made himself a water-tight home in one of the palaces and lived there, studying the records and devices of the race's marvelous wisdom. From the books and records, he learned ways of teaching me to live under the ocean, drawing oxygen from the water and using all the power of the sea to make me wonderfully strong and swift. By training and a hundred scientific secrets, I became what you see — a human being who lives and thrives under the water.
The Golden Age Aquaman can communicate with sea life, is extremely strong, and faster than a torpedo. He fights battles with various pirates and thieves, including recurring battles with Black Jack the Modern Pirate. He has various allies, including the recurring Ark the sea lion and the Sea Sleuth. He is well-known among those who live on the sea, and has many friends who he's helped during his adventures.
The Golden Age Aquaman has no limits on how long he can be out of water, and in fact visits a desert at least once to get away from the sea. Water does make him stronger than a normal person, though.
Golden Age tales often refer to events that happened "off camera" so his adventures as chronicled in the comics are only a small part of his full adventures. Most Golden Age tales are done-in-one, and only a handful refer to past events depicted in the comics.
Unofficially, Aquaman's Golden Age lasted from his first story in 1941 until Adventure Comics #228 in 1956. In Adventure Comics #229, Aquaman's Silver Age starts with the introduction of his first recurring character of the Silver Age.
Arthur Joseph Curry, the Sword of Atlantis, has an origin that echoes that of the Golden Age Aquaman.