If you’re anything like us, new superhero movies inspire you to dig into your intimidating comic backlog and read the source material these world-dominating franchises owe their success to. We’re headed for open waters this December for Aquaman 2, so here are the best Aquaman comics to dive into before the movie.
Whether you’ve been reading comics your whole life or have never picked one up, we’ve chosen books that will complement Arthur Curry’s DCU adventures. Comics can be a great way to add enjoyment to these new movies, so here are Aquaman standouts. All of them can either be found on digital storefronts or at your local comic book shop (we prefer the latter) ahead of Aquaman 2.
The best Aquaman comics to read before Aquaman 2:
- Aquaman: Death of A King
- Aquaman: Deep Dives
- Aquaman: Andromeda
- Aquaman: The Trench
- Aquaman: Throne of Atlantis
5. Aquaman: Death of a King (2014)
If the bloodlines, kingdom, and royal politics are what draw you to Aquaman, Death of a King will scratch that itch and then some. Taking place after the events of Throne of Atlantis (also on this list), Death of a King is a murder mystery, which makes it unique among Aquaman stories.
Delving into Atlantean history and artifacts, there are jaw-dropping plot twists and plenty of great moments for some of the other best DC characters like Mera, too.
This New 52 arc is the end of Geoff Johns’ time at the helm, and the run goes out with a bang. The trade collects Aquaman #17-19 and #21-25.
4. Aquaman: Deep Dives (2021)
We understand that comic books can be intimidating if you’re unfamiliar with their release structure, multiple canons, and reboots, but Deep Dives is new-reader-friendly. A time-efficient way to get background on the characters who pop up throughout Aquaman’s history, this could be the fishing rod that reels you in.
There are nine issues; the series acts as a sort of anthology so you can read them in any order, except the Stinging Tide three-parter, which is covered in issues #5-7.
3. Aquaman: Andromeda (2022)
Fan of horror movies? DC’s Black Label is probably calling to you — if it hasn’t already taken over your shelf. Experimental art, risky stories that thrive away from established canon, and edgy mini-series are the label’s calling cards.
Here, Aquaman is treated more like a mythical creature than a traditional superhero. The tale begins with Point Nemo: a spaceship graveyard. When something strange is found, the crew of the submarine Andromeda investigates. But they aren’t the only ones pursuing it; unlucky for them, Black Manta is also interested.
Ram V and Christian Ward team up to bring some cosmic horror to DC’s waters. At just three issues long and with display-worthy covers, Andromeda is worth seeking out, particularly if you’re drawn to upcoming DC movies set in Elseworlds, like Joker 2 and The Batman 2.
2. Aquaman: The Trench (2012)
You might remember that Aquaman director James Wan pitched a ‘The Trench’ horror movie to Warner Bros years ago. That never happened. If you’re curious why he wanted to do it, though, The Trench will answer that.
The explanation might be a little scary, though, as Arthur is pitted against a creepy race of creatures lurking beneath the ocean floor. When The Trench’s creatures begin surfacing on the shoreline in search of food (yes, we count as food), Arthur struggles against their numbers, desire to devour, and his inability to control them like he does other aquatic life.
If you’re fascinated by the mysteries of untouched depths, this might be a lot of fun for you. Volume 1 collects Aquaman #1-6.
1. Aquaman: Throne of Atlantis (2013)
Events don’t get much bigger in this corner of DC than Throne of Atlantis — a sprawling crossover title with epic art, ripple effects, and generous action. Aquaman’s powers are more dangerous than a lot of people realize, and Throne of Atlantis puts them on full display as the hero watches armies emerge from the sea to attack the surface.
With his half-brother Ocean Master (who has a huge part to play in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom) commanding the army, Arthur is caught in the middle of a conflict that pulls him in two directions, as the son of a human and an Atlantean.
For this arc, you’ll want to read Aquaman #0, 14-16, and Justice League #15-17 — the trade collects them all.
We hope you find something you love in that list. For more, find out the best ways to watch the DC movies in order, what we think the best superhero movies are, or see what we know about the first chapter in Chapter 1: Gods and Monsters with Superman: Legacy. Away from DC, we also picked out the best movies of all time.