Aquaman for years has been the butt of the jokes as being referred to as “the guy who talks to fishes”. But with Aquaman hitting the theatres later this year; DC fans can expect a revival of the character’s image. That being said Aquaman is the king and the ruler of the oceans and one of the most powerful underwater heroes. A similar counterpart is Namor in the Marvel universe. Apart from their ability to breathe and more or less control water bodies, these superheroes and villains are the most powerful when in their ecosystem. So here’s a list of 10 most powerful underwater superheroes and villains.
Aquaman first appeared in More Fun Comics #73 in 1941. Even though things like Super Friends and Robot Chicken have made him a joke with even Batman calling him the “guy who talks to fishes” Justice League; he has never been a joke in the comics. He is one of the strongest DC superbeings with the ability to telepathically talk to marine life and exhibit unsurmountable strength. He’s withstood machine-guns and shark attacks to name a few. And now with Jason Momoa playing the role go Aquaman; he’s certainly getting an image revival in the DCEU.
While Aquaman is the most powerful in the DC universe, no can overpower Namor underwater in the Marvel comics. He is an Atlantean but is also an alpha-level mutant with abilities like full amphibious physiology suited for extreme undersea pressures, superhuman strength, speed, agility, durability, flight, and longevity. Moreover, the fact that he’s a hybrid of a human and an Atlantean with mutant genes gives me some crazy abilities, the only downside being his uncontrolled arrogance.
3. Ocean Master
Ocean Master is the half-brother of Aquaman and the second son of Queen Atlanna. However, unlike Aquaman who was raised on the surface, Orm was raised in Atlantis and learned to hate humans. Being Aquaman’s half-brother, his powers are pretty much the same. He wields a trident which can control lightning and a helmet with ocean manipulatory effects.
Mera first appeared in the pages of Aquaman #11 in 1963. She was initially sent to Atlantis to take Aquaman out but ended up falling in love with him. ( I mean who wouldn’t right?). Though not as strong as Aquaman but with powers such as the ability to form “hard water” objects, she certainly is a force to be reckoned with the DCEU. With the Aquaman movie coming out this year, Mera plays a pivotal role in the storyline and hopefully, fans will get to see a larger display of powers from her.
Namora is the Sub-Mariner’s cousin and made her debut in Marvel Mystery Comics #82 back in 1947. Just like Namor, her abilities are due to the mixture of her Atlantean bloodlines and her mutant abilities. She is superhumanly strong and can lift up to 75 tons, and is extremely fast both in and out of the water. She has slowed down the aging process and can even fly.
Triton is a member of the Inhuman race, artificially mutated by the Terrigen Mist, giving him scaly greenish skin and fish like features like a dorsal fin and webbed toes and fingers. However, unlike the other characters on the list, he cannot naturally breathe air and needs near-constant contact with water to survive, and cannot exist out of the water without artificial aids. He exhibits superhuman strength and speeds underwater.
Aqualad was first seen as the protege of Aquaman and was later unanimously elected to head the Young Justice. He has been shown to possess the ability to breathe underwater as well as enhanced strength and can adapt his eyes to see in the darkest of ocean bottoms. Additionally like eels, he can discharge electricity from his fingertips. (pretty cool right?)
8. King Shark
King Shark is probably one of the most interesting and fun underwater supervillains in DC Comics. He is a humanoid shark who first appeared in Superboy Vol. 4 #0 and became a nemesis for the Boy of Steel. He even went head to head with Aquaman when captured in a lab by Amanda Waller. HE can live underwater indefinitely and survive on land for much longer than other underwater heroes and villains. And well obviously possess teeth like a shark that can tear through almost anything.
Walter Newell first appears in the title Tales to Astonish as an oceanographer working for the United States government who later designs himself a suit based on the form of a manta ray and calls it “Stingray”. He then aids Namor and the Inhuman Triton against a group of Atlanteans who destroy an ocean liner and falsely claim to have done so for Namor.
Since his debut, Stingray has been a member of the Avengers and Defenders and remained a friend and ally of Namor for years. He has no natural superhuman abilities but just like Iron Man derives most of his powers from the suit designed like superhuman strength and ability to survive 1,200 feet underwater. Oh and he can send electric blasts!
10. Black Manta
Black Manta, aka David Hyde, has two very different origin stories. In this origin, he was kidnapped and forced to work on a ship and physically abused by his captors. When he got free by killing them, he developed a strong sense of hatred for the sea and Aquaman. However, in the New 52, he was a treasure hunter with evil intentions. Being one of the top nemesis of Aquaman; Black Manta mainly derives his powers from his suit.