The Comic Book History Of Ocean Master

With the announcement that Patrick Wilson was going to be playing Ocean Master in the upcoming Aquaman film opposite Jason Momoa, it seemed like a good time to do up a primer on the half brother of Arthur Curry. But hold on to your swim fins, this one is a bit complicated depending on when you look at him.

om1When the character was first created by Bob Haney and Nick Cardy in Aquaman #29 (1966), he was named Orm Curry and was the Human half-brother of Arthur Curry. He was the son of Tom Curry and Mary O'Sullivan. Well, Orm wasn't exactly a good child, he hated his brother for being a hero and got into a life of crime. But an accident happened and he suffered amnesia, forgetting who he was but remembering his hate for Aquaman. Going by the name Orm Marius, he would become a high-tech pirate and call himself Ocean Master.

Aquaman discovered who Ocean Master was and didn't want to fight him, but he would thwart Orm's plans for years. in Aquaman #50, Deadman took over Ocean Master and unlocked his memories. Now knowing who he is, he still kept the name and plotted against his half-brother.

Yes, that was all Pre-Crisis… but Post-Crisis Orm and Arthur got themselves a new daddy. They are the sons of Atlan the Wizard. Orm's mother is an Inupiat woman. Arthur, born Orin, is the son of Queen Atlanna. So, Orm is now Orin's Atlantean half-brother. Orin is left on the shore because of his blond hair and raises himself in the wild. He meets and falls in love with an Inupiat girl named Kako. Orm attacks Kako out of jealousy, but because of her injuries, she doesn't remember the attack. Orm's jealousy would continue over the years to becoming an obsession to take the throne of Atlantis for himself.

Ocean Master would start using mystical powers, getting a trident from Neron which he used to capture the Dreaming City. He would then go on to join the Injustice Gang, he tried to claim Atlantis after Aquaman's apparent death, and even used his mystical powers to alter reality making him Aquaman and Orin into Ocean Master. And he would even join the Secret Society of Super Villains.

om2And then came the New 52 where his origins are once again revised. In this new version, Arthur is the son of Atlanna and Tom Curry who is left with his father to protect him from the effects of Atlantean tyranny. She was later forced to marry a member of the Atlantean Guard and gave birth to Orm. So now they have different fathers, the same mother and Orm is full Atlantean and Arthur is half. Orm's father dies and Atlanna also passes under mysterious circumstances. Orm becomes king. But Arthur learns that he is the true heir to the throne and must overthrow his half-brother.

But Arthur and Orm work out a deal that Orm can continue to rule as long as he leaves the surface world alone. Which works fine until someone causes an aircraft carrier to attack Atlantis. Orm retaliates against the ship and then wages a war on the surface world. Orm tries to sink Boston while the Justice League intervenes. Aquaman tries to talk sense into Ocean Master but no luck. Aquaman then discovers that it's Vulko that caused the war in the first place, bur Orm won't listen and continues his assault. When it's finally all done, Orm abdicates the throne and is sent to Belle Reve prison for his crimes.

Orm would eventually escape prison, but while heading back to the ocean he comes across a dinner being attacked by other prisoners. He ends up taking them out and saving a waitress named Erin who pleads with Orm to save her son Tommy. He refuses, heading off for the ocean again only to change his mind and return to save the boy. He would end up living with Erin and Tommy. That is until Nereus showed up wanting to take over the world.

Oh… and there was the Flashpoint version where he worked with Aquaman but was actually the cause of the Atlantean / Amazon war.

Told you it was complicated.

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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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