The Character Spotlight – Issue #3: Ocean Master (Orm)


It’s time for the third edition of The Character Spotlight! This is also the first Spotlight that will be focusing on a member of the comic universe that is still alive currently. I decided that with Geoff John’s Aquaman and Justice League currently engaging in the “Throne of Atlantis” crossover, now was the perfect time to shine the spotlight on the apparent villain of the storyline and consistent member of Arthur Curry’s Rogues Gallery: Ocean Master. Orm, the Spotlight is yours:

DebutAquaman 29Aquaman #29 (Cover Date: October 1966)

Biography: Ocean Master’s origin (Pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths) had him as the half-brother of Aquaman, Aquaman’s father being his as well. Unlike Aquaman, both of Orm Curry’s parents were human and he grew to resent Aquaman because of his lack of powers and his father’s apparent favouritism towards Arthur. He took to a life of petty crime before being stricken with amnesia, forgetting everything about his life, and subsequently disappearing out of the picture. He reemerged several years later now calling himself Ocean Master. He was a high-tech pirate who started out attacking ships but turned to larger ambitions by causing natural disasters in order to hold the world ransom. In one confrontation, Aquaman knocked off Ocean Master’s mask and realized his true identity as his half-brother. He was unable to fight him and Ocean Master misconstrued Aquaman’s actions as him being afraid of the villain. Seeing this weakness, Orm decided to overthrow Aquaman and seize the throne. He made a costume and helmet that enabled him to breathe underwater, but continued to fail in reaching his goals. At one point he regained his memory but still continued his crusade against Arthur. Post-Crisis, Ocean Master’s origins changed. He was still the half-brother of Aquaman but their father was now an Atlantean wizard instead of a normal human being. He still sought the throne of Atlantis, still had the same costume to aid him in breathing underwater, but eventually gained mystical powers after he sold his soul. He continued to battle his brother and various members of the Justice League, sometimes solo and sometimes as part of a villainous team. Ocean Master once again got a new origin after the New 52 relaunch in 2011. This time the half-brothers share an Atlantean mother and Orm is full-blooded Atlantean allowing him to finally breathe underwater without the aid of a suit. After his father is killed, Ocean Master turns evil and murders his mother to seize the throne of Atlantis for himself. Aquaman defeats his brother for the throne but later abdicates it for some reason, leaving the villain back in charge currently. Where things go from here is anyone’s guess.

Notable Series/Key Issues:

Aquaman Vol. 1 (#29, #32, #35, #37, #49-#52, #62-#63, )
Aquaman Vol. 2 (#1-#4)
Aquaman: Time and Tide #3-#4
Aquaman Vol. 4 (#10, #18-#20, #63-#69)
Underworld Unleashed #1
JLA #68
Aquaman Vol. 5 (#26-#27, #37)
Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #43-#45
Aquaman Vol. 6 (#14-#15)

Appearances In Other Media:

Justice League (TV)
Batman: The Brave and the Bold (TV)
Young Justice (TV)
DC Universe Online (Game)

My Take: Aquaman and his villains are oftentimes seen as jokes but Geoff Johns has done an admirable job changing everyone’s minds on that. Despite his constant origin shifts, the fact that is always constant is Aquaman and Ocean Master are half-brothers. Currently, Johns is setting the villain up for perhaps his most heinous persona yet and is giving Black Manta a real run for his money as Aquaman’s #1 villain. Going into the New 52, I had no clue about Ocean Master’s comic history only seeing the villain in his limited animated appearances on television. John’s has made me take notice and I can’t wait to see where their war will lead them next.

Thus ends Issue #3 of Character Spotlight. Any thoughts/opinions on this character? Comment below!


2 thoughts on “The Character Spotlight – Issue #3: Ocean Master (Orm)

    • That’s what I love about Geoff Johns: he takes these characters that many haven’t heard of or care for and makes them important and cooler than they were before. Geoff Johns is the reinvention King!

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