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Atlantis in Suicide Squad (2016) #46, art by Jose Luis (penciler), Jordi Tarragona & Vicente Cifuentes (inkers), Adriano Lucas (color).
First appearanceAdventure Comics #260 (May 1959)
Created byRobert Bernstein
Ramona Fradon
Based onAtlantis
In-universe information
Race(s)Various; most notably Atlanteans
CharactersAquaman, Mera, Tempest, Aqualad, Ocean Master, Arion, etc.
PublisherDC Comics

Atlantis (sometimes called the Kingdom of Atlantis or the Atlantean Empire) is the fictional aquatic-based civilization appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics commonly associated with the superhero, Aquaman. Its depiction is most recognizable one within DC Comics, first appearing in Adventure Comics #260 (May 1959), and was created by Robert Bernstein and Ramona Fradon. Typically either a reoccurring or main setting of most Aquaman stories, the nation is characterized as being inhabited by human-like beings and creatures with biological, aquatic adaptations as well as typically following a hereditary monarchy. Atlantis is portrayed within DC Universe as being among the oldest and most powerful of civilzations on Earth due to its advanced technology and connection to the arcane forces on Earth. Beginning as a utopia, the nation would collapse to the bottom of the ocean after a cataclysmic event. Over time, the nation's history would be embordered in conflict with regards to its succession of rulers, the nation's status as a superpower, its fictional cultural heritage, and the relationship with the global world in the modern age.

The Kingdom of Atlantis made its cinematic debut in the 2017 film Justice League, set in the DC Extended Universe, and was later more prominently featured in the 2018 film Aquaman.

Publication history

While Golden Age of Comics version of Atlantis exists, the version in the "Aquaman" tales first appeared in Adventure Comics #260, in a story by writer Robert Bernstein and artist Ramona Fradon.[1][2]

The history of Atlantis was detailed in The Atlantis Chronicles, a 7-issue miniseries published by DC Comics from March to September 1990. It was written by Peter David, and illustrated by Esteban Maroto. The series focused on a series of Atlantean historical manuscripts, also called The Atlantis Chronicles, and chronicled the rise and fall of Atlantis. Each issue dealt with a separate era or event in Atlantis' past, beginning with its sinking, as told through the royal historian's point of view.

Fictional history

Map of Atlantis from Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #42 (March 2007), art by Ricardo Villagran.

The continent of Atlantis was settled 65,000,000 years ago, by a humanoid extraterrestrial race known as the Hunter/Gatherers, who proceeded to hunt the animals to extinction. One million years ago, Atlantean society flourished alongside Homo erectus, the precursors of modern man. This apparently occurred long before the intervention of the genetic tampering with the Metagene.[3]

Thousands of years ago, magic levels on Earth began to drop due to the sleeping entity known as Darkworld beginning to awaken. The Atlantean sorceress, Citrina, struck a deal with the Lords of Chaos who ruled Gemworld, so she would be allowed to create a home there for those Homo magi and magic-dependent species such as the Faerie, Elves, Centaurs, and so forth who wished to emigrate from Earth. Gemworld was colonized by Homo magi emigrants from Earth made up of the 12 ruling houses of Atlantis.[4]

Darkworld was a dimension formed by the body of an unnamed cosmic entity who later fell into a deep sleep. This entity's dreams were responsible for creating the first Lords of Chaos and Order, Chaon (chaos), Gemimn (order), and Tynan the Balancer.[4] These beings and others were worshiped as gods by the citizens of Atlantis. Darkworld was tethered to Atlantis by a massive "chain" created by Deedra, goddess of nature.[4] Some Atlantean magicians such as Arion and Garn Daanuth later learned to tap the mystic energies of Darkworld, enabling them to wield nearly godlike power.

Eventually, Atlantis came to be the center of early human civilization. Its king, Orin, ordered the construction of a protective dome over the city simply as a defense against barbarian tribes, but shortly afterward a meteor crashed into the earth, destroying most of the upper world and sinking the city to the bottom of the ocean. Orin's brother, Shalako, departed with a number of followers through tunnels in order to reclaim another sunken city of their empire, Tritonis, whose inhabitants had not survived. After a few years, Atlantean scientists developed a serum that would permanently let their people breathe underwater; as a consequence of the magic used by Shalako in settling Tritonis, the Tritonians were further mutated to have fish-tails instead of legs. Some descendants of Shalako's son Dardanus also inherited his telepathy, which was marked by blonde hair, extremely rare among Atlanteans. Dardanus's son Kordax further had the ability to command sea creatures. After he led them alongside the Tritonians in a revolution against the king, he was exiled, and children born with blond hair, the "mark of Kordax" were generally viewed as aberrations and abandoned to die.

Notable locations


Venturia and Aurania

Queen of a crumbling Atlantean outpost named Venturia, a subsea realm situated somewhere beneath the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean (Comics Cavalcade #18, December/January 1946/1947: "The Menace of the Rebel Manlings" until she is deposed by Wonder Woman in Spring 1944), Queen Clea enslaved the men of her realm and amused herself by putting many to death in gladiatorial combat. Desiring extended rule, Clea repeatedly attacked Venturia's flourishing sister city of Aurania unsuccessfully. Despite this failure, she expanded her ideal towards domination over the entire lost continent of Atlantis. In order to do this, Clea stole the fabled Trident of Poseidon to make herself virtually unstoppable.

Sub Diego

Sub Diego is the new name of a portion of the city of San Diego, California which was submerged during an artificially generated earthquake, part of a plan which changed part of the surviving population into sub-aquatic beings. The city had a recent increase in population due to an influx of refugees from Atlantis, following the destruction of that city by the Spectre. Roughly 50 weeks after the Infinite Crisis, an unknown event caused part of the Sub Diego population to be changed back into air-breathers. Thus, Aquaman had to use magic to make a huge part of the city return on the surface, joined to the rest of San Diego. It is still unknown how much of Sub Diego stayed submerged.


A kingdom recently founded by the formerly ousted Atlantean king, Ocean Master. The kingdom primarily consisted of refugees and migrants from Atlantis's Ninth Tride, an area of Atlantis considered the poorest district. The population of Dagon, save Ocean Master, consists of Atlantean "mutants" (Atlanteans with a more fish-like appearance and sometimes additional abilities compared to baseline Atlanteans). While Ocean Master would steer the population against the mainline Atlantis kingdom with intent on making it the eventual new capital and to politically secure a place on the throne once more, he is eventually forced to relinquish his hold after his crimes against Mera (kidnapping her child with Aquaman, Andrina Curry) were made publicly known and Aquaman's triumph in combat with Orm causing Dagon to become a democracy. Dagon would also formally join Atlantis as one of its official city-states.[7]


Lemuria is an underwater city based upon fictional continent of the same name.[8] The city is inhabited by a scientifically advanced race of blue-skinned humanoids covered in part with large green scales.[8][9]

The Seven Kingdoms

After the New 52 reboot, Atlantis is considered one of the seven major kingdoms with others affiliated with it, each kingdom existing as a major super-power in their own right. While the New 52 initially only introduced four of the seven kingdoms, DC Rebirth would later introduce three more:

Kingdom of Xebel

Originally, Xebel was an other dimensional kingdom formerly ruled by Queen Mera until she was deposed and was ruled by her nemesis, Queen V'lana. Mera's twin sister Hila also stayed behind in Xebel. The Aquaman villain known as Thanatos also originated from there. The kingdom of Xebel is located within "Dimension Aqua".[10][11] Later revisions to its history reveal Xebel to be a forgotten extradimensional penal colony for an ancient group of separatist Atlanteans, locked behind a sealed portal in the Bermuda Triangle.[12] In modern continuities, Xebel is typically under the leadership of Nereus.[13][14] Considered a formidable kingdom, Xebel has less resources than Atlantis due to being sealed behind a portal, forcing the population to gather materials through unlikely shipwrecks in the Bermuda Triangle.[15]

Kingdom of The Trench

Located in the Marina Trench, the kingdom is home to a race of the Trench, a vicious cannibalistic, ocean-dwelling creatures with a piscine humanoid appearance. Initially, the Trench were characterized as being hostile to all other ocean-dwelling races, including Atlanteans.[16] Later, it was revealed that the Trench was once a kingdom, a fact previously unknown. Over time, the Trench is later seen to be in more neutral terms with the other kingdoms. The Trench Kingdom is ruled by the Trench Queen.[7]

Kingdom of the Deserters

A hidden kingdom in the Sahara Desert, it is the last kingdom to be accepted prior to the sinking of Atlantis from Atlan shortly after the end of his reign. The kingdom was known for its metallurgy and the use of rare, mystical metals such as Nth metal and orichalcum, metals with enhanced durability and mystical properties.[17] The Kingdom's inhabits originated from Africa and during Atlan's reign, the Deserters would return to their homeland along with most of their technology weeks before Atlan would sink the continent. Due to this, the Deserters population did not become biologically adapted to the sea like others, remaining human/homo magi. Eventually, the Deserters themselves dissolved though their descendants still passed their technology.[18] Descendants of the Deserters tribe would include mystic sorcerer Doctor Mist, Aquaman's archenemy Black Manta, his son Jackson Hyde, and former Manta Men member Devil Ray].[18]

Kingdom of the Brine

The Kingdom of the Brine is a kingdom of bulky, anthropomorphic crustaceans.[7]

Originally, the Brine was introduced in the 2018 film prior to being brought to the comics.

Kingdom of the Wrights

The Kingdom of the Wrights is a kingdom consisting of humanoid sea otters with the ability to breathe underwater.[7]

Kingdom of the Sea Lights

The Kingdom of the Sea Lights is a kingdom consisting of green-haired, bioluminescent humanoids with the ability to breathe underwater.[7]

Ancient Atlantis

City of the Golden Gate

The former capital of ancient Atlantis long before it sunk. Like its successor Poseidonis, the city once served as the administrative center of ancient Atlantis and is named after the city's golden-like appearance as well as having a gate notable for fending off invaders. The Golden Gate City would serve as the main base of operations and setting in several story arcs of the Arion, Lord of Atlantis series.


In DC Comics, Mu is one of Atlantis's former city-states and a major location in the Arion, Lord of Atlantis series. The city was once ruled by the titular character's estranged family members, Garn Daanuth and Dark Majistra, the former using force in order to suppress and supersede the rulership of his successors after a political movement caused Atlantis to use science instead of magic and replaced its sorcerous rulers. The inhabitant's culture, appearance, and architecture would resemble ancient Egyptians. The city would eventually fall into decay during Garn's rulership as he sought to invade the City of the Golden Gate and rule the entire kingdom of Atlantis and fell into antiquity.

List of known races in Atlantis

Homo Magi

First appearanceJustice League of America #165 (1979)
AbilitiesInnate abilities includes: longevity (of at least 2-3 centuries) and biological adaptation; most homo magi are also capable of manipulating and wielding magic naturally and innately without immediate consequence.
AliasesAtlanteans, Homo Magus, True Atlanteans

The Homo Magi (sometimes synonymously referred to as Atlanteans) are a fictional race of humans who evolved in a parallel but separate line and were acclimated to possessing and controlling magical energies innately.[19] Originally, the history of the race was depicted to be considered to be unknown, having been said to have first emerged onto the continent of Atlantis on Earth over a million of years ago and their abilities to wield magic having been attributed to the abundance of magical energies on Earth during that time. When magic waned on Earth, various sects of the Homo Magi would migrate to other places and dimensions, including extradimensional locations such as Gemworld and Skartaris.[20]

Others who would stay in Atlantis and their descendants would eventually evolve into the sea-faring race known as simply "Atlanteans", who biologically adapted to survive and live in the ocean although those who used magic often had ancestors of pure Homo Magi origin.

After the events of Flashpoint and the New 52 reboot, the Homo Magi are presented with a similar origin although with a few differences: some were tied to the Rock of Eternity, having once learned magic there before early Homo Magi founded Atlantis and other ancient civilizations such as Kor.[21] However, it is also expressed that the Homo Magi's inclinations towards magic (and therefore spawn the "Atlantean magic" variant) were owed to the energies originating from the realm known as Darkworld, a dimension of magic with a consciousness of its own whose energies are innately known for being considered uncontrollable to most except to beings in which it spawned (i.e. Calculha, Arion). Over time, exposure to the energies evolved ordinary humans into the Homo Magi. Due to Darkworld's connection to the cosmic entity known as simply the Great Darkness, the cosmic opposite of the Pressence, this fact is considered a tightly-kept secret among most sects of Homo Magi and magical community, including the sea-faring Atlanteans.[22]


First appearanceActions Comics #39 (1939)
AbilitiesInnate abilities include: superhuman physiology necessary for biological adaptation and survivability for the sea (strength, speed, durability, etc). Some possess longevity and are capable of wielding magic innately and naturally without immediate consequence.

The Atlanteans are a fictional race of humans who evolved to survive and live in the ocean. In their depiction after Crisis on Infinite Earths onwards, the Atlanteans were known to be the descendants of the homo magi race who evolved after the cataclysmic event known as the Deluge, which sunk the continent and its survivors adapted. Like their ancestors, they shared a natural inclination of magic and often combined it with technology.[20]

Atlanteans in Aquaman titles are typically depicted as having often xenophobic views for the "surface world", isolationist foreign policy, and constant strife among their treatment of others whom they considered outcasts, which is characterized as running contrary to ancient Atlantis's diverse history; more recent stories explained this as having originated from a combination of Atlantis's history with foreign invaders and the grim historical precedence progressive monarchs faced when they respectively sought to encourage and promote foreign policies closely resembling liberal internationalism.[23] At various points over time, Atlanteans relations between ordinary humans became more relaxed and tolerate albeit typically tense dependent on the ruling monarch (i.e., Mera, Aquaman, Ocean Master, Corum Rath, etc.).

In other media




  1. ^ Hunt, James (17 December 2018). "Aquaman: What are the Seven Kingdoms of Atlantis?". Den of Geek.
  2. ^ Anderson, David. "Aquaman's Atlantis - Truth, Fiction, Or Something In Between?". Forbes. Retrieved 23 February 2020.
  3. ^ Aquaman (vol. 2) #17-24. DC Comics.
  4. ^ a b c "Atlantis". Archived from the original on 23 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-04.
  5. ^ Williams, Rob (2019). Aquaman/Suicide Squad: sink Atlantis. Dan Abnett, José Luis, Joe Bennett, Jordi Tarragona, Vicente Cifuentes, Adriano Lucas. Burbank, CA. ISBN 978-1-4012-9072-6. OCLC 1077578368.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  6. ^ a b Abnett, Dan (2018). The crown comes down. Phillip Kennedy Johnson, Riccardo Federici, Max Fiumara, Rick Leonardi, Sunny Gho, Dave Stewart. Burbank, CA. ISBN 978-1-4012-8069-7. OCLC 1042078252.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ a b c d e DeConnick, Kelly Sue (2021). Aquaman, Vol. 4: Echoes of a Life Lived Well. DC Comics. ISBN 978-1-77950-588-0.
  8. ^ a b Super Team Family #13-14 (November 1977) and Secret Society of Super Villains #10 (October 1977). DC Comics.
  9. ^ All-Star Comics #62 (October 1976). DC Comics.
  10. ^ Aquaman #11 (October 1963). DC Comics.
  11. ^ Action Comics #539 (January 1983). DC Comics.
  12. ^ Brightest Day #6 (July 2010). DC Comics.
  13. ^ Aquaman (vol. 5) #25 (November 2013). DC Comics.
  14. ^ Mera: Queen of Atlantis #4. DC Comics.
  15. ^ Abnett, Dan (2018). Mera, Queen of Atlantis, #1-6. Lan Medina, Norm Rapmund, Veronica Gandini, Simon Bowland, Stanley Lau. [United States]. ISBN 978-1-4012-9013-9. OCLC 1083334950.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  16. ^ Johns, Geoff (2012). Aquaman, Volume 1: The Trench. Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, Rod Reis, Nick Napolitano, Paul Norris. New York. ISBN 978-1-4012-3551-2. OCLC 777657672.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  17. ^ Jurgens, Dan (2015). Aquaman and the Others, Volume 1: Legacy of Gold. John Ostrander, Lan Medina, Manuel Garcia, Geraldo Borges, Netho Diaz, Allen Martinez. New York. ISBN 978-1-4012-5038-6. OCLC 890080292.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  18. ^ a b Brown, Chuck (2022). Black Manta. Valentine De Landro, Matthew Dow Smith, Marissa Louise, Clayton Cowles. Burbank, CA. ISBN 978-1-77951-713-5. OCLC 1301902741.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  19. ^ Weiss, Ehrich (1988). Secret Origins v2 #27. DC Comics.
  20. ^ a b Kuppenburg, Paul (1990). Atlas of the DC Universe. DC Comics.
  21. ^ Tynion, James IV (2019). Justice League Dark. Vol. 2, Lords of order. Ram V, Alvaro Martinez, Guillem March, Daniel Sampere, Mark Buckingham, Miguel Mendonça. Burbank, CA. ISBN 978-1-4012-9460-1. OCLC 1110150328.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  22. ^ JUSTICE LEAGUE DARK THE GREAT WICKEDNESS. [S.l.]: DC COMICS. 2022. ISBN 978-1-77951-551-3. OCLC 1269618795.
  23. ^ Snyder, Scott (2019). Justice League, Aquaman: Drowned Earth, issue #1. Dan Abnett, James, IV Tynion, Francis Manapul, Lan Medina, Clayton Henry, Vicente Cifuentes. [United States]. ISBN 978-1-77950-062-5. OCLC 1158913809.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)