The Trench
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceAquaman (vol. 7) #1 (November 2011)
Created byGeoff Johns

The Trench is the name applied to both a fictional kingdom, and its inhabitants as a group, that escaped the destruction of Atlantis in DC comics.

The Trench appear in the 2018 live-action DC Extended Universe film Aquaman.

Publication history

The Trench first appeared in Aquaman (vol. 7) #1 (November 2011) and were created by Geoff Johns.[1] In September 2011, The New 52 had rebooted DC's continuity. Johns introduced the Trench into this new timeline, making them antagonists in the Aquaman series.

Fictional biography

The Trench are a race of vicious, cannibalistic, ocean-dwelling creatures that rose from their domain, beneath the ocean floor in search of food and devoured anything that's in their way. With their first attack, they demonstrate a complete lack of empathy, relying on only the primal instinct to feed, even eating their own slain brethren. All the creatures seem to be similar with the exception of one alpha member of the race. When that alpha member marks its food, the others back off. After massacring a boat and local fishing community, the police call in Aquaman and Mera to help investigate. The police divers eventually find what looks to be a cocoon in the water, which contains many creatures of the Trench. While fighting off the creatures' attacks, the alpha marks Aquaman as food to be brought back to the ocean floor, where they originated.[2]

Aquaman fiercely battles the alpha as Mera holds off the rest. The alpha calls for a retreat with their captured food as they dive back into the deep. Aquaman takes one of their fallen to be further examined. Mera and Arthur dive into the Trench to save the townspeople. They discover a crashed Atlantean ship that had been attacked by the creatures. They also find the spawn of the Trench creatures to be sick and dying. Arthur and Mera then discover the throne room/breeding chamber where the Queen and her alpha King are. The Trench creatures were just trying to gather enough food for their Queen's children. Aquaman rips off the roof of the cave containing the cocooned townspeople and heads to the surface. The Trench, their King and Queen follow them as Arthur triggers a volcanic reaction with his trident. The Trench begins to collapse as Arthur seals it with another large rock.[3]

Throne of Atlantis

During the battle between Atlantis and the surface city of Gotham, The Trench were released from their undersea prison by an unknown player to be used against both sides in the war of the two worlds. Arthur had been investigating involvement regarding the Dead King's Scepter he'd attempted to intercept during an exchange between Black Manta and a mysterious Atlantean convoy who made off with it, only for The Trench to later attack both the surface world and the armies of Atlantis at Vulko's command. The latter of whom revealing himself to have started the whole conflict in the first place using the scepter he bought off of manta.

Which he was using to guide the latter invading force against both Atlantis and the world at large as vengeance, in part against Stephen Shin for outing Arthur for public notoriety and against Atlantis itself for denouncing him after Aquaman bequeathed the throne to his younger brother Orm. After having bested the former king, the Justice League presented a relenting Vulko to Arthur who willingly handed his belated king the sceptre he used to unseal said deep dwellers to aid in his gambit to put Aquaman back on the throne.

But after hearing all of this, Arthur harshly reprimanded his former adviser backhanding him into a ruined street utterly disgusted by Vulko's lack of abandon at his plans which cost hundreds of thousands their lives. With the scepter in hand using it in conjunction with his own psionic capacities, Arthur ordered to trench back into the ocean depths. Awaiting their chance to rise again.[4]

Dead King's Trident

Aquaman uses the Dead King's Trident to command the Trench and help him fight the Xebel and the Dead King, banking on the fact that while the relic itself doesn't directly move them into action but acts as an instinctive imprint relating to subconscious subservience to the first monarch of said kingdom.

Aquaman loses control of the Trench when the Dead King's Scepter is destroyed. It is also revealed that the Trench are one of the three surviving kingdoms of Old Atlantis along with the Xebelians and Atlantians. When Atlan plunged the seven kingdoms of Atlantis into the ocean, the survivors initially believed four of the kingdoms were destroyed, and the other three survived and adapted to their new conditions with 90% of the Atlanteans dying from the event. The Trench were one of the three surviving kingdoms, a mutated form of humans who survived Atlan's destruction of his city decades ago, by mutating into monsters.[5]

Powers and abilities

The Trench have adapted to underwater life like all the Atlantean kingdoms. They can generate bio-luminescent light from their bodies and spit a chemical from their mouth that causes paralysis. The Trench have razor-sharp teeth and needle-tipped claws that can cut through anything.

Known Trench

In other media


Video games


  1. ^ Cowsill, Alan; Irvine, Alex; Korte, Steve; Manning, Matt; Wiacek, Win; Wilson, Sven (2016). The DC Comics Encyclopedia: The Definitive Guide to the Characters of the DC Universe. DK Publishing. p. 311. ISBN 978-1-4654-5357-0.
  2. ^ Aquaman (vol. 7) #1 (November 2011). DC Comics.
  3. ^ Aquaman (vol. 7) #7
  4. ^ Justice League (vol. 2) #15 (February 2013) and #17 (April 2013). DC Comics.
  5. ^ Aquaman (vol. 7) #25 (January 2014). DC Comics.
  6. ^ Aquaman (vol. 7) #2. DC Comics.
  7. ^ Justice League (vol. 2) #17. DC Comics.
  8. ^ Aquaman (vol. 7) #4. DC Comics.
  9. ^ Kit, Borys (February 8, 2019). "'Aquaman' Spinoff 'The Trench' in the Works (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  10. ^ "Ava DuVernay's 'New Gods,' James Wan's 'The Trench' DC Movies Not Moving Forward at Warner Bros". The Hollywood Reporter. 2021-04-01. Retrieved 2021-04-01.