He was originally Arthur Curry, an Atlantean orphan found and raised by a human lighthouse keeper. While he was aware of his adaptation to undersea life from a young age, he only learned about his true path in adulthood. He vowed to be the defender of the seas and serves in that capacity both on his own and as a member of the Justice League.
His closest companions include Mera, his wife who can form structures made from hard water, and Aqualad, an outcast orphan whom Aquaman took under his wing.
His enemies include Black Manta, a would be conqueror of Atlantis, and the Ocean Master, his half brother who is consumed with an insane vendetta against his brother.
The character has appeared on TV both in his own series and as part of The Super Friends.