- ...and the great cities flourished o'er the mighty continent of Atlantis. The fathers of our race brought splendor where'er they went. As humanity crawled from caves, our ancestors thrived in an oasis of civilization.
Atlantis is the name of a continent located in the North Atlantic Ocean and represents one of the earliest and most highly advanced cultural societies on Earth. Untold millennia ago, groups of pilgrims settled in the greater Atlantean region establishing twelve distinctive communities, a few of which evolved into the city-states now known as Poseidonis and Tritonis. Many believe that the original twelve settlements represented the twelve signs of the Zodiac.
Atlantis owed a lot of its development to the strong mystical energies intrinsically tied to the land. Over 145,000 years ago, two powerful mystics named Calculha and Majistra became the most powerful sorcerers in the world. Calculha, a follower of the light, manipulated White Magic, while his only living equal, Majistra was a practitioner of the dark arts. Through their influence, Atlantis flourished and grew into an advanced community unlike any other on the planet. Although magic was the dominant means of power throughout the continent, noted intellectuals began to recognize the wisdom of science. While the rest of the world had yet to benefit from inventions such as the wheel, the Atlanteans were already developing highly advanced technological wonders. Legend has it that the Atlanteans even managed to combine science and sorcery to create the world's first space-craft. This vessel is thought to have left the planet Earth some 50,000 years ago. Some have speculated that the crew of this craft may have populated the nearby human worlds of Rann, Thanagar, and Krypton.
As the centuries passed, the sorcerers Calculha and Majistra decided to consolidate their mystical prowess and mate with one another. Their union produced twin offspring, Garn Daanuth and Arion. Calculha took Arion under his wing and apprenticed him in the arts of pure magic, while Majistra schooled Garn in the ways of evil. The children each grew up to become powerful mages in their own right, and the bitterest of enemies. Arion eventually defeated his brother, but at great cost to himself.
The Great Deluge (sometimes referred to as the Great Flood) was a geological catastrophe that occurred some 9,600 years ago.
A giant skull-shaped meteor from outer space crashed into the Earth somewhere near the North Sea. The impact was so tremendous that it caused worldwide geological upheaval. Tectonic plates shifted, yielding massive flooding so intense that it caused the entire continent of Atlantis to sink beneath the waves. Though nearly all of Atlantean culture had been wiped away forever, those of the capital city of Poseidonis managed to survive due to the erection of a giant dome that shielded the entire city. It was believed by some, that the destruction of Atlantis was the result of Suula - Goddess of the Sky -- who took offense to the creation of the dome that cut Poseidonis off from the skies above. These Atlanteans managed to eke out a life for themselves, though they could never again leave the safety of their city.
Some Atlanteans however, found an alternative in the priest-mage known as Shalako. Shalako used his magic to protect his followers from the crushing pressure of the ocean depths, and they migrated from Poseidonis and re-established a colony in the ruins of the sister-city Tritonis.
A few short years after the calamity, Atlantis' monarch, King Orin, had his scientists develop a means so that his people could survive underwater, without having to stay within the city. The experiment was a success and the serum transformed the Atlanteans from normal human beings into aquatic amphibians who could survive the ocean depths and draw oxygen from water to breathe.
Most regarded Orin as a strong and benevolent leader, but there were those, including his brother, Shalako, who felt that Orin's compassion made him a weak ruler. Orin was the first to put together the Atlantis Chronicles and assigned Albart-Son-of-Yarrow of Ancinor the task of maintaining a faithful history of their home country.
Due to the machinations of Shalako, the citizens of Tritonis evolved into a race of Mer-people. At first, the former Shalakites adapted to this mutation, until they discovered that the changes were being passed down to their children. The most severe example of this effect was the Atlantean prince, Kordax. Kordax was born a hideous, green-scaled mutant with blond hair and the ability to telepathically control the creatures of the sea. The existence of Kordax caused a schism throughout Atlantis as by right of ascension, he was the first-born heir to the throne. This conflict erupted into a massive war between Poseidonis and Tritonis.
The Modern Era
Although the submerged continent grew and prospered, the civilizations of the surface world remained largely ignorant of Atlantis for many centuries. In recent years however, Atlantis has found itself pushed to the forefront of public awareness. Their most notable monarch to date, King Orin, reintroduced Atlantis to the modern world when he took the sobriquet, Aquaman, and became one of the founding members of the famous Justice League of America.
Atlantis has never been a nation to know peace for very long. Over the span of four-thousand wars, it has seen conflict from the surface world, from within its own borders and even from beyond the stars.
The Zodiac Crystals
Several years ago, Atlantis nearly declared war upon the surface world when they believed that the humans had stolen the Atlantean Royal Seal. In fact, they were only partially correct. Though the thief was indeed an air-breather, he was actually Aquaman's half-brother, the Ocean Master. Ocean Master stole the seal as part of a quest to find twelve ancient Zodiac Crystals from which he would gain ultimate power. Aquaman defeated Ocean Master and the armies of Atlantis held back their assault against the surface world.
The next serious attack came from a race of highly evolved giant jellyfish. These creatures despised the notion that the seas were dominated by the humanoid Atlanteans, and embarked upon an ambitious plan to insure racial purity in their territories. They bided their time until Atlantis was at its most vulnerable, when its capital city Poseidonis was under the command of an inept leader named Pletus. The Jellyfish commandeered ships and transport craft and began their invasion. They always concealed themselves within metal shells, so that nobody ever knew what the invaders actually looked like.
In times of war, it was customary to bequeath complete authority in Atlantis to the highest ranking military commander. Although the general fought valiantly, he was killed in the first attack, thereby solidifying Pletus' bid for power. Taking control of the military, his poor judgment misdirected battles and caused a severe drop in troop morale. Ultimately, he surrendered Atlantis to the jellyfish and was summarily drawn and quartered. The Atlantean ruling council were then apprehended and torn to shreds, their remains left floating in the Atlantean waters. The jellyfish rounded up as many dignitaries as they could find and incarcerated them at the Aquarium as political prisoners. To strengthen their own army, the jellyfish found nomadic tribes from the outlying settlements around the continent and pressed them into service. Although these men had no desire to wage war against their fellow Atlanteans, they feared that the jellyfish would execute their families if they tried to resist.
At the height of their occupation, Atlantis' former king, Aquaman, returned to his home after having been away for several years. He was captured by the rebel army and placed inside Aquarium. Aquaman conspired with the other prisoners to lead a rebellion against the invaders. He knew of secret aqueducts that could be used to leave Aquarium and get back to the royal palace.
They soon discovered that the invaders were rounding up random Atlantean families and taking them to a processing plant where they were being executed. Aquaman soon determined the true nature of the invaders and realized that they were in fact sentient jellyfish. He rounded up as many resistance members as he could and had them mass produce canisters containing a poisoned specially designed to kill jellyfish. They placed them at strategic locations around the royal palace and detonated them. Though the poison was deadly to jellyfish, it was harmless to other sea life. All of the invaders inside the capital city were killed instantly. Some managed to escape and retreated back behind the dome perimeter. The invaders were not finished however. Although they no longer controlled Poseidonis, they were able to erect a blockade around the domed city, cutting Atlantis off from their supply chains. If they couldn’t kill the Atlanteans directly, then they would starve them out.
An Atlantean general led the charge to push the invaders back, but the opposing force was too strong. They simply didn’t have the military strength to press forward. Aquaman ascended the highest point in the city and broadcast a telepathic command to every fish, cephalopod and marine mammal that he could summon. Taxing himself beyond measure, he succeeded in raising an army that obliterated the opposing forces once and for all. Atlantis was liberated.
Points of Interest
The Five Lost Cities
- Cave of Death
- This was a skull-shaped undersea cavern from the times of ancient Atlantis. It was here that the outcast mutant Kordax was raised in secrecy until such time that he emerged to claim the throne of Atlantis.
- Deep Six-A-Go-Go
- This was an undersea discotheque operated by an alien criminal named Doctor Dorsal. From here, he used the power of his hypnotic eels to control the minds of Aqualad and Aquagirl, forcing them to commit crimes on his behalf.
- Maarzon is a barren territory on the outer perimeter of Atlantis, not far away from the isolationist Thierna Na Oge. The region is populated by tribes of green-skinned barbaric savages. Ocean Master once took control of the Maarzon barbarians in a bid to defeat his brother Aquaman.
- Tlapallan was one of the cities of Atlantis, populated by a sub-species of onyx-skinned Atlanteans. Ocean Master once razed the city to acquire one of the Zodiac Crystals in order to achieve vast mystical power.
- Albart of Ancinar
- Atlan-son-of Honsu
- Bazil-son-of Alloroc
- Queen Cora
- Dardanus-son-of Shalako
- Queen Fiona
- Gaius Thetalos
- Garn Daanuth
- Haumond-son-of Honsu
- King Honsu
- Kraken-son-of Honsu
- Lady Chian
- Queen Narmea
- Orin the First
- Shalako-son-of Thorvall
- Tula (Aquagirl)
- Garth (Aqualad)
- Arthur Curry, Jr. (Aquababy)
- Orin (Aquaman)
- Eochaid Bres
- Nuada Silverhand
- Tuatha De Danann (race)
- Dianecht (of Thierna Na Oge)
- The existence of this location is known to the general populace of Earth, but generally regarded as the subject of myth.
- Atlantis has four religions.
- Adventure Comics
- Aquaman Recommended Reading
- Arion Lord of Atlantis
- Arion the Immortal
- Atlantis Chronicles
- More Fun Comics
- Warlord (Volume 1)
Links and References
- Who's Who: The Definitive Directory of the DC Universe Vol 1 1
- Atlantis article at Wikipedia
- Atlantis (DC Comics) article at Wikipedia
- Atlantis at the Marvel Database Project
- Atlantis article at Encyclopedia Mythica
- Atlantis is Boring at TV Tropes