Atlanteans are a race of humans who were saved by their king's magic trident when Atlantis sank into the ocean. The magic irreversibly turned them into creatures of the sea. Physically, they could survive underwater and displayed above average physical attributes compared to normal humans. Gills appeared on the back of their neck, as well. As time went on, tradition dictated they keep themselves hidden away from the surface world. Some even developing feelings of superiority over the surfacers, even hatred. Soldiers were trained to use their element to their advantage in unarmed combat such as avoiding the opponent's gaze or keeping to the shadows. They could generate enough force to knock even a quarter ton of metal to the ground underwater and were skilled in 360-degree combat with moves such as a barrel roll. Soldiers are armed with sickles or wrist-mounted energy blasters. In the modern times, Queen Atlanna came to believe Atlanteans craved a new perspective to lead them into the next century and her son would be that beacon.
Four squadrons of Atlantean soldiers were sent by Prince Orm to attack the S.S. California under the false pretense of protecting the location of Atlantis. With just their bare hands, they breached the submarine and killed the entire crew. The submarine's missiles were stolen and given to Orm's adviser Black Manta. Cyborg entered the submarine and was attacked by three Atlanteans. Luckily, he exploited their sensitivity to sound and managed to neutralize them with his energy cannon. A team of soldiers known as Drift One helped load the stolen missiles onto Black Manta's transport and were dispatched to Mercy Reef to assassinate Dr. Stephen Shin, a biologist out to prove the existence of Atlantis, and Arthur Curry, a half-Atlantean and first son of Queen Atlanna. Mera, the queen's bodyguard, intervened and killed the Drift One team with hard water constructs. At the same time, Black Manta disguised his vessel as the S.S. California and attacked Atlanteans harvesting kelp on the outskirts of the royal city.
Queen Atlanna refused to declare war and instead decreed she would personally broker a peace treaty with the Justice League. This was considered hearsay among the elite. Orm murdered his mother in secret and took the throne. He passed along a cover story that a surfacer assassinated Queen Atlanna so that he could mobilize an army to invade and cleanse the surface world. The Atlantean army made short work of the U.S. Army but the Justice League, Mera, and Arthur Curry intervened. Once Cyborg played back footage of Orm admitting to killing Queen Atlanna, the soldiers realized they were betrayed. Curry made a plea for peace. One by one, each soldier removed their helmet and kneeled down. The people of Atlantis welcomed Arthur Curry as their new king.
Atlanteans are generally similar to Humans in appearance; however, they are distinguished by their ability to adapt to aquatic environments, able to withstand thousands of degrees of pressure. Atlanteans possess a superior sensory arrangement that allows them to navigate the depths of oceans unexplorable by humans. In contrast to their external similarities, Atlantean internal anatomy differs radically from that of humans, as some are capable of telepathically communicating with marine life.
Atlanteans possess a highly efficient respiratory system that allows them to extract oxygen from water, allowing them to breathe freely underwater.
Physical characteristics differ as well, as Atlanteans are shown to possess superhuman strength and speed that allows them to travel immense distances underwater faster than any naval vessel.
Some Atlanteans are also capable of manipulating magic to cast water spells.
- Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
- Justice League: Throne of Atlantis
- Justice League Dark (only Arthur Curry)
- The Death of Superman