Aquaman's Greatest Foe Just Became The DC Universe's Most Dangerous Villain
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Year of the Villain: Ocean Master by Dan Watters, Miguel Mendonça, Ivan Plascencia, Wes Abbott, and Francesco Mattina, available now.
Ocean Master has seen better days. The former ruler of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, he was ousted by his brother Aquaman after attacking the surface world. Following this, he had abandoned his former villainy and settled down to start a family on the surface, but recently throws it all away in an attempt to reclaim some semblance of his former glory. This may have all been in preparation for his finest moment to date, in which he's not only back ruling his own kingdom again but also has the power of a god at his beck and call.
OCEAN MASTER DOWN IN THE DUMPS
In Year of the Villain: Ocean Master #1. Ocean Master, aka Orm, tells his estranged human lover, Erin where he has been since abandoning her and her son Tommy during the events of Mera: Queen of Atlantis. Afterward, Orm, who was a criminal in Atlantis, became stuck there, unable to escape its borders according to Mera's orders. Roaming Atlantis' underbelly as a common beggar, Orm encounters a seemingly mad drunkard by the name of Palkor. Palkor claims to hear the wayward call of a long-dead surface king named Dagon and eventually shows Orm a way to escape from Atlantis. Before he could use his freedom to return to Erin, he was instead forced to follow a mysterious being who had captured Palkor.
Palkor, along with several others, had been captured by classic Aquaman foe, Marine Marauder, whose ability to biologically manipulate marine life allows her to mutate and experiment upon the Atlanteans. Orm escapes the Marine Marauder's headquarters with a mortally wounded Palkor, but not before the latter finally leads Orm to where his calls had come from. There, in the deepest depths of the ocean, Orm meets and befriends the lonely young goddess, Lernaea. Bonded to him via a mystical amulet, Lernaea names her new ally King Orm, transforming into a water giant and taking him back to the surface.
OCEAN MASTER: KING OF GODS AND MORTALS
Ocean Master has his easy revenge upon Marine Marauder, with his trident soon wearing her wounded body like a scarf. He confronts her mutated experiments, who he invites to live in his new city of Dagon as his subjects. As they hail their new leader and feast upon Marine Marauder's body, the recently powered-up Lex Luthor appears to confront Orm. Luthor comments on how Marine Marauder's newfound power was given to her by himself, and how he initially refused to offer Ocean Master such a gift because of Orm's apparent weakness.
Luthor does offer him such a gift now, recognizing his increased power. In response, Ocean Master proves how great he really is. He tells Luthor that he thinks Lernaea only serves him because of the pendant that she gave him, and that destroying it may lose her from his command. Despite this, he does destroy it, with Lernaea still blindly following his subsequent command to destroy the nearby Lexcorp vessel that served as a reminder of the pollution that Luthor had brought to the ocean. Orm then gathers the homeless of Atlantis almost overnight to bolster his elemental-powered ranks, making his city of Dagon one of the most formidable civilizations on Earth.