As we prepare to return to Atlantis in Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, it's the perfect time to revisit some of the classic comics you may have missed in the past. While there are plenty of fantastic and rightfully acclaimed aqua-stories like Death of a Prince and The Trench, this weekend I'll be revisiting Peter David and Esteban Maroto's gorgeous high-fantasy miniseries Aquaman: The Atlantis Chronicles. If you're looking for something different to dive into before the newest DC movie hits screens later this month, then this is the vibrant and intricate slow burn story that you need to sate your appetite for all things Atlantis.

The Premise:

The series depicts the untold mythic history of DC's Atlantis, establishing archetypes and recurring themes that would influence Arthur Curry's continuity for decades to come. The comic also has the unique distinction of softly rebooting Aquaman's continuity for a second time after Crisis on Infinite Earths, coming only four years after the previous reboot in Aquaman #1-4. And—to make matters even more unusual—Aquaman isn't even in this story save for one brief appearance.

Let’s Talk Talent:

The Atlantis Chronicles is "transcribed and adapted" by writer Peter David, who DC fans know from titles as varied as Supergirl, Young Justice and, likely most famously, the Aquaman series that Atlantis Chronicles leads into. Subtle backmatter attributes this "history" of Atlantis to a fictional Dr. R. K. Simpson, a scholar of ancient societies. That mystique only adds to David's dense worldbuilding and unusual approach to the superhero form, which sets the stage for Esteban Maroto's incredible art and Eric Kachelhofer's dynamic colors to bring an entirely different vision of Atlantis to life. This is a lavish fantasy-inspired landscape with sprawling structures and gorgeous Art Nouveau architecture. The vibe is cemented by atmospheric lettering by the masterful Gaspar Saladino, who plays with the historical setting and fantasy tropes with aplomb.

A Few Reasons to Read:

  • It's an expansive fantasy: This is an intricate high-concept genre story that throws readers into the political maneuvering of Atlantis and the extensive worldbuilding of David and Maroto. There are wild lore-heavy ideas that feel more akin to a hard fantasy novel than a superhero comic. It reads like a swords and sorcery adventure under the sea that's more concerned with the journey than the destination. From ancient deities to fantastical societies and centuries-long conflict, this feels far vaster than a mere seven-issue miniseries as you immerse yourself in pre-Aquaman Atlantis.
  • It's a break from bombastic superheroes: Though there is plenty of the supernatural and strange, this isn't exactly a superhero story. If you've always loved the stranger side of DC, where things are more complex and heroes don't always swoop in to save the day, then you'll find a lot to love in this refreshingly different DC comic. Instead of following Arthur, you can learn about the people who shaped his world and the mistakes that created Atlantis. There's hubris, betrayal, war and, of course, love. Plus, Maroto's stunning art makes this feel unlike any other Aquaman comic that you've come across.
  • It was way ahead of its time: Seeing as this series debuted over half a decade before George R.R. Martin released the first Game of Thrones novel, its exploration of royal reality and the saucy drama they fill their lives with feels positively trailblazing. The dedication to expanding the world and introducing lore from way before the days of the hero we know also feels more akin to modern shared universe storytelling. So, both in content and concept, The Atlantis Chronicles feels ahead of its time, despite some dated moments.

Why It’s Worth Your Time:

DC has a long history of wonderfully experimental and unusual entries into their superhero canon and Aquaman: The Atlantis Chronicles sits proudly alongside them. If you want to lose yourself in a technicolor fantasy this weekend, there's no better place to look, especially as Esteban Maroto has rarely been better, crafting a lush world that spills from the pages. It's the kind of book that'll inspire you to think about the history of all your favorite superheroes and their worlds and wonder why there aren’t more comics like Atlantis Chronicles on bookstore shelves.

Aquaman: The Atlantis Chronicles by Peter David and Esteban Maroto is available in print as a deluxe edition hardcover and can be read in full on DC UNIVERSE INFINITE.

Rosie Knight is an award-winning journalist and author who loves Swamp Thing, the DC Cosmic and writing the monthly gossip column here at You can also listen to her waxing lyrical about comics, movies and more each week as she co-hosts Crooked Media's pop-culture podcast, X-Ray Vision.

NOTE: The views and opinions expressed in this feature are solely those of Rosie Knight and do not necessarily reflect those of DC Entertainment or Warner Bros., nor should they be read as confirmation or denial of future DC plans.