Aquaman got his own standalone live-action movie in 2018 and introduced many very powerful characters to the DCEU. However, some of them were much more powerful than others. The strongest characters in Aquaman 2018 come from a variety of backgrounds and not all are Atlanteans, although most are.

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From heroes to villains, the most powerful characters in the film possess incredible fighting skills and hold positions of immense authority in many cases. Their skills, backgrounds, and motivations are worth diving into in one way or another, and each of them brings something meaningful to the larger story.

10 Jesse kane

Jesse Kane is an experienced pirate and the father of Black Manta. His son praises his father’s fearsome reputation at the beginning of the film and his team seems very powerful until Aquaman appears.

Although he manages to drop Arthur and hit him directly with a grenade launcher, he is hardly a threat and actually gets stuck in a serious position after trying to hit Arthur a second time and failing. Although Arthur is blamed for his death, he really does blame himself, and most of his power comes from his influence over his son, even if it is a bad thing in general.

9 Captain Murk

Captain Murk is one of King Orm’s most trusted soldiers and for good reason. He is a strong fighter who magicians to knock out Arthur and arrest him.

However, Mera completely puts the character in her place later in the film, when she appears in Sicily with other Atlantean soldiers and Black Manta to try to assassinate her and Arthur. Mera not only cuts off his hand, but then humiliates him by deactivating his suit’s breathing apparatus, forcing him to seek refuge in the toilet bowl.

8 Nuidis Vulko

Willem Dafoe as Vulko in Aquaman

Most of Vulko’s power stems from his position as a trusted advisor, not just to the movie’s hero, but to its villain as well. Even when in his most deceptive mode as vizier of Orm, he still gives good and honest advice, but most of all he is a very wise ally of Arthur throughout history.

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In terms of fighting prowess, the audience doesn’t see Vulko really involved in combat much. He is clearly brave, leading the charge against Orm’s orchestrated submarine attack at the beginning of the film, but his most notable contribution to battles is the combat training he gives a young Arthur in flashbacks. Considering how effective Arthur is as a fighter, it can be assumed that Vulko really knows how to handle himself.

7 Nerean king

King Nereus - Aquaman

King Nereus, the ruler of Xebel, the next most powerful of the seven kingdoms of Atlantis after Atlantis itself, is no fool and sees King Orm’s lies quite easily, even if he ends up siding with his side anyway. .

Since Xebel’s army was established early on as his most valuable asset, he makes Nereus look more like a military general than a ruler or diplomat, and his swift actions in battle back up that image. He has proven to be an excellent marksman in situations that require quick reflexes, although most of his authority stems from his overall dominating demeanor rather than his actual skill in battle.

6 King Orm

Orm has clearly been trained by the best for underwater combat and he may be second to none in terms of fighting ability under the waves. Defeat Arthur right in the Ring of Fire when his claim to the throne is challenged and make quick work of both the King of Fishermen and the King of Brine.

However, its biggest flaw is its purist approach to Atlantean culture, which means that it just isn’t that powerful when oxygen is added to the equation. Mera quickly incapacitates him, if only momentarily, by placing him in an air pocket and Arthur defeats him over the waves in their second match.

5 Mere princess

Mera arguing with Aquaman.

Princess Mera possesses many of the highly trained fighting skills that King Om has, having spent a lot of time with Queen Atlanna when she was young and then King Nereus later. She also has her powers of manipulation over water, which means that she can subdue and attack others with great efficiency simply by using a humble and readily available item.

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Extra images of her fight in Zack Snyder’s Justice League shows that she has enough control over this power to draw blood from her enemies in the heat of battle and her impressive performance in Sicily shows her improvising and turning a large wine rack into a group of flying spears. However, her powers leave her without the need for a primary weapon that can serve her quite well in battle. All other fighters seem to have one and can often be left struggling to find a weapon in difficult situations, although he seems to rectify this by taking Arthur’s trident in the Knightmare future shown in Zack Snyder’s Justice League.

4 Black blanket

David Kane, the pirate, is not much more powerful than his father, Jesse, and he is not much of a match for Arthur Curry in a direct fight. However, with Atlante technology at his disposal, he actually transforms into the supervillain Black Manta and seriously injures Arthur during their rematch.

Manta modernizes an Atlantean energy beam weapon into the character’s iconic helmet, allowing him to fire powerful explosive beams from the helmet’s eyes. Simple Atlantean steel also makes his decent fighting skills that much more effective against Arthur. Still, he loses to Aquama again, but it should also be noted that this does not deter him from wanting to hunt down the hero for revenge.

3 Queen Atlanna

Arthur Curry and the mother of King Orm, Queen Atlanna is a very powerful Atlantean who has proven to be a formidable warrior. She survives by being sacrificed to the creatures of the Trench and defeats an entire squad of Atlantean soldiers sent to return her to her arranged marriage.

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Atlanna also survives on her own for decades in the Hidden Sea at Earth’s core, saying that she tried to engage the Karathen multiple times, even if she was unable to get past the monster. Still, surviving the beast is pretty impressive. Her true power, however, is the high degree of influence she can wield over other characters, particularly her children.

two King Atlan

It’s not known exactly how powerful the DCEU’s version of King Atlan is, but knowing that Aquaman himself is the character in the movie that most closely resembles him puts him quite high in the rankings.

Atlan’s reputation as a great ruler was so strong that it echoed throughout history, being passed down through epic legends that appear to be true. Along with Arthur, he is the only other character established as worthy by the fearsome sea beast Karathen. His trident, said to have been forged by the greatest weapons masters in history, also undoubtedly made him a force to be reckoned with in battle.

1 Arthur Curry

Arthur had already established himself in the DCEU as a character powerful enough to effectively fight alongside characters like Wonder Woman and Superman through the original 2017 cut of League of Justice. His solo film debut, however, delves much more into his abilities as a fighter.

Although he eventually defeats all the enemies that are presented to him in the movie, arrogance seems to be a problem for him in battle and he suffers some losses. His royal power stems more from his status as the only true king of Atlantis, allowing him to wield King Atlan’s trident and master the full power of the sea creatures.

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