41 years ago - Orin is born to Atlantean royalty, embodying the bloodline of Atlan. He is betrayed by Vulko & abandoned on mercy reef. He is found by lighthouse keeper Arthur Curry, who adopts him and gives him his name.
26 years ago - 15-year-old Arthur Curry's father dies, and he takes to the sea, beginning to have adventures.
19 years ago - 22-year-old Arthur first reveals himself to the surface world, who dub him Aquaman.
14 years ago - 27-year-old Arthur first discovers Atlantis.
12 years ago - 29-year-old Arthur takes in Garth, an escapee from Idyllis, an Atlantean penal city housed within the alternate dimension Xebel. Together they free the denizens of the penal city, and move against Atlantis, in the process saving Kaldur'ahm from the Black Manta.
11 years ago - Mera falls in with 30-year-old Arthur's crusade against Atlantis. He retakes the Atlantean throne.
7 years ago - 34-year-old Arthur & Mera have their son Arthur III, He leaves the role of leader of the Justice League to Batman, choosing instead to remain a reservist.
6 years ago - Black Manta kidnaps Arthur III & "kills" Mera. 35-year-old Arthur quests to save his son, with the help of Dolphin. He looses his hand and has it replaced with an Atlantean war-hook.
5 years ago - Mera recovers in her tomb, and attacks Atlantis & 36-year-old Aquaman, until she discovers Arthur III is alive.
now - 41-year-old Arthur reclaims & rebuilds the lighthouse where he grew up.
Where to actually start with Aquaman. The odd thing about trying to rewrite Aquaman is that so much of his actual story is epic beyond belief. Shakespearean, even. He's undergone massive arcs involving huge, ocean-wide rebellions, conquered the throne of Atlantis, battled ancient ocean gods... and yet these stories keep getting swept away as they continually redesign the character to look more like he did in the superfriends.
Innovation vs recognizeability is clearly a constant battle with Aquaman. You want a character everyone immediately recognizes, but for some reason no one seems to be able to let go of the comic take on the character from the fifties. Nevermind that EVERY comic book character had ridiculous, child's-imagination adventures during those decades. For every picture of Aquaman riding a seahorse, there's a picture of Batman wearing an apron taking muffins out of the oven. Very few characters have undergone such a drastic change in their tone and image than Aquaman, but none of his redesigns are allowed any permanence.
The current Geoff Johns version of the character is by far the most popular, having brought a renewed focus on the truly epic scope of his powers and showing new readers just how huge a character he is, all while retaining a costume very similar to his original. This simplified version of the extremely powerful character seems to have finally found a footing in the world of the Justice League and of DC at large, which is excellent, but it's a shame that it ignores the truly groundreaking work of writer Peter David during his 1994 - 1998 Aquaman series, which reforged the character completely into something truly unique. Even the upcoming movie clearly owes it's design to Peter David. We've centered our version of Aquaman on his concept.
In crafting a timeline for the character and for his supporting cast, something truly amazing came together. The arc of Arthur Curry is one of the most bombastic and exciting that we've assembled, and it's almost entirely because the elements we had to work with were so huge in scope. Just reading the timeline as presented here is pretty amazing, but as you go forth and read the adventures of his various sidekicks and his wife, and his time in various Justice Leagues, it becomes clear that he is an absolutely amazing character.
If we had to guess, this was the result of writer after writer wanting to craft something that overcame the image of the goofy guy on the seahorse. If the permanence of that image is what led to a story with this sort of scope, then maybe it was a good thing, after all.