In November 1941, a month before Pearl Harbor, comic book company (now defunct) National Comics Publications introduced a character named Arthur Curry, also known as, “Aquaman” first appearing in an anthology series labeled, “More Fun Comics” issue number 73. His first issue explores his origin story. For those who haven’t heard of his origins, I won’t tell you, because his past isn’t told countless times like his fellow comrades Batman & Superman.
During “The Golden Age Of Comics,” Arthur battled Nazis, trespassers & pirates intruding his home alongside endangering aquatic life. After World War II ended, “Adventure Comics” continued Aquaman’s adventures such as adding more details to his origins, powers & abilities. In the modern age, Aquaman became more complex involving his destiny/inheritance as The King Of Atlantis, his friendship with his allies, his relationship with Queen Mera etc.
Aquaman is somewhat a laughing stock in terms of his powers and abilities as many people consider him the black sheep of Justice League. For example, “Robot Chicken” aired DC related specials making fun of him.
Over the years, Aquaman battled many opponents including his archenemies Black Manta, Ocean Master, King Shark, obscure enemies like Fisherman, Awesome Threesome, (sounds like something off of Austin Powers) & Siren.
Aquaman has a lot of notable allies who supported him in many conflicts such as his sidekick Aqualad, love interest Mera & the Justice League whom Aquaman is one of the founding members of the team partaking in grand scale events to fight a powerful enemy way beyond a single hero’s power level.
The character appeared in television shows like “Super Friends,” “Bruce Timm’s Justice League,” “Batman: The Brave & The Bold,” “Smallville,” an unaired pilot after “The WB” was rebranded as “The CW” & occasional cameo appearances in that god awful “Teen Titans Go” cartoon.
In addition to television appearances, he’s also displayed in merchandise ranging from action figures, t-shirts, trading cards, video games as a playable character in “Lego Batman” sequels, “Lego Dimensions,” “Injustice,” “Injustice 2” & the recently released “Lego Supervillians” with Jason Momoa reprising his role in a downloadable level based on his stand-alone film. Even HBO’s “Entourage” made an episode about Vincent Chase starring in a fictional film as Aquaman with James Cameron directing it,
Warner Bros. (WB for short) announced that a motion picture based on The King Of Atlantis was in development since 2004, during filming of Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins.” Five Years Later, Leonardo DiCaprio & his production company, “Appian Way,” but he and his company dropped out in favor of working on solo projects. The DC Extended Universe’s (DCEU) first installment titled, “Men Of Steel” opened worldwide in 2013, WB immediately proposed a road map inspired by the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU for short) to crossover characters, storylines & plot points.
Before Jason Momoa (Khal Drogo from Game Of Thrones) played the character action cinematic debut in “Batman Vs. Superman,” Aquaman made a cameo in “The Lego Movie,” it’s actually his first motion picture debut. He also appeared in “The Lego Batman Movie” in a small role. Jason himself reprised his role in Justice League. He did an outstanding job for his performance. If you’re interested in my non-spoiler review for Justice League, go ahead and check it out.
After Justice League was released in 2017, James Wan (the Saw series, The Conjuring franchise, Furious 7) signed on to direct the character’s first stand-alone movie.
Aquaman is currently out in theaters worldwide earning average reviews from critics and its making a lot of money overseas at the box office. Like most superhero films, it’ll make cash in The U.S.
Today’s review doesn’t list a ton of pivotal SPOILERS. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Hydrated & Dehydrated Elements
Hydrated: Jason Momoa reprises his role as Arthur Curry/Aquaman. He did an outstanding job for his respective performance.
Other Cast Members such as Amber Heard reprising her role as Mera, Willem Dafoe, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Nicole Kidman, Temuera Morrison Djimon Hounsou & Julie Andrews all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Fun Fact: Djimon Honosou, who plays Fisherman King, will portray Billy Batson’s mentor in the upcoming Shazam film.
James Wan did a great job directing the film.
According to James, the movie is influenced by “Raiders Of The Lost Ark,” “Romancing The Stone,” “Star Wars,” “The Lord Of The Rings” “King Arthur” & the works of H.P. Lovecraft. The author who created Cthulhu.
Aquaman’s storyline is based on modern age comics from The New 52.
Arthur’s personality & appearance is taken straight out of Bruce Timm’s Justice League depicting him as a bearded warrior & his dint jolly personality from Batman: The Brave & The Bold.
The Tone is lighter balancing between seriousness and comedy. James said he will direct the film on one condition, to make the story lighter than his works.
Sea creatures weren’t silly lookin’ at all. They’re weaponized royal steeds on a high dosage of testosterone.
Action Sequences are bigger in terms of a grand scale underwater battle as a legit example of an epic war. Arthur’s no longer throwing water bubbles, he’s throwing a trident.
Visual Effects brings Atlantis, environmental underwater locations, sea creatures & set pieces to life. Somewhere in Hollywood, James Cameron is shedding a few tears after working butt off filming Avatar 2’s complex subterranean scenes. I’m giving Aquaman’s effects team Bonus Points for polishing the C.G.I. in order to avoid making sharks resembling the effects from “Sharknado.”
Cinematography didn’t suffer from any technical difficulties throughout.
Costume Designs were very authentic staying true to Arthur’s orange and green suit with a twist of highly detailed armor instead of the Super Friends outfit. Mera, Black Master & Ocean Master’s costume were also accurate from the comics.
Chemistry between Arthur & Mera felt balanced. They’re relationship is similar to Ariel & Eric from The Little Mermaid.
Character Development involving Arthur. He goes from a reluctant superhero at first, doesn’t want to associate his birthright, until he realizes Earth’s surface is in peril. He must do whatever it takes to protect both land & sea.
Arthur Curry’s origin story is finally revealed for the first time in a motion picture.
A mid-credits scene is shown, don’t miss it!
Dehydrated: One pivotal character never properly aged well. All he/she had was grey hair and lacks wrinkles or a frail appearance.
Remember in Justice League when Arthur & Mera had a conversation about attempting to stop Steppenwolf’s evil plan? One movie later, Arthur doesn’t remember her name. Writing 101, if you’re making a film after the event of a previous entry, be sure to double check on the status quo of a character’s relationship.
The Final Verdict: B, FOR BREATHING FRESH AIR!
Aquaman is another successful installment of the DCEU. The King Of Atlantis has finally got a decent stand-alone film along with Batman, Superman & Wonder Woman. All we have left is solo films centering around The Flash, Cyborg & Green Lantern. Ryan Reynolds’ film doesn’t count as a dignified entry. If you’re excited to see Aquaman on the silver screen, I highly recommend it.
Congratulations WB for entertaining me as a fan of superheroes, I can’t wait to see “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part,” “Shazam” & Joaquin Phoenix’s “Joker” movie. Three of your upcoming films are part of my “Top 12 Anticipated Films Of 2019.”