5 Things We Learned From the Aquaman Trailer

From Mera's origins to battle-ready Sea-horses, we're picking apart all the big reveals

by | July 22, 2018 | Comments

Taking Comic-Con by storm, Warner Bros. Pictures unveiled the first trailer for December’s Aquaman after a seeming delay that director James Wan attributed to his own sense of perfection. Created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger in 1941, the character waited has 77 years for to headline his own feature film. And while star Jason Momoa may look substantially different from Arthur’s original design — he more directly resembles the bearded and hook-handed vision of Aquaman from the late 20th and early 21st centuries — many of the hallmark aspects of the character will finally be realized with a cinematic scope. Was it worth the wait? Let’s take a look at some of the things we’ve learned from the trailer to see.

1. The Film Is Not Afraid of Aquaman’s Reputation In The Media

(Photo by © Warner Bros.)

For decades, Aquaman has been the butt of jokes across all media. A Cartoon Network ad campaign even positioned him as the guy in the office the other heroes joke about and pull pranks on. And why not? The hero is best known for his ability to talk to fish — originally in their own languages during his earliest Golden Age adventures. But as the earlier part of the trailer reveals, having the ability to command sharks, mantas, and other beautiful – but deadly – creatures often housed in aquariums definitely has its advantages. The true awe of his power should be obvious. But at same time, having such an ability must have made his youth on the surface much, much harder.

2. Arthur Is Of Two Worlds

(Photo by © Warner Bros.)

A key characteristic of Arthur is his multiracial origins. In this case, he’s part Atlantean and part Surface-dweller. And like a lot of multi-ethnic people, he is unclear where he stands in either culture. It is why he avoids Atlantis, as seen in Justice League. And, quite possibly, why he was so reclusive and hostile when Bruce (Ben Affleck) tried to recruit him for his little guild.

The multiracial aspect of the character comes straight from his Silver Age origin in the late ’50s and early ’60s, when the name “Arthur Curry,” his light house-owning father and Queen Atlanna first made their appearances. But it is only a matter of time before his two worlds collide and he will be forced to find his place within them.

3. He Will Challenge Orm For The Throne

(Photo by © Warner Bros.)

The challenge he faces in Atlantis comes in the form of his half-brother Orm (Patrick Wilson), known in the comics as Ocean Master. The villain, a creation of Bob Haney and Nick Cardy, first appeared in 1966 and was depicted as Arthur’s brother via their father Tom. But Orm’s mother was another surface-dweller who married Tom after Atlanna died. Bitter over Arthur’s abilities, he eventually lost his memory, but still became one of Aquaman’s key antagonists. For the film, Orm and Arthur share Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) as their common parent. And it enabled Orm to announces his intentions to invade the surface as ruler of Atlantis when the old king (Djimon Hounsou) falls ill. But it appears the sibling rivalry will start with no delay when Arthur breaks the surface to challenge his claim to the throne.

4. Mera Is His Advocate

(Photo by © Warner Bros.)

Mera, who first appeared in 1963’s Aquaman #11, was originally the queen of a group of Atlantean exiles living in another dimension. Seeking out Aquaman for aid, the two fell in love. Subsequent writers reworked her thin origin to reveal she was actually a princess of that exiled realm on a mission to kill Aquaman. The two would nonetheless have a tempestuous marriage — this is comics after all — with modern writers working even harder as her advocate, giving her greater prominence in the DC Universe.

But in the trailer, it is clear she is Arthur’s advocate as she convinces him to visit Atlantis and challenge Orm. The character appears to be 100% Atlantean, even going so far as to defend its interests against the heir apparent. It also seems she will teach him there is more to being Aquaman than swimming in the sea and talking to fish. She seems tailored made for the task, especially considering the trailer’s closing moments.

5. There Will Be Armored Sea-horses

As Mera announces Orm’s intentions to go to war, we see some of the Atlantean war machine — complete with armored sharks and, more crucially, armored sea-horses.

The image of Aquaman riding a sea-horse goes back to his own animated series in the 1960s and the ever-evolving series of Superfriends animated series throughout the ’70s and ’80s. It is another one of the elements of Aquaman’s public image which makes him seem more comical than heroic. Nonetheless, putting armored seahorses in the film suggests it will lean into that singular image and try to give it a context within the DC film universe.

In fact, a second, extended version of the trailer that was screened for those in Comic-Con’s Hall H features Arthur wearing Aquaman’s traditional orange and green costume, ending all speculation that the movie would turn its back on the key elements of the character and confirming, perhaps more than any DC superhero film to date, Aquaman will embrace all its myriad silliness and drama.

Aquaman is in theaters December 21

Tag Cloud

President Lifetime Super Bowl Showtime crossover Mary poppins comiccon ratings spider-man cooking OWN Comics on TV E! Comedy Central USA Ellie Kemper elevated horror Star Wars romance VICE CMT Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt DC Comics SXSW Brie Larson A&E nature Amazon Prime vampires travel 45 El Rey Teen thriller Syfy psycho 2018 supernatural anthology Cartoon Network TNT Walt Disney Pictures RT History Paramount Network Marathons Warner Bros. true crime Video Games golden globes 21st Century Fox Mudbound Esquire Watching Series TV IFC discovery WGN 20th Century Fox FX NBC Martial Arts Comic Book GIFs Black Mirror Animation X-Men Spectrum Originals Adult Swim Western Lucasfilm DirecTV boxoffice what to watch Rom-Com psychological thriller green book ITV historical drama Masterpiece 2016 Action HBO Logo SundanceTV Best and Worst Biopics TCA 2017 MCU jamie lee curtis Valentine's Day doctor who crime drama TCA Musical Ovation TV Land facebook Tumblr FXX Sundance Trophy Talk politics Rock Disney Holidays Crackle CBS crime Food Network Creative Arts Emmys Nickelodeon Calendar GoT cults talk show zero dark thirty television Mindy Kaling Countdown USA Network PBS Superheroes Cosplay Sundance Now Emmys science fiction FOX Music richard e. Grant dceu medical drama San Diego Comic-Con aliens VH1 Fall TV blaxploitation CNN Drama Paramount technology Box Office theme song police drama justice league Opinion Anna Paquin Awards Tour Red Carpet Captain marvel Extras NYCC cops unscripted hist American Society of Cinematographers Toys harry potter 007 Acorn TV based on movie Shondaland Grammys Schedule E3 Interview Fox News Thanksgiving GLAAD sitcom Sci-Fi First Look award winner Winners Epix transformers Song of Ice and Fire dramedy adaptation Rocky Comedy Superheroe DC streaming service dragons Christmas Awards robots Mystery DC Universe Premiere Dates BET finale Mary Poppins Returns Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cinemax YouTube Red comic Ghostbusters PaleyFest DGA Election Marvel Kids & Family Tomatazos Reality Competition YouTube Premium teaser Freeform BBC America mockumentary natural history spy thriller zombie LGBTQ BBC AMC Quiz Mary Tyler Moore Dark Horse Comics Certified Fresh adventure Trailer IFC Films Winter TV 2015 Photos biography political drama Starz social media MTV Pop singing competition Reality cats Oscars Summer TBS festivals docudrama binge Trivia miniseries diversity Amazon war Stephen King See It Skip It Character Guide Spike The CW Podcast Bravo Netflix dc SDCC APB Sony Pictures TLC crime thriller period drama Writers Guild of America National Geographic zombies Country Disney Channel Pixar Women's History Month anime CW Seed streaming Set visit ESPN ABC Family Year in Review Musicals New York Comic Con Spring TV Shudder Star Trek Polls and Games ABC Columbia Pictures Nominations YA Pirates RT21 2017 Universal composers History serial killer Horror Fantasy witnail mutant Apple 2019 Sneak Peek Infographic Hulu The Arrangement CBS All Access sports Britbox Lionsgate MSNBC TruTV sequel TCM Nat Geo 24 frames Pet Sematary TIFF casting