Aquaman Has a Justice League-Size Plot Hole

Aquaman movie poster

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Aquaman, in theaters now.

After Zack Snyder's Justice League introduced us to Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry, we're finally getting to learn more about the superhero in Aquaman. James Wan's movie expands on this introduction, painting life for Arthur before and after he helped fight off Steppenwolf's alien army.

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However, as Wan details his upbringing after Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) left him on the surface world with his dad, a certain plot hole comes to light revolving around Aquaman and his knowledge of his underwater home, Atlantis.

In Justice League, when Steppenwolf attacked Atlantis to claim its Mother Box, he made easy work of Mera (Amber Heard) and her guards. However, Arthur, sensing his home was in danger, left land and shot through the ocean towards the sea kingdom. There, he found dead guards outside a relic room and quickly engaged Steppenwolf in an unsuccessful battle. But one thing became clear, Aquaman knew his way in and out of Atlantis. This is why we're left scratching our heads as to why Wan's movie, which is set months after the events of Steppenwolf's invasion, paints Arthur as a first-time visitor to Atlantis and someone who doesn't know how to enter or exit.

When Mera takes Arthur to Atlantis to secretly meet Vulko (Willem Dafoe) in this follow-up, he's marveling at the gorgeous city, acting like it's his first time. As they traverse the seascape in her ship, she shows him the Gateway into the kingdom -- a bridge of energy similar to the Bifrost we've seen in the Thor movies.

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She indicates it's the only way in and out, and when he asks about going around it, entering the kingdom at the top of the dome and coming down, she reveals that path is well guarded. At that point, we see guards and water blasters, similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Asgard. Now, all this is fine because the audience is certainly enjoying this grand tour in all its majesty, but again, Justice League indicated Arthur visited his home before.

So, why doesn't he know the ins and outs of Atlantis? Snyder made it clear Arthur's trip to Atlantis wasn't his first rodeo, which makes sense because he slipped in and out so easily. He clearly came and left as he pleased, but in Aquaman, Mera's the first one to take him there.

Despite training with Vulko on land as a youth, he didn't visit, so it also leaves us wondering just how did he find the path to Atlantis in the first place. If the timeline of the DC Extended Universe is to be followed, he found it on his own after his teenage years (without Vulko's aid), and then, after Justice League, Arthur and Mera apparently got amnesia when it came to him sneaking in and out.

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This issue comes full circle when Arthur ends up imprisoned and having to fight Orm (Patrick Wilson) for the first time. After being soundly beaten, Mera helps Arthur escape the war chamber, but as he hides on the fringes of Atlantis, Aquaman doesn't know how to get out of the city. Oh, if only he could remember how he exited stage left after Steppenwolf beat him to go join the League up top, that surely would have come in handy here. Well, as it stands, having Arthur explore Atlantis for the first time like this does add to the plot convenience, while also giving viewers a glorious look at a new realm, you know, for dramatic effect and all.

Directed by James Wan, Aquaman stars Jason Momoa as Aquaman, Amber Heard as Mera, Patrick Wilson as Ocean Master, Willem Dafoe as Nuidis Vulko, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Manta, Temuera Morrison as Thomas Curry, Dolph Lundgren as Nereus and Nicole Kidman as Queen Atlanna. The film is in theaters now.

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