WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Justice League, in theaters now.
While Justice League has been met with polarizing views from critics and fans, one of the things most everyone seems to agree on is how entertaining Aquaman is throughout the film. Jason Momoa brought a new life to Arthur Curry, with so much roguish charm and swagger, it’s hard not to smile whenever he’s on screen. Yes, DC’s big team-up movie had many problems, but Aquaman wasn’t one of them. His powers were showcased quite well, and even though our introduction to Atlantis was brief, it showed us just enough to get incredibly excited about the Aquaman solo film. We finally got to see what Atlantean soldiers look like on the big screen as well as how the underwater sequences will look like once James Wan’s film crashes into theaters. We even saw the beginnings of the relationship between Arthur and Mera, however bitter things may seem to be between them.
And that’s one of the key things that we’re most excited about for Aquaman: Seeing Mera in all of her glory. Because while Amber Heard’s cameo in Justice League teased her water-based telekinesis, she was only featured in one scene. Her armor and abilities did look spectacular however, and she needs to be at the forefront of the Aquaman film as much as Arthur Curry. Though it’s Aquaman’s journey that we’ll be following, he's going to need someone that supports him, and to occasionally save him from himself. To see his and Mera's relationship grow will be an interesting arc, because Arthur is such an outsider and the two of them will have a tough challenge to create peace between the Atlanteans and the rest of the world.
Take Cues from DC's Rebirth
Aquaman has been mostly been the point of ridicule in the wider public eye for the past few decades, perhaps culminating as a massive running joke on HBO's Entourage. It’s time to revitalize his reputation, as Jason Momoa’s version of the hero changes the common perception of the guy that can talk to fish. A lot of those themes have most recently been played out during DC's current Rebirth era. Writer Dan Abnett's version of Arthur strives for peace in a world of politics, legislations and strife between Atlantis and the rest of the globe. Seeing Arthur try and negotiate with various security agencies and politicians would be a great way of giving Aquaman, well, a fish out of water arc. Because Momoa isn’t your stereotypical king, bringing him into a diplomatic situation has the potential to be a genuinely captivating part of the story.
The Struggle To Become King
Of course, making Arthur king wouldn’t be entertaining if it wasn’t difficult for him to earn his role. We need to see him truly struggle with balancing his priorities and changing his attitudes regarding authority. When we saw him in Justice League, he was very much a rogue loner. In his solo film, he has to go from saving people and being paid in whisky to running and protecting an entire nation. It’s likely that he’s going to come up against some opposition from other Atlanteans because he’s half-human, which in turn should lead to some violent confrontations. We’ve already seen set photos of Mera and Arthur being chased by Atlantean soldiers. Becoming a fugitive king could be the perfect way of forcing Aquaman to fight for his rightful role in Atlantis. After all, if it was easy, it wouldn’t be entertaining.