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Aquaman Character Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Atlanteans & More

To the surprise of many, Aquaman is fast becoming one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2018 and one of the biggest draws at San Diego Comic Con as it gives fans a look at many of the characters for the first time. The upcoming film by James Wan is embracing its comic book roots and not shying away from the sillier elements of the classic concept. Ironically, this has caused many a casual comics reader, who wouldn't have looked sideways at an Aquaman comic book in the past, to appreciate what Aqua-fans have known for years - there is more to Arthur Curry than just "talking to fish."

As with the ocean itself, there are more hidden depths to the story of Aquaman than is apparent by merely skimming the surface. The original comic book series boasts one of the most well-developed and varied mythologies in history, drawing off of elements of Arthurian Legend and the Lovecraftian Mythos in developing an Atlantis worthy of all the legends involving the lost city. Indeed, the current Aquaman Rebirth series has drawn favorable comparisons to Game of Thrones, boasting a storyline centering around feuding families and epic battles, as supernatural forces threaten to destroy their world while the nobles engage in petty power struggles.

Related: Aquaman Can Talk to Fish and That's OK

With that in mind, here is a cheat-sheet discussing The Seven Kingdoms, the heroes and villains of the movie and how drastically they have been changed from the original comic books.

Atlantis and the Seven Kingdoms Explained

The Seven Kingdoms - Given that two-thirds of the action of Aquaman is set underwater, the undersea kingdoms are practically characters unto themselves. The plot of the movie will focus upon an effort to unite seven separate undersea kingdoms. These were listed in an interview with James Wan as Atlantis, The Trench, Xebel, The Brine, The Fisherman Kingdom, The Missing Kingdom, and an unknown seventh kingdom. This marks a drastic change from the current reality of DC Comics (the so-called New 52 Earth) where mention was made of Atlantis having been divided into seven areas when it sank and only three surviving the destruction of the original island. These areas became known as Atlantis, Xebel and The Trench.

Atlantis - The largest and mightiest of the undersea kingdoms in the comics, we know very little about Atlantis itself in the world of the Aquaman film, though what has been revealed suggests it is precisely modeled upon its comic book counterpart. Once the cradle of human civilization in ancient times, the city fell beneath the waves at the command of Atlan, a mighty mage who was considered to be the finest king Atlantis had ever known. This occurred after Atlan's brother, Orin, staged a coup against him and Atlan responded to the murder of his wife and children by sinking the kingdom rather than let it fall into Orin's hands. The plot of the Aquaman movie will involve the search for one of Atlan's artifacts -  a magical trident.

Xebel - In the comics, the kingdom of Xebel is to Atlantis what Australia is to England. A former prison colony for a group of rebel Atlanteans contained within another dimension sealed within The Bermuda Triangle, it is all but impossible for those trapped within its boundaries to escape it. Despite this, Xebel has developed its own warrior-based culture, with trials by combat used to settle legal disputes and the right to rule determined by fights to the death. What little we've learned of Xebel in Aquaman suggests that that the other-worldly aspect has been forgotten, but that the long grudge between the citizens of Xebel and Atlantis will remain.

Related: Aquaman Movie's King Nereus & Xebel Explained

Page 2 of 2: The Heroes and Villains of Aquaman

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Key Release Dates
  • Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
  • Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
  • Wonder Woman 2 (2019) release date: Nov 01, 2019
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Aquaman Character Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Atlanteans & More