How Will Aquaman Get His New, Comic-Inspired Costume?

Warning: Potential SPOILERS for Aquaman

The movie version of Aquaman isn't the one comic fans expected, but when his iconic costume makes its debut in the DCEU, its new origin story will also rewrite comic history. That may not be as shocking as it sounds, and could end up causing even smaller waves than Jason Momoa's original casting (pun intended).

Still, with Aquaman's final movie costume now revealed, you would think that the surprise has been more or less spoiled. But fans of DC Comics have good reason to expect that director James Wan has another surprise up his sleeve. Because as famous as Aquaman's comic book look may be, the movie version will have to come up with a meaningful history for it, now that anticipation is higher than Aquaman skeptics ever thought possible.

That shouldn't be too hard, from the sound of James Wan's efforts to anchor the classic suit to Atlantis of old... because any origin story will beat the one in the comics.

The Original Aquaman Suit Has No Actual Origin

Given the rich history and mythology surrounding the armor or symbols worn by Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash-- every member of the Justice League, actually, it will be hard to believe that the "classic" Aquaman costume is... just the one he was drawn in first. When he was created in 1941 by Mort Weisinger and Paul Norris, there was no real explanation needed for his costume. The fish-like scale shirt and flippered pants fit his aquatic gimmick, and the colors stood out well against the colors of the ocean around him.

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Eventually Aquaman was rebooted with a new origin closer to his modern incarnation. That is, no longer a regular human whose explorer father uncovered the ruins of Atlantis, and raised his son to survive underwater. While the new origin from Robert Loren Fleming, Keith Giffen, and Curt Swan did give a new origin for his costume and name, it didn't stick. The orange and green suit was issued to Arthur Curry as an Atlantean prison uniform, and the "Aquaman" name a slur created by his fellow inmates.

Even though the orange-gold shirt of metallic scales and slim, finned green pants would become the "classic," or "true" costume for Aquaman, the same level of interest was simply never paid to his wardrobe as other members of DC's line-up. For fans of the design, that's the best proof available that in the first illustrations, the art team nailed it. The orange shirt, green pants, and soon, black trunks to match other costumed heroes evolved, but rarely strayed.

Aquaman in Brightest Day

The golden-hued shirt was rendered in greater and greater detail, giving it the appearance of scale armor not unlike that of Marvel's Captain America (but in this case, making a bit more sense, given Aquaman's aquatic friends). The same went for Mera's first costume, which seemed to be woven from green seaweed, and never changed for good, either. Arthur's armor changed to incorporate more of the retiarius, or 'net-fighting' gladiators fashioned after fisherman. Single armed-armor, belt redesigns, and even a few lost hands later, Aquaman returned to his kingly chainmail for DC's New 52. Again, with no new 'origin' needed, or requested.

Zack Snyder's Justice League changed all that, making Arthur's tattoos a costume all their own, but making his Atlantean armor the costume of a king. At least, we're pretty sure that was the plan, before Joss Whedon's Justice League cuts erased most of Aquaman's story.

In test footage, Aquaman's eventual Justice League armor was shown being worn by a stone statue of a throned king. While the statue's crown and trident were left behind, Arthur seemingly donning the armor to go to war showed his journey home to Atlantis was only beginning. Thanks to special footage shown in Hall H during Comic-Con, fans know that journey ends with Aquaman's classic scale armor. But where exactly does it come from... and what does it represent? The movie's director offers one crucial detail...

Page 2 of 2: The Movie Gives Aquaman's Classic Suit a New Origin

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Key Release Dates
  • Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
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