Aquaman will wear a comic accurate gold and green suit in his solo movie, instead of the darker armor that we saw in Justice League - but that doesn't mean Warner Bros. is trying to retcon the character. Aquaman is the first DC Extended Universe entry since last year's Justice League, in which Warner Bros. tried to pivot from the grim intensity and melodrama of Zack Snyder's Man of Steel and Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice to something more light-hearted and fun, bringing in The Avengers director Joss Whedon for heavy reshoots. However, the end result was somewhat awkward and didn't really satisfy anyone, with many fans still begging for a "Snyder Cut" of the film.
Jason Momoa's Arthur Curry was first glimpsed in a brief cameo in Dawn of Justice before joining the team in Justice League, and while he wasn't given a whole lot to do besides leaping into the fray and gleefully beating up Steppenwolf's minions, audiences generally seemed to like this gruff, tough, rough-and-tumble take on Aquaman. In that movie the King of Atlantis wore green and gold armor, but it was green scales tipped with gold rather than the bold golden torso and green trousers and gloves of the comics. Moreover, because of the movie's somewhat muted palette, the colors didn't particularly stand out.
So, does Aquaman's new suit mean that the DCEU is trying to retcon the Arthur Curry of Justice League into a more kid-friendly, light-hearted version of the superhero? Well, no. Last year Momoa said that the Arthur Curry we see in Justice League isn't fully-formed yet, and that the team-up movie merely establishes a starting point for Aquaman's character arc in his solo movie:
"It all kind of came from Zack's mind. Aquaman wouldn't be here if it wasn't for him... There's a lot of layers to this guy and I think once we do get to the solo film you get to see a man who's going to take responsibility and help the world and become king eventually, so this one, I don't really think that he's Aquaman - he's Arthur Curry, but he hasn't dealt with the trident yet and it's coming, but just stick with it. For the people like 'that's not how Aquaman is,' just stick with it a little bit longer."
While the Sideshow Collectibles figure in Aquaman's classic comic book costume indicates that we will see Aquaman change from the boozing and brooding Aquabro of Justice League into a more noble figure, it also looks like we won't see that version of the character until the end of the movie. Stills from Aquaman have generally shown Arthur either bare-chested, wearing civilian clothes, or in the ceremonial-looking armor pictured above. He's also holding a quindent rather than his signature trident, which we see him carrying in the Collectibles figure, because Aquaman is actually about Arthur going on a quest to find King Atlan's trident and prove himself worthy of wielding it.
Unlike the Marvel Cinematic universe, which established heroes in their own solo movies before teaming them up as the Avengers, the DCEU has been introducing heroes in team-up movies and then properly expounding their characters and backstories in solo movies later on. The Diana that we saw in Wonder Woman was young and naive - a noticeable departure from the cool, collected and confident warrior who appeared on the scene in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice - but they were both very clearly the same character, just at different points in her life. But whereas Justice League's Wonder Woman was at a stage where she had fully matured, Justice League's Aquaman was a cruder and still-forming Arthur Curry.
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- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
- Shazam! (2019) release date: Apr 05, 2019
- Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) release date: Jun 05, 2020