The Aquaman movie hasn't even been released yet, but it already boasts what many fans will see as the greatest, silliest, weirdest, and most unbelievable Easter Egg in any DC movie so far. Assuming they spot a cameo this obscure, of course.
That isn't meant as a slight on the previous DCEU films, since Zack Snyder's references in Batman v Superman alone rank among the greatest in any comic book movie - period. But for all the secret references and cameos for the DC die-hards... a line has to be drawn somewhere. Snyder couldn't reasonably include Krypto the Superdog, Ace the Bat-Hound, or Wonder Woman's pet kangaroo, Jumpa. But Screen Rant can confirm that Topo, Aquaman's music-loving octopus sidekick does appear in his solo movie.
We got a chance to preview a handful of scenes from the current cut of Aquaman in a special visit to the editing bay. While director James Wan explained the new Aquaman scenes and where they fall in the overall film, the first showdown between Arthur (Jason Momoa) and Orm (Patrick Wilson) obviously seemed of particular importance. But we weren't prepared to see that not only was Topo, the musically-gifted octopus present for this ancient ritual combat... he's supplying the music for the fight.
Since even modern fans of the Aquaman comics, especially those familiar with Geoff Johns' run (which has clearly inspired Wan's movie version) may be totally oblivious to the proud, ridiculous tradition of Topo the Octopus, allow us to explain. The smarter-than-average Cephalopod debuted way back in Adventure Comics #229 in 1965, as the first named octopus to assist Arthur Curry. At the time he was just one of a few sea creatures Aquaman was training up as a sidekick, but Topo's willingness to learn (music) soon gave him the edge.
Over the next decades, Topo would slide out of the spotlight due to his inherent silliness - bugging, expressive eyes and all - only to be reintroduced as a throwaway gag. The most memorable to modern comic fans being in Aquaman #19 (2013), when Topo was revealed to be leviathan too intelligent for Arthur to command, and had to therefore request its assistance. He used his powers to bend Topo to his will eventually, but it cost him six months in a coma (leading to yet another bearded makeover for Aquaman long before the films).
There may be room in the Aquaman side of the DC movie universe for a massive creature, but that isn't the one that James Wan's team has paid tribute to in the gladiatorial match between King Orm and Arthur Curry. In a large underwater coliseum filled with Atlanteans, adorned with gigantic statues of warriors from their glorious past, and lit by the bioluminescence of jellyfish, the two half-brothers cross tridents. The showdown has a fitting tune of deep, bass-heavy war drums to accompany it, and while the panning shot across the octopus beating the pounding rhythm may only last a second, there's no mistaking the comic book callback.
It was Aquaman who inspired Topo to enjoy and create music in the comics, so we have to assume that a different origin story for the octopus is at work in the movie. Either way, we're thrilled to know that one ludicrous super-pet from the forgotten age of DC Comics will now be added to the DCEU movie canon.
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018