WARNING: This article contains MASSIVE SPOILERS for Aquaman
The Aquaman movie may still seem like a dream come true, giving Jason Momoa his own adventure within the DC movie universe. So what are the biggest spoilers, plot twists, and changes to the DC Universe that fans of Aquaman are going to be talking about?
While the movie doesn't explicitly state it, Momoa has personally confirmed that Aquaman starts right after Justice League ends (or it would have if Zack Snyder's cut had seen theaters). After saving the world, Arthur Curry heads back home to see his father (Temuera Morrison), but unknowingly stumbles across a larger plot between Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) and Orm (Patrick Wilson), Arthur's brother and current King of Atlantis. As rumors of 'the Aquaman' have begun to spread across the surface world, Arthur refuses the throne... until Mera (Amber Heard) arrives to tell him that Orm is uniting Atlantis for war against the world. Leaving Arthur no choice but to return to Atlantis, and no matter how crooked the path, find his way to the throne his mother, Queen Atlanna (Nicole Kidman) always believed he would earn.
Now that Aquaman is finally hitting theaters all around the world, and DC fans have the chance to see what an underwater fantasy film can truly be, we're breaking down the 10 biggest spoilers, plot twists and surprise reveals in the movie. So one last time: there are SPOILERS ahead for Aquaman.
- This Page: Aquaman Kills, Plot Twists, and Fall of Atlantis
- Next Page: Deaths, The BIG Surprise, and The Final Battle
10. Aquaman (Basically) Kills Black Manta's Father
The movie's decision to perfectly recreate Black Manta's comic book costume is a good sign of how closely they keep to the not-so-heroic way that Arthur Curry effectively creates his own greatest nemesis. In the New 52 version of the story, Arthur seeks out Black Manta's father in a blind rage, and ends up killing him. At which point Manta arrives, revealing himself to be the one Arthur was really looking for, and giving the villain his main reason to crave revenge in his father's name.
The Aquaman movie softens Arthur's rage somewhat, having Manta's father ambush Arthur in the film's opening submarine attack. Arthur responds by tossing a torpedo towards him, pinning him to the deck. Cue one explosive round deflected by Arthur into the hull of the sub, and the rapidly flooding compartment means Arthur would need to act to save Manta's father. He refuses to despite Manta's pleading, and will soon come to regret it as much as he did in the comic books.
9. Orm Stages an Attack On His Own People
Compared to the rest of the superhero villains who have waged war on the world, Arthur's half-brother Orm might actually have the best case of all of them. Citing the total pollution and disregard for the oceans of Earth, Orm argues to the other tribes of Atlantis that the time has come to reclaim their domain. To throw pollution back at the mainland. To toss out their warships, and show them who is truly worthy of leading the planet. And to convince them, he's willing to sacrifice everything.
Orm wins the loyalty of King Nereus (played by Dolph Lundgren) and his kingdom of Xebel by meeting in peace at the crumbling monuments to the Council of Kings. When a submarine attacks their meeting and kills Xebellians and Atlantean alike, they are united in retaliating against the mainland for striking first. Of course, that was all part of Orm's plan (a deception he often used in comics). It makes the point clear: it isn't Orm's motivations or his goals that make him a villain, but the ends means with which he would justify the means.
8. Black Manta is Working For Orm
When the first details confirmed that the Aquaman movie would include BOTH Ocean Master and Black Manta, some fans were concerned the film would be too crowded. After all, that is both Aquaman's greatest rival, and his greatest nemesis in one film. How would the story manage to fold both into its plot?
The truth is that Ocean Master commands most of the spotlight in terms of legitimately opposing Arthur's claims to the trident and throne of Atlantis. Manta is introduced as one of a team of aquatic, special ops pirates attacking a Russian sub, but his true role is revealed later. Manta and his father's crew were hired by Orm to commandeer the sub to help him stage his false attack. Only when Aquaman kills his father does Manta demand help from Orm in taking his revenge, and solving both of their problems. Shockingly, he fails... but not for good.
7. Queen Atlanna Was Fed To The Trench
From the start of the film, Arthur carries serious hatred for Atlantis, believing that they sentenced his mother to death for loving and bearing a child with a surface dweller (his father, Tom). That story, relayed to him in his adolescence by Vulko, is eventually confirmed by King Orm... including the means of her execution. Instead of ending her life quickly with a blade or hydrocannon, Orm's father King Orvax sought to make an example of such a high-profile, royal traitor.
He had Atlanna taken and sacrificed to the Trench, one of the former tribes of Atlantis who transformed into insect-like, horrifying, walking piranha who exist in swarms at the bottom of the ocean. Considering how much of a nightmare they are when Arthur and Mera dive into their best later in the movie, we can say the example was certainly made.
6. Steampunk Atlantis Was Sunk Through Greed
The Atlantis of our actual mythology is a story largely defined by its sinking, a cautionary tale depending on the version of the story, but always a great empire swallowed up by the sea, never to return. In the world of DC Comics, the fact that Atlantis continues to exist and thrives below the surface of the ocean often distracts from the question: why did DC's Atlantis sink in the first place? And fans of the comics are going to get a new explanation for Atlantis' ancient catastrophe in Aquaman's movie.
The history lesson - now a shared device between Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman's origin movies - is delivered by Vulko. Instead of royal betrayal and wrath, magic, or anger of the gods, this account claims it was the Atlanteans who sunk themselves. After becoming the most advanced and widespread empire in the world, powering engineering wonders - including steanpunk-esque walking tanks - the quest for more power was their undoing. The exact details are shown but not explained in depth, with an attempt to unlock the power of King Atlan's trident sending shockwaves and fissures of energy through Atlantis. The city collapsed into the ocean as a result, but it seems that technology, either directly or indirectly, gave Atlantis the start to rebuild their empire underwater.
Next Page: The Biggest Twists & Final Battle
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018