DC Universe has some pretty exciting animated features on the way: Justice League: War hits store shelves soon, adapting the hit Justice League "New 52" story arc by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee; after that we get Son of Batman, an adaptation of the Grant Morrison/Andy Kubert "Batman & Son" story arc that gave the modern world its new Robin, Damian Wayne.
Of course there is even MORE in store from DC's high-quality animation branch - and apparently they're taking a cue from Marvel movies by teasing fans with a Justice League: War end credits scene that introduces the next superhero animated feature to come. Better yet, the end credits button scene in question also helps to explain a pretty glaring omission in the JL:W character roster. Read on at your own risk.
After the devastation to Earth due to the attack by the forces of Apokolips, a shot of the ocean is shown. In the water lay swathes of dead fish and other sealife - and then waves start from the middle of the water. A vessel rises, and with what sure seems to be the helmet of Orm, Ocean Master (Aquaman's brother). In his arms lie a dead old man. Ocean Master says, "The Surface Dwellers have killed our king. This is an act of war. And they will pay."
It was already revealed during New York Comic-Con 2013 that an Aquaman animated feature is happening, and it makes sense that the company's renewed exposure of the character would also follow the New 52 continuity. In the books, Aquaman's personal saga crossed the Justice League's doorstep in "Throne of Atlantis". The story features the surface world incurring Ocean Master's (Orm, Aquaman's half-brother) wrath, in a plot designed to place Aquaman back on the Atlantean throne.
Aquaman is not featured in Justice League: War (even though he appears in the comic book story arc), so this would be a natural way to spotlight the character - who has not had a very strong presence in the animated universe - while embracing the new "shared universe" business model in order to get fans invested in two animated feature$ instead of just one.
...And it'll work. While the mainstream has yet to catch on, comic fans have largely embraced Geoff Johns' 21st century take on Aquaman, and want to see more of the character. For now, though, DCU is playing it close to the vest when it comes to exact details about what the "Throne of Atlantis" animated adaptation will be. (Well, sort of:)
"You'll see a movie with Atlantis in the title."
Will the Justice League be in it (as they were in the comics)? Or will this be an Aquaman solo show? A button-scene approach at the end of War suggests the former over the latter; if so, here's hoping Aquaman still gets his due screen time in a Justice League ensemble feature. Flashpoint Paradox was pretty good about featuring the Flash in the midst of a Justice League story, so hopes remain high for Aquaman.
Justice League: War is now available digitally and will hit DVD/Blu-ray on February 4, 2014.