How Man of Steel sets up Aquaman
I recently reported that Warner Bros. is seriously considering a standalone Aquaman movie, which made me realize how much you guys really love your King of Atlantis. I believe I used the words "outdated character" and talked about how he was "slimy and smelly." Needless to say, that upset a lot of you. I get it! Still, despite Injustice and newer storylines, I think that most moviegoers out there aren't as accustomed to the idea that Aquaman is more than a man who swims with fish, especially when you've got characters like Nightwing and Wonder Woman.
That being said, Man of Steel has already made bank. The movie may not have the critical success of the newer Batman films or Marvel's output (MoS currently sits at a rotten 56% on RT), but a sequel is imminent. Not only that, but Warner Bros. is setting up the larger DCU with various nods to Wayne Enterprises, the Green Lantern's Carol Ferris, Lex Luthor, and Supergirl. Since the news that Warner Bros. is making Aquaman a priority, people are now speculating what scenes may reference or set up his future appearance in Batman vs. Superman or a standalone film. Spoilers ahead.
In one standout scene, Clark Kent rushes to save people from a collapsing Merrevale oil rig. The set piece wasn't just there to showcase Henry Cavill's giant, shirtless man body. The oil company is actually kind of important. Merrevale Oil's CEO, Jordan Wylie, had several run-ins with Aquaman due to the environmental destruction his company causes. But that's not it. After Superman saves the rig workers, he falls into the ocean where we see two humpback whales swimming past him. There's speculation that Aquaman sent the whales to check on Clark.
Could there be a connection? Well, we don't really know. What we do know is that Aquaman is on the fast track to getting his own movie and the Merrevale Easter egg could potentially set up Aquaman's role in the DCU. Or it could just be fan service. However, the environmental themes in MoS (mining Krypton's core proved to be a terrible, terrible idea) shows that Aquaman could prevent a large-scale environmental disaster on Earth.