ByFergus Coyle, writer at
Movie lover, wannabe director and resident DC nerd. Get more from me at:
Fergus Coyle

So,over at Warner, someone decided to pull the trigger on an Aquaman film. Now, we've probably all seen the memes about Aquaman, how lame he is and how he doesn't belong in the Justice League. And maybe 10 years or so ago they had a point, but post New 52, the King of Atlantis has gone from a joke to one of my favourite DC characters at the moment. So, with WB seeming to be going down the New 52 route with their films, here are 3 excellent storylines that I reckon would be great for adaptation.

1) The Legend of Aquaman

My preferred take on the origin of Aquaman, it tells the comprehensive story of how Aquaman was adopted by (and named after) Arthur Curry and how he became from there, the King of Atlantis. Don't let that cheesy (read: stupid) grin he has on the cover fool you, this was a fairly dark story - Or well, you know, dark by Aquaman standards - where Arthur is kidnapped, imprisoned and loses both his foster father and biological mother.

Pros: The number of pre New 52 Aquaman stories that are any good can probably be counted on one hand (maybe two at a push). But this is the best of them. It was written as a one shot and thus wasn't bogged down in anything but telling its own story. All credit goes to Keith Giffen and Robert Loren Fleming for writing this story and maturing the mythos while still honouring it. If DC want to do an origin story for Aquaman, this one is the low hanging fruit.

Cons: In a universe like the one Man of Steel seems to be setting in place, this is still a relatively cheesy story, especially with Jason Momoa set to make him more of an anti-hero. But hey! I can still cross my fingers and hope that DC are capable of making a (good) light-hearted movie, right?

2) Throne of Atlantis

In 'Throne of Atlantis' Arthur Curry has to become Aquaman in a desperate bid to stop his home nation wiping out the entire world after a battle with Apokolips kinda wrecks a large chunk of the ocean. And that's about it, battles, war and politics ensue, where Aquaman has to choose between his home people of Atlantis or his adoptive people; land-dwellers.

Pros: It would be a great way to one-up Marvel. There's been a fair amount of complaints that none of their phase 2 films have featured multiple Avengers, and making Aquaman's movie into basically another Justice League film except with Aquaman as the centerpiece would be a great move from Warner to show that their universe is much more interconnected and would make it feel more natural, rather than inexplicably not having all of their signature characters in the film. On top of that, it also draws in people who aren't convinced by the idea of an Aquaman solo outing (filthy doubters) while giving Arthur Curry's fanbase (hell yeah) what we've been asking for for years. They also get to test the waters with the animated film coming out in January and gather feedback to improve it for cinematic release. Oh, and it was also a really good storyline, complex and yet action packed, which showed the world that [Aquaman](movie:264237) is awesome. It's the kind of story that separates DC from its competitors (note: I didnt say: "puts them above") thanks to its emphasis on characters and plot. And did I mention Black Manta's in it? Well he is, and that's always a good thing, because Black Manta, is pure awesome, and he needs to be in a movie, so get it done Warner Bros.

Cons: It would be pretty expensive to hire all of the JLA actors for a solo flick. Totally worth it, and I reckon it would pay off given that they make a good film, but still risky to spend so much on a relatively untested property. But it's a small risk when you consider how hard it would be to screw such a great comic arc. There's also the problem that while this is a very good story, the idea of a half-human, half other thing choosing between two sides as they go to battle, isn't really original, so could easily make a movie unremarkable if not handled perfectly.

3) American Tidal

As the title may suggest, in 'American Tidal' San Diego is submerged underwater after an Earthquake spawns a massive tidal wave, and Arthur goes in to check for survivors. Strangely, a large quantity of people managed to develop gills in order to survive and he attempts to discover why. Arthur is also trying to keep his anger in check due to getting a new hand made out of water that he's not allowed to use in anger. Anything more would be spoilers, but I'd recommend you check it out, it's great.

Pros: There are two main things I really like about American Tidal. The first is that he's a proper, good old fashioned hero in it. Yes, it's a serious story (like 4000 people or so die in the tidal wave) but it doesn't feel the need to make Aquaman anything other than just a really great, selfless, wise and battle worn hero. It does really interesting things with the character and moves him past being what was admittedly a bit of a blank slate. Even if this story isn't directly adapted, this is the Arthur Curry I want to see. The second thing is that it takes more of a disaster/mystery hybrid approach than comic readers are accustomed to seeing. And it works fantastically. In terms of theatrical adaptation it would provide viewers with something that they haven't seen before from a Superhero film, paving the way for DC to experiment and make any kind of film they want. Credit is vastly deserved by Will Pfeifer and Patrick Gleason for making Aquaman's powers and the whole underwater world so engaging and visually stunning. Also, just imagine the debut of that teaser trailer; an awe-inspiring tidal wave literally crushing San Diego, potentially at San Diego Comic-Con!!!

Cons: Ummmm... Hmmmm... It's new? Wait, no, it wont be by the film's release in 2018. Errrrrr... This may take a while. There's no other superheroes? Wait, it mostly takes place underwater, so that would explain that. Honestly? I just loved this series so much that I can't even think of a flaw in it, it's my absolute favourite Aquaman run and admittedly I'm probably biased because of that. And to be fair, I'm not sure that this is a take on the character that I can see Jason Momoa taking on.


I know there are some great stories I left out, so feel free to let me know your top pick. If you can think of a flaw with American Tidal then please don't tell me, I'd rather live in blissful ignorance, but if you disagree with anything else, then please do tell. So, until next time guys, enjoy your lives!


What story do you want 'Aquaman' to be based on?


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