Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Throne of Atlantis: Aquaman's Reboot

Are you a comic book purist? You might not be happy, but give this post a chance. Do you enjoy good stories and/or respect Aquaman as a hero? Then this movie is perfect for you. Throne of Atlantis is an adaptation of a comic written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis and Paul Pelletier. In the comic book, Aquaman is already a full fledged member of the Justice League and is forced to pick sides between his adopted home, the surface world, and his Kingdom, Atlantis. For the record, the cinematic version of Throne of Atlantis is loosely based on Johns' story line. For the first time since our grandparents picked up a comic book, Aquaman is given a reboot, and it was given to us via straight-to-DVD .

Top 3 Reasons why comic readers and non readers laugh at Aquaman.

Would you believe me if I told you that these complaints are practically voided after viewing Justice League: Throne of Atlantis? 

The purpose of this discussion is not to analyze the animation or the voice-overs. Instead, my job is to give you the good, the bad, and the awesomeness of a first-time Aquaman-centric movie. Of course, you have lots of great fight choreography and at times it feels like a multi-episode arc. Much to my surprise, the movie barely focuses on DC's Trinity. Excluding the exploration of Aquaman, the budding bromance between Shazam and Cyborg is on point. The purpose of their bromance is to tackle Cyborg's inability to comprehend his opportunities to live a normal life. Also, a majority of heroes accept their roles without question. Even Aquaman's acceptance on the team seemed too clean and their lack of strategy in attacks against Orm were amateur at best. Are they positive that Aquaman no longer has a drinking problem? Enough of my nitpicking. Let's get our hands dirty with the Aquaman reboot. 

Even though Aquaman's New 52 title helped rejuvenate Aquaman's legitimacy in T.O.A., it did much more than that. It gave us a clear reboot of the character. The type of reboot that gets a new audience excited and intrigued. In this movie, we get a different Aquaman. Prior to putting on the King's sacred attire, Arthur Curry (Aquman's surface identity) is a lonely drunk that has mommy issues. Unlike any Aquaman story before, we find him at his lowest. He's downing beers, starting fights with other drunks, but only to find out that he has a destiny. For a long time, the fans used to mock Aquaman for talking to fish, but there is a scene in the film that involves a shark and a very large bite. In the end, haters are gonna hate, but some might change their point of view after a view or two of T.O.A.

By the way, I'm intrigued with DC's usage of Aquaman's mom. A character that never has a purpose is now getting a huge push by the company. From what I can remember she has been dead since the beginning. Once it was public knowledge that she had a legitimate role in this movie it turned out that her role was going to expand in the comic book universe. In the comic book, her role is quite the opposite because she is hunting the son she never met. 

Besides the movie, the DVD had a set of great special features. Two of them involved the Bat-verse. One is an awesome deleted section of the script between Robin and Nightwing. It's a loose thread from Batman's investigation, but also a sneak peek at the next DCAU's movie, Batman vs Robin. Once again, WB is taking a story from New 52 and adapting it. This time they're using Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Court of Owls. Once again, I want to use the phrase: loosely adapted. 

Maybe because I'm a history nerd, but my favorite feature is "From the DC Comics Vault." Unlike Al Capone's Vault, DC's Vault is full of goodies. It has two episodes of Batman: The Brave and Bold and everyone's favorite animated show from the early 2000s, Justice League Unlimited. Oddly enough, that episode had NOTHING to do with Aquaman. Those episodes were great, but they have nothing on the greatest secret treasure of all, 1960's Aquaman cartoon.  'Nuff said on that. 

P.S. Stay for after the credits.

Written by: Phillip Butehorn 

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