It's about time poor
Aquaman started getting some respect around here. I am a
Super Friends Kid, and while there was a lot about that show
that failed to bring the awesome to a lot of our comic
heroes in retrospect, Aquaman probably came off as the
worst. Even lamer than that cape wearing dog or the monkey.
I mean this cat had control of the oceans but still needed a
ski-do to get around these oceans he controlled. That's
lame. But in Justice League Unlimited, Aquaman got hardcore,
even cut off his own arm and stuck a blade on that stump,
then in 'Flashpoint Paradox' Aquaman just got badass. I mean
he was knocking off Wonder Woman for goodness sakes, and you
can't get much more badass than that. So like all of the DC
heroes in this thing they call the New 52, Aquaman has been
rebooted, and now he has his own movie in 'Justice League:
Throne of Atlantis'. Does it bring the awesome? Well, I
don't know about that, but it wasn't so bad.
Picking up were 'Justice League: War' left off, The JLA has
been formed but with the exception of Cyborg (voiced by
Shemar Moore), none of the other heroes seems aware of this.
A destroyed nuclear sub with its nukes missing brings the
team together to check it out. Across the country somewhere
where there is a bunch of water, I'm thinking Maine, we meet
young Arthur Curry (Matt Lanter). He's kind of depressed
being as how his old man has kicked off, and now he spends
his spare time getting drunk and getting into bar fights.
Arthur has always known he is a little different from most
folks... could be the gills, I don't know... but what he
doesn't know yet is the he is an Atlantean prince and his
mom Queen Atlanna (Siena Irwin) has sent her right hand
woman Mera (Sumalee Montano) to bring her boy home.
This probably has to happen sooner than later because the
other prince, Arthur's half-brother Orm is… well… he's a
dick. Let's be honest. He's just an awful person. Made even
dickier by the odd dude in the large bug helmet always by
his side, going by the name of Black Manta (Harry Lennix)
who is constantly in Orm's ear giving him really bad advice.
And those missing nukes? He has them. Plans to drop them on
his own people to start a war between the land and the sea.
Mainly because Black Manta told him to. See what I mean? And
he gets way worse. Way worse.
Orm can't have his
half-brother showing up, messing up his plans, so he sends
waves of disposable soldiers and creatures to kill him. It
was kind of odd, seeing a guy having trouble in a bar fight
take out the Atlantean version of Special Forces, but I
guess that's how it is when one is a prince. And having the
hot Atlantean chick by his side, with super powers, who he
will be making out with soon, also helps.
Eventually the rest of Justice League shows up to help out,
but alas, under the water they are a little out of their
element. Eventually it's going to be up the kid that was a
stumbling drunk a few hours ago, to be the king he was
destined to be, to grab his magic trident and lead his
people to VICTORY! After killing up a bunch of them. It was
kind of necessary. I'm sure they'd understand.
As these 'New 52' animated films start rolling out of WB /
DC, I still see them as being somewhat inferior to the films
before the reboot, but I will say that I did enjoy this
'Aquaman' tale the most, at least of the ones I've seen to
this point. It is an Origin story, as Cyborg got his origin
in 'War' and it's a pretty good one. The Justice League
aspects are a little glossed over, Superman and Woman are
officially an item now, but little else has changed from the
last time we saw these heroes some months ago. As is typical
in all these superhero animated features, there is action to
burn with this one amping it up a bit on the animated
violence considering the death dealing we had to deal with.
Be it Atlantean warriors, ugly sea creatures, casual
Atlanteans, Earth soldiers, Atlantean royalty… death was
coming fast and furious in this one. And a little profanity
as these things inch closer and closer to from being simply
'more adult' to becoming 'completely adult'.
Because of the brief nature of this film, not a lot of say,
exposition, was given to a lot of things. Black Manta got
all of a sentence to explain what his end game was, and Lord
only knows how he came to gain Orm's trust. Arthur's ascent
from drunken bum to regal prince was nothing short of
meteoric, Mera's transition from the queen's right hand
woman to Arthur's consort was done so fast that it has me
questioning her moral nature, and I'm not quite sure, as an
lifelong resident of Atlantis, that I'd be so quick to bow
down before this guy dressed in orange who was passed out in
his bed in a drunken stupor just a few hours ago. He's gotta
show me a little something more before I swear my
allegiance. Now I don't know exactly whose going to rule,
being as how the queen can't and Orm will be unavailable for
the foreseeable future, but surely Atlantis has some kind of
Royal council to handle this stuff in the interim while they
familiarize themselves with the drunken half breed.
Regardless of all of that nonsense I was just prattling on
about, 'JLA: The Throne of Atlantis' was entertaining and
had a little more depth than the previous brain dead
'Justice League: War'. Still has a way to go to reach the
elevated heights that we saw with something like 'Flashpoint
Paradox', but at least things are looking up.