Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
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.
Back to the FCU
Let Chris know how Wrong He Is
Don't Be Square...
Like Totally Twisted Flix!

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.
Real Time Web