Warner Bros.’ “Aquaman,” the big budget movie adaptation of the iconic underwater DC Comics character, opens in Philippine cinemas on Dec. 12, Wednesday. It isn’t your average action-packed Hollywood superhero movie. James Wan’s film is one of the most faithful widescreen adaptations of a comic book property. The characters even look the part for the most, a rare thing in the movie industry, and the DC Extended Universe. Who’s who in the new “Aquaman” film? Read on:
First appearance: “Adventure Comics” # 260 (1959)
Though the Aquaman character itself first appeared in “More Fun Comics” # 73 in 1941, the version played by Jason Momoa (HBO’s “Game of Thrones”) is based on the Silver Age version, with Arthur Curry the son of a human and an Atlantean queen. He first appeared as Aquaman in a cameo in 2016’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” and then in full in 2017’s “Justice League.” Like the classic Aquaman, he can breathe underwater, has super strength, can swim really fast and can communicate with undersea creatures. But in a cool way.
First appearance: “Aquaman” # 11 (1963)
Mera, played by Amber Heard (“Drive Angry”) is Aquaman’s romantic partner, usually his queen as regent of Atlantis. Aside from her Atlantean powers, she also has control over water. She had previously appeared onscreen in 2017’s “Justice League.”
First Appearance: “Adventure Comics” # 260 (1959)
The one and only Nicole Kidman plays Atlanna, the Atlantean queen who falls in love with a human and sires a hybrid child.
First appearance: “The Brave and the Bold” # 73 (1967)
An Atlantean scientist and leader, Vulko trains Arthur Curry so that the boy develops his undersea powers. He is played by the veteran character actor Willem Dafoe.
First Appearance: “Aquaman” # 29 (1966)
Arthur Curry’s half-brother, Orm is one of Aquaman’s classic villains and is often portrayed as his rival for the Atlantean throne. Ocean Master is hi super villain identity and he feels he has a greater claim on the throne because, unlike Arthur, he is a full-blooded Atlantean. He hates the surface world and seeks to conquer it. He is played by one of Wan’s favorite actors, Patrick Wilson. Wilson has previously appeared in another big budget comic book movie, 2009’s “Watchmen” as the Batman-like hero Night Owl.
First appearance: “Aquaman” # 35 (1967)
Black Manta is THE iconic Aquaman villain. He is even identified as so in the classic Hanna-Barbera Saturday morning cartoon “Challenge of the Super Friends.” He uses advanced technology to battle Aquaman, with an almost invincible suit, underwater breather apparatus and a distinctive helmet with lasers coming out of the bug-like eyes. In the film, he is played by Yayha Abdul Mateen II as a treasure-hunting mercenary.