Aquaman Movie vs Comics


Valerie Silva

Ticket to the Aquaman Movie in theaters.

Nicole Long, Staff Editor/Staff Writer

The very first issue of the Aquaman comics was released in November of 1941 and was created by Paul Norris and Mort Weisinger. In December of 2018, the movie Aquaman came out into theaters. Aquaman, also known by his surface identity Arthur Curry, is the son of a lighthouse keeper and the Atlantean queen, Queen Atlanna. He is the bridge between the surface world and his realm of the sea. According to DC Comics, Aquaman is one of the most powerful DC superheroes and is a founding member of the Justice League. His powers include super-strength, control over the sea and the creatures within, and the ability to breathe underwater.

Aquaman’s main purpose is to protect and save the surface world from his half-brother, Orm Marius and take back the throne of Atlantis. He mainly keeps the same role in the movie and the comics, but there are a few differences. For one, the movie is solely based off the first issue of Aquaman comics, so there are a few details that are not included in the movie, such as Aquaman having a son murdered by one of his nemeses, Black Manta. In the movie, Aquaman is rescuing people from a submarine when Black Manta and his father attack. Aquaman teaches them a lesson by letting Black Manta’s father die when an accident strikes. From then on, Black Manta was filled with hatred and kept returning to Aquaman for revenge.

Not long after the stories begin, Queen Atlanna dies in a different way in the comics than in the movie. In the Aquaman comics, she dies of an illness after being imprisoned by her own people. In the movie, Queen Atlanna dies by being sacrificed, also by her own people, to the creatures of the Trench. However, in both the movie and the comics, Orm builds a hatred for his brother because of his mother’s “betrayal” of loving a man from the world above. Orm becomes Aquaman’s other nemesis when he tries to take over the throne of Atlantis, and destroy the surface world. Many times in the movie, Orm tries to show he is more worthy of the throne than his “half-breed” brother, who was raised on land, but only to be stopped at each attempt.

There are a few other noticeable differences between the comics and the movie. According to Matthew Smith, a follower of both DC and Marvel, “The back stories didn’t come as quickly as they did in the movie. But I also don’t remember Orm and Black Manta being in the same story.” To save time, the directors of the movie combined some of the Aquaman comics into one story, which took out a few details, and lessened the time between each event. Matthew also told Colt Roundup that “Black Manta was always causing trouble for Aquaman.” The directors of the movie Aquaman chose Orm as the main villain, rather than both he and Black Manta. Black Manta only makes a few appearances throughout the movie.

When asked what he liked about the comics and what he liked about the movie, Matthew responded with, “I liked the comics because of Aquaman’s strength, his caring for the world, and that he had the ability to use the fish of the sea as his army. Now with the movie, everything was different, but in a cooler way. Aquaman wasn’t this weak-looking superhero anymore. He was suddenly looking like the God of the sea.”