Next year’s film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is shaping up to be a major event in the history of DC Comics. In addition to being the first official, live-action meeting of DC’s two most famous and iconic characters, it will also be showcasing several other DC heroes for the very first time in a major motion picture. From Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman, to Ezra Miller’s Flash, and Ray Fisher’s Cyborg, we’ll be getting our first look at many members of the Justice League: DC’s trademark union of the “World’s Greatest Heroes.”
One of the members of that team, Aquaman, has generally been seen as a weak link in the lineup until recently, when his debut in DC’s New 52 and his depiction in the Injustice video game helped to accentuate his toughness and formidability. When word came down that actor Jason Momoa (“Game of Thrones”) had been cast as the Sea King in Batman v Superman and, eventually, Justice League and solo Aquaman films, it became clear to many fans that this would be a hard-edged interpretation of the character. Now, courtesy of the film’s director Zack Snyder in a tweet from late last night, we now have our first look at Momoa as the iconic DC Comics character. See it in full below.
While most will likely see this image and make note of the fundamental departure from the source material in the overall design philosophy, eagle-eyed comic book fans will notice some definite similarities to the character they’ve known and loved for nearly 75 years. While the character’s trademark scaled shirt is absent, the scales extend both into the pieces of the King’s armor as well as into the tribal-looking tattoos he sports on his pectorals and arms. Wielding his trademark trident, Momoa’s Aquaman has an air of both danger and regality, with the very specific pattern of the tattoos seemingly evoking a degree of importance and rank.
The longer hair and beard is actually a definitive element that seems truest to an era of the comics: the 1990’s. When writer Peter David began his seminal run on the Aquaman ongoing series in 1994, he completely changed the character’s look, giving him elements of the design you can actually see in Momoa’s costume: limited armor on the upper body, longer hair, and a mariner’s beard. It was a well-regarded look for the character, which extended through the rest of that decade and even bled into the character’s appearances on the popular “Justice League” animated series of the 2000’s, which spun out of “Batman: The Animated Series” and “Superman: The Animated Series.”
Perhaps one of the most titillating element of the released image is the statement “Unite the Seven.” This would seem to be a reference to the Justice League itself, which in both it’s most time-honored iteration and the recent New 52 relaunch consisted of seven members. One lingering question that many comic book fans seem to have about the eventual unification of the Justice League is how it will be done, and it should prove very interesting if Aquaman proves to be the defining factor in what ultimately brings the League together for the first time.
If the statement is indeed a reference to the Justice League’s roster, we only know of six members of the team that have been cast: Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Ezra Miller as the Flash, Ray Fisher as Cyborg, and Momoa as Aquaman. Those account for six of the seven members of the New 52’s iteration of the League, leaving only one member absent: Hal Jordan, aka the Green Lantern.
All in all, this is a very exciting first look at Jason Momoa’s Aquaman, and will only make the wait for more images — and especially footage — from the film all the more painful. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is scheduled to be released in theaters on March 25th, 2016. Momoa’s Aquaman will also appear in Justice League: Part One in November of 2017, and Aquaman in July of 2018. If you need more Aquaman, check out our look at why he’s the coolest DC Comics character you don’t know about. For more developments on Batman v Superman and the upcoming DC Comics film slate, keep an eye on GeekNation!
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