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Can one picture change your opinion about an upcoming movie? – Jason Momoa’s Aquaman

Can one picture change your opinion about an upcoming movie?

That’s what I’ve been wondering ever since Zack Snyder dropped the first image of the new Jason Momoa Aquaman who will appear in a cameo in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and then in his own solo film in 2018. I’m already on record that I still don’t care about Aquaman even if he’s going to look like Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones. Now that we have our first official look at Momoa in character, he looks pretty much as I imagined he would, which is to say like a mash-up of Khal Drogo and Aquaman:

Jason Momoa AquamanYou can focus on what exactly to make of the “Unite the Seven” tagline that comes with the picture of Momoa.  According to BadAssDigest, it’s a reference to the seven members of the cinematic Justice League, with the seventh member beyond Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, The Flash, Cyborg, and Aquaman most likely being Green Lantern.  You can also go crazy trying to decipher Momoa’s tattoos, or take a deep dive into geek with some kind of analysis of his armor.  I more care that this Aquaman is probably going to make it harder on us to crack jokes about him.

Similar to how casting Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman signaled a significant departure from the way the character had always been drawn in the comics, Jason Momoa’s Aquaman is a new look for the character, at least new to me.

It’s pretty significantly removed from the Super Friends Aquaman:

Aquaman-super-friendsIt looks even cooler than the hook-hand version that started in 1994 when Aquaman became kind of a bad-ass ever he lost his hand and replaced it with a detachable hook, like an awesome, Captain Hook-style pirate:

AquamanAnd it has pretty much nothing in common with the New 52 Aquaman:

Aquaman New 52So, out with the Blonde-haired adonis look and in with the scariest surfer you could ever meet.

I am reminded of when I first saw Chris Hemsworth as Thor.  Prior to the first Thor film, all I knew about Thor was that he was a Norse god, and the little girl from Adventures in Babysitting loved the comic book version, wearing an adorable helmet with lighting bolts on the sides. I didn’t even know enough to know if Chris Hemsworth even looked like the character in the comics. I just knew that from the pictures from the film I thought he looked like a less exaggerated Fabio.

Thor Fabio
Thor in The Avengers vs. Fabio

I had no idea that the film was going to turn out to be a fish out of water comedy with Shakespearean family drama, giving us Marvel Studios’ most enduring villain, Loki.  In that context, I quickly adapted to a superhero who looked like Fabio because I actually cared about him, made forever a fan the moment he threw a coffee cup to the ground to signal that he was thirsty and wanted more, unfamiliar with the idea that they would simply pour more liquid into the existing cup.

The key difference is that I actually like how this new Aquaman looks whereas with Thor I was instantly turned away by how he looked.  It’s still ultimately dependent on the movie being good.  The funny thing is that the New 52 version of Aquaman has a new origin story which, to me, plays out like slight slight reversal of Thor’s in that he grows up a normal human being only to be thrown into Atlantis where his half-brother Orm desires power and seeks to prevent his rightful ascension to the throne.

Of course, for anyone who doesn’t read comics and even for some who do, it’s simply been difficult to take Aquaman seriously ever since the sappy old ’70s cartoon Super Friends.  The same could have also been said about Batman after the Adam West TV series.  Then Frank Miller’s iconic graphic novels and Tim Burton’s first Batman film changed all of that.  At one point, no one paid much attention to Iron Man, and Robert Downey, Jr.  changed that.  So, it doesn’t matter if Aquaman was so goofy in Super Friends, or that he was slightly laughable in Smallville just as it’s not important that HBO’s Entourage devoted multiple seasons to mocking the mere idea of an Aquaman film.  A good Aquaman film can completely redefine the character for everyone, though it won’t mean we can’t still laugh at a good South Park parody:

To this point, because I am not an Aquaman comic book reader nothing in pop culture has ever given me the impression that I should take him seriously.  The same was once true of Thor, though.  You see how these things can change. So, dDid this first picture of Jason Momoa as Aquaman change my mind?  Not really because it is still ultimately just a picture, not even a color-corrected one at that.  We still don’t actually know what colors his costume just as we keep hearing that Gal Gadot’s actual costume has far more color in it than the early Zena-esque picture indicated.  However, back when I first saw Chris Hemsworth as Thor I was instantly not interested in seeing anything more from him.  Cut to today and Thor is one of my favorite members of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  So, I am prepared for the possibility that Aquaman could turn out to be kind of awesome, but that’s a lot to hang on just one picture.  Plus, his actual film won’t come around until 2018.

And now I remember that these are all the same people who made Man of Steel, and are calling the sequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as if it was some kind of dang court case, and also as if simply putting Batman and Superman in a film together wasn’t enough they had to force in Justice League set-up.  As such, I must remember to considerably lower my expectations.

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9 comments

  1. Ah….nope, especially not since one of my main worries concerning Dawn of Justice was that by including all those Superheroes they might try to do too much at once. I somehow expected that they would come with something cool for the costumes. But it is not like the costumes were the tipping point of Man of Steel, right?

    1. Yeah, I know. I was deep into writing this article when I suddenly remember, “Oh, yeah. This is all coming from Zack Snyder and Man of Steel. Why am I getting sucked into this?” As it relates to Aquaman, the insider info is that he will barely show up in Batman v Superman. So, I am really more thinking forward to his solo movie in 2018, and trying to be optimistic in remembering all the fringe or uncool comic book characters who have been rehabilitated by a good movie. That could happen for Aquaman, but I’m not particularly interested in it either way at this point because I wasn’t crazy about Man of Steel.

    1. That’s a good one – That pic not only converted non-superhero lovers like yourself, but it also seemed to instantly cut down any holdouts who thought nothing would ever be better than Nicholson from the ’89 Batman.

    1. I’ve never actually had anyone guest write on the site before. This site used to be a joint venture between myself and my best friend Julianne, but after the first year or so she didn’t have time for it anymore. She still has a standing invite to post something whenever she feels like it, but ever since her Nightcrawler review she simply hasn’t felt like it. I am not opposed to allowing guest writers, but since I’ve never done it I’d have to simply look into the mechanics of it, i.e., how to do it practically through WordPress. I’ll get back to you about it through email (in response to the one you sent me) in the next day or so.

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