Warning: SPOILERS for Aquaman
The Aquaman movie has given the Justice League star a story of his very own… and raised some serious plot holes for the larger DCEU. Some are impossible to correct and will have to be ignored, but not all of the plot holes claimed online are actually problems. Some might make the story better.
Many of these changes or inconsistencies are understandable, now that we know just how different Aquaman was in Zack Snyder’s cut of the DC team-up film. But that doesn’t make them any less of a problem for those hoping to construct a single timeline of the DCEU – or trying to get a sense of who Arthur Curry actually is, after being created by two– make that three different directors. It’s not as bad as Marvel’s completely broken timeline (yet), since some of the confusing plot points are easily explained. But DC will definitely have some explaining to do in the future.
Has Aquaman Been to Atlantis, or Not?
Plot Hole Level: Confusing, But Explain-able
The first time Arthur sees Atlantis is a special moment for both the hero and the fans, since its sprawling wonders and sea of lights is obviously not what he imagined the underwater city to be – and with good reason. Some fans had the spectacle spoiled when they realized that the reveal of Arthur in Atlantis didn’t make any sense at all. After all, he had come to the rescue of Mera and her guards in Justice League, when Steppenwolf arrived to steal the Mother Boxes after being guarded for millennia. In a temple located in… you know, Atlantis.
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It may seem like a major oversight, but there’s more than enough evidence to confirm that the Mother Box site wasn’t in Atlantis at all. For starters, the architecture, sunlight, and isolated appearance of the temple suggest it’s a long way away from Atlantis proper. Honestly, it’s as plausible as anything to say that the Mother Box was guarded by Mera in Xebel, a kingdom that used to be part of the surface Atlantis, and shows reverence for the ancient ways in Aquaman. Jason Momoa’s comments on these locations when confirming Arthur and Vulko’s Justice League scenes were cut confirm our reading, saying Arthur “knows spots where he can go and he can see these statues, the remnants of [Atlantis].”
Wait, Atlantis Sank in The Year 1,000 AD?
Plot Hole Level: Plausible, Surprisingly
Ancient as the empire and story of Atlantis may be in both real world mythology and that of the DC Comics Universe, the Aquaman movie reveals that the lost people and city reached the peak of their development – and their ultimate collapse into the sea – just 1,000 years before the modern day. We’re not just basing that on Vulko’s claim that Atlantis had unlocked the secrets of flight, power, and unlimited energy “at a time when the rest of the world still thought the Earth was flat.” We’re basing it on the sinking of Atlantis preceding King Atlan’s exile, beginning a long line of wannabe heroes attempting to reclaim the trident, which the Karathen says lasts 1,000 years.
Fans wanting to make this not a mistake or error, and maintain Atlantis sank thousands of years B.C. (as the online fan timelines claim) could argue that King Atlan waited a few millennia to leave Atlantis in disgrace. It conflicts with what’s shown in the movie, but sure. However, it is plausible. What’s shown of Atlantis depicts a great city surrounded by water, and uninterested in sharing their existence or knowledge with mankind on the mainland. If DC’s Atlantis is located in the Mid-Atlantic, as it has been in legend, the Vikings were just started to work their way across the far North Atlantic, by accident, a few years before Atlantis disappeared forever. So it all checks out.
How Did Orm Let Steppenwolf Take The Mother Box?
Plot Hole Level: Effective Writing (Potentially)
This one actually does seem like a case of writers and directors asking the audience to look the other way, since it’s a gap in logic and storytelling, even if it isn’t a contradiction. But really, for all his military pride and power, and his claims of protecting Atlantis from outsiders, how could King Orm allow Steppenwolf to beam into the ocean, waltz into the guard room of their most revered artifact, and leave without encountering the slightest army or response to an alarm?
Orm is his father’s son, after all, and King Orvax is described as a cruel, proud, and forward-facing ruler. Orm thinks King Alan’s trident, the Karathen, all of it are simply myths of the philosophers. That probably comes from his father, and we’re willing to bet King Orvax would have had little interest in a relic, tied to the greatest legend of Atlantis uniting in friendship with Humans and Amazons. As usual, we blame the parents.
Where Did Atlanteans Actually Come From?
Plot Hole Level: Conspicuously Unanswered Question
As always, the worst plot holes are going to jump out most to those who have recently seen the rest of the DCEU films, and have their own versions of history fresh in their memory. Surprisingly, it’s Wonder Woman, and not Justice League, which causes the next problem. When Queen Hippolyta gives her daughter Diana a history lesson in the creation of the world and the Amazons, she leaves out the darker details that are eventually filled in by her aunt, Antiope. Zeus created humans, who soon became evil, and thus created the Amazons to guide them back to goodness. In the millennia that followed, men turned evil yet again, the gods were killed, and the Amazons hid.
But in Justice League, Diana recounts the ancient history of Earth, and the first attack from Apokolips. The attack only repelled by an alliance between Men and Amazons, former (and future enemies), and the people of Atlantis… who kind of just appeared, we guess. Seriously, while our real history has claimed Atlantis was a great nation of human beings lost to the sea, Justice League makes it clear they were their own type of being – led by a King who is apparently immortal. So not people, created by Zeus, yet just as important as the Amazons. And since the Aquaman movie shoes zero light on who made them, or whether anyone made them at all, this question might never be answered.
Page 2 of 2: The Aquaman ‘Plot Holes’ That Make Zero Sense
Key Release Dates
- Aquaman (2018) release date: Dec 21, 2018
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