From his “talking to fish” days in the Superfriends cartoon to his current badass king of the seas incarnation, Aquaman remains a big player in the history of DC comics. Now, with the multiple reveals of his character in Warner Bros.’ upcoming Justice League, all eyes turn to how the King of Atlantis will fare in his solo film. At the SDCC Aquaman panel, actor Jason Momoa made quite the literal splash with a debut teaser for his upcoming film, right before going on stage with trident in hand. Amongst those scenes included the appearance of an enormous underwater army, leading to many fans speculating that this signified the appearance of antagonist Black Manta.
However, Momoa clarified the real source behind that massive army, albeit while delving into spoiler territory, at the following Justice League panel. When asked by a fan about the ships seen in the trailer, Momoa responded “I’m used to getting in trouble, so you know what? I’m going to tell you. That’s Ocean Master’s army. I’m going to be fighting my brother.” This answer references the casting of Patrick Wilson as Orm Marius, the brother of Aquaman/Arthur Curry who seeks to take the throne under the title of Ocean Master (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II).
As for what this reveal will mean for the story of Aquaman, one could assume that the character’s involvement with the surface world will result in a coup being plotted against him. This would undoubtedly led by Black Manta, with the support and assistance of Ocean Master, resulting in Aquaman and Merida (Amber Heard) fighting back to defend the throne. Seeing as how Justice League will set the foundation for Aquaman/Curry’s character, the follow-up will likely build upon that and explore its protagonist’s duality between loyalty to Atlantis and to his friends in the Justice League.