Growing up, Aquaman was my favorite superhero and is still to this day. Finding others who felt the same way wasn’t easy. Everyone else loved Batman, Superman, or the Flash. We all know the jokes about “he talks to fish” by now and how that became a really popular sentiment as I grew up. There is so much more below the surface of this but it doesn’t matter anymore because in 2018, I sat in a packed theatre full of people there to see Aquaman. My hero. Now, Aquaman is a character you can find almost everywhere. It’s only right that he get a cartoon fit for a king.
Aquaman: King of Atlantis is an absolute riot. When the first stills of the series were shared on line, a lot of people were quick to write it off for it’s outlandish animation style and goofy aesthetic. When I saw it, all I could think about was a whole new generation having an Aquaman cartoon while all I had was cameos. The show follows Aquaman, a freshly minted King of Atlantis after defeating his half-brother Ocean Master. It serves almost as a sequel to James Wan’s film, who serves as the show’s producer.
The first of three hour long chapters is called “Dead Sea” which follows Aquaman, voice by Cooper Andrews, and Mera, voiced by Gillian Anderson, as they go to look into the mysterious disappearance of one of Atlantis’s outposts at the edge of the kingdom. Through the adventure, we meet some delightfully vibrant characters that glow with the shows style and humor. The story showcases an Aquaman who is just learning what it means to be a leader and more importantly, a hero. The humor is sometimes aimed at Aquaman but it’s never in a way that makes him a joke as we have seen in media for years prior. The action sequences soar high to take full effect of the larger than life animation style of the show. Each swing and punch is larger than life in a way that brings pizazz to the show unlike any other superhero cartoon out right now.
One aspect I wanted to focus in on was Arthur and Mera dynamic with one another. Cooper Andrews and Gillan Anderson have a great chemistry in their voice acting as these characters. Mera is a Plan A punching-type character while Aquaman tries to figure things out with a bit more logic before punching. Their back and fourth in the first special is never bickering but more the playful banter of a young couple on a grand adventure. They’re both so much fun. There is a running gag of Mera not understanding baseball that is one of the funniest bits from the premiere. Another important thing of note is that Mera is never treated like a sidekick in the show, she is always Aquaman’s equal which is important because Mera could quickly become a hero for young kids as well. Both have their shortcomings which they overcome. I could watch the two sit and talk in a ship for hours.
As soon as I heard the angelic over the top theme song, I knew this was going to be a treat of a show. From start to finish, I was laughing with a big smile on my face. I hope there is a kid out there who is waiting for this to come out on Oct. 14th on HBO Max because they cannot wait to see their hero. It would have meant the world to me at a young age so I hope it finds it’s audience.