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Television

Aquaman: King Of Atlantis Chapter 2 “Primordeus” Keeps the Tides Coming In: Spoiler-Free Review

Who lives in Atlantis under the sea! ARTHUR CURRY! That’s right readers, another week and another Aquaman adventure in the Aquaman: King of Atlantis trilogy of specials on HBO Max. I have to be honest with you and say I am dreading next week. I love the idea of a three part series but this week’s episode made me fall so much more in love with the show. I don’t know how I am going to be able to let go. But just like Rose did with Jack, we will have to let it slip into the ocean when the time comes.

ANYWAY! Aquaman: King of Atlantis Chapter 2 “Primordeus” continues the laughs, heart, and action from Chapter 1. It has been a full year since we have last seen Atlantis as time passed differently where the gang was last time. The throne defaulted back to Ocean Master, again in the lapsed time. This week we find the new king (again) Aquaman and Mera as they chase Ocean Master who has taken Aquaman’s trident. During the chase, the heroes face one of Aquaman’s most dastardly foes… THE FISHERMAN! There are also some very interesting horror elements with some very well designed and goofy sea monsters.

Aquaman is struggling hard with being a good king in this episode. His trident was stolen, he cannot throw Ocean Master into jail, and his subjects think he is a joke. The pursuit of Ocean Master takes the duo of Aquaman and Mera through Atlantis as they have to deal with the destruction that Ocean Master is leaving in his wake. The only thing is though… the citizens keep cheering for Ocean Master. The bit is hilarious especially when Ocean Master causes two shops to crash together and their drivers still cheer for him. But beneath the humor we are seeing the Atlanteans cheering for the former king and a villain rather than Aquaman who is struggling with believing in himself. Atlanteans are the worst even in the comics, I will stick by this notion. But seeing Aquaman trying to prove himself to them to no avail is something that makes you root for him more. I think it’s a reason the character is relatable in general but the show captures this so well. 

The art style of this show is on full display in this episode with some very flamboyant Atlantean citizen designs. Each sea creature looks uniquely different from one another that makes the city feel fleshed out where it may not have if it was all copy and paste generic looks. There is a cutaway card with the word clams that made me almost choke on what I was drinking. While a lot of it is goofy and fun, the design of The Fisherman is actually pretty unsettling for as goofy as it is. There are also a number of sea monsters that come in later in the episode that are all extremely cool to look at. I found myself pausing the episode to get a good look at them.

I don’t want to spoil anything for the episode because it really is such a fun romp with a clear love for the characters and the world’s they inhabit. I do need to touch on one thing that all Aquaman fans will see and smile. Topo is in this episode for a brief moment and that is worth the price of a month of HBO MAX alone. Topo is a beautiful musical octopus. Speaking of musical, Aquaman sings in this episode to explain his powers. Any show that has a musical number is an instant classic in my book so I may be a little bias here. This series is very much worth your time. I hope you dive in and check out both chapters that are available. I need more of this so just watch it on repeat. Do it for Topo.

Categories
Television

Aquaman: King of Atlantis is a Home Run for the Underwater Hero

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.