The inter-connectivity within the DC Extended Universe movies is so subtle that sometimes, that subtlety is enough to blow your mind away. Aquaman is the latest offering by the Warner Bros. studios owned DCEU. And it has not failed to deliver. The movie is raking in huge numbers for the studio thanks to its vibrant storyline and breathtaking visuals.
But between the huff and puff of the James Wan directorial, many die hard fans of DC managed to miss an important detail within the movie. And it is a classic reference to Zack Snyder’s 2013 Man of Steel. Did you manage to catch that reference? Presenting – Did you notice this incredible Man of Steel reference in Aquaman??
Everyone remembers Man of Steel. It is (arguably) one of the greatest and most genuine superhero origin tales ever in the history of Hollywood. In Man of Steel, Clark Kent is not Superman from the very beginning. He goes on a journey to discover himself. In the process, he ended up saving the asses of a hell of a lot of people. In one particular rescue mission of his, Clark entered the wreckage of a burning oil rig in the middle of the ocean to save a few workers trapped in the chaos.
After a daring and successful rescue, Clark later finds himself submerged and drowning in the ocean. But later we find out that Clark is indeed alive and well and comes back to the shore after traveling for some time with a Whale and its child. Zack Snyder later confirmed that the whale did not save Superman out of pity. Nor did Clark suddenly gain the power to talk to fish. This was all Aquaman’s doing.
It was Aquaman who was supposed to rescue those oil rig workers that day. But before he could reach there, he saw Clark jumping into the scene so he decided to just watch. After Clark rescued the folks and fell into the waters, Arthur instructed the Whale to rescue Clark and escort him back to the shore. This is Classic Snyder at play.
To return the favour Man of Steel did to Aquaman, the latter’s origin story also contains a reference to Man of Steel. In the movie, we see Arthur travelling to Atlantis to confront his brother, who is hell-bent on raging the surface world for their grave trespassing on the underwater kingdom’s sovereignty. When Orm and Arthur finally meet in the Atlantean Throne Room, Orm tries to explain why he is doing what he is doing.
He shows various pictures of the surface dwellers polluting the waters of the oceans and killing the aquatic life for centuries. One such hologram among the many images Orm shows to Arthur is an Oil Rig on fire. This is the same oil rig that was shown in Man of Steel, the one where Clark comes to the workers’ rescue and is in turn rescued by Aquaman behind the scenes.
Fun fact – Superman and Aquaman did not actually formally meet till Justice League. Sure Aquaman saw Clark in action and he also saved the Kryptonian’s life just when the guy was about to go under the waves. But the fact that the King of Atlantis and the Las Son of Krypton came face to face only in Justice League does not change. Zack Snyder originally intended to use Man of Steel’s Aquaman reference in his future DCEU movies but his efforts were cut short when he had to leave the DCEU and WB gave charge of the Justice League movie to Joss Whedon. The rest as we know is history.
The James Wan-directed Aquaman is currently in theatres. The official film synopsis for the movie reads:
Once home to the most advanced civilization on Earth, the city of Atlantis is now an underwater kingdom ruled by the power-hungry King Orm. With a vast army at his disposal, Orm plans to conquer the remaining oceanic people — and then the surface world. Standing in his way is Aquaman, Orm’s half-human, half-Atlantean brother and true heir to the throne. With help from royal counselor Vulko, Aquaman must retrieve the legendary Trident of Atlan and embrace his destiny as protector of the deep.