The film adaptation of Aquaman has finally hit theaters. The talking point for the movie, however, is not if it will be good or bad (which we’ll get to later). Instead, this discussion surrounds a scene in which Atlantis and New York collide during an explosive battle between two rival armors: Arthur’s and Vulko’s.
“When did Aquaman come out” is a question that has been asked for quite some time. The film, “Aquaman”, was released on December 21st, 2018.
The first episode of Aquaman: King of Atlantis’ animated miniseries trilogy got off to a good start. Because, while the first episode was a fun introduction to a whole new take on Atlantis, it also admittedly did not provide much in the way of a major narrative compelling its viewers to tune back in to the next episode and see what comes next, the premiere ended on a promising cliffhanger that teased we would finally get to see the overarching story for these three stories coming together. Even yet, “Chapter Two: Primordeus” provides enough clues to make the third section entertaining.
“Primordeus,” like the first episode, primarily seems like an Aquaman adventure that stands alone from what gone before and what could come next. This time, there is, thankfully, more of a connecting thread. While the series started with Aquaman coping with his first year as the new King of Atlantis, the discovery at the conclusion of the first episode threw everything into disarray when it was revealed that he had been gone for a whole year defending a lonely colony in the Dead Sea.
(Photo courtesy of DC Entertainment and HBO Max)
Rather of continuing the plot with an enticing cliffhanger, this sadly leads to further hijinks. While it seemed that the second episode would focus on Ocean Master as more than a comedy relief threat, “Primordeus” demonstrates that the Ocean Master humor is truly just that with a prolonged chase scenario that takes up the first third of the new episode. While it moves at a fast speed (with a few brilliant sight gags sprinkled in), this chase sequence is based on a single humor that has been stretched past its usefulness.
Not only that, but it’s the same type of humor that the premiere focused on and will very certainly continue to do so as the trilogy’s central theme. “Dead Sea” toyed with the idea of Aquaman fighting his feelings of inadequacy as a result of the many jokes about his powers made by others (there are many more talking to fish jokes in this second episode), and someone from the surface world becoming the new king, but “Primordeus” seeks to kick him while he’s down by leaning even more on these same jokes without offering character growth or evolution.
Regrettably, this results in “Primordeus” having a hollow sense to it. It doesn’t get to employ the surprising excitement and action from the premiere (with the exception of a musical song that does elicit some chuckles), and it doesn’t serve as a bridge between the first and third portions. The episode, for the most part, seems independent, even with the introduction of a new adversary. While this adversary provides a fascinating (and unusual from the first episode) battle as Aquaman and Mera face an opponent they can’t simply punch away, it’s also a foe with far less effect and personality than Mortikov.
(Photo courtesy of Warner Bros. Animation/DC Entertainment)
While “Primordeus” doesn’t completely bridge the gap between the first and last episodes of this intended trilogy, it does a good job of keeping the stakes high for whatever comes next. Because, although this second episode did not provide Aquaman and Mera with a wholly fascinating sea adventure, it did have plenty of the minor quips and one-liners that are peppered throughout the conversation. Like the previous episode, there are numerous significant chuckles disguised in dialogues that will undoubtedly pique the interest of viewers.
Aquaman: King of Atlantis may not be the best follow-up to such a great first installment, but its second installment is certainly vibrant enough to keep viewers interested in seeing how it all ends.
3 out of 5 stars
On October 21st, HBO Max will show Aquaman: King of Atlantis: Chapter Two – Primordeus, which will also air on Cartoon Network’s ACME Night block.
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