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Batman v. Superman
by yo go re

Since this guy is the ruler of 70% of our planet, shouldn't all the other heroes look up to him?

In a movie full of stupid, ill-conceived ideas, the introduction of Aquaman and the other not-ready-for-prime-time heroes was among the stupidest and most ill-conceived. I'm not a filmmaker, but here's a pro tip: if you're making a big raucous superhero fight movie, don't stop everything so one character can watch YouTube videos alone for five minutes. Itchy and Scratchy should not pull the car over and talk to Poochie when all anybody wants is for them to get to the fireworks factory, y'dig?

There's no biographical information on the packaging, but then, there's no biographical information in the movie, either: Cyborg gets a whole origin sequence (because nobody knows who Cyborg is when he's not on Teen Titans Go) but the movie assumes that you're already familiar with the underwater guy, which is fair - I saw it with a friend who's not into comics, and she could peg Aquaman no problem, even if he didn't look like the guy on Superfriends.

Aquaman was played by Ronon Dex/Khal Drogo himself, Jason Momoa. Judging by the hair and the beard, the DC Extended Universe (seriously, that's their equivalent of "Marvel Cinematic Universe," and just like the two companies' various toyline names, DC's is way more awkward and silly) is clearly going for the '90s Aquaman. Though we can see very little of his actual face, the likeness on this toy is far superior to Batman's. Is that because an actual sculptor had to do the hair, rather than relying on a Gentle Giant laser scan? Quite possibly!

The body isn't quite superhero-huge, but only because it's based on a real human being and not exaggerated comic art. Momoa is more of a beast than any of us, that's for sure, and you have to remember that Aquaman is a swimmer - Michael Phelps is fit as hell, but he isn't a huge block of giant muscles, is he? Of course not! Despite being the king of Atlantis, Aq has a very Polynesian design. His chest and arms are covered in dark tattoos, both geometric lines and triangular "shark's teeth" patterns. Of course, he's also got brown hair rather than blonde (though he does have streaky highlights like a Long Island housewife), so things change. The tats are painted very well for something so intricate.

The costume is a movie take on the '90s outfit, as well. No, really! Armored right shoulder, strap across the chest, belt buckle shaped like an A, scaly pattern on the outside of the legs, everything. He's even got fins on the back of his calves! One of the silliest costume elements in all of comics, but this costume found a way to make them cool (turns out the secret was to make them part of armored greaves that already have lots of other fishy designs sculpted on). The first picture we saw of Aquaman was deeply desaturated, so people were worried he wouldn't be colorful. The final product is pretty traditional - green pants and golden armor - though shifting the gold a little more toward orange would have been okay, too. You know, like the Alex Ross Justice Aquaman.

Aquaman moves like all the other Mattel movie figures: not enough. He has joints at the ankles, knees, thighs, hips, waist, wrists, elbows, biceps, shoulders and neck. The hair obviously impedes the neck a bit, and the elbows and biceps duplicate their movement, but the really odd thing is the waist. The strap across his chest is a separate piece, but it's glued into a slot on the body. Okay, fair enough. But the belt is attached to it, and the tasset on his left hip is attached to that - so any time you turn his waist, his belt and armor turn with it. That's... less than ideal.

He comes with an accessory, a big... underwatery... spear... thing. Its design is based directly on the one Aquaman carries in the New 52, and there it's known as the Trident of Neptune. But "trident" implies three prongs, and this thing has five. Is "pentadent" a word? Whatever it is, it's more than 7" long, is the same color as the armor, and can be held in the right hand. Loosely.

The entire series of Batman v. Superman figures come with pieces for the series build-a-figure, which actually isn't a figure at all: it's Batman's grapnel gun. And apparently it's a reloadable grapnel gun, because Aq comes with two of the grapnels. The back of the box shows that they can store on the side of the gun. They each have three hinged prongs that can fold away or spread out.

Aquaman's intro in BvS was pretty lame, but the character looked badass. There's hope for him in Justice League and in his solo movie, but we've already got a pretty good figure right now.

-- 05/18/16

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