After Justice League introduced us to Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry last year, we’re finally getting to learn more about the superhero in his solo adventure, Aquaman. James Wan’s movie expands on the same, painting life for Arthur before and after he helped fight off Steppenwolf’s alien army.
However, a certain plot hole comes to light revolving around Aquaman and his knowledge of Atlantis. In Justice League, when Steppenwolf attacked Atlantis to claim its Mother Box, he made easy work of Mera and her guards. However, Arthur, sensing his home was in danger, left the land and shot through the ocean towards the sea kingdom. There, he found dead guards outside a relic room and quickly engaged Steppenwolf in an unsuccessful battle. But one thing became clear, Aquaman knew his way in and out of Atlantis. This is why we’re left scratching our heads as to why Wan’s movie, which is set months after the events of Steppenwolf’s invasion, paints Arthur as a first-time visitor to Atlantis and someone who doesn’t know how to enter or exit.
When Mera takes Arthur to Atlantis to secretly meet Vulko in this follow-up, he’s marveling at the gorgeous city, acting like it’s his first time. As they traverse the seascape in her ship, she shows him the Gateway into the kingdom — a bridge of energy similar to the Bifrost we’ve seen in the Marvel movies.
She indicates it’s the only way in and out, and also revealed that the path is well guarded. At that point, we see guards and water blasters, similar to the MCU’s Asgard. Now, all this is fine because the audience is certainly enjoying this grand tour, but again, Justice League indicated that Arthur had visited his home before.
So, why doesn’t he know the ins and outs of Atlantis? Snyder made it clear Arthur’s trip to Atlantis wasn’t his first rodeo, which makes sense because he slipped in and out so easily. He clearly came and left as he pleased, but in Aquaman, Mera’s the first one to take him there.
Despite training with Vulko on land as a youth, he didn’t visit, so it also leaves us wondering just how did he find the path to Atlantis in the first place. If the timeline of the DCEU is to be followed, he found it on his own after his teenage years (without Vulko’s aid), and then, after Justice League, Arthur and Mera apparently got amnesia when it came to him sneaking in and out.
This issue comes full circle when Arthur ends up imprisoned and fighting Orm for the first time. After being beaten, Mera helps Arthur escape the fight, but Aquaman doesn’t know how to get out of the city. Well, having Arthur explore Atlantis for the first time like this does add to the plot convenience, while also giving viewers a glorious look at a new realm, you know, for dramatic effect and all.