Decoding Zack Snyder's Aquaman Teaser

Jason Momoa as Aquaman - P 2015
What does "Unite the Seven" mean, anyway?

Zack Snyder’s Aquaman preview image might have answered the question of what Jason Momoa’s King of the Seas will look like in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but it also raised a brand-new one: What, exactly, does “Unite the Seven” mean?

One answer suggests itself immediately: It’s a reference to the seven seas, which he’s trying to unite for as-yet-unknown purposes. In the current comic book continuity of DC’s superhero line, readers have seen Atlantis attack the surface world in retaliation for an accidental attack on the undersea kingdom. Could the movie Aquaman be preparing for a similar assault against cinematic landlubbers like Batman and Superman, and looking to bring together everything and everyone that lives underwater to do so? Such a storyline would closely mirror the animated adaptation of the aforementioned comic book storyline, Justice League: Throne of Atlantis, which was reworked to act as an introductory story to bring Aquaman into the Justice League.

Longtime fans of DC Comics might have read the “Unite the Seven” tagline differently, however. In Justice League comic mythology, “the seven” might refer to the number of founding members of the team: Superman, Batman, Aquaman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman and the Martian Manhunter. In current comic continuity, the last of those heroes has been replaced by Cyborg, which is a lineup that might seem familiar to those who’ve looked at Warners’ slate of DC comic book movies between now and 2020.

Bearing that in mind, could the seven that need to be united be the future founders of the Justice League? It’s a possibility that makes a lot of sense, given that the tagline’s debut not only places Aquaman — traditionally a somewhat peripheral character in the best of times — at the center of the team in some sense (is he the one tasked with uniting the seven? And if so, why?), but also pushes the issue of the Justice League’s creation into Batman v Superman in some way or another ahead of 2017’s Justice League Part One.

This reading creates a throughline for the majority of the announced DC movies — all but Shazam and Suicide Squad are Justice League-centric, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice gets that plot thread started immediately — and also suggests even more mystery surrounding that movie: Why must the seven be united? Why is it Aquaman’s task to ensure it happens?

Of course, such a take, as tempting as it may be, remains just speculation at this point, and is likely to remain so until Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is released on March 25, 2016. Until then, for all we know, the tagline could even be a suggestion that Zack Snyder et al are preparing for a deep dive into DC mythology by having Aquaman head up a movie version of the Seven Soldiers of Victory.

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