Here we are, finally, at the last episode of Aquaman: King of Atlantis. The first DC animation miniseries ever produced by Warner Bros. The series has put its director Keith Pakiz on everyone’s radar and with good reason. With this final episode, it is clear that Mr. Pakiz and his team have a fantastic sense of progression when it comes to action sequences and an excellent sense of timing when it comes to comedy. Tidal Shift then becomes an excellent ending for an overall amazing animated show.
I think many would agree that the King of Atlantis is actually one of the better surprises of 2021. At first, the project looked like a bizarre decision by the executives. Why treat an already mocked character like Aquaman in such a sarcastic and satirical manner? Hasn’t Aquaman had enough laughs through the decades? With the miniseries now finished, the answer is a yes. Not only because it can make the audience laugh with Aquaman instead of the character being laughed at, but also because it shows just how manageable and adaptive the DC heroes are.
For a long time now, the superheroes of DC Comics have proven that they can adapt to the ages in ways many other superheroes don’t. There have been countless versions of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and yes, a lot of Aquaman versions. Each one of these versions is unique, and they all have their own little quirks and qualities. You can count the Aquaman from this show as one of those countless versions, and yet, he still feels like the image we all have of Aquaman in our heads. It is a truly fantastic depiction that, I’m sure, will find a lot of fans thanks to the quality of this miniseries.
Marvel, for example, hasn’t had the need to create new versions of his characters. Even when facing the threat of the Multiverse, this alternate version never finds their own lives outside the stories they are supposed to appear. Except for Miles Morales, most of these other versions died a sad death. The Aquaman from King of Atlantis has the potential to become so much more, and I’m willing to bet we’ll see him again. Maybe, after the release of the new live-action Aquaman movie title, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.
Pakiz and his team have created such a fun and interesting version of Atlantis that the potential to expand this format into the territories of the other members of the Justice League feels like the next logical step. Seeing another miniseries in the same style titled Superman: Son of Krypton or Batman: Dark Night of Gotham City would be amazing. These characters, including Wonder Woman, Flash and Cyborg, would make for another amazingly fun miniseries.
With this last episode, titled “Tidal Shift,” the show goes into full steam by delivering what could be seen as a huge 45-minute battle from beginning to end. The action is fantastic, creative and especially well paced thanks to the comedic antics of the character. At no point does it feel like too much or get stale, thanks to the imagination of the animators and how they keep creating new moments where all the characters can use their abilities to their true potential.
The villain from the first episode, now transformed into the lethal Scavenger, feels like an important threat to the city of Atlantis, as the action finally takes place inside the city. Scavenger is dangerous and formidable but equally funny, and it shows the ability of the creators to take a kind of forgotten villain and give him a new life. More than ever before, the Scavenger appears to be the true villain he was always meant to be.
The season-long arc of Aquaman finding acceptance from his people finally comes to a conclusion, and it does in a very satisfactory and fun way. The episode does feel like a great climax for the story, bringing together all the characters from previous episodes and also bringing a conclusion to some running jokes. It also gives Vulko the chance to become more of a participant in the story, and the results are delightful.
Aquaman: King of Atlantis might have been an experiment of sorts, but the quality of each episode has proven that there’s a future in these versions of the characters. It would be a shame to end the run of this version with this final episode. Let’s hope we can have more of these absurd and exciting stories in the future. Not only with Aquaman and Mera but also with other members of DC Comics.