'Aquaman'’s Mid-Credits Scene, Explained
Unlike Marvel movies, the Worlds of DC offerings to date haven’t always featured credits scenes.
Man of Steel, Batman v Superman and Wonder Woman didn’t feature any scenes during or after the credits, while Suicide Squad had a mid-credits scene and Justice League had a mid-credits and post-credits.
Aquaman might not have a post-credits scene, but it does have a mid-credits scene and before we go into detail, this is your last chance to avoid spoilers.
In keeping with the overall movie, Aquaman’s mid-credits scene is only focused on setting up an Aquaman sequel and not a wider Worlds of DC team-up movie.
The credits scene reunites us with Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) following his massive showdown with Aquaman (Jason Momoa) in Sicily. He’s adrift in the ocean and gets rescued by Dr Stephen Shin (Randall Park), who is obsessed with Atlantis and determined to expose its existence to the world.
As Manta recovers with one eye bandaged up, Shin investigates the Atlantean technology that Manta received from Orm (Patrick Wilson), narrowly avoiding injury when a ray shoots out of the helmet.
The two then strike up a deal that looks to form the basis of Aquaman 2: Shin will help Manta find Aquaman and finally get revenge for the death of his father, while Manta will tell Shin everything he knows about Atlantis and where to find it.
In the comics, Manta’s origin story has changed over the years, but the movie seems to take most from The New 52 reboot of the DC Comics universe. Here, it was revealed that Aquaman killed Manta’s father, leading to him seeking revenge. In the movie, Aquaman stands by and lets Manta Sr. die, rather than being directly responsible for his accidental death.
Shin is also an established comics character, although he is a friend of Aquaman’s father, Tom Curry, and knew Aquaman when he was younger, helping him with his powers. However, when Aquaman refused to tell Shin the location of Atlantis, he turned on him.
None of that is in the movie, but it’s possible that the sequel could delve into Shin’s backstory and why he is so obsessed with exposing Atlantis.
In the comics, Manta and Shin have had a storyline together, although they weren’t working together. After Manta stole an Atlantean relic, he teleported to Shin and tried to get his help to find another one. Unwilling to betray Aquaman again, Shin refused and Manta threatened to kill him, only to be thwarted by Aquaman.
At this stage though, it’s hard to say just how much inspiration–if any–Aquaman 2 will take from the comics.
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.