Aquaman introduces us to the underwater world of Atlantis and the various kingdoms whose colorful inhabitants dwell in the briny deep. Atlantis is a thalassophile’s Day-Glo dream, and from the first trailer we’ve been getting glimpses of not only Aquaman’s underwater home but also the amazing and bizarre creatures that live there. Many of these creatures are featured in the climactic undersea battle, and most of them get ridden by an Atlantean at some point.
Here is our official ranking of the best undersea battle creatures in Aquaman, in order of relative fright factor and usefulness.
The battle lobsters come from The Brine, one of the seven kingdoms of Atlantis. The battle lobsters look cool, but frankly, they suck in a fight. They’re only on this list because can you imagine the lobster dinner that follows a fight with The Brine? Dead battle lobsters everywhere means all that sweet, succulent meat is just there for the taking. I bet the other kingdoms bring vats of drawn butter to the fight, in case there are giant lobster claws on the victor’s menu after. The poor battle lobsters, they say, splitting giant shells and cracking huge claws, they try so hard in a fight. And they taste so good after.
Really Big Sharks
You think horse girls are intense? Try the shark girls of Atlantis. Atlanteans ride giant sharks into battle, complete with armor and reins. They don’t look quite as big as a megalodon would be, but they’re definitely some souped-up deep-sea sharks. Trained as a cavalry, the really big sharks of Atlantis come complete with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads.
The sharks have battle armor, but orcas are such intelligent, capable killers in real life they don’t need fancy armor or lasers in Aquaman. Orcas roll up to a fight as is, and are the favored mount of Mera. It’s understandable. She, too, is incredibly powerful and doesn’t need any accoutrement to be effective. Honestly, the most menacing sight in Aquaman might be an orca pod lining up to fight, unadorned and unmoved, just like, "What’s that, you have a laser? Cool bro. We don’t need lasers. We have millennia of evolution and the remorseless instincts of an intelligent apex predator."
Warriors from the Kingdom of Xebel ride sea dragons, which are seahorses on steroids. Definitely the coolest looking cavalry regiment under the sea, the sea dragons are colorful, whimsical, and have big f*ck-off teeth. They’re kind of Lovecraft by way of Lisa Frank, and are the first battle creatures that are totally unique to Atlantis. Landlubbers won’t get a glimpse of sea dragons until the oceans rise high enough to start swallowing chunks of continent and the Xebelians roll up to their new underwater real estate with their gaudy, toothy rides.
To be fair, the Trench monsters aren’t really battle creatures as much as they are an evolved (devolved?) race of Atlanteans grown into some kind of angler fish/man monster. They’re definitely good in a fight, though, and they look like the angry Goth cousins of the fish man from The Shape of Water.
Tylosaurus died out with the rest of the mosasaurs following the K-T extinction event 65 million years ago. Well, except for the ones still occupying the depths of Atlantis. King Orm rides a Tylosaurus into battle, which is WAY more intimidating than a big shark. Points for being a survivor and also a fitting mount for a villainous king.
A massive, Lovecraftian kaiju nightmare monster, nothing and no one beats out the Karathen as the scariest and most effective battle creature. It’s so huge that calling it a mere “kraken” is an insult to its size and power. Only by making it sound bigger and more important will the Karathen be satisfied. Also, it’s voiced by Julie Andrews, so besides being a giant f-ck off lava monster, the Karathen, with its crisp British accent, can also make you feel bad about all of your life choices, just all of them, really, what were you thinking? The Karathen can step on you, drown you, eat you, and also shame you with its precise observations about your totally lacking personal relationships. Equal parts kaiju and irate aunt, the Karathen is truly a nightmare of the deep.