The King of the Seven Seas, CWB Style!

Finally was able to d/l and watch the Aquaman pilot episode on iTunes this past Labor Day and without having watched it a second time yet -- with a more critical eye -- I was way impressed with it. It had all the emotional punch and modernization that Millar/Gough have brought to Smallville and came off much better than that show's pilot episode.

While Smallville really came into its own in the third season, getting past the villian of the week syndrome, the Aquaman pilot seems to have put the show into the perfect mix of classic DC lore and X-files-esque conspiracy theory with a nice mix of action-adventure thrown in.

Without spoiling too much, the premise follows a twenty-something Arthur Curry, a/k/a AC, a/k/a Aquaman. After losing his mother in a tragic and mysterious accident in the Bermuda Triangle, AC has mostly been a slacker that occasionally dabbles in animal rescue and activism. His Coast Guard stepfather (played by Lou Diamond Philips) is always there to bail his son out of trouble, but is frustrated with the young AC's lack of direction.

When things from the past start showing up to wreak havok in AC's life and mess with his home town, the young hero takes it on himself to discover who he is and where he came from. He's helped along this course by a mysterious figure in the body of Ving Rhames, who turns in a really subtle performance in a role that could have been pure cheese.

The adopted son story of AC searching for his true origin keeps the show from falling into a hokey "origin of" episode and allows the story to play out dramatically instead. Set against the government's interest in the Bermuda Triangle and what lies under the sea, shady G-men roam the landscape of this pilot and set up a future conflict that will have AC caught between his loyalties to his adopted home and that of his true birthright.

Anyone who knows even a little about DC history, knows that Aquaman truly is a King, and that little bit of knowledge -- like the knowledge that Clark Kent and Lex Luthor will one day be mortal enemies -- drives the show with a giddy anticipation.

Too bad the suits at the CW passed on the show. If the fan reaction on iTunes is any indication though (927 Positive Reviews and counting, with an average rating of 4 and 1/2 stars), maybe there is hope for a mid-season pick up or a home at another network.

Someone really needs to adopt this Aquaman!

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