Arthur Curry: The Alcoholic Aquabro Headed to Christian Rehab?
Arthur Curry is carrying a lot of pain with him when Justice League starts. Sure, he enjoys making banter with the rest of his teammates. However, there is some deep division within his character and the way Jason Momoa portrays him onscreen. When he is accidentally sitting on Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth, he begins to open up and express how he’s feeling. Curry is a man who has been divided between land and sea because he is part Atlantean and part human.
For Curry, as we meet him in Justice League, he does not know which path to take. He spends his days helping and saving people who live in a village. At one point, Curry emerges from the sea and enters the local restaurant and bar. He grabs a bottle of liquor, swigs it down, and states quite clearly: “It’s on him.” Curry was stating the man who he saved would pay for it. Yet, there’s something more this is telling the audience about this version of Aquaman.
While he is both the son of Thomas Curry, who in the comics is a lighthouse keeper and Queen Atlanna of Atlantis, he does not necessarily feel a great deal of connection to Atlantis since it was his father who raised him. Mera is able to speak of who Atlanna was but the young Curry did not know her as well as others in Atlantis did. It’s clear that Curry hides his inner pain away by drinking and playing off his feelings as if they do not exist or matter. According to the American Psychological Association, Curry and many others may use alcohol to cope with their emotions.
“Some individuals drink to cope with or ‘medicate’ emotion problems,” the Association states. “Social and environmental factors such as peer pressure and the easy availability of alcohol can play key roles.” In Curry’s case, his choosing to drink in that bar when he saves that villager from the sea could be his playing into the land-dweller custom of drinking. He might be seeking to fit in and feel this is the best way to do so. The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence states that one in 12 adults struggle with alcoholism while many millions more take part in binge drinking and other activities leading to alcohol dependency.
The one in 12 statistic represents 17.6 million people across the United States. The fact seems to be very true for Curry, who may require help from Christian rehab centers. He seems to have lost his faith in most things in life until he starts to work with the Justice League. It could be that his family has an alcohol problem too since over 50 percent of families have an alcohol problem or trouble drinking. While The Daily Beast notes that only 7.2 percent of professional fishermen and hunters are likely to be alcoholics, which makes them less than 50 percent as likely as artists to be one.
For Curry, his father, Thomas, could have been one and he may be taking after his father. His mother, Atlanna, likely might have turned to alcoholism because of the struggles she faced in life. However, the truth remains that Curry seems to be struggling with inner demons that are causing him to want to drink. As a man who is divided between land and sea, it’s not surprising he struggles with it. In the film, it seems appropriate this universe’s Bruce Wayne/Batman would be the one to seek Aquaman out because Wayne also struggles quite clearly with drinking too much.
For both of the characters, but especially for Curry, he is humanized by these struggles. Too often in comics and films and TV shows based off of them are we shown perfect heroes who represent the better angels of our nature. In the world of the DC Cinematic Universe, that’s not the case. They’re multi-faceted and complex characters that struggle with the very emotional issues we deal with in the real world. For Momoa’s upcoming solo outing as Aquaman, he previewed the issues Curry dealt with in Justice League and in the solo film, directed by James Wan.
“Justice League was only a weekend in Arthur Curry’s life,” Momoa stated. “This is a totally different beast. In Aquaman, you see when his parents met and what happened to them. Then the little boy being raised and finding his powers and going through that and never being accepted on either side. And the becoming this man who puts up all these walls. You just slowly see this man harden up and be completely reluctant wanting to be king and not knowing what to do with these powers he has. I think James Wan just killed it.”
As Curry struggles throughout the DC Cinematic Universe with his life and maybe finds himself at Christian rehab centers, we will have to wait until his solo adventure when it hits theaters on December 21, 2018.
About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery, and the entertainment industry.