After over five years now of wonderfully high highs and viciously low lows, the DCEU looks to have its second bona fide hit on its hands with the success of Aquaman.
The film has been dominating the box office, already placing as the highest-grossing DCEU entry worldwide, and has earned the DCEU its most positive reviews this side of Wonder Woman. But it is also, yet again, a marked change of course for the franchise.
Much like Suicide Squad and Justice League before it, Aquaman aims to take a hard turn into a distinctly lighter and more upbeat tone than the Snyder films. The difference is that Aquaman does so successfully, unlike the monster-mashes that were Suicide Squad and Justice League.
Which means that as solid as Aquaman is, it's also something of a walking paradox. With its lighter tone, colorful visuals, and jokes, Aquaman has way more in common with the MCU films the DCEU started out as a direct contrast to than it does with its own franchise.
Here are all of the moments in Aquaman that are, quite literally, ripped from the pages of the MCU playbook.