Warning: This post contains spoilers for Aquaman. A superhero movie isn't complete until filmmakers squeeze an ambiguous scene within its credits for fans to decipher. As Marvel has mastered the art of post-credit scenes, it's only fitting for DC Films to follow suit. Although the company's latest superhero venture ended with Arthur Curry in his rightful spot as the king of Atlantis, the Aquaman post-credits scene suggests that Arthur is far from having a peaceful reign.
Following the titular character's appearances in the DC Extended Universe's Justice League and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Aquaman introduced the half-human, half-merman Arthur Curry (Jason Momoa) and his origin story. The movie detailed his quest to stop his Atlantean half-brother King Orm from uniting the sea's seven kingdoms against the surface world. Arthur succeeded, claiming his true place on the Atlantean throne after defeating Orm (Patrick Wilson) and his army.
While Orm was the movie's main antagonist, Arthur faced other enemies before delving into the depths of the ocean to follow his birthright. After subduing a group of pirates trying to gain control of a nuclear submarine, Arthur unintentionally earned the wrath of the pirate leader's son, David (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), when the older man died during the face-off. Later, when tracking down the Trident of Atlan in order to claim his throne, Arthur met David again in Sicily, but the pirate had since partnered with Orm to destroy Arthur.
Equipped with Atlantean armor and calling himself Black Manta, David tried to attack Arthur and Atlantean warrior Mera (Amber Heard), but was thrown off a cliff and presumed dead. The post-credits scene debunked that, showing a fishing boat crew rescuing a battered David. As he regained consciousness, David saw the Aquaman comic book character Dr. Stephen Shin (Randall Park) observing his suit. Shin appeared throughout the movie via news reports in which he warned viewers about the existence of Atlanteans.
It's never a great sign when a scientist unaffiliated with the "good guys" comes across such advanced technology, and Aquaman's bonus scene carried a slightly foreboding sense when Shin revealed he knew the suit traced back to Atlantis, asking David to take him there. Black Manta agreed but established the condition that Shin would help him kill Aquaman if they went to Atlantis together.
Although Shin is a friend of Arthur's human father in the Aquaman comics, this doesn't seem to be the case in the film. However, it's clear that Shin is well-versed in the myth of Atlantis, so if an Aquaman sequel becomes official, he could be the partially innocent sidekick in Black Manta's villainous ambitions. When a fairly harmless character joins forces with eviler people in superhero movies, he or she doesn't usually fare well, but perhaps Arthur could step in and save Shin before he gets involved in more dangerous missions.
We'll have to wait and see if Aquaman will fight against Black Manta again in another movie, but the first movie's post-credits footage fueled the beginnings of what a new story could follow. Aquaman is in theaters now.