If Tom Curry dies in “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” it won’t be the first time Aquaman’s dad has bitten the bullet in DC lore. As with many DC superheroes’ tragic backstories, Aquaman’s current origin involves the tragic death of a parental figure. Modern comic book canon sees Tom dying as a result of a fight between Arthur Curry and Black Manta, leading his son to seek out Atlantis and his heritage. Things obviously haven’t happened that way in the DCEU, but there’s a decent chance that the film will replicate that impactful moment between Aquaman and Black Manta in its own way.
There’s also plenty of narrative support for Tom dying during “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.” Such a death would raise the emotional stakes immensely and further fuel Aquaman’s desire to stop Black Manta. However, it would also keep the movie’s clear focus on fatherhood. In sacrificing himself for the sake of his son, Tom might just help Aquaman learn more about what it means to be a father. That’s all just speculation for now, but the precedent and potential narrative value for Tom getting killed off is there in spades. As it stands, chances aren’t looking good for Aquadad’s survival.