[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Scott Snyder
Artist: Francis Manapul
Colors: Francis Manapul
Letters: Tom Napolitano
“DROWNED EARTH” part two! The Justice League is scattered across the Seven Seas, pursued by the Ocean Lords and their army of alien mercenaries and constantly at risk of turning into fish monsters. You know, just a day at the beach. Their only hope lies in the crippled Aquaman, who believes the road to victory lies in unleashing equally vengeful gods on Earth’s oceans. Meanwhile, Batman guards the Totality in the sunken Hall of Justice, where no one can attack him…or can they?
Things are looking pretty bleak for the League this second part of the Drowned Earth event. Most of the Earth’s population has been transformed into aquatic monstrosities by alien sea gods. Both Superman and Aquaman are depowered, while the Flash is infected and barely holding off transforming. And Batman is holed up alone in the submerged Hall of Justice guarding the Totality.
Mera is at the forefront this issue, returning to fight alongside the League during this crisis. Unfortunately her tenure on the team in the previous Justice League series was much too brief, so it great to see her back on the team, even if it’s only for the duration of Drowned Earth.
There are some interesting ironies shown in this chapter of the story. We are shown an incident from Mera’s childhood which illuminates the lifelong anger she has held against Atlantis, the city that she now rules and fights to save.
Also, Mera leads Superman and the Flash to Arion’s tomb to search for a weapon to use against the alien gods. Oddly enough, the tomb of one of Atlantis’ greatest heroes is located in the Atacama desert – the driest place on Earth.
While they do so, Aquaman and Wonder Woman travel to the Graveyard of the Gods to seek the help of Poseidon, but to no avail. All Aquaman finds in the graveyard is, fittingly, death – or so it appears. With a major motion picture coming out, I doubt DC has plans to kill Aquaman off at the moment.
There is not much to criticize about this storyline. However, given that Arion has been frequently referenced, it is quite possible that he might appear in this storyline. I hope that Snyder squares this with Arion’s recent appearance in Blue Beetle.
Which also makes me think that the League might have been well advised to consult with Doctor Fate, who is not only well versed in magical matters, but also had a direct encounter with Arion and his magic in that Blue Beetle story. On the other hand, perhaps the events happened too quickly for the League to be able to contact Doctor Fate.
Aquaman doesn’t often get a chance to take center stage in a Justice League adventure, so it is great that this storyline allows Arthur to enjoy the limelight. It looks like Aquaman is finally being recognized as an A-list superhero.