Justice League #11
The Flash (who is affected by the alien waters but slowly thanks to the Speed Force) and Superman (whose powers are gone thanks to the alien waters) are fleeing a group of the Justice League who has been turned into aquatic monsters by the alien waters and are controlled by the alien ocean gods. They are saved by Mera who teleports them to the one place that can help.
Aquaman, powerless, is about to be executed by the gods. He decides to fight back, but after a brief flashy fight, he is easily overpowered by a single punch and knocked off the edge into oblivion…except Wonder Woman is there, catching him. The key hanging from her belt sends them to the Graveyard of the Gods to find Poseidon.
Mera, Superman, and Flash arrive at the Atacama Desert, searching for the Tomb of Arion, the Atlantean hero who once defeated the trio of ocean gods. Superman’s powers return just in time for his vision to spot the tomb under the sand. But Flash’s transformation begins to speed up. Within the tomb, however, they find that it has already been ransacked and the Tear of Extinction is gone…held by Black Manta.
Aquaman and Wonder Woman approach the Graveyard of the Gods to find Poseidon, trapped there since Cheetah killed him. But even as Aquaman pleads for his god’s help, Poseidon instead impales Aquaman on his trident!
Meanwhile, at the Hall of Justice, the Hall’s barriers are starting to give way. Batman begins to flee, carrying the tiny Starro, but his chair is destroyed in a blast of blue energy. He looks to find the source and sees the Legion of Doom standing there.
I’ve never been a big fan of Aquaman. Except maybe as Geoff Johns wrote him. So to have an entire “major” event centered around Atlantis just isn’t my cup of tea. Still, I’ve attempted to get into this story, wanting to enjoy it. But as I read part two of Drowned (or part 5 if you count the previous Justice League issue that served as a prologue, and the Aquaman and Titans tie ins) I find myself utterly bored by this crossover. And I find myself asking why.
Why is this one just not doing it for me? I was never a big fan of Wonder Woman and yet her crossover (over in Justice League Dark) blew me away.
I think in part because of the art. Manapul’s art just doesn’t seem right. Especially when you factor in the alternate cover. Mattina’s variant cover is absolutely gorgeous, from the pencils, to the inks, to the colors. Manapul, on the other hand, seems very uninspired and just doesn’t seem to fit well with a story about the ocean rising up and swallowing the planet. The colors, while striking in their own way, just don’t feel in place. The ocean is a murkey place but here the colors are just too bright and vibrant. So what may sometimes work very well turns into a detriment here.
But it’s not all on Manapul. I feel Snyder is once again dumping us into a massive story with a chance for him to write something epic, but he’s throwing so much into it that it’s confusing. I can barely remember what happened last issue and we get more names and more ancient concepts, and it’s just too much. On top of that, there seems to be very little development anywhere. Superman lost his powers…but then just when they needed him, they’ve come back. Mera is there, but she’s just a badass queen, nothing really remarkable. Aquaman is powerless and so is Batman. So most of the League is transformed and the rest, except for Wonder Woman, is powerless? It gets boring.
And Batman in his chair. Snyder wrote one of my favorite stories in recent memory surrounding Batman and now seems like he forgets why Batman is so great. He’s barely in this book and does nothing but run away in his chair.
However, it’s not all bad. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the best scene in the book…a powerless Aquaman retaliates against the gods and the panels make it seem like he might just prevail…until with a simple shove he’s undone. I must say, that part was brilliant. And Poseidon stabbing Aquaman was fantastically drawn (and the use of lines to portray Poseidon as a frail old man was epic).
But overall, this issue (and this crossover) has been totally lackluster. A huge disappointment so far and I don’t foresee it getting any better.
A needlessly epic story, another pointless end of the world story, and dull art combine to make this crossover rather boring. I wonder if Snyder hit his peak some time ago.
Justice League #11: Tidal Wave of Mediocrity
Writing - 5/105/10
Storyline - 4/104/10
Art - 4/104/10
Color - 3/103/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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