Justice League #12
Black Manta stands triumphant over the League while Luthor and the rest of the Legion of Doom prepare to break open the Totality. Batman, in Luthor’s old armor, stands in their way.
Meanwhile, Aquaman has recovered from being impaled by Poseidon (check out his own Aquaman title for that story) and he and Wonder Woman both lash out at the feeble old god. However, as Poseidon fights back, he tries to explain that his assault on Aquaman was an attempt to restore the Justice Leaguer’s powers. But upon a reminding of the trio of Sea-Gods who have flooded the planet, Poseidon rests and begins to explain his own history with those gods.
It’s a tale of dreams and fear, of how Arion, Atlantis’ greatest scientist, created a sort of elixir of life and wanted to share it. The triumvirate of sea gods responded to Arion’s offer but Poseidon was distrustful about sharing powers. He helped Arion turn the elixir into the Tear of Extinction and together they cast the trio of sea gods into the Graveyard of the Gods and Arion died. And yet, despite all the evil the gods have done, Aquaman feels there must be a way to right the wrongs Poseidon caused.
In the Hall of Justice, Luthor uses the Doorknob to destroy the key to the Graveyard, just as Batman arrives with the rest of the Legion of Doom, defeated. But Luthor refuses to slow and teleports away with the Totality and the Legion.
In Arion’s tomb, Mera begins to weaken as the bubble she has created to protect them falters. But then she finds, within Arion’s bones, the remaining Tear of Extinction, powering her sword. She immediately kills the Flood and the waters begin to pull back. Mera then sends the sword into Commander Drogue. The trio of gods retreat, fearing the power Mera now wields.
As the Graveyard of the Gods crumbles, Aquaman and Wonder Woman leave, but first Poseidon presents Aquaman with his trident, pleading for Aquaman to kill the sea gods. The graveyard crumbles and with it goes Poseidon.
The sea gods and Black Manta have fallen back but Manta is not ready to concede. And with his persuading, the sea gods allow him to call their greatest weapon yet: the Death Kraken.
I’ll admit I haven’t been the biggest fan of the Drowned saga.
It felt like it’s just been too much, too much epic adventures, too many end of the world threats, not enough real character building, not enough personal moments.
But this issue…
This issue is where they change my mind.
If nothing else, then the fall of Poseidon would be enough. To hear this god admit his own flaws, admit his failings, admit he was wrong… He’s hit rock bottom, knowing that his exile to the graveyard and the destruction of his world was his own fault. He brought it on himself. And the sense of guilt and yet at the same time a lack of responsibility is conveyed perfectly by Tynion. In the end, Poseidon wants Aquaman to clean up his mess, despite Aquaman’s appeal to do otherwise.
To see Aquaman look for the good in people, despite the evil the three have wrought, really conveys that Snyder and Tynion’s message through all of this is a message of optimism, of hope.
But the art. Oh my Poseidon, the art! Frazer Irving was exactly what this story needed. His pencils, inks, and especially colors convey Poseidon’s emotion more perfectly than words ever could. It gives that underwater feel, that feeling of drowning.
My only complaint with this issue is that it shifts between Irving and Redondo (which is always a problem as it sometimes shakes me out of the groove I’m in while reading), but even Redondo’s art works. It helps to shift between the Hall of Justice scenes and the underwater/graveyard panels. Gives us a clear distinction. The shift can sometimes be jarring but the only real I’m complaining at all is because Irving’s art is so amazing, I’m sad to see any panels that aren’t his.
Overall, this issue was what I wanted the Drowned saga to be. It feels both epic and personal at the same time.
Drowned picks up and is a saga I can finally start getting into. It’s a tale of how even gods can err and coupled with breathtaking art is the best issue so far in this tale.
Justice League #12: Even Gods Can Make Mistakes
- Writing - 8/108/10
- Storyline - 7/107/10
- Art - 10/1010/10
- Color - 10/1010/10
- Cover Art - 8/108/10
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