Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth by Scott Snyder

details
Title: Justice League/Aquaman.
Story-Arc: Drowned Earth.
Volume: Tie-in.
Writer(s): Scott SnyderDan Abnett & James Tynion IV.
Penciller(s)Francis Manapul, Lan MedinaClayton Henry, Howard PorterFrazer Irving, Bruno Redondo & Scott Godlewski.
Inker(s)Francis Manapul, Vicente CifuentesClayton Henry, Frazer IrvingBruno Redondo & Scott Godlewski.
Colourist(s)Francis Manapul, Gabe EltaebMarcelo Maiolo, Hi-FiFrazer Irving & Sunny Gho.
Letterer(s)Tom Napolitano, Steve WandsDave Sharpe.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Hardcover.
Release Date: April 16th 2019.
Pages: 232.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401291013.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.

Previously on Justice League:
Justice League: No Justice by Scott Snyder
Justice League: The Totality by Scott Snyder

thoughts

As much as one loves Scott Snyder for his outside-the-box creativity and excellent story-telling skills, the comic book writer can sometimes overthrow the ball, miss his target and end up redefining the word “ambitious” in ways that the world might not always be ready for. Following his incredible DC cosmic event, Metal, he not only expanded the multiverse into darker territory, but he also allowed the DC Universe to introduce new heroes and villains to the game. Currently helming the Justice League run, his ideas continue to venture in uncharted territories as he orchestrates his first major tie-in crossover event for this series.

What is Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth about? Set after the events of Justice League: The Totality, this story arc sets up the first crossover event post-Metal and focuses on the arrival of a new force of evil looking to plunge Earth into the sea. While the Justice League are still recuperating from their battle with the Legion of Doom, they find themselves confronted with aquatic invaders that are beyond their league. To escape the impending dark fate of Earth that roams above their heads, they must resort to an ancient power that even Aquaman (Arthur Curry) fears to unleash. This volume collects Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1, Justice League #10-12, Aquaman #40-41, Titans #28 and Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1.

Untitled

Changing the status quo has always been writer Scott Snyder’s goal with his latest DC stories and Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth is a stellar example to prove my case. Suffice to say that the task is not an easy one, but the intention is pure and respectable. Amidst redundancy from one issue to another—because that just seems to be how DC has to do things during crossover events—the story fails to cling onto the fact that readers need to immerse themselves in any new elements that are introduced to them and that shoveling more novel content onto them will only lead them into confusion. The unfortunate result you thus get with this story arc is the sensation of déjà-vu and disinterest in reaching the denouement.

Although the story explores interesting concepts, you can’t help but feel like you’re staring at a hodgepodge that you never asked for. It is still a welcome approach to give the King of the Seven Seas the chance to be the center of attention, but the development of the event gives you the impression of tackling a huge uncontrollable torrent that would’ve benefited from a more personal and slower pacing. What also doesn’t help sell this story to me is the artwork. As if DC’s faith in that department is sealed for life, this tie-in volume continues to show the flawed structure that is privileged by the company as the artwork greatly varies from one issue to the other. While I did try to appreciate them each individually, it is hard to ignore it all when the story follows from one issue to the other. Even if I overlook this issue, the art style is not always my cup of tea with many character designs that leave me unimpressed or too loaded to allow the reader to appreciate it all.

Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth is an epic and cacophonous tie-in crossover event that introduces a menace from the depths of the sea who plans to wreak havoc upon Earth’s mightiest heroes.


EXHIBITA

 

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Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and DC Comics for sending me a copy for review!

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16 comments

  • One thing that has ALWAYS left me leery of cross overs is the various styles of art. If there are several various comics about Character X, there is a reason I’m not reading them all. So to put it into an omnibus is just jarring.

    I’m telling you, stop the crossover madness, focus on the core and let the deadwood burn up. Sales will drop for a bit but what remains will be strong with potential for growth. Until the cycle has to repeat. I KNOW you have the pull with DC to accomplish all that! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • Indeed. Unless the change of artwork has a story-telling purpose, I just find it sad to see them collected only to leave us with that jarring feeling.

      Hahahah if I had that kind of influence, I think I’d have done something about it all a long time ago, making fans happier with solid stories and artwork instead of orienting decisions based on how much money I could make. Which by the way will be a pretty huge point in my next review this week. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  • Excellent write-up Lashaan, I’m actually currently making my way through this crossover volume (I’m around the half-way point) and so far I’m in full agreement with your rating. It’s fairly enjoyable but a little messy, particularly in a visual sense – I tend to loath larger crossovers that span multiple titles for this very reason. There’s also a sense of ‘too many cooks in the kitchen’ with the plethora of writers as well. To be honest, I wish this whole ‘Dark Multiverse’ thing could be put to bed for a while.

    Have you read the Aquaman/Suicide Squad crossover – “Sink Atlantis”? I found that to be a much more consistent, accessible and coherent read and a short but sweet mini-event in all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that analogy of having too many cooks in the kitchen. It really does give that impression. I’m going to pop out my review of JL: Graveyard of Gods soon and it won’t any more positive than this one too for obvious reason (you probably know if you picked it up). I really hoped for Snyder’s JL run to be a huge hit but it’s already super hectic unfortunately.

      I haven’t got around to trying that event yet, or anything Suicide Squad-related actually. I do remember you saying that the JL vs. SS event was pretty decent though. I’ll have to look into it.

      Like

      • Yeah JL v SS was pretty good, if you liked that then you should enjoy Sink Atlantis. I think part of the problem with the JL title is the twice monthly releasing rushing/muddling things up. That can be applied to other DC titles as well but luckily they’ve announced all their books are returning to monthly publishing from 2020.

        Liked by 1 person

  • I had the same probs you had, but at writing of my review I ended feeling that I actually liked this one. I cannot say the same for the Aquaman that “followed” after this…

    Liked by 1 person

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