Title: Justice League/Aquaman.
Story-Arc: Drowned Earth.
Writer(s): Scott Snyder, Dan Abnett & James Tynion IV.
Penciller(s): Francis Manapul, Lan Medina, Clayton Henry, Howard Porter, Frazer Irving, Bruno Redondo & Scott Godlewski.
Inker(s): Francis Manapul, Vicente Cifuentes, Clayton Henry, Frazer Irving, Bruno Redondo & Scott Godlewski.
Colourist(s): Francis Manapul, Gabe Eltaeb, Marcelo Maiolo, Hi-Fi, Frazer Irving & Sunny Gho.
Letterer(s): Tom Napolitano, Steve Wands, Dave Sharpe.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Release Date: April 16th 2019.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★☆☆.
Previously on Justice League:
Justice League: No Justice by Scott Snyder
Justice League: The Totality by Scott Snyder
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.
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.
Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada and DC Comics for sending me a copy for review!