Review: Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1

Aquaman faces the truth behind Atlantis’ past and must find a way to reclaim the power of his birthright or watch the floodwaters drown everything he has ever loved! With the world at stake and the Justice League on their last sea legs in their battle against the Ocean Lords, Arthur makes the ultimate sacrifice to return balance to land and sea!

I’ve generally enjoyed “Drowned Earth,” a “summer popcorn movie” in comic form. Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth wraps up the story with an all-out assault against the space gods. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work and generally winds up being rather thin.

Writer Scott Snyder delivers action, there’s a lot of it as Aquaman, Mera, Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, and the Flash, are all that stand to stop the end of the world. But, Snyder delivers an ending that is fairly predictable in outcome and moments.

There’s the back and forth between Aquaman and Mera where Aquaman swears there’s another way other than murder. There’s the betrayal. There’s sacrifice. It’s all things we’ve seen before time and time again. While it’s still satisfying in ways, the issue still delivers little that feels new. Even a battle against a giant space kraken is something we’ve seen. But, it does set potentially interesting things up for some of the characters by issue end which Snyder has a talent for. It’s enough that I want to see to see what’s next.

The comic is handled by a rather large art team for its oversized issue. Francis Manapul, Howard Porter, and Scott Godlweski on art, Manapul and Hi-Fi on color, and lettering by Tom Napolitano deliver art that at time is very cool but differing styles are noticeable and frustrating. Both this issue and the previous entry in the event had multiple artists and the switch in styles was noticeable and a negative. The art isn’t bad, there’s just a shift which kills the flow in storytelling. It’s different enough that it’s obvious and feels like you’ve just jammed on the breaks after cruising. You notice it and makes the ride a little less enjoyable. Hopefully this doesn’t become a regular thing but it hasn’t helped what otherwise has been a visually entertaining event.

There’s not much depth here, this is big action popcorn theater. The scenes are over the top and the moments are checked off in predictable ways. The event has been a fun one overall and worth checking out in trade but overall, we’ve seen so much better from everyone involved.

Story: Scott Snyder Art: Francis Manapul, Howard Porter, Scott Godlweski
Color: Hi-Fi, Francis Manapul, Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.15 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review