Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1
Drowned Earth reaches its conclusion this week with a finale worthy of this highly enjoyable event.
Superman, Mera and The Flash are trying to hold off the Old Gods and Black Manta while Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Batman prepare for a dramatic last-moment arrival. And there’s a Death Kraken that will wipe out any life underwater, which is pretty much all the planet at this point. Can six heroes hold back the tide? Sorry.
Writer Scott Snyder continues to go as big as possible with this story. With the condensed cast he’s able to give each hero some spotlight moments. I do wish this event included Cyborg, John Stewart, Hawkgirl and Martian Manhunter however. This team is still too new for characters to be sidelined for big events especially since Batman can still be active despite being in a full body cast. Snyder has also left me interested in an Arion series or at least a mini-series to look at the magical age of Atlantis.
To conclude the series in this double sized issue, Francis Manapul and Howard Porter tackle most of the art with Scott Godlewski handles the epilogue. Manapul and Porter’s art is different enough that the switch is more obvious than some other art team hand-offs. Godlewski’s style is a smoother transition with Manapul’s work, but his detail and angular faces are still too rough. Still, Manapul and Porter’s work is solid and delivers on this sprawling final act.
There were a few continuity errors likely the result of multiple artists working on the project, but the Titans were written out of the event early on and shouldn’t have appeared in the big finale. Mister Miracle’s appearance is a little less clear based on the Tom King series, but that gets a pass.
To some extent Drowned Earth couldn’t have the impactful ending that was being built up thanks to the new creative direction on Aquaman. That’s not Snyder’s problem though and there will be some repercussions so it’s not a complete wash. Sorry again.
I’m liking DC’s strategy to tell a small scale event between two titles. That worked well with Wonder Woman and Justice League Dark on The Witching Hour and again with Justice League and Aquaman here. This should lead to some interesting fallout not just with the League, but the Legion of Doom as well.
Rating: 8 out of 10