Writer: James Tynion IV
Artist: Howard Porter
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Justice League-Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1 is the beginning of the earth drowning crossover that will no doubt have lasting consequences for the former King of Atlantis and the Justice League. Spilling out of Dan Abnett’s excellent Aquaman series and Scott Snyder’s recently relaunched Justice League, a trio of other dimensional Gods of the Oceans has returned to Earth to claim it as theirs in the wake of the Greek God Poseidon’s death at the hands of the Cheetah. Along with these Gods have come the waters of their worlds, waters that are not only now flooding the earth and submerging major cities like Gotham and Metropolis, but also turning anyone who comes into contact with the water into a mind controlled creature of the deep.
Justice League-Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1 is a break neck paced story that moves around the DC universe at a quick pace, setting the scenes of the chaos as city after city falls. There is nothing the League can do except save who they can by moving citizens to the mountains and sadly seeing many of those close to them falling victim to the water. Trapped at the center of this catastrophe is Aquaman, who was taken prisoner by the returned Ocean Gods, who now want to strip him of his oceanic powers. Mera, Queen of Atlantis, is forced to rely on former foes for help in defending her city all while Superman, Flash, and the remainder of the Justice League franticly search for a remedy to the situation. Batman, still confined to a wheelchair in this book (continuity be damned since DC doesn’t seem to care anymore) and must make a dire choice to protect the Totality, the piece of the fractured Source Wall that the Justice League has been protecting for Lex Luthor and the Legion of Doom since the beginning of the new Snyder written Justice League. The end of the issue leaves the reader out of breath with fears of what’s to come, since none of the heroes are in a good place and the drowned earth looks unstoppable, but the Justice League is never better then when their backs are against the wall.
Justice League- Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1 is a frenetic issue with multiple stories happening at the same time, and in a lesser writers hand it could have been a jumbled mess but luckily DC trusted the kick off to their current crossover to the more than capable hands of James Tynion IV. Tynion has quickly risen to the upper echelon of DC writers. With his magnificent run on Detective Comics and his current rotating writing duties with Snyder on Justice League has really let his talent shine and it is on display here as well. Howard Porter’s art has noticeably changed over the years as the hyper kinetic and sketchy look he had 22 years ago on the Grant Morrison written JLA has become softer and more cartoony yet his work is still enjoyable with great page layouts and kinetic action. I personally missed the old school Porter, especially on a Justice League comic as my love of nostalgia really wished for a return of the old yet his new style is more modern and more in the vein of the current Justice League artistic style.
Verdict: Justice League-Aquaman: Drowned Earth #1 is an excellent kick off to what has the potential to be great crossover. James Tynion IV’s story is a fast moving action story with the fate of the world hanging in the balance and will leave any fan of the Justice League eagerly anticipating the next chapter of the Drowned Earth.