Writer: Scott Snyder
Artists: Francis Manapul, Howard Porter, & Scott Godlewski
Colors: Hi-Fi & Francis Manapul
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1 is the concluding chapter to the very entertaining Drowned Earth saga that has weaved its way through two specials, three issues of the Justice League as well as a few tie in issues in Titans and Aquaman. Over the course of this crossover event Admiral Tyyde, Commander Drouge, and Captain Gall, three oceanic gods from other planets who were wronged by Poseidon and Arion (the Mage of Ancient Atlantis) eons ago have returned to claim Earth as theirs. They have flooded the planet with waters from their nightmarish prison that when touched by humans it turns them into aquatic creatures that are in servitude to these oceanic gods. Adrimal Tyyde has also ripped Aquaman’s connection to the aquatic life-force from him and given it to his most fearsome foe, Black Manta. With the Hall of Justice flooded, the Legion of Super Villains in possession of the Totality (a fractured piece of the shattered Source Wall), and the majority of the League transformed into aquatic slaves it doesn’t look good for Earth. But these gods have never faced the Justice League, who are at their best when the situation looks unwinnable.
Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1 is an excellent conclusion to this highly enjoyable crossover event. The issue moves at breakneck speed as the remainder of the League (Superman, Aquaman, Wonder Woman, Batman, the Flash and Mera) has gained possession of ancient magical artifacts (the Tear of Extinction & Poseidon’s Trident) that can destroy the returned gods and restore the earth to it natural state. Yet to use these artifacts they must commence a direct attack on the three gods, which means they must sail through the attacking armada as well as all of the aquatic turned heroes and villains of the DC Universe. It’s a dire task and not helped by the fact that Commander Drougue has summoned the Death Kraken, a mythical tenticled beast that literally hangs over the battle as it slowly emerges into our space and if it reaches our ocean all life will be killed. With grand battle scenes, excellent characterization, twists, turns, betrayals, and redemptions Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1 is a completely satisfying conclusion of the Drowned Earthevent.
I was looking forward to Drowned Earth when it was first announced. Scott Snyder’s Justice League has been one of the best relaunches of 2018 and Dan Abnett’s Aquaman has continued to be one of the best books for the entirety of the DC Rebirth reboot. With the conclusion now complete Drowned Earth lived up to all of my expectations. Scott Snyder really knows how to write a high octane, action filled event that has depth as well as emotional weight. Francis Manapul and Howard Porter’s artwork meld perfectly together. They are both detailed, with wonderful splash pages and panels that have so much action jammed into them that they warrant a second and even a third look to make sure you take it all in. DC really did a nice job in putting this crossover event together with Snyder taking the lead but Dan Abnett and James Tynion IV lending their excellent voices to the story and the array artists including Porter, Manapul, and Fraser Irving’s creepy ethereal style really augmented the sorcerer and horror elements present in the storyline. As Drowned Earth ends I’m intrigued to see how the Justice League moves forward under Snyder’s care and excited for the new Aquaman status quo as Kelly Sue DeConnick boards the title to write the next evolution of the former king of Atlantis.
Verdict: Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1 was a satisfying conclusion to the Drowned Earth crossover event. Scott Snyder and company concluded the tale with a beautiful and compelling story that both perfectly caps this story but leaves the reader wanting even more Justice League and Aquaman.