Justice League - Drowned Earth - Review

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Justice League - Drowned Earth - Review

Tue, 02/26/2019 - 18:06
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Fairly solid crossover for this new Justice League run

Creative Team
Scott Snyder
Dan Abnett
James Tynion IV
Jorge Jimenez
Francis Manapul
Clayton Henry
Howard Porter
Frazer Irving
Bruno Redondo
Scott Godlewski
Lan Medina
Alejandro Sanchez
Francis Manapul
Gabe Eltaeb
Marcello Maiolo
Irving Gho
Sunny Gho
Tom Napolitano
Steve Wands
Dave Sharpe
Vicente Cifuentes
Rebecca Taylor
Alex Antone
Paul Kaminski
DC Comics
Single Issue

Covering the events that happened in the issues listed below and talking about the overall arc.

  • Justice League #9-10
  • Aquaman #41
  • Titans #28
  • Justice League / Aquaman : Drowned Earth #1
  • Justice League #11-12
  • Aquaman #42
  • Aquaman / Justice League: Drowned Earth #1

One of the hardest things to do when reading an event crossover is maintain a sense of continuity between each title. Justice League: Drowned Earth manages to keep everything stitched together fairly well. It helps that between all the issues involved, there are only three writers: Dan Abnett on Titans and Aquaman, Scott Snyder and James Tynion IV on the Justice League books. While it is one challenge to keep plotting consistent between books, it’s a whole other challenge to keep art beat-points consistent from the main title of the event carried over to a tie-in title. Case in point: an unexpected turn in the story involving Aquaman is handled quiet deftly between three different teams on Justice League #11, Justice League #12, and Aquaman #42. Each team was able to pick up and continue their relative parts of this plot without any confusion in what was happening.

Clearly, the creative teams on these books were well aware of what was going on since they were able to execute on continuity and consistency very well.

Snyder and company excel at ratcheting up the stakes for the heroes. This is something that I think I have come to rely on in his storytelling. Yes, the Justice League constantly faces situations and enemies that places the Earth in grave danger. There is something to how he plots and executes that raises situations above others and it’s in both how the story is paced and the dread that is presented. Snyder and company are adept at making me feel like the heroes are going to lose. They pull out the win each time, but barely. I appreciate in this story that Earth is lost and damn near everyone is turned to fish people (yes, that sounds ridiculous but go with it. It’s comics.). For me, even though I am expecting this kind of resolution (they barely get the win) from a Snyder story, the details are in the “how” they actually do so. Arthur seems to have been on a long journey since the beginning of The New 52, with him atoning for the sins of Atlanteans past as he once again makes right for others’ wrongs. Arthur goes out on an interesting note as a good setup for Kelly Sue DeConnick’s impending run on Aquaman.

Doing the heavy lifting in the art department here is Francis Manapul. I have at this point become an unabashed fan off Manapul’s work. His clean lines and sense of lighting he brings with his particular color palette always feel otherworldly to me. I think what really nails it  is his “reverse inks.” Manapul prefers to ink in white what would normally be inked in blacks, creating something special that isn’t seen in everyday comics.


I want to point out in particular the art in Justice League #12. Frazier Irving’s pages for the “Graveyard of the Gods” was magnificent. Unexpected in the tone of the arc up until that point, it conveyed a sense of death that few artists can. If this was a test showcase of what he can do, I look forward to when DC gives him a regular book to work on. He’d fit perfectly for any of DC’s horror comic properties.
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