NOTE: This review contains spoilers
Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1 features the conclusion to the long-running Aquaman and Justice League story arc. The narrative has featured myths, mysteries, ancient legends and our heroes perhaps at their most vulnerable. With Black Manta standing out throughout as the real villain of the piece, Drowned Earth manages to conclude this wide-ranging tale in a satisfying way. Although, it must be said that the stakes did not mean much after all.
Multiple subplots all come together in Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1 as the many heroes are reunited. Aquaman arrives with his newfound knowledge from Poseidon and Mera with the Tear of Death.
Arthur believes that the true way to end this, just as the Death Kraken is towering down upon them, is to reason with these alien sea gods, showing them a vision that Arion once tried to give them before becoming corrupted by Poseidon. This is a vision shared by Mera, who uses a changed Tear to reach out to these sea gods and show them the true way forward.
With Aquaman creating a parlay, it seems like all is solved with this tale, playing off of all the knowledge the heroes learnt over their journey and righting the wrongs that were created many years before. The use of Atlantis as a spacecraft is particularly unique and a fun idea that plays off of previous stories points from Dark Nights: Metal.
The use of Atlantis as a spacecraft is particularly unique and a fun idea…
This is not the end of the road, however. Black Manta is still at large, cutting of his ties to the Legion of Doom in order to take what he believes to be his rightful place as ruler of the Oceans and controller of the Death Kraken. Killing a few of the sea gods in a claim for power, Black Manta finally goes off the deep end and throws everything he has at the Justice League.
It takes a lot to keep the Death Kraken from finally hitting the water, with Aquaman seemingly sacrificing himself to save Earth. Flying into the mouth of the Kraken, it’s suggested he is about to go on a new adventure, exploring unknown seas, just like he discussed with his father when he was younger.
Where the Justice League title goes from here is unknown.
From here, the Justice League must rebuild. The Earth reverts back to normal, with Atlantis being rebuilt. The team now has Mera as its new guardian of the ocean. And Tyyde is set to take off throughout the galaxy, bringing wisdom and the trident to foreign seas.
Where the Justice League title goes from here is unknown. The Legion of Doom will still play a part but I think we will see a few standalone villains that will keep the issues moving forward. Aquaman, having come in on a very likely, galactic beach, will have to find his way back home over the coming issues of the Aquaman title.
The art of Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1 is a vast improvement from the previous Justice League story and the plot has a satisfying conclusion that leaves the door wide open for a new direction.
Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1
The Drowned Earth arc has been one I have thoroughly enjoyed and one that, creatively speaking, managed to mesh the Justice League and Aquaman worlds in a way that did service to both.
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