Comic Book Reviews for the Week Shipping 07 November 2018: Justice League #11
Justice League #11
Drowned Earth Part Two
Writer: Scott Snyder
Art, Colors: Francis Manapul
Letters: Tom Napolitano
The Sich: Following on the heels of…well…quite frankly, a bunch of books. So I won’t go into the whole sordid list. We move on to the next chapter in the tale of Poseidon’s disappearance driving Aquaman and Diana to seek him out, and then one of their ancient ancestors and then secret weapons and lost knowledge of Atlantis…you get the drift. The Ocean Lords have been holding a grudge for what must have been a millennia, and now they are ready to give mankind their come uppin’s, and Arthur appears to be the one they mean to make an example out of it. Oh, and on their way to doing that they strip him of his aquapathic powers. Diana swings in to rescue him from walking the plank, while Mera tags up with Superman and The Flash to seek out a weapon that will balance the odds.
Art: Cannot say how pleased how was to see Manapul back for a second issue. I’m just not clear on what his track record is for staying an ongoing for any length of time, so in the back of my head I keep feeling like “we’re only going to get this for a limited time”. Well, whatever the deal turns out to be, it’s just amazing. I don’t feel like this issue was quite as sharp on last issue. There wasn’t anything wrong, there were just a few things that didn’t come off as spectacular. If I am right, and he has shaven off some of the detail that he normally applies, then that’s great growth in an artist to align to the needs of his co-creator, Snyder, and the publishing company. Then again, these issues may have just been written waaaaaayyyyyy in advance. As great a penciler as Manapul is, what really stands out to me is the coloring work that he’s done here. Every scene’s backdrop is exquisitely crafted and given a veneer of its own. His oceans are filled with life and color, and yet his desert scenes are the same. He has a few pages of very unique panel arrangements which always helps to keep the comic moving and not feeling so samey-samey from one page to the next.
Story: Snyder has really crafted quite the bit almost a masterpiece. He lets Arthur get his gumption up when the Ocean Lords tell him to walk the plank. You get that 10-seconds of high as you are thinking “He’s going do it! Here it goes! Ocean Lords are going DOWN!” But then he snuffs that out by rendering Aquaman’s offensive a complete and entire failure. And so you get another few seconds of despair. Until Wonder Woman shows up and its thrills and chills again. What I love here is Snyder’s use of the drum beat. He gets you with a big splash of cymbals, then its a few pages of snare riff, and then that big cymbal crash again. It’s wonderfully paced and doled out in slices as if by a chef creating a fine dish. This thing is building up to a nice crescendo and it’s not even the finale yet. I could easily read three more issues of this, although I will admit that the Legion of Doom is starting to wear out their welcome with me.
SCORE: 8.5 / 10
If you’ve been reading along with this storyline from the beginning, this is a great payoff issue and it’s still not even the finale. Snyder is making excellent use of the Justice League, not featuring any one member so much that we get bored of seeing them, while also including lesser known league members who we yearn for but can wait for some space to develop to and flesh out good storylines for them. A lot of the things that I criticized the special issue (Justice League / Aquaman Drowned Earth #1) for as leaving unaddressed and in the wind, this issue ties those knots together. It’s more of a good thing and even better than most of the issues that I read in the opening arc.