Drowned Earth is in full effect in the latest issue of Justice League, and our heroes are at breaking point.
Before we dive in, lets take a look at the covers to Justice League #11. The regular cover for this issue is by interior artist Francis Manapul and although the artwork is beautiful with the added watercolour effects, it feels a little generic and doesn’t really capture any element of the story chronicled inside this particular issue.
The stunning variant cover for this issue is by Francesco Mattina and is very much an Aquaman movie themed cover. It is truly spectacular and jumped of the shelf. The sharks surrounding Arthur really remind me of the poster to the Aquaman movie released back in the summer. Jason Momoa’ likeness is captured perfectly, regal yet menacing. This cover really benefits from DC Comic’ recent initiative to remove logos on variant covers to help enhance the artwork.
With ‘Drowned Earth’ in full flow, issue #11 of Justice League packs an absolute punch while following the continued adventures of the Justice League as they battle the Triumvirate on multiple fronts. Thanks to the incredibly talented creative team of Scott Snyder and Francis Manapul this issue flows really well considering just how much story and action is packed in. It’s very well paced and never feels slow or bogged down with irrelevant information. After a quiet moment between the King of Xebel and his daughter Mera in a flashback sequence to open the issue, the reader is thrown straight into a sense of turmoil and urgency. Alongside Batman as he continues to hold the fort at the Hall of Justice, while attempting to orchestrate the leagues efforts as the alien tides continue to rise unleashed by the Triumvirate.
From this point the action effortlessly switches between the two teams. First, Superman, Mera and the Flash who hunt for a fabled weapon that could very well turn the tide against the Triumvirate. And second, the continued exploits of Aquaman and Wonder Woman as they face off against the Triumvirate themselves and even encounter a God that Wonder Woman knows all to well. As the story unfolds we get some really hard hitting moments and encounters against a very cinematic backdrop that looks straight out of the upcoming Aquaman movie.
I really like how the members of each team converse with each other in this issue, continuously relaying information via conversation – this is very helpful in regards to Arthur and Diana as they are dealing predominantly with Greek and Atlantian mythology and legend that could easily get confusing or hard to follow. In terms of dialogue, Superman has a very nice moment when counseling Mera in her moment of doubt regarding past events and what actions led to this moment. This was a great moment for Superman delivering wisdom and comfort to a monarch who needs her comrades now more than ever.
Manapul’s artwork and colours in this issue are phenomenal. The backdrop and action engulfing each page feels epic and cinematic, which makes the stakes feel like they couldn’t be higher. The beautiful colour pallet used in this issue adds to the feeling that even though we are dealing with rising tides, they are very much of alien origin. The Triumvirate comprised of Commander Drogue, Captain Gall and Fleet Admiral Tyyde didn’t appear much in this issue, however they looked very impressive when they did – especially when going toe to toe with Aquaman.
This issue contains some real page turning moments, and even the odd revelation which ties nicely into Snyder’s overall story to date. This issue was another strong entry into the Drowned Earth event, definitely benefits from this smaller scale presentation, as opposed to the larger presented events that include multiple tie in issues and even accompanying mini series. This issue ends with a bang, and I cant wait to see what happens next.