Part 3 of ‘Drowned Earth’ is upon us, within the pages of Justice League #12 with James Tynion IV taking the helm. Before we dive in, lets take a look at the covers. The regular cover for this issue is created by Justice League collaborator Jorge Jimenez, and I must say this cover is very eye catching and in my opinion rather provocative. It didn’t entirely represent the contents of the book, but the unthinkable act that was depicted on the cover is more than enough to grab the readers attention.
The variant cover for this issue is by the incomparable Lucio Parrillo, who has created the most majestic Aquaman movie inspired cover. I love how the artist captures the feel of being underwater from the motion of Arthur’ hair down to the briny quality depicting not only Aquaman, but the murky ocean backdrop too.
Justice League #12 starts off with a very short yet insightful glimpse into the mind of the boy who would go onto become Black Manta. This single page really shines a light on the festering rage that has already started to take hold of young David Hyde, that rage being firmly directed at that which David believes has denied his father of his dreams and aspirations the most – the unforgiving seven seas. This is a really great way to start off the issue and carries on the precedence of each issue opening with a flashback sequence set by the inaugural issue of Justice League as part of the ‘Drowned Earth’ storyarc.
As we return to the present day, we find the Justice league fighting the good fight on multiple fronts as Mera, Superman and The Flash face off against Black Manta and Commander Drogue of the Triumvirate. These scenes are extremely cinematic and show just how powerful Mera is in her own right, taking centre stage over Superman and The Flash. This is a great idea as I’m sure Mera will have a HUGE part to play in the Aquaman movie and this book will most definitely capitalise on the characters new found exposure and popularity.
The action then switches to the Hall of justice in very dynamic fashion as Batman makes a last ditched attempt to stand against the Legion of Doom. The action in this sequence is very reminiscent of the action depicted in the opening pages of Batman #35 written by Scott Snyder. It’s every fanboy and girls dream come true with some incredibly entertaining dialogue from Batman that feels inspired by Scott Snyder’ take on the character. I wasn’t sure anyone but Scott Snyder could pull this kind of dialogue off – which is testament to how beloved Scott’ continuing take is on the character, but James Tynion IV has really taken the baton and ran with it in this issue.
The final front this battle is fought upon is in the ‘Gravyard of Gods’ where Aquaman and Wonder Woman confront the Greek God Poseidon. It’s these scenes where the reader really learns the truth behind the Triumvirate’ history with Earth, Atlantian legend Arion and the meddling yet repentant God Poseidon. These exchanges feel very important to the story line moving forward.
Justice League #12 is very fast-paced considering just how dense and dialogue heavy it is, relaying lots of information to the reader which is crucial to pushing the narrative forward. Scott Snyder excels at creating and adding to mythology that has existed for years. I feel that James Tynion IV and Scott Snyder’ revision of the history of Atlantis is very dense and well thought, similar to what Scott Snyder achieved with Gotham and the court of Owls. I love finding out new information that shines a light on ideas that I believed were set in stone, which this issue does very well.
As a rule i’m not a huge fan of multiple artists featured in a single issue but for Justice League #12 it really works. Bruno Redondo’ art is very dynamic and captures combat really well, especially when the mutated humans attack on mass. Artistic collaborator for this issue – Frazer Irving, created a really moody yet very mystical atmosphere that felt otherworldly, and enchanted where magics and mysticism runs rampant. These sequences of events predominantly feature Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Poseidon and are gloriously coloured by Sunny Gho.
In my opinion, Justice League #12 is the best entry into the ‘Drowned Earth’ event so far. Lots of action with really relevant information relayed to the reader. The next installment can’t come quick enough and if Black Manta has anything to say about it, its going to be BIG.