Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Gary Frank
Throne of Atlantis Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but Geoff Johns is one of the most talented writers in the industry. I have loved his work as far back as his first DC crossover event title, Day of Judgment, where he famously (or maybe infamously, in some longtime readers’ opinions) decided to bring back then-deceased Hal Jordan as the new human host for the all-powerful Spectre. Over a decade later, he is still wowing fans with his interesting takes on long-forgotten or, even worse, often laughable characters. Making them greater than they have ever before been and giving new life to the DC universe’s D-listers. This time, it’s Aquaman. The main Justice League title continues to be an enjoyable read on a monthly basis, but the fact that it is now crossing over with another one of my personal favorites is just icing on that already awesome superhero comic book cake. And Ivan Reis is the one man in the industry who might just be up to handle the passing of the torch of comic book god that is so often notably carried by the legendary Jim Lee. His art is missed, yes, but Reis has proven with this storyline (among many others) that he is indeed worthy of the mantle.
Speaking of mantles and thrones, this chapter of the crossover event going through both Justice League and Aquaman is an all-out action-packed extravaganza (which has been the case for every single part after the prologue, come to think of it). If this were any other pairing of two books I might be somewhat upset with the lack of exposition, but under the scripting of Johns the action seems to flow nicely and the dialogue is so perfectly within character for all of the various players that it comes off as yet another masterpiece, even as you are reading it in bi-weekly installments. In short, you could say that this issue is simply Orm laying the smackdown on the entire team and Cyborg making a life-changing decision that may or may not assist his teammates would make it sound like basically nothing happened in this entire issue, which isn’t the case. It’s just that those two main events are so awesome and done so well that we don’t even notice that the writer and artist team literally took an entire issue to spotlight a cool fight scene and a recruiting new members scene.
The backup feature, as per usual, is somewhat jarring if you are reading it immediately after the main feature. That being said, it is good. Not great, but good, in that it has a clear vision presented to us of Shazam and Black Adam fighting and showing that Adam truly is a villain force to be reckoned with. The dialogue is believable and realistic and the art equals the script in the storytellers’ goal, but perhaps the best part of the backup feature, and the issue’s main story as well, is what has been the driving force behind DC Comics for quite some time now. And that force is Geoff Johns. I am beyond excited to see what happens next in this storyline as well as the inevitable next epic tale featuring my favorite superheroes under the guidance of such a talented and obviously caring writer.