Justice League 17
Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Paul Pelletier
Throne of Atlantis Crossover
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
With what very well may be one of the coolest two page spreads of the New 52, this issue definitely delivers what I wanted from the last installment. And it does so while simultaneously serving as an epic battleground scene as well as a not-so-subtle glimpse of things to come. So I’ll be brief in my recap so we can move right into the analyzing and predicting and just all-around aweing of what might be Geoff Johns’ finest Aquaman tale yet, with a double-sized finale with art by both Ivan Reis and Paul Pelletier, also at the top of their game for this worthy conclusion to such a welcome surprise of a miniature crossover event.
The Justice League (or should I say Justice Leagues) work together to overcome Orm and his Atlantean army, which rocks. Then Mera shows her worth and singlehandedly putting the King of Atlantis in his place, which is also awesome and completely rewarding for us as readers, considering she hasn’t really been very cool, well, ever. But that is definitely not the case anymore. But before we can be completely distracted by Mera overshadowing her lover and his teammates, we get the ultimate showdown and subsequent brother team-up of the once and future kings, fighting off a desperate final attempt by Atlantean terrorist Vulko. Unfortunately, though, things don’t end happy for everyone. The people who died at the beginning of the attacks are still very much dead. There is no magical fix there. The Atlanteans are retreating to Atlantis with a new king that they all fear and hate. The peace is only going to be temporary. And Orm is no longer protected by diplomatic immunity, making him a war criminal. He has been abandoned by the one person who could (and probably should) show him mercy, his own brother.
So Aquaman is finally the King of Atlantis. But that last page plants the seeds for so many potentially awesome story arcs to come, hopefully all penned by the always-dependable and usually awesome Geoff Johns. We see Amanda Waller and Steve Trevor plotting and beginning the recruitment process of their own Justice League.
We see Batman and his Justice League admitting that their team might need to consider opening their ranks as well. But that final twist, that final turn, is going to be the real doozy in months or maybe even years to come. The reason Johns is such a talented storyteller is because he doesn’t just deliver time and again. He doesn’t just give us a great story and leave us to await (or even dread) the next writer’s inevitable retconning of the previous story. No, Johns always sets up the new threat. And in this case, it’s a shadowy figure recruiting their own team, starting with Scarecrow, Cheetah, Felix Faust, and a whole butt load of terrifying baddies. The epilogue could have drug this out, but seeing as that issue is an Aquaman comic, I’m willing to bet Johns wanted the big ramifications to happen here and the next one will be a quieter issue, which is fine with me. Overall, this was a great ending, because, like all good comics or serial stories, it’s just the beginning. I’m excited for what’s going to happen next, both in the epilogue and the following tales of my favorite super team.
My Rating: 4.5/5