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‘Justice League #10’ (review)

Written by Scott Snyder
Illustrated by Francis Manapul
Published by DC Comics

 

What is that?”

“It appears to be some kind of Kraken?!”

The liquid it’s made up of though… it’s not of this earth!”

“So a Space Kraken?!

Oh yes.

This issue of the Justice League is billed as the Prelude to Drowned Earth, a multiple part DC cross-over event spawning out of the pages of the Justice League and – of course – the ongoing machinations of Lex Luthor and his Legion of Doom.

Luthor’s initial bid to claim the power of the Totality may have failed, but other Legion plans have already been set in motion, plans that involve Black Manta and Cheetah killing the Sea God Poseidon to make way for an ancient host of ocean deities, in what we have been continuously told for several months now, will lead to the wholesale flooding of the planet.

That crisis is now upon us. And the League, with just enough warning to track down a possible solution to a catastrophe they have not yet fully grasped, has split their forces to proactively pursue the answers they so desperately seek.

J’onn J’onnz, John Stewart, and Kendra Saunders, are off to Thanagar to uncover the secret histories of the Totality, Earth, and Mars.

Superman, Flash and (conveniently) Adam Strange are uncovering a few critical secrets concerning Lex Luthor’s Hall of Doom.

And that leaves the mystery of Poseidon’s death and the looming oceanic crisis of the Drowned Earth.

And that means… Aquaman.

You’d think that a water-breathing uber-man with telepathic dominion over all sea life and a domain that covers 3/5ths of the Earth’s surface, would have little trouble commanding respect in the annals of the Justice League.

But traditionally Aquaman has received short-shrift compared to his iconic teammates, despite the affection of die-hard fans, the serious attention of a string of industry titans from Peter David to Grant Morrison to Geoff Johns to Dan Abnett, and of course, the abiding love of most every kid everywhere. (What young boy doesn’t dream of breathing underwater, or being the Superman of the sea?)

But with the recent resurgence of the classic lines of the Justice League, and a new blockbuster movie starring God’s gift to all women everywhere coming down the pipeline, as well as a new lease on life for Arthur Curry unshackled from the over-weaning burdens of ruling an undersea kingdom, it appears that Aquaman is a hero whose day may finally have come.

Now it’s Scott Snyder’s turn to add to the story of our favorite sea hero, and not surprisingly he is thinking anything but small. After all, what better way to expand the significance of a character whose abilities have always been under-utilized on dry land, than to expand his legend, and… expand his domain.

Turns out that effort is two-fold in nature.

First, of course, is the imminent flooding of the Earth. A prospect which, up until this issue, I’ve had a hard time conceptualizing. But it turns out that, far from killing off the billions of air-breathing souls on the planet, what Snyder has in store for us instead is both more ingenious and, in its way, more horrifying.

And that ties directly into the next vector of expansion…

Outer Space!!!

That’s right. You heard me right. I didn’t see that coming either, I admit it. But of course, it makes all the sense in the world. (Or universe.)

After all, with all the infinities of galaxies in the universe, each with tremendous potentials for life-bearing planets around the countless stars they each contain, why wouldn’t there be an unknowable number of planets covered in waters and oceans? And of those, how many of them might easily have intelligent races of their own? And how many of them with their own pantheons, deities and gods?

The answer, in case you’re wondering, is a lot. If anything, Scott Snyder is probably playing it pretty small so far.

But the effect is plenty big enough. Welcome to a brand new exciting universe of possibilities in the DCU. A whole new world, or worlds, of adventure to explore. One with Aquaman placed squarely at their center.

That’s not easy to pull off, but that’s what we’ve got, starting this month in these pages. Where it all goes from here is anyone’s guess.

First off, we have to see the earth safe from a fate far worse than just a watery grave.

Francis Manapul joins Scott Snyder this month for this issue, and his work is top notch. With everything from Firestorm (finally!), to Lava Men, to underwater sea gods from distant galaxies, you’re in for a treat this month.

Dive in.

Next Issue: *Glub*

 

 

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