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‘Justice League #11’ (review)

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

 

“We have given your powers to your mortal enemy Black Manta. We have crushed your kingdom and your beloved. And we have drowned your world…All that’s left for you to do little king… is walk the plank.”

Yeah that drop’s a doozy.

You might just say Aquaman’s in one hell of a hard place.

Justice League #11, the second installment of the Drowned Earth event, is an excellent read from start to finish.

Scott Snyder and Francis Manapul are at the helm for this issue, and the two of them have turned in some of their finest work to date for the job. It’s clear they’ve hit their stride as collaborators, and the result is one damn fine comic.

From the set-up laid out by James Tynion in Justice League Aquaman Drowned Earth #1, Scott Snyder picks up the baton running, jumping from one scene of our saga to the other like a stone skipping over water. It’s fair to say he’s mastered the art of transition, and even when that gets just a little cheesy, it’s still great fun, and keeps things moving forward with fluid professionalism.

Manapul’s artistry is fantastic. From layouts with a constant, shifting play of perspective, to an imagination unleashed on the wild and the wonderful, to the splendid mixture of ink and painted colors he brings to all of it, this is Manapul at his best, and it’s a joy take in.

Funny that everything’s seemed to gel in the second book of a multi-issue crossover event with multiple creative teams, but there it is. Maybe with things solidly underway from all the hustle since No Justice, a little breathing room, and maybe a little friendly competition to boot, everybody’s game is hitting their potential.

Great to see. Looking forward to these two finishing off the whole affair in the fifth installment, Aquaman Justice League Drowned Earth #1, on sale November 28th.

Before then though, we have two more stories, scripted by James Tynion and Dan Abnett respectively. They’ll have their hands full after this issue.

The flooding of the earth with corrupting alien waters is near complete, resulting in an attrition of Justice Leaguers, with the remaining few spread just a bit too thin on too many fronts.

Aquaman gets a welcome assist, and proceeds to show surprising resourcefulness at what is possibly one of his lowest points, stepping boldly into the mythic if not also the mystic, with… unexpected results.

Mera, meanwhile, is on the hunt for the Tear of Extinction with a little help from Superman and (what’s left of) the Flash. Things don’t quite go as hoped for however, leaving the playing field literally flooded with a rather extreme imbalance of power.

And Batman, poor Batman, he’s stuck in a bodycast in the Hall of Justice, guarding the Totality all on his lonesome, without the rest of the League to back him up if something were to go wrong…

Hopefully baby Starro can provide a little misdirection if it comes to the worst. I’d hate to see how bad that could get.

Next Issue: James Tynion grabs the rudder, and Arthur Curry has a fateful meeting.

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