Throne of Atlantis Review: Justice League #17 by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis and Paul Pelletier

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Review:  Justice League #17

“Throne of Atlantis Chapter Five”

Published by DC Comics

Written by Geoff Johns

Art by Ivan Reis and Paul Pelletier

Coloured by Rod Reis with Nathan Eyring

The Plot

The Justice League finds out that Vulko is behind the war from Dr. Shin.  Meanwhile it is all out war with the heroes, Atlanteans, and the Trench.  At the same time, Orm is preparing to detonate the bombs to sink Boston.  Aquaman attacks Orm and even though he learns the truth he fails to relent.  While their battle rages, the Atom, Superman, and Wonder Woman are able to neutralize the bombs.  However, Orm is not deterred and uses his powers to flood Boston, but his efforts are stopped by Mera and Zatanna.  After more fighting, Aquaman regains the throne…of Atlantis and uses his authority to repel the Trench and send them back to the waters.  He then deals with Vulko and Orm.  Aquaman is also left with another predicament as a result of becoming king once again and also faces some additional repercussions on top of that.  The end result is a change for the Justice League as well as the birth of…something else.

The Breakdown

I liked how this issue began with the lighthouse and Arthur’s foreboding words to him.  There was kind of an eerie element that exists over in the Aquaman title sometimes and this adds to it.  Watching all of the heroes engaging in all-out battle was still pretty sweet to look at.  Like I said before, it was commonplace prior to the reboot, but since the reboot these events have virtually stopped.  It felt kind of old DCU-ish to see them all interacting with one another again.  Also, they were unfamiliar working with one another and their team-up didn’t necessarily go all that smoothly and this was something that I really enjoyed.  Prior to the reboot, everyone was so familiar with one another that they just meshed well during battles.  However, their inexperience working together was evident, which made the whole thing seem fresher.  There are a lot of things I could take and leave with the reboot, but I was glad to see this aspect of the hero team-up because it was one of the things I hoped that would happen with the New(ish) 52.  Watching Hawkman tear it up in this issue was a familiar and pleasant sight.  The emotional confrontation between Aquaman and Orm (who was finally referred to as Ocean Master) was a very good one.  I actually believed in both sides of the argument, which made me more invested in the battle.  Orm continued to be a major badass in this issue and I enjoyed seeing him being such a threat to everyone.  I actually felt kind of bad for him at the end.  I also enjoyed watching Aquaman take complete control of the situation.  He’s more capable than other members of the League to make the difficult decisions.  I’m glad to see Steve Trevor get a kick at the can soon as I enjoy his character.  His character really took a kicking around especially after getting dumped by Wonder Woman twice.  The Trench live to fight another day.  Their involvement was decent and they weren’t jobbed out to the heroes, which makes their eventual return something to look forward to.  This issue went by pretty fast because it was really action heavy, but it was still a good read.  The art team made this crossover feel important and there were some pretty nice splash pages to look at.  Reis does such a good job of doing fight scenes.  They’re dynamic, easy to follow, and non-static.  I really enjoyed this crossover.

BUT…

The art team did a great job overall, but in some spots you could just tell that the deadlines must have been looming.  I wasn’t sure how I felt about the public opinion on Aquaman.  He hung with the Justice League for about six years and he was largely responsible for repelling the Atlantean attack and yet he still doesn’t get any props.  Like does the Justice League have some PR stance that completely bars anyone from making any statements to the public? He just kind of seemed like he was hung out to dry.  Vulko’s expression at one point seemed much more sinister than what his plan really was.  There was something that bothered me on the final page…kind of a logic gaffe in the way something was presented.  I’m definitely going to touch on this next month.  I’m glad that the storyline got so many pages to get a good resolution, but I still wish that there was some Black Adam in this issue! I’m not sure how I feel about the Channel 52 thing yet.  I’m going to give it some time and see how it goes.  All in all, I don’t mind seeing some Ambush Bug though.  I really hope that the majority of Aquaman’s time won’t be spent under the sea.  This has always hurt my interest in reading his book on a regular basis.

Buy It, Borrow It, Shelf Read It, or Ignore It?

Buy It.  If crossovers were like this more often then I wouldn’t be so jaded when it comes to them.  I really liked how this issue didn’t completely emulate a mindless blockbuster action finish.  There was a lot of emotion packed into this issue.  I hope that Aquaman continues to be a major presence in this book as he brings a lot to the Justice League.  If there are any changes to the roster happening, I’m not really anticipating it as I’m concerned that characters like Cyborg could be shuffled off to the background again.  Back to the Throne of Atlantis though, it was a solid read with a satisfactory conclusion.

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