The aspect of a concentric Aquaman-focused texture in this way is expected after such as strong box office film performance. The texture of “Justice League/Aquaman: Drowned Earth” [Scott Snyder & Dan Abnett/DC/252pgs] comes to bear to show there are greater forces in the galaxy but also keeps circumspect that the abuse of environmental aspects is not limited to this world. The intention of the invaders renders even the most powerful of the League helpless but the essence of revenge, especially keyed in to Manta, is another connection to the movie that gives the narrative credence. Batman is even relegated to an essence of inertness which is an interesting quandary. In a previous mission, he had broken every bone in his body so he has become more of an introvert, the multi day stubble revealing a more grizzled and tired visage. In mutating the oceans, the water flooding the cities transforms every person it touches into an aggressive mutant so slowly but surely all help disappears. Even the Queen of Atlantis must flee. What works in the narrative idea when mixed with visual is the loss of partners and friends in this situation. Watching Batman lose Commissioner Gordon and then an almost broken Aquaman nearly crying because of his loss of connection to all his sea creatures can be more primal than any of the action. Superman hovering over a Metropolis simply crestfallen saying “I couldn’t save it”. As even The Flash and Superman appear to falter to these Gods from above, the only aspect that can save is a concurrent, almost mythic journey to certain lost arenas of Earth by certain members of the League to find an intellectual and ancient way to defeat these ancient attackers: one being in the desert and the other in a city of the dead. These quandaries allow these heroes, especially Aquaman and Mera, to see their power from a slightly different way but ultimately to show a different path, a road less traveled, which tends to broach worlds. And of course, none of it would be possible without Wonder Woman. “Drowned Earth” works in the texture that life is nothing if not fleeting.
By Tim Wassberg
Like “Infinity War” but in a less existential way “Justice League – No Justice” [Scott Snyder & Joshua Williamson/DC/144pgs] uses the elements of life within a structure of the four Titans Of The Universe: Entropy, Wisdom, Wonder & Mystery. They are used as a texture for the blending of different approaches and thought processes: heroes and villains alike. During previous adventures (like “The Terrifics Vol. 1“), the universe begins breaking down from the cracks created by the Justice League. In trying to help, they created a bigger problem, not through a sense of ignorance but likely of coincidence and conscience. The story is placed into motion by Braniac who seems to have a perception of these ancient Titans being the key to the unraveling of the universe. While this is not quite directly explained in terms of the structure of the multiverse, it does create a basis for the fights which allow different heroes and villains to make headway. Those heroes and villains who are not in play simply go into stasis. What is encouraging is that the main characters like Superman, Flash and Batman don’t hog the scenery. Smaller characters like Beast Boy, Lobo, Martian Manhunter, Lex Luthor, Starfire and Starro are allowed to shine. One image in particular of Beast Boy when Lobo finally encourages him to embrace his rage is a telling moment because it shows the thin line between the villains and the heroes. Similar points happen when Manhunter calms Sinestro’s mind and when Green Arrow faces off against US Government Agent Waller [on Earth] whose psychics destroy something that unbalances the universe. “Justice League: No Justice” has many moving parts but like say “Transformers: Optimus Prime – Vol. 4”, it doesn’t feel the need to over analyze its mythology but simply to give you the basis of its focus. It is the characters and their shortcomings and also compassion as well as failings that make the story work.
By Tim Wassberg