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Saturday, January 26, 2013

Justice League #16 - March 2013

Comics Weekend "Throne of Atlantis Chapter Three" by Geoff Johns, Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Rod Reis.

It was Aquaman vs. the Justice League this past Wednesday! Wednesday! Wednesday!

Aquaman then squares off against Wonder Woman, who promises she will not relent, even against the overwhelming odds. Batman gets zapped by Ocean Master, who is about to deliver a second, killing shot, but Aquaman stops him. While they argue, Wonder Woman sneaks up and prepares to pull a Maxwell Lord on Orm, but it's too late...the Atlantean army has arrived:
Meanwhile, Cyborg is on a mission to find Stephen Shin, since Vulko told him that Shin's expert knowledge of Atlantis is key to Orm's plan. A bunch of Atlantean agents arrive (one of them named Tula!) and attack, but Cyborg manages to grab Shin and teleport away.

Back in Boston, the fight is on! Orm uses a whirlpool to carry Wonder Woman away, and it's at this point that Superman. Has. Had. Enough:
The ocean starts to boil, but that doesn't even seem to phase Ocean Master. He uses his scepter to bring down a series of lightning bolts, zapping Superman, Wonder Woman, and his brother:
Across the country in Detroit, Cyborg and Shin appear at S.T.A.R. Labs, where a Dr. Morrow is working alongside Cyborg's father. Morrow talks about activating a weather machine android he's created (a-ha!), but Silas Stone warns him not to. Cyborg tells his father to equip him to fight underwater, a procedure that will take a few hours. In the meantime Cyborg, recognizing that his teammates have been captured, realizes he's going to need help, so he calls in reinforcements:
...to be continued in Aquaman #16!

After a gangbusters first chapter in Justice League #15, Johns, Reis, Prado, and Reis keep up the momentum with this issue, which I think I liked even more than the first installment. Mainly because there were so many great moments: Aquaman going toe-to-toe with the heavy hitters of the League, the reveal of the Atlantean army (a Reis/Prado/Reis Ka-Pow moment if there was ever was one), Aquaman's debate with Orm about his divided loyalties, the mention of the being that will surely became Red Tornado and, finally, the reveal of the new members, many of which are culled from the team's classic years. On top of that, the shot of Superman at the apogee of his rage recalls some of Neal Adams' best takes on the Man of Steel. It's a good story point made exceptional by the art team.

In the original Justice League of America series, writer Gerry Conway took over the book as of issue #151. By that point, the art team of Dick Dillin and Frank McLaughlin had been on the book for years, and they stayed on for years more. Along with Conway, they established a continuity of story and art that served the book (and the team) extremely well, for over half a decade. Are we seeing the beginnings of that type of book-defining era here? It sort of feels like it, because Geoff, Ivan, Joe, and Rod work so well together; and with the Throne of Atlantis storyline, and now the introduction of all the new members, makes me excited to read a Justice League comic that in a way I haven't felt in a long, long time.


Anonymous said...

Liked it a lot! Should have known you'd catch 'Tula' on page 10! I think I may have squeed a bit when I read that!

Dustin said...

I look forward to reading the issue when I pick it up. Glad to see the roster finally expanding.

Sarah Park said...

This is another favorite of mine. Love this plot.

Russell said...

I don't want to sound like a "wet blanket" here (haha) but this to me read like one of those Marvel "All Out Action Issues" where...really... NOTHING ever happened. The heroes fight each other (Marvel), check. The Atlantean Army attacks (Marvel), check. The villain gets away (Marvel), check. Next!

Don't get me wrong, the art was beautiful. I loved the teasing of Tula (the other agent was Garth, mark my words) and Red Tornado. And I smiled broadly when I saw that last page.

But where's The Flash?! Why isn't Green Lantern putting in an appearance, even if he did quit? If you suddenly see huge tidal waves attacking the East Coast, don't you man up and help out?
Also, who is "Goldrush"? I'm guessing that Element Woman is the new Metamorpho, but who is this other? Why does she deserve to be a JLAer? Where is The Atom? For that matter, where's Mera? Wasn't she just there a moment ago?

And lastly, the Ocean Master has kidnapped the JLAers....why? Why didn't he just keep on the attack? Seemed like a sudden switch. Who wants to take bets that in the next issue OM explains his plot to Arthur ala every James Bond villain and then the big battle royale will take place in the next issue of JLA? I hope I'm wrong, I really do, but so far this is just another one of those BIG EVENTS that Geoff Johns plans out so well but executes so badly.

Unknown said...

Glad! Someone expanding it!i like much issue #15 terrific! Really awesome, like the arc of the story,and it comes on issue #16 it became more interesting,the fight was really provocative! Excellent! Excited for next issue

Joe Slab said...

It was a transitional issue leading to the penultimate Chapter next week in AQUAMAN #16 and the double-sized (no SHAZAM back-up) in JL #17 next month.

I actually wanted more of a knock-down drag out fight between Arthur & his team-mates (like the cover teased) -- just plain fun to see Aquaman's power levels compared to his "Big Gun" friends.

Great to see Tula's cameo and how about Ivan Reis designing the Atlantean army -- some wearing the PAD Aquaman-esque armor and others wearing ocean camoflauge? NICE.

@Russell -- I agree with much of what you commented. Flash & GL are absent due to the goings ons of their own titles as per Mr. Johns. They will both eventually return.

Joe Slab

Shellhead said...

Anybody else crack a fanboy grin when Arthur knocked Clark into next week?

Micheal said...

Hal Jordan quit the League and is kind of dead in the GL title and the JL looking for him in Green Lantern 14 while the rest of the Green Lanterns are dealing with the rouge Guardians. While Flash is dealing with Gorilla Grodd while the rest of the JL are dealing with the Atlanteans.

Element Woman(or at least Element Girl) has been in the comics since 1967 and has reappeared in Flashpoint.

Ray Palmer has appeared in the Frankenstein arc until he quit Shade and was mentioned in Action Comics#7 while. Ryan Choi was mentioned in JL#4 and was supposed to be the New 52 Atom. Mera was knocked out trying to control the waves last time I remember.I think Goldfish was an old character and also a man but I could be wrong

Also there's 2-3 issues of the act left. So let's just wait and see what Ocean Master does.