In JUSTICE LEAGUE #10, the League finds itself under siege. With the cracking of the Source Wall, the unleashing of the Totality, and the formation of a new Legion of Doom, the League has been busy. Of course, that means now is the perfect time to throw in some cosmic sea gods, which is what this issue does!

Somewhere, Beyond The Sea

JUSTICE LEAGUE #10
JUSTICE LEAGUE #10 page 5. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

In JUSTICE LEAGUE #10, the League continues its hunt for the Legion of Doom, splitting up into trios. Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Firestorm explore the Arctic Ocean, following up on clues they discovered from a dying Poseidon. Superman, Flash, and Adam Strange explore possible leads to the Legion of Doom’s hideout. Martian Manhunter, Hawkgirl, and Green Lantern are in space, on their way to Thanagar to figure out the mystery of the Totality.

The primary focus is on Aquaman’s team, and specifically Aquaman himself. His connection to the ocean makes him the central figure, as they discover the ship of Arion, Atlantis’s first hero. The ship is the key to the Graveyard of the Gods, which is actually a trap. A portal opens, which spews out a Kraken. Three sea gods, from beyond our galaxy, whisk Aquaman away and capture him. Aquaman is helpless to watch as the world suffers, and the League gets rolling into action.

J’onn J’onnz and GL, two of the heavier hitters, are in deep space. These cosmic threats may very well be too much for the Justice League. The League has Superman, but the fact that the entire planet is submerged in a crisis. That emergency will probably take all of Superman’s time. Scott Snyder has put the League behind the 8 ball yet again, and they are at their best and most exciting when this happens.

Aquaman’s Journey

It’s fairly obvious that a story involving Earth being drowned would center around Aquaman. Arthur has been removed as King of Atlantis and has had to fight against his usurper to save it, in his own series. He’s no longer King, though; Mera is. Arthur sort of reflects that change in Justice League, become more contemplative and reminiscing on childhood days of exploring the oceans. It seems fitting that Arthur is the one to find intergalactic sea gods — too bad they’re murderous.

Snyder continues to be true to characters in general; their voices and actions are mostly accurate. My one note is that I think Aquaman would have been a bit more cautious and aggressive when coming up against the interstellar Sea Gods, as Arthur has usually been a bit more authoritative. The recent changes in Atlantis and his role there may explain this a bit, but it’s a bit dramatic of a change in my view. There’s a little too much wonder and naïvety from the Atlantean warrior and former king.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #10
JUSTICE LEAGUE #10 pages 2 & 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Snyder And Manapul Deliver In JUSTICE LEAGUE #10

This Drowned Earth story is a crossover story, and Snyder starts us off with a bang. (If you want to get more on “Drowned Earth,” AQUAMAN #41 is also a tie-in.) The Earth is underwater. Furthermore, Cosmic sea gods are turning the people of Earth into sea monsters. The story is a hard-hitting change of pace from the Totality arc of the previous issues. Issue 9 was a breather, but JUSTICE LEAGUE #10 is a hard-hitting shot to the kidneys. Snyder puts the foot on the gas with this issue with the relentless pace. Scott is writing a powerful threat for an undermanned League and has us on the edge of our seats to see how they get out of this one.

Snyder’s story is capably backed up by the art of Francis Manapul, who handles full art duties. He does spectacular work, such as the splash page in the Arctic (pictured above), you can feel the wintry sheen on Wonder Woman, Aquaman, and Firestorm. The infected humans and sea beasts are a great design, they look so bizarre and otherworldly. This is a short arc, but I can’t wait to see Manapul work on Justice League again.

Final Thoughts

JUSTICE LEAGUE #10 delivers a hard-hitting prelude to the “Drowned Earth” arc. Snyder puts the League on its collective back foot almost immediately, and Manapul beautifully illustrates the chaos of the cosmic sea gods. Snyder and Manapul continue to push the League to their limits. A very good plot, excellent visuals, and a reeling Justice League make for a very solid issue.

JUSTICE LEAGUE #10 By Scott Snyder and Francis Manapul
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Snyder and Manapul bring us into a new storyline with a bang! Hard hitting prelude issue, with lots of big moments and huge implications for the League. Another great issue by Snyder, with gorgeous art by master Manapul.
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