Review: 'Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth' #1 Is Smooth Sailing

The finale to Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth is here, but does it deliver an epic conclusion or go out with a thud?

Spoilers incoming for Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1, so if you haven't read the issue yet you've been warned.

For those unfamiliar, "Drowned Earth" kicked off in Aquaman and has been running in that series as well as Justice League for several issues. A new one-shot brings the epic story to a close and thankfully manages to nail the landing.

It can be difficult to keep fantastical elements like the Clarion, the Bone Crown, and the Tear of Extinction from overwhelming the story and becoming too entangled to keep straight, but writer Scott Snyder keeps those elements tethered to a core set of characters you are wholly invested in.

(Photo: DC)

At times Drowned Earth enters full-on fantasy adventure, and it embraces those elements for the better. Giant Death Krakens, speedster mermen, and a city that doubles as a missile are all found within the book's pages, but Snyder makes it all work and keeps things fun while also maintaining the severity of the stakes.

On the visual side of things, the book is solid throughout, with the highlights definitely being the bigger-than-life action sequences. The fights are stuffed with bright colors and the characters brim with energy, though at times the art feels a bit rushed or hurried. Overall the art holds up save for a few pages towards the end, so we can't complain too much.

(Photo: DC)

As for the lead, Aquaman has grown by leaps and bounds as a result of this series, though not in the typical ways. He doesn't have a shiny new power or a new costume, but what he does have is a much more thorough understanding of his abilities and what he was meant for. The Aquaman that comes out of this event is more confident in himself not only as a hero, but as a person.

(Photo: DC)

It helps that "Drowned Earth" directly addressed oft-delivered criticisms of the character through Black Manta and Admiral Tyyde during the series, and those payoff as the series nears its end. The growth of Arthur in this series is what allows those final pages to really hit their mark, and by the time the credits roll, you're left not only wondering about what comes next for Arthur, but Atlantis as well. It seems "Drowned Earth" did exactly what it set out to do, and if you're a fan of Aquaman you owe it to yourself to give this a chance.

Published by DC Comics

On November 28, 2018

Written by Scott Snyder

Art by Francis Manapul, Howard Porter, and Scott Godlewski


Colors by Hi-Fi and Francis Manapul

Letters by Tom Napolitano