Justice League #11 is the second part of the Drowned Earth story line. Previously, three ancient sea gods rose from the dead and stripped Aquaman of his power. Eager to visit their wrath upon humanity and Earth, they have resolved to flood the planet with the aid of an unidentified ally. With the Justice League in trouble and Aquaman seemingly defeated (or dead), Mera is now the ruler of Atlantis.
Mera, along with Superman and a stricken Flash, must find a way to defeat not only their foes. Those foes not only include allies of the sea gods, but the remaining members of the Justice League as well. Those members now under the control of the sea gods. Aquaman, still very much alive and very much powerless, faces justice from the sea gods. Meanwhile, Batman is barricaded inside the Hall of Justice, a bulwark against the threats of the outside world and the rising sea waters. Aquaman vows to fight rather than face his doom tranquilly and is saved at the last-minute by an unexpected rescuer. The two of them, Aquaman and his rescuer, struggle with how to proceed and resolve to seek aid from an unexpected and potentially dangerous source. Mera, using a magical artifact in her possession, transports herself, Flash and Superman into the middle of the desert. This teleportation serves twin purposes; saving them from the controlled members of The Justice League and allowing them to search for a weapon in a lost Atlantean temple. They can then use this weapon toto defeat the risen sea gods. As they enter the temple, they are ambushed by the secret ally of those same sea gods. This ally, now in possession of Aquaman’s power, intends to use it to rule the drowned Earth he and his allies hope to bring about. Finally, Batman is desperately trying to coordinate a defense. However, he finds himself in the unusual position of being vulnerable and out of options. As this issue of Justice League ends, the Hall of Justice is breached and Batman is seemingly at the mercy of a cabal of deadly foes.
I am a fan of where this story is going and the writing is on point and enthralling although I could predict some of the things that would happen later in the issue. (You get a feel for this stuff after a while, I’m sure you understand) The pencil work is immaculate. Disparate and diverse locations are all drawn with aplomb. The variant cover (featured at right) for the book, featuring Aquaman surrounded by sharks, is a thing of beauty as a matter of fact. However, the inking fails to match the level of pencil work and at times leaves the characters looking flat. As an homage to the “Drowned Earth” story line, I believe that the art team tried to use a pastel color set with a water-color effect. However, I don’t think this was successful by and large. Instead, it often left the artwork looking pale and washed out. I very much enjoyed the story but felt the artwork did not live up to it in this instance and the book suffered as a result.
Writing 4.5 of 5 Stars
Pencils – 4.25 of 5 Stars
Inking – 3 of 5 Stars
Colors – 3.5 of 5 Stars
Writer – Scott Snyder
Art – Francis Manapul
Letters – Tom Napolitano
Variant Cover – Francisco Mattina