Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth Special #1 Review - Cherry on top of an Avg. Event (Spoilers)
• Hi-Fi & Francis Manapul (Colorist) • Francis Manapul (Cover Artist)
• DC Comics (Publisher)
I'm finally finished reviewing the Drowned Earth story and can move on. I've been down on Snyder since the start of the event. It sucks because I generally love his ideas and concepts.
I found his segments of the event to be overstuffed. Whether it's Snyder or editorial who are to blame we'll never know, but this issue meshes well with the rest of the story. It felt nice reading a Scott Snyder issue that balances out nicely. This is a decent closeout issue and even the Legion of Doom segments are integrated well.
Aquaman gets most of the spotlight here which is appropriate considering the timing of the event with the film release (Yes this comic is old AF). Most of the attention centers around him and his ongoing rivalry with Black Manta.
Before the event, I only knew Manta from the film. It's nice to see that the characterization from the movie grafts almost 100% here. He's treated as a worthy rival to Arthur and get's his licks in on the Justice League as well.
It's not all roses though. The conclusion and aftermath of Drowned Earth came too easy for me. Considering that the earth was basically capsized during the event It's hard to imagine the world immediately getting back to normal. There's also a basic continuity problem. Based on the level of the threat, the number of heroes involved in the story should have been a lot larger.
I hate when events have no lasting ramifications or are immediately retconned. We see this a lot at Marvel. It feels that aside from the new status quo for Aquaman and the continuation of the Legion of Doom storyline this event will go down the memory hole. This review is being written in 2020, do you remember Drowned Earth?
The worst aspect of the issue was the art direction. There are multiple artists credited and I'm not sure if this was the problem, but the issue looks rough.
Looking at the entirety of Drowned Earth I think the story is a net positive. The Legion of Doom segments will hurt the trade because it's tied intrinsically to the main Justice League series. Titan's #28 is a great tie-in, but ultimately unnecessary as they never appear again in the event.
Aside from the gripes cited in those reviews, the event is pretty good. There aren't a ton of tie-ins so collecting the event in single issues won't break your wallet. The trade is also going for about $16 on Amazon. If you're a fan of Aquaman and epic Justice League stories you can't go wrong here.
Issue Rating 9/10
Event Rating: 8/10