Graphic Novel Reviews: Throne of Atlantis – Aquaman 014-017 | Justice League 15-17

The Story

An accidental attack by United States Forces on Atlantis provokes an attack upon the surface by Orm and the forces of Atlantis. Aquaman and the Justice League try to both fight him off and reason with him, but they are captured and imprisoned in the trench where the flesh eating creatures from the beginning of Aquaman were trapped. There they discover that the creatures have been freed.

On the surface, the backup members of the Justice League fight of Atlantis, but it is the arrival of the main body of the Justice League that turns the tides. Aquaman sides with the surface, against his brother, and together the team manages to defeat Orm, and discover the true cause of the attack.

In the aftermath of the attack, Aquaman tries to keep control of Atlantis as its king, but both his own soldiers, and the people of the surface have no trust for him.

The Review
I heard this one was supposed to be good. I’ve been looking for a reason to get back into Justice League, but so far I had not found said reason. I’ve had problems with how the characters act around each other. It feels more like reading pointless high school drama, as portrayed by the greatest heroes on earth, rather than one of the flagship titles of DC.

Throne of Atlantis was a redeeming event, and certainly one that I enjoyed. However, I’ve been burned by Justice League before, so I will continue to the next story with more than a little caution.

Aquaman on the other hand was a series that I enjoyed, and I never really had a reason to stop reading it, I just did. Perhaps part of it is a lack of familiarity with the character, because while I enjoyed the book, I just reached a point where I forgot to keep reading. However, after this event I think I will continue reading. Arthur’s dilema, having to rule the ocean, and protect the surface, while being trusted by neither, is certainly worth a few minutes of my time every month.

Throne of Atlantis, for how big it is, was over surprisingly fast. I’m not sure how to feel about crossovers that make me buy more than one book to get the whole story. On the one hand it feels a lot more sneaky that the crossover is essential in both books, as opposed to being optional reading, as Death of the Family was. Then again, while it does force me to buy two books, it does give me twice the story per month. So I think my overall opinion is that I like it, but only while the event is being published. Once it’s been published and I’m reading through a book that suddenly crosses over into another book, then I only get part of the story, and I’m too lazy to track down the relevant issues of the other series. I’m looking at you, Teen Titans.

It helps that Geoff Johns is the writer of both Aquaman and Justice League. So really it’s less of a crossover and more just the same story split into two books to give the story to us twice as fast. And I think I’m okay with that. While the art is split between different artists, there is enough uniformity in the different styles that I wasn’t pulled out of the story.

If I had a complaint, it would be that perhaps this story wasn’t quite big enough. Atlantis attacking should be a giant event, and it was, but it felt far more contained than it should have been. I imagine it would have helped if we had gotten more scenes of Atlantis attacking other cities in the world, seen other heroes not connected to the Justice League fighting off the invaders. As it was, the attack felt more like a single attack on a single city than any kind of global attack.

For what it was, I really liked Throne of Atlantis, it was mostly an extension of Aquaman’s story, but told in a way that having the rest of the team involved made sense. Like I said, I’ll give Aquaman and Justice League another chance, but with the exception of this crossover, I haven’t found much reason to continue to spend money on either series. Chances are I won’t be reviewing either series, mostly because I just don’t have that much to say. I just felt that an event like this warranted my attention, and I wasn’t disappointed.

The Grade

3/5

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