This week, unfortunately being the day after Christmas, has only three books out. Those three books have the potential to be good, two introducing the “Throne of Atlantis” and the last concluding the Nite Owl miniseries. Let’s hope they skew toward the better than the worse”
- Justice League #15 begins the “Throne of Atlantis” storyline, crossing over into Aquaman and running through mid February. With a mysterious “accident” aboard a US aircraft carrier that launches Tomahawk missiles into the sea detonating them over Atlantis, a full scale war is initiated with the underwater kingdom. Retaliation comes in the form of a full on invasion by King Orm, Aquaman’s brother. Ocean Master, as he is also called, sends the armies of Atlantis against Gotham, Metropolis, and Gotham, one of which will be sunk beneath the sea. Also Superman and Wonder Woman have their first date in civilian identities, which has promise before being interrupted by the aquatic invasion of the East Coast. Most shocking of all, however, is the architect who engineered the plans for the Atlantean coastal invasion. In the Shazam backup feature, Billy Batson continues to acclimate to his new role as Captain Marvel, seemingly finding trouble at every turn, capping off with the appearance of Black Adam. This was a decent issue that seemed to level out in quality owing to its attachment to a more substantial title, vis-a-vis Aquaman. This issue also marks the swinger-esque swapping of art teams, with Aquaman art squad Ivan Reis, Rod Reis, and Joe Prado jumping ship as it were and landing on Justice League. Art’s good, writing is bearable. Not the worst JL issue.
- Aquaman #15 picks up from Justice League above, with the forces of Atlantis at the shorelines of the United States. Justice League began the invasion and showed the awesome might of Ocean Master’s army, but this issue shows the damages and loss of life and juxtaposes that against the reaction of the Justice League to Atlantis’s assault. Truly its a complex issue, and though I’m annoyed at the reactions of the individual Leaguers, I feel that perhaps that is realism writer Geoff Johns is bringing to the table. Normally when he portrays them as he does here it’s annoying at how shortsighted and petty they are. In this instance, their pettiness and shortsightedness are validated by the amount of death and destruction wrought by the Atlanteans. Conversely, Aquaman knows that there is a reason for this attack and wants to reach a peaceful resolution, if possible. However, tensions run high on both sides, and his goals aren’t appearing feasible. I am intrigued as to where this event will go, as this represents a huge schism developing within the League. Artist Paul Pelletier comes onto the scene taking over for Ivan Reis, who jumped to Justice League. His art isn’t that different from Reis, but is also reminiscent of Andy Kubert, who does provides art on the next book reviewed. That said . . .
- Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #4 concludes the Nite Owl miniseries in the only fitting way for a Before Watchmen title: fire, blood, piles of dead bodies, and good people doing bad things. Following the disappearance of prostitutes across New York with ties to the Twilight Lady. Ending in the basement of an 80’s mega-church, Nite Owl, Rorschach, and the Twilight Lady must stop or at least expose a madman with a truly insane plot. The interesting thing about this is that the plot of the truly sick Reverend is not that far off from the plot that lies at the heart of the original Watchmen graphic novel. The method is the same, but the practicality is not at all logical in the same manner as that of Ozymandias. Also, some in that party are completely against Rev. Taylor Dean’s plot, but go along with Ozymandias’. I am over simplifying, I recognize, but topically this is an interesting point. What caps off the issue, however, is the end of the relationship between Nite Owl and Twilight Lady. We know that their relationship isn’t meant to last, but we also know that the Twilight Lady holds a very dear place in Nite Owl’s heart. Delivering up that saucy yet sordid tale, as well as characterizing Daniel Dreiberg and further developing his unorthodox partnership to Rorschach, writer J. Michael Straczynski writes a truly seminal series in four issues. I can’t imagine that Alan Moore (if he weren’t so damned stubborn) could really find any fault with it. Artist Andy Kubert also delivers in spades a liney, gritty feeling depiction of the story that feels very akin to the spirit of the original opus. So ends one of the best comic miniseries of this year and probably many to come.
And with that the year of 2012 comics unofficially comes to an end. Most of the books that would have come out this week have been bumped to the first week of January, so for the actual conclusion we have to wait seven more days. Until then, thanks for reading.
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any of these images and give credit to those whose work they are.
Justice League #15: Drawn by Ivan Reis, Colored by Rod Reis, Inked by Joe Prado
Before Watchmen: Nite Owl #4: Drawn by Andy Kubert, Colored by Brad Anderson, Inked by Bill Sienkiewicz