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Justice League #15 - Throne of Atlantis, Chapter One; Shazam, Chapter 8 Review

5

It's the beginning of a war and there's a new (but familiar) art team joining Geoff Johns. Worlds collide in the beginning of the 'Throne of Atlantis' crossover.

The Good

The AQUAMAN series may have lost Ivan Reis and Joe Prado but AQUAMAN's loss is JUSTICE LEAGUE's gain as the two begin their run on this series. If you read last month's AQUAMAN #14, you know Ocean Master is up to something. This issue marks the beginning of the war between Atlantis and the surface dwellers. Right away, you can begin to imagine where that is going to place Aquaman as he will be torn between his two homes.

It starts out with an interesting look at a sort of team up between Aquaman and Batman. There has been many comments over the depiction of the characters in the pages here and in their individual titles. We still get that sense that these are individuals that can work together and rely on each other when on team misions but on their home turf, it's a bit of a different story. The subtle changes in the interaction is great in fitting into the bigger picture of the New 52 universe.

It's not giving anything away but let's say when Atlantis does attack, it's pretty massive. If we're to expect a big deal out of the Throne of Atlantis crossover between the JUSTICE LEAGUE and AQUAMAN titles, we should have some big stuff happening. And we do.

Amidst the coming war, Geoff Johns also gives us more on the budding relationship between Wonder Woman and Superman. For some reason we haven't seen too much of who they really are in their own titles. The interaction Johns has been giving us shows how separate they are from the average person and how the two are starting to connect. The little touches of Superman explaining who he is, how he grew up and how he lives among humans is great to see. I can't decide if I like those scenes or the battle ones more.

It may not need to be said but Reis and Prado do a spectacular job on the art. It's going to be great seeing them on this title working with all the characters.

There's also the SHAZAM back up by Johns and Gary Frank. Each month it's like we get an extra special treat with each issue. There's more on Billy Batson trying to figure out his new powers and, as the solicit says, Black Adam appears in the story as well. I wish it were somehow possible for both Johns and Frank to do a full ongoing SHAZAM title.

The Bad

This was a great issue. You can feel the energy amping up as Johns prepares to bring the Justice League into 2013. Starting with a crossover between AQUAMAN is a great start. Seeing the impact of each member will make the series that much stronger.

We still want to see more for Cyborg but there is a great but brief conversation between him and his dad.

The Verdict

The cover claims it's the beginning of a "bold new era" and they're not kidding. Ivan Reis and Joe Prado joining Geoff Johns with Rod Reis still on colors is a great addition to the title. This issue has an epic feel to it. We have a big battle between Atlantis and the surface dwellers. They are going to attack and it's not going to be a light one. The Justice League was formed to take on big threats. It's up to Johns to show us how big of a threat Atlantis can be. The Atlantean War Plans hinted at here will definitely pull you in. Aside from the big action, there is more character interaction being built. We see more on Superman and Wonder Woman as well as Batman's run in with Aquaman and Mera. It's a bit of a let down that DC released only a few comics this week but with JUSTICE LEAGUE and AQUAMAN, what more could you ask for?

58 Comments
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Posted by redbird3rdboywonder

Looks great

Posted by Cavemold

agreed . so will flash not show up in this book?mentions of him but no appreance. the last cover is my fav

Posted by G-Man

@Cavemold: No Flash here. I think it's a good thing that the team doesn't automatically get together. Has a more realistic feel. The crap hits the fan and they start doing what they can before gathering everyone together.

Staff
Posted by StMichalofWilson

When I see this cover, I just makes me want to say. "Justice League Assemble!"

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

So how long till Johns leaves Aquaman?

Posted by Cavemold

@G-Man said:

@Cavemold: No Flash here. I think it's a good thing that the team doesn't automatically get together. Has a more realistic feel. The crap hits the fan and they start doing what they can before gathering everyone together.

thats true.. good point

Posted by Cavemold

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

So how long till Johns leaves Aquaman?

last arch probably one more maybr

Edited by The Stegman

Dat variant...... 
 
EDIT:  Also, thank you DC for not releasing as many comics as normal this week, I don't know if they did it on purpose or not, seeing as how many people's wallets are now drained due to Christmas, but it'll make me fiscally happy when I check my pull tomorrow.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@Cavemold said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

So how long till Johns leaves Aquaman?

last arch probably one more maybr

sounds about right

Edited by johnqestion

This definitely the best JL issue so far. We get a nice balance of romance, action, drama and suspense and great art. For anyone who jumped off, I think now is the perfect time to jump back on.

Posted by Twentyfive

Perfect time to jump the JL bandwagon!

Edited by OutlawRenegade

This and Aquaman were 5/5's for me too. I'm loving this crossover!

I'm happy that I got two chapters in one week. I wanted more after I finished Justice League, and I felt satisfied after Aquaman. That also means I'm fine with two artists working on this crossover.

I'm not at all interested in the Superman/Wonder Woman alliance leading to some version of "Twilight of the Superheroes", but I dug Cyborg in these issues. He's really starting to feel like a power player. I'm still waiting for him to get his own ongoing title.

Also, the Shazam backup was great this week too. Sure I saw more "Twilight of the Superheroes" foreshadowing, but the story can stand on its own, and I really like what Johns is doing with Billy Batson. I can really see this being the next Harry Potter.

I'm looking forward to the Cyborg/Shazam friendship. Maybe he can make Victor a little more human physically with a spell or something...

@Twentyfive said:

Perfect time to jump the JL bandwagon!

Yup

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@Cavemold said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

So how long till Johns leaves Aquaman?

last arch probably one more maybr

sounds about right

Yeah, it's what his track record is--not that I have a problem with that. He has his baby, superstar franchise that might die without him right now (GL), so he's not leaving that anytime soon--especially since he's invested so much time in it and he's a fan. Justice League is the main DC book right now for money-making crossovers and big sales, so he's not leaving that for at least 8 more years. Then he fills out his last ongoing slot with characters he wants to build up for the DCU or other writers (Hawkman, Flash, Aquaman). The books in this last category he usually only stays on for about a year. I would give him one arc after Throne of Atlantis before he leaves.

Oh, and he's writing the Shazam back up too! And JLA I think. And he's co-writing Vibe. And apparently he's planning a Metal Men book. I've never seen a single writer take on this much work. When does Johns sleep?

He'll probably leave Aquaman for a Shazam ongoing title. If that true, hopefully Cyborg gets the Justice League back up slot.

Edited by OutlawRenegade

Time for some off topic food for thought.

There's three sources of superpower for a superhero/villain: Genetics (Superman/Batman/Hulk), Technology (Iron Man/Batman/Atomic Robo), and Magic (Dr. Strange/Zatanna/Wonder Woman). Training augments these sources of power, and a superhero/villain can use a combination of these to great effect (Batman/Doctor Doom).

So I find it interesting that Johns has made Cyborg the king of the technology and Shazam the king of magic. Will there be a king of genetics?

Possibly. We see this same division in A.R.G.U.S. with the Red Room (technology), the Black Room (magic), and the Circus (genetics?).

These three sources of power are the foundation of every comic book company, and now that Johns's job is world building, it's cool to see that he's playing with all three. Variety is the spice of life, so it's a smart move to build on all three.

Of course, this is all speculation. =P

@G-Man: @Cavemold said:

agreed . so will flash not show up in this book?mentions of him but no appreance. the last cover is my fav

Flash is handling Gorilla Warfare while this story is happening, and Johns has said in interviews that Flash won't be in this story arc at all. I'm fine with that. I don't like when heroes just stand around to take up panel space when they don't serve the story at all. That was one of the problems with Justice League 7-8 and 10-12. Just too many characters who weren't being used IMO. I like that were only seeing necessary characters. It gives more panel time to the characters who need it, and to driving the story.

Posted by Cavemold

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@Cavemold said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

So how long till Johns leaves Aquaman?

last arch probably one more maybr

sounds about right

then aquaman is back to b lister

Posted by OutlawRenegade

@Cavemold said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@Cavemold said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

So how long till Johns leaves Aquaman?

last arch probably one more maybr

sounds about right

then aquaman is back to b lister

Not if Johns is replaced by a big enough writer. Like a Mark Waid or Jeff Lemire...

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@OutlawRenegade said:

@Cavemold said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@Cavemold said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

So how long till Johns leaves Aquaman?

last arch probably one more maybr

sounds about right

then aquaman is back to b lister

Not if Johns is replaced by a big enough writer. Like a Mark Waid or Jeff Lemire...

Mark Waid will never work for DC again and I can't see Lemire working on a a 5th comic

Posted by Mbecks14

I'm torn between my love for Ivan Reis and my distaste for the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship when it comes to this title.

Edited by OutlawRenegade

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@OutlawRenegade said:

@Cavemold said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

@Cavemold said:

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

So how long till Johns leaves Aquaman?

last arch probably one more maybr

sounds about right

then aquaman is back to b lister

Not if Johns is replaced by a big enough writer. Like a Mark Waid or Jeff Lemire...

Mark Waid will never work for DC again and I can't see Lemire working on a a 5th comic

I didn't mean them specifically... Just a name writer.

@Mbecks14 said:

I'm torn between my love for Ivan Reis and my distaste for the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship when it comes to this title.

Agreed

Posted by zachkastner

I love everything but the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship. Clark is molding Diana into a female version of himself and that seems a little creepy to me.

I still gave it a 5/5 due to the scope of Johns' script and the gorgeous work by the art team. Love Reis and Prado.

Posted by ccraft

I really like this issue, WW with glasses, say what? :0

Anyways I need to get Aquaman, but cant walk to my LCS its snowing

Posted by TheCrowbar

@zachkastner said:

I love everything but the Superman/Wonder Woman relationship. Clark is molding Diana into a female version of himself and that seems a little creepy to me.

I still gave it a 5/5 due to the scope of Johns' script and the gorgeous work by the art team. Love Reis and Prado.

I think she's going to pull back from him soon. They're still in the honeymoon phase.

Edited by johnqestion

@zachkastner: Clark is molding Diana into a female version of himself and that seems a little creepy to me.

Don't be silly. Her creator Marston gave her a Clark Kent id from the start. She wore glasses in her comics and had an id as Diana Prince in a lot of her versions. This is a homage to that. Whether she will take up an id is another thing but WW can't chase Olympians for ever and seeing she is not an Ambassdor this time around, she can't live as Wonder Woman 24/7. Ask Steve Trevor, he knows what dating Wonder Woman leads to. Clark simply suggested a way for her to temporarily unplug. What he is doing hiding his face is a mask as well.

Posted by bob808

SHAZAM was amazing.

Posted by KnightofSteel

I couldn't wait to read this, so busy with holidays and all it was nice to just wake up and get it digitally at Comixology. But as soon as I can I'll definitely be heading down to my LCS and buy a printed copy, I usually don't double dip but with this I make an exception cause...I LOVE Reis and Prado's art!! These guys belong on a super-hero book! Please DC keep these guys onfor a long long run.

Posted by krspaceT

Marvel releases two comics that get fans hating....

Dc releases two comics that get adoration

Posted by OutlawRenegade

@bob808 said:

SHAZAM was amazing.

^

Posted by Squalleon

@bob808 said:

SHAZAM was amazing.

really i thought it was the worst chapter so far...o_0

bit boring except the last page

Posted by SmashBrawler

This was a pretty good issue, glad to see JL is improving. The strongest point though, is Ivan Reis' art. Amazing stuff.

Online
Posted by OutlawRenegade

@Squalleon said:

@bob808 said:

SHAZAM was amazing.

really i thought it was the worst chapter so far...o_0

bit boring except the last page

We finally see Billy having a good time, and it was the funniest segment by far. This is what I want out of Shazam, so we're not seeing eye-to-eye. =/

Posted by bob808

@OutlawRenegade said:

@Squalleon said:

@bob808 said:

SHAZAM was amazing.

really i thought it was the worst chapter so far...o_0

bit boring except the last page

We finally see Billy having a good time, and it was the funniest segment by far. This is what I want out of Shazam, so we're not seeing eye-to-eye. =/

I think the best part of Shazam was on the last page.

Posted by frandj

@johnqestion: lol... hey! i like everything in this series. Including Superman-WW. hehehe.

you know... they (who complain about clark making diana more like him, etc etc) just don,t like the idea about supes-ww. so whatever DC put a good story or a good build up relationship, they will always complaint about it. bcoz they just don't like it...eventhough the idea supes "giving" the idea or some ideology to WW/Diana has been told many times in the past (i.e: alex ross WW, etc).

but anyway... good job DC. This one is a good one. :D

Posted by longbowhunter

This was a really good issue. I liked Reis and Prado on Aquaman, but I love 'em on Justice League. Gorgeous book!

Posted by k4tzm4n

I thought Superman's chat with Wonder Woman in Smallville was excellent.

Staff
Posted by entropy_aegis

This was actually...good GASP.

Posted by lifeboy

Where is jim lee going? I like his work and he seemed perfect for JL.

Posted by dondave

@lifeboy: He going to be on a superman title wit h scott snyder

Posted by War07

Best issue so far and also love the superman/wonderwoman going out.

Posted by sethysquare

my only complaint is why is shazam taking so long to become the hero he is meant to be. I just want him to hurry the f up and join the justice league.

Posted by Mucklefluga

My mate let me borrow this and Aquaman 15 and boy are they amazing :D I hope the whole story will be put together in a nice hardcover collection.

Posted by hyperman

I loved seeing Wonder Woman transformation with her lasso, I really like this Wonder Woman much more than Azarello's Wonder Woman!

Posted by Mrfuzzynutz

man, who knew taking Jim Lee OFF a book would make it TWICE AS GOOD?! small petty complaints, would like to see Cyborg more involved with the team as opposed to being a recluse on the watchtower, otherwise send him down to the Titans. Almost like Baseball when you have a prospect not getting enough at bats lol

a secondly...talk about a let down...You can't have A BOLD NEW ERA slapped on the cover, with Shazam on the cover with the team...YET..he is onlyin a backup feature and their's no indication he will join the team anytime soon..BOOOOO

Posted by MadeinBangladesh

all these covers are amazing. too bad I dropped this book

Posted by pspin

I like the Superman-Wonder Woman romance, it makes them seem a bit more well rounded and it is nice to see that they weren't just a one or two issue grab and there is a real relationship. JL might not be the best title at DC but it is a fun, adventurous book that gets the job done.

Am I the only person who doesn't like the Shazam back ups? It isn't that they are bad, they just aren't doing it for me...

Posted by baron2011

this is by far the comic book of the month

5/5

Posted by comicfan11

Don't care about the Supes/WW romance, at all (though this was their best issue so far as a couple, thx to the pencils of Reis.)

The artwork is way better than it has ever been in this series.

Overall good issue

Edited by ILLO_29

This is the beginning of a promising story arc. It felt a little light though, I mean either that I tore through this book faster than I thought I did. This book combined with Aquaman #15 was good read overall.

Posted by cameron83

@Mbecks14: well they've had plenty of relationships in the old universe.But Don't get completely use to this new one.

Posted by Mbecks14

@comicfan11 said:

Don't care about the Supes/WW romance, at all (though this was their best issue so far as a couple, thx to the pencils of Reis.)

The artwork is way better than it has ever been in this series.

Overall good issue

This.

@cameron83 said:

@Mbecks14: well they've had plenty of relationships in the old universe.But Don't get completely use to this new one.

True. I just think they make better friends/Superman and Lois Lane are the greatest couple in comics. But as sure as I am that this current relationship won't last long, i'm equally as irritated by the hype they have generated around it, treating it like it's the best thing ever

Posted by Ironhawk22

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

So how long till Johns leaves Aquaman?

I thought I heard that that was just a rumor. Either way, it's no big deal. His Aquaman isn't all that great(I know, I know), it's way too decompressed for me to be honest.

Edited by deaditegonzo

Overall I really liked it. I think Aquaman and Atlantis are being oversold in this book, but then again we had Cheetah taking on the whole JLA last arc, so this is a big improvement over that. But if they show Aquaman punking Supes in a fight during the arc, you know the guy who benched Earth for five days, I will call a little shenanigans (if the accompying story is good enough though, ill get over it).

Unlike the majority here, I actually really liked the date, and Wonder Woman and Superman being normal, and maybe a little unsure of themselves on a date. I thought it was the best part. And I would like for their relationship to be the status quo. Honestly, I was pissed when Lois and Clark were separated, but I got over it because I saw the story potential, but then Morrison, Johns, and Perez all still had Clark chasing after Lois, and I was like, "So the point of splitting them up was to tell a courtship story that is 80 FREAKING YEARS OLD?!" If he and Lois never get together in this universe, id be perfectly fine.I think it might be fun to have Clark lead Lois on for change too, maybe. Making he should hook up with Zatanna next? I know she'd be on my short list.

Also, as practically everyone has said, the Shazam back up was great! He's always been a knock off of Supes, and thats why he never quite worked before, but this go round they REALLY focused on his child like demeanor, and it makes him so damn unique as a character. I love it, and I could watch his whacky exploits forever, but im really happy to see that stuff just got real! And Gary Frank is always a favorite for me

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