Spoilers from the last Aquaman issue: The Justice League takes on the Trench and the Atlantians, headed by Orm, but little do they know, Vulko is behind it all, but why?
DC has been taking some big risks with their twists and turns in their story lines recently, and we get a pretty weird one here, with the conclusion of Throne of Atlantis. What you're expecting and what you get are two very different things. I'm trying not to spoil anything, but the main bad guy's motives for starting this war were a complete shock to me. That's not a real spoiler or anything, but it's just enough to hide. I love how this issue turned out, story wise. I found it to be incredibly brilliant, and a great way to change the direction for this book.
I love the fact that Geoff Johns writes this and AQUAMAN. Too many times, we get too many different writers on a crossover and it just comes out a sloppy mess. Aside from the fact that Johns has redefined Aquaman as a character, he's doing a great job with the Justice League. It's a crossover story that works incredibly well, and aside from being great on it's own, this book also reintroduces fans to a lot of DC characters: Hawkman, Vixen, Firestorm, Zatanna, Element Woman, etc. This issue opens the door for more characters in the DCU because the story is bigger than the Justice League.
The ending is satisfying, although you start to feel truly sorry for Orm. He's not really a bad guy. He was just reacting to being attacked. He was defending his homeland against a world he already doesn't like. I feel for this character. He's not a monster. At the same time, Vulko really isn't a monster either. He did what he did in order to return Atlantis to its rightful owner, as he sees it. I love the fact this isn't just cut and dry and it is filled with characters just on the border of the gray area.
The amount of detail in Ivan Reis' work here is ridiculous. That two page spread, in the opening, with Justice Leaguers fighting Atlantians is ridiculously cool. Reis keeps the art consistent throughout the issue and it's fantastic. My favorite page, by far, is that opening page of the issue featuring the lighthouse. It's beautiful and a great way to set the tone for the whole issue.
This issue has an amazing cover, by Ivan Reis, Joe Prado, and Rod Reis. Someone get me a poster of this, stat!
I loved the overall issue and this story line, but I did have a little problem with the switch in artists during the issue. Ivan Reis worked on pages 1-26 and 30, and Paul Pelletier worked on pages 27-29. While the artists have similar styles, I noticed a difference, and it bugged me. It always takes me out of the story when the book changes art, even for just a page.
I am extremely satisfied with the conclusion of Throne of Atlantis. It was much better than I could have ever imagined. It's awesome, and you should read it. The art is great. The writing is great. The story is not what I expected it to be. It's not a perfect book, but it's one of my favorites of the month.
Overall, I highly recommend this issue.