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Justice League #17 - Throne of Atlantis, Chapter Five Review

5

The Throne of Atlantis concludes. What will happen to Atlantis and its people?

The Good

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!

The Bad

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.

The Verdict

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.

35 Comments
Posted by Jacobin_Wisdom

The art change wasn't as bad as I was expecting. It maintain it's flow, and that all I would ask for.

I feel for Orm as his kingdom was attack, he rightfully retaliated. How in the blue hell was he suppose to suspect that Vulko was behind it. It should of been the other way around, but that's just my sour grapes.

Posted by spinningbirdcake

That ending was amazing. Followed it up with JLA #1 and I can say this is one of the few times DC has felt like a cohesive shared universe to me.

Posted by Avenger85

Lets all start wearing "Orm Was right !" T-shirts now lol.

But damn, man. The artwork in this issue is awesome.

Edited by inferiorego

@Avenger85 said:

Lets all start wearing "Orm Was right !" T-shirts now lol.

... I love you

I will make that shirt for C2E2. Look out for me in a video or two this April.

Posted by Superdork

Hawkman is Wolverine

Posted by Danial79

I felt so bad for Orm at the end of this issue, and I actually shed a tear during Aquaman and Mera's last scene. It's rare that I experience such emotions reading a comic, so when I do, I know it was well-written. I really hope Johns doesn't leave this or Aquaman any time soon.

Edited by doordoor123

I agree I really like Orm now and I kind of like Vulko too -- definitely excited to see what is next for Aquaman. This was the first story in this book that has had me wanting more every month as I wasn't a fan of the 'Others' story.

And BY THE WAY:

Posted by kingjoeg

This was so awesome.

Posted by Manbehindthewires
Posted by dondave

Wonderful Issue

Online
Posted by Raw_Material

Really liked the regular cover of this issue!

Posted by longbowhunter

JL has made a turn around with this crossover. Johns really delivered a great ending here. Never did I expect Orm to be such a sympathetic character. And Shin, who I thought from the beginning of Aquaman was going to be a future nemesis, really had Arthur's back. I'd love to see this adapted into a DC animated feature.

Posted by SwampPing

So can I just jump into throne of Atlantis or should I read 13 & 14 first?

Posted by The Stegman

Man, there was a LOT  of good titles this week, this has been the happiest pull list in a long time.

Posted by noj

I can't believe how bad I felt for Orm at the end. I won't be waving any "Orm was right" flags and he did some absolutely terrible things but he really turned out to be a sympathetic villain. The art was what nailed it for me though. He just looked so pathetic and lost in the last few scenes.

Posted by longbowhunter
@SwampPing said:

So can I just jump into throne of Atlantis or should I read 13 & 14 first?

I jumped back on JL with #13 and #14. They were good issues but totally unnecessary to this arc. Just pick up the Throne of Atlantis stuff.
Posted by SwampPing

@longbowhunter: cool!

Posted by Jawshco

5 Stars for this issue for me. Great Art, great writing, great characters and an ending to series that was worthy of a king. Best comic I've read this week, and there are some others that are very good.

Posted by roboadmiral

I was digging it up until the end. Orm was fairly justified in his attack, and the handling of it was the usual comic switch from complex morals and characters to the juvenile black and white. "They have laws up here?" (damn it, incredulous quoting doesn't work in print). What are you, Arthur, a policeman?

Edited by batsymyplaything

Awesome ending to an Awesome arc. I give it 5 out of 5 and how could I not, the two-page spread and one page of Aquaman's Declaration was truly something. The Art fut magnifique!

As for Orc, I did feel bad, but also feel out of place because throughout this arc we as readers see him as a vengeful king and after we see him a pitiful man asking for mercy. In terms of emotional turnaround, it felt out of place, I thought he would at least have some pride.!

Posted by Hanson724

Just finished this and loved it. The art was amazing and didn't bother me at all for those few pages the artist switched . The two page spread at the beginning was frickin' amazing!

Posted by benette_rivera

I almost hate Geoff Johns for doing that to Orm, but the story is really good.

Posted by toptom

the art is just...amazing. Ivan Reis probably is even better than jim lee!

Posted by Drummer007

I loved the the whole arc. Great ending! Biggest thing i took away from this was now i really like Aquaman. He (to me) has never been that interesting or cool, or atleast as much as the other big named heros. I'm an Aquman fan now. Geoff Johns is amazing.

Posted by Zeeguy91

I am definitely excited for the next issue. I want to see how Johns handles expanding the League. I imagine Element Woman is a given to be on there. Anyway, whatever happened to Goldrush?

Posted by bluevenom500

Where was flash during throne of atlantis?

Posted by frankcmu

The very last panel confused me?... can someone explain?!?!?

Besides that I loved it...great read :D

Posted by KnightRise

I love how Aquaman didn't just forgive Orm or Vulko.

Posted by Veshark

Great arc by Johns, and it's also the best he's done since the start of Justice League. A little disappointing after Orm had such a good showing in earlier issues, but Johns managed to make Orm sympathetic as well as his defeat to mean something. I like the little bit at the end where the news refers to Orm as 'Ocean Master'. Could this be the start of his supervillain career?

But I'm also looking forward to see where this arc takes Aquaman. Obviously the most important development is him taking over the throne once again (hence, Throne of Atlantis). I wanna read the aftereffects of this war (Does the public hate Aquaman more? What about Arthur's relationship with the League? Reserves? More Aquaman/Batman team-up please!).

Also, Reis' art is incredible. He's possibly the best 'traditional' superhero artist in the industry right now. The page spreads, Aquaman vs. Orm - all mind-blowingly impressive. His art has really grown since his Sinestro Corps War days.

My only complaint would be Johns' usual disuse of Batman. I get that the plot and page count required it, but did Johns have to relegate Batman to finding Vulko? And did he really need every Reserve member to do it?

Posted by Veshark

@frankcmu said:

The very last panel confused me?... can someone explain?!?!?

Besides that I loved it...great read :D

It's the recruitment of the Secret-Society of Supervillains being featured in Justice League of America

Posted by Jake Fury

Easily the best JL arc of the new 52 so far. Much better than the previous 2, IMO.

Posted by Baberaham_Lincoln

This ties nicely into JLA #1, but one thing keeps bugging me, and that's how they matched Baz to Hal.... i thought hal left... is he returning?

Also, i hope Aquaman keeps that staff as his permanent weapon. It'd be cool to see him use some lightning or waves like orm did
Posted by JohnnyGat

@Baberaham_Lincoln said:

This ties nicely into JLA #1, but one thing keeps bugging me, and that's how they matched Baz to Hal.... i thought hal left... is he returning?

Also, i hope Aquaman keeps that staff as his permanent weapon. It'd be cool to see him use some lightning or waves like orm did

Few people know what happened to Jordan. For all Waller knows he could just be in space doing space cop stuff. She'd still need a strategy to counter him in case he reappears.

Posted by bloggerboy

I think Johns outdid himself on how badass Aquaman was.

Posted by Raw_Material

One of my favorite issues as of right now. The battle between the Atlanteans and the JLA is such an exceptional fight with great panels and intensity throughout the issue, such as the splash page of the battle taking place, incrediblee! In end, however I did feel a little sympathetic when Orm was pretty much set-up and sent to prison on the surface world. I mean, he was only being the king he was depicted to be and wage war on the surface world who'd he thought casted down the missiles towards Atlantis. He was only doing his part and only wanted what was best in the end, giving up his position as King of Atlantis to Arthur. However, at the same time Vulko's not a bad guy either, but having been the being to cause such a cataclysmic disaster in the first place, who knows what King Arthur has in store for this once-exiled Atlantean. He's already been exiled before, but during the reign of King Orm and is (was) a loyal companion of the rightful King of Atlantis, Aquaman. The whole reason why he did what he had done was for the sake of Atlantis and for Arthur to be the King once more.