Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Justice League #16

Comic Review: Justice League #16

Ivan Reis Justice League #16 cover New 52 throne of Atlantis Aquaman

Aquaman has gone off the reservation and brother Orm the Ocean Master is done playing nice in Justice League #16, the third chapter in the Throne of Atlantis storyline from Geoff Johns.

The brewing conflict between Atlantis and the surface world comes to a head in Boston, and Aquaman finds himself once more caught between the surface world of his friends and the underwater world of his family. He can’t stop the Justice League from attacking Orm, and he can’t stop the Atlanteans from coming to shore.

It’s not a good day to be Arthur Curry, but it’s not much better to be Cyborg.

Cyborg – heretofore an afterthought on the Watchtower – gets thrust into the action, first to save Dr. Shin from Atlanteans, then to save the Justice League from Orm. To do so he’ll have to give up something he values, and he’ll need heroes to help him.

Enter the Justice League reserve roster.

There are some familiar faces on the reserve roster, but the most significant will be – at long last – the arrival of Captain Marvel to the Justice League. He still stars in the backup story, but he’ll be making the leap to the big time next issue.

While Throne of Atlantis is Aquaman’s show, Geoff Johns finds some great opportunities to let the other JL characters be themselves. Batman gets to be a “punch first, ask questions later” kind of guy, while Wonder Woman can relate to Arthur’s split loyalties.

Johns also expertly navigates the tone of Orm’s anger. He keeps it away from evil and more along the lines of an easily angered, yet somewhat justified, foreign ruler who has been legitimately wronged. Orm wants someone to be held accountable for the attack on Atlantis, but he’s too angry to listen to reason.

Orm is on the warpath now, and he’s formidable.

Only the mild-mannered Dr. Shin is a strategic threat to the Atlantean invasion, and no doubt the key to solving this conflict.

In terms of art, Ivan Reis’ panels are packed with material to the point where they’re almost suffocating. Between all the words and waves and explosions, it’s almost too much story packed into too small a space.

It’s only where the panels open up that Reis’ art really gets to shine. He gets a great double-page spread of the Atlantean army rising out of the ocean, and on a later page he draws a fantastic red-bathed Superman blasting the ocean with his heat vision.

Justice League #16 continues a very solid Aquaman storyline by upping the ante and promising an expanded cast and higher stakes for the issues to come.

Check out Aquaman #16 for the next installment.

8.5 out of 10

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