Home > Comics, Reviews > Comic Review: Justice League #17

Comic Review: Justice League #17

New 52 DC Comics Justice League #17 Aquaman Throne of Atlantis Orm Ocean Master cover

Justice League #17‘s Throne of Atlantis conclusion delivers the big battle fireworks but wraps up with some curious choices by Aquaman that will doubtless mean more trouble for the Justice League going forward.

Writer Geoff Johns leans heavily on Aquaman in this issue and allows the rest of the League – including recent standouts Batman and Cyborg – to drift into the background in favour of more emphasis on Orm.

Meanwhile, Ivan Reis’s art continues to shine with gorgeous rain-drenched panels and full page battle spreads. His Ocean Master looks particularly powerful and menacing in this issue.

With Aquaman loyalist Vulko revealed as the mastermind behind the surface-Atlantean war and the summoner of the monsters from the Trench, much of this finale is on autopilot. The Justice League, Atlanteans and Trench monsters clash in some spectacular splash pages, but the story is really resolved in the small boxes of the Ocean Master-Aquaman fight.

The emotion is palpable between Arthur and Orm during their battle, such that it’s hard to feel fully vindicated when Arthur inevitably wins. Geoff Johns writes Orm as a well-intentioned – if stubborn – leader, and it’s questionable to see him receive Aquaman’s harsh punishment at the end of the story.

By the end of this issue, Ocean Master is established as the villain he is expected to be, but it’s tough not to feel for him. Orm’s portrayal is so sympathetic that Aquaman – not Orm – comes across as sullied by the whole affair.

Throne of Atlantis has been a strong Aquaman storyline, and while it doesn’t quite stick the landing at the end, it nevertheless has some wide-ranging implications. It even dovetails into Justice League of America #1 while simultaneously teasing a supervillain team being assembled in the shadows.

A satisfying, if slightly mystifying, finish to Throne of Atlantis.

8 out of 10

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