Someone has sabotaged a U.S. naval weapons test and sparked a war with Atlantis. Now it’s a race against the clock to not only find out who is responsible for the attack but to rescue the countless innocent lives that are in danger as an enraged Atlantis begins to sink coastal cities into the sea. While the Justice League fights to set things right, Aquaman is reunited with his brother and forced to choose between the surface or his home and rightful kingdom.
Justice League, Vol. 3 collects issues #13-17 plus issues #15 & 16 of Aquaman. It is written by Geoff Johns with art by Ivan Reis, Paul Pelletier, Tony S. Daniel, Brad Walker, and an even larger cast of inkers and colorists. The much loved Shazam! backups that accompanied Justice League‘s original printing are not featured, however. Those stories are collected in the recently released Shazam! Volume 1 hardcover. The title might say “Throne of Atlantis,” but that’s not all Justice League, Volume 3 has to offer. It also includes a 2-part story starring the Wonder Woman villain Cheetah, but while it does possess that bonus story it’s unfortunately missing the epilogue found in Aquaman #17. Instead, this graphic novel features a different epilogue starring Steve Trevor and Green Arrow that’s more concerned with teasing Trinity War/Forever Evil than providing much afterthought to the events of Throne of Atlantis. But here’s the thing, that wasn’t originally an epilogue, it was a prologue for Justice League of America #1 and it was featured at the end of Justice League #13… I suppose that’s forgivable though since Aquaman #17 is more about hooking readers to stick around for the next arc of Aquaman and it wouldn’t be fair to tease Justice League readers with that when it’s something that won’t be touched upon in the 4th volume of this superhero team-up. Still, it is a pity to not collect the entirety of the saga in one volume so if you are indeed an Aquaman fan, you might be better off waiting for Aquaman Vol. 3 to be released. In my opinion, the Cheetah arc, which is (for the most part) well-illustrated by Tony Daniel (who will be drawing the upcoming Superman/Wonder Woman title) is really forgettable and therefore quite skippable. It’s also one of the lowest points of the New 52 Justice League series for me. As I recall, I only gave the tale the respectable score of 7/10 because it featured the Shazam! backup– which is AMAZING. But without Shazam! here to save the day this is truly a waste of time. It was a filler episode that stalled for time so that Aquaman and the Justice League title could synchronize for our main event. You can read my full thoughts on the Cheetah story by reading my reviews of Justice League #13 and Justice League #14. As for the real reason you’re buying this book– Throne of Atlantis– it’s great. I loved Throne of Atlantis the first time through and I was eager to read it again in a single sitting. It’s big action at its best and the threat that our heroes face is a complicated one. The opening pages are bogged down slightly by the very forced romance between Superman and Wonder Woman, but Batman and Aquaman share a nice action scene and as soon as a tsunami enters the picture, well, the story never lets up. This is a 5-part tale with an extraordinarily high intensity level. The recent DC event “Trinity War” wasn’t a war– THIS is a war. Ivan Reis’ pages of armies of Atlanteans fighting against almost all of DC’s heroes (not just the Justice League) in the middle of a hurricane, now that’s an epic event! And amazingly, even with so many other artists either filling in for various pages or performing their regular duties (as this is a collection of 2 different ongoing titles) the transition between artists can be almost seamless. Yes, you’ll find more enjoyment with this book if you’ve actually been following Geoff Johns’ New 52 Aquaman series since the beginning, but if you’re new to his world then you won’t be lost so don’t fret. While Aquaman is certainly at the heart of this story and his troubles are by far the most complex and interesting since he is torn between the Justice League and his home world and who exactly he can trust, there are more than enough other characters to root for and the amount of action has no equal as of yet in the New 52. If you love action comics then you’re going to love Throne of Atlantis, plain and simple. Not only is it big and bombastic, but it’s beautifully illustrated in the highest level of detail by a team of skilled artist who ensured that every struggle was as all-consuming and overwhelming as it should be. It’s larger than life and it moves at an incredibly fast pace. You’ll finish Throne of Atlantis in a single sitting, guaranteed. For my more detailed thoughts on each chapter individually, check out my reviews of the following issues (which also include mention of the Aquaman chapters that sprung up in-between as well): Justice League #15 Review, Justice League #16 Review, Justice League #17 Review
There is a variant cover gallery for all Throne of Atlantis issues, but that’s it.
Value: FULL PRICE!
The 2-part Cheetah story might be filler, but Throne of Atlantis is immenseley re-readable and well-worth the cover price. If you’d rather skip the Cheetah story and get some extra Aquaman adventures instead, wait until Aquaman Vol. 3: Throne of Atlantis is released instead. Aquaman’s 3rd volume features the entire 5-part Throne of Atlantis Arc you see here plus Aquaman #0 and, more importantly, Aquaman #17‘s Throne of Atlantis epilogue!
- The New 52 Aquaman is one of your favorite titles
- You’ve never read Aquaman or Justice League. I think that this is a fun one that any DC fan can pick up and it’ll hopefully pique your interest in both titles because this is the very best either has to offer
- You can’t wait until February to read this same story with the epilogue included in Aquaman, Vol. 3: Throne of Atlantis
- You want a DC Universe-wide event that doesn’t meander
- You like big action, and I mean HUGE action
- You love the artwork of Ivan Reis, Tony Daniel, and Paul Pelletier
Throne of Atlantis is one of the best stories to come out of the New 52 so far and without a doubt the best crossover event yet. However, this hardcover lacks the Aquaman #17 epilogue and instead features the very forgettable Justice League vs. Cheetah 2-parter. If you can’t wait until Aquaman, Vol. 3: Throne of Atlantis then by all means go ahead. You won’t be disappointed in the big action and epic story of the surface world and Atlantis colliding. This is a conflict that truly is a job for the Justice League.