Review: Justice League Volume 3 – Throne of Atlantis / Author: Geoff Johns / Artist: Ivan Reis / Publisher: DC / Release Date: September 25th
The Justice League is DC’s showcase title for its major characters, including Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, which means that not only is it the flagship title of the DC52 range, it’s also lumbered with incredibly high expectations from a difficult and demanding fanbase.
Writer Geoff John’s solution to this has been to give the fans what they want, but in a way that will perhaps make them careful what they wish for. A prime example is the growing relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman; something that the fans have been after for decades and something that has appeared in countless alternate universe-style stories, but never before in the main continuity. Johns handles the storyline with a deft touch; we have scenes where Superman teaches his new girlfriend how to hide in plain sight amongst the everyday people, and we in turn see how Wonder Woman’s pragmatism plays nicely against her new fella’s optimism.
Wonder Woman has been given a lot of strong character development in her own title, and rather than interfere with that, Geoff Johns has focused on her enemies and allies; this book sees further revelations regarding her relationship with her archenemy, Cheetah, as well as some exploration with her mortal companions. Though this is hardly Watchmen, there’s enough here to satisfy most of the fans, and very little of the dialogue gets in the way of the action.
Another member of the Justice League who gets plenty of attention is Aquaman, which is just as well as the second part of Throne of Atlantis includes material from Aquaman’s own title. It’s nice to see Aquaman centre stage, as he’s so often marginalised in many of the Justice League adventures.
The central plot revolves around an invasion of America by undersea forces, thanks to a horrific misunderstanding. Not only is this used for raising the tension and drama, it’s also a great excuse for the various artists to draw wicked-looking sea monsters. Those familiar with the deep ones from the Cthulhu Mythos will recognise the main villains here. Most of the action is pretty mindless and the book is filled with the sort of straightforward superhero fight scenes that DC comics do well. Throne of Atlantis isn’t the most complex of books, but it does have most of your favourite DC heroes in one place and is quite fun.