Thursday, September 13, 2012

Aquaman, Justice League Engage In Watery War With Atlantis

From USA Today

Sometimes it's not safe to go in the water, even for Aquaman.

He along with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League have more than Great White sharks to worry about in the sea when an army from the sunken nation of Atlantis attacks in the five-issue story line "Throne of Atlantis" starting in December in Justice League issue 15 and continuing in the pages of Aquaman.

It's all part of the second year for both DC Comics books written by Geoff Johns, and Justice League in particular will be showcasing new relationships (like the romance between Superman and Wonder Woman), new members in Shazam and the Atom, and a new rivalry between Batman and Aquaman.

"It's all about progressing the team and the members and the reality and the perception of what the Justice League is in the DC Universe," Johns says.

Starting in Justice League issue 13 next month, there will be arcs building toward the major "Trinity War" event, starting with the introduction of the villainess Cheetah and her connection with Wonder Woman, then moving to the Atlantis tale centered on Aquaman where the Justice League is caught between their world and a lost undersea society.

"There's an inciting incident that triggers some tensions" between the heroes, Johns says, "but really it's about taking a hard look at what the power of Atlantis is."

In addition to some drastic changes in the team, there will also be a switch in the art department: Jim Lee departs as Justice League artist, and Aquaman penciller Ivan Reis and colorist Joe Prado move over to DC's main team book.

"Ivan and Joe, they're pretty unmatched when it comes to grace and power and emotion in storytelling. They elevate everything they work on," says Johns, who worked with the duo on Green Lantern, Blackest Night and Brightest Day.

"These guys are rock stars and I'm glad they're getting the spotlight on Justice League. The characters deserve this kind of talent, and these guys deserve these kinds of heroes."

In "Throne of Atlantis," readers will learn a lot more about Aquaman and his disdain for the place he used to rule, Johns says. "Aquaman's going to have to make some decisions that the League won't necessarily agree with."

Aquaman and his love Mera have been trying to solve the mystery of Atlantis' sinking in the pages of Aquaman, and she'll play a major role in the crossover, too.

"Mera has absolutely no affinity for Atlantis," Johns says. "She's from a penal colony and was raised to go to war with Atlantis and ultimately fell in love with Aquaman and defected like he did to the land."

Johns has been planning for "Throne of Atlantis" for a while, seeding story threads in the first issues of Justice League and Aquaman last fall that will carry over into the new arc.

Atlantis also hasn't been seen yet in DC's "New 52" relaunch, so the world has no idea it even exists.

"There's still questions of what Atlantis is like and what they do and what they're capable of and why they exist and who sank Atlantis," Johns says. "There's all this mythology behind Atlantis that were not really sure of and no one really has any answers, and we're about to get the answers."

Reis and Prado are working on designing Atlantis and the Atlanteans, and they've also created a new look for Ocean Master, the old Aquaman villain who's also the hero's brother and the leader of the Atlanteans' world-spanning assault.

"Ocean Master's an interesting character," Johns says. "He doesn't dislike his brother — he just thinks his brother is incapable of leading Atlantis and he's proven over and over he can't. He thinks his brother's a little na├»ve on how it works.

"And if he's in his way, he's in his way."

After facing off with Darkseid and his horde of Parademons, everybody the Justice League has fought have pushed the team in different directions, Johns says, and the Atlanteans are no different.

"They don't just come up out of the water to say hello," Johns says. "The Justice League is trying to come together and become the team that Aquaman said in issue 12 the team needed to be: a team that trusts each other, that knows each other, and there are no secrets anymore.

"They're trying to get through all that in this arc, and now they've got to deal with some of these things that they don't know about each other and are literally rising up out of the waters they're going to have to come face to face with."
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