Justice League #12 Is Ethereal and Engaging While Exploring The Legend Of Arion

by Oliver MacNamee

Justice League #12 continues to cross-over with Aquaman for the current ‘Drowned’ saga and another issue that takes a brief time out at the start to focus on another Legion of Doom member and their informative years, shedding new light on an old enemy. Unsurprisingly, this time up, it’s the turn of Black Manta as he watches on while his dad navigates some choppy waters in pursuit of plunder.

It’s only the briefest of interludes, but one designed to give us the briefest of glimpses into the young Black Manta’s mindset. Looking, even briefly, into the thoughts and philosophies of villains is not something we get to see very often in superhero comics. We are more used to any internal monologues coming from out heroes, not the bad guys, but it’s always refreshing to these characters given more depth in such ways as guest writer, and ‘Drowned’ choreographer, James Tynion IV, does in this issue.

Meanwhile, it’s also good to see Frazer Irving’s artwork once again adorn a DC book, adding a certain sense of the ethereal to proceedings along with fellow artist, Bruno Redondo, who shared art duties on this particular issue.

We learn more about Arion too, as DC seem to be paving the way for the ancient sorcerer’s return to the DCU in some fashion. We also learn about the truth behind the myth as Poseidon reveals to Wonder Woman and Aquaman as they visit him in the Graveyard of the Gods, while other members of the Justice League fight off the growing threat of a transformed population while the rising tides…well, rise.

In developing the legend of Arion, once again this issue is prevented from being just another vacuous crossover disrupting the larger focus of this book, ie. The Legion of Doom, who are more than happy to take advantage of this situation. These guys are relentless in their pursuit of their goals and never seem to rest on their laurels.

It all makes for one jam-packed issue with two very distinct and different art styles that both add differing flavours to this book. While Redondo’s art is more in keeping with the super heroics this book is built upon, as I said earlier, Irving’s style adds to the more magical tones that this book explores and gives more of a dream-like quality to his pages that work really well. I do hope I get to see more of Irving and Redondo’s work on other appropriate DC books. And I look forward to seeing this whole saga’s conclusion and what comes out from under the damage, whether that’s a newly minted Arion, or something else altogether.

What with the return of the Blue Devil to Justice League Dark, and now Arion, it looks like the 80’s are are decade fit for plunder once again! It’s the decade that gave us so much, so I’m glad to see some of it’s more memorable characters coming back into the DCU.

Justice League #12 is currently available from DC Comics.

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