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Aquaman is in a tough spot. Atlantis is attacking cities on the U.S. east coast, led by his brother. The Justice League, his team, is trying to stop them. Aquaman wants to prevent the horrific battle he sees ahead, but neither side fully trusts him, and he himself is torn between the two sides. Geoff Johns has set up a corker of a moral dilemma for the character, and while most of this issue is posturing, talk and preliminary tests of strength, it’s pretty good stuff! The art by Ivan Reis, with help on inks from Joe Prado is excellent. In the Shazam backup, Billy Batson may have the power, but he doesn’t really know how to use it, and is no match for Black Adam. Another good setup by Johns with fine art by Gary Frank.
The battle with Atlantis continues in this title, with some new members called quickly in to help the Justice League, who are having a rough time keeping their heads above water. Aquaman is on a solo mission to retrieve Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman from captivity behind enemy lines and deep in the ocean, while in the JLA satellite some revealing talk comes from two of Aquaman’s former teachers. The art by Paul Pelletier and Art Thibert is fine, though not quite as convincing on the JLA as Reis. Unlike some of the crossovers I’ve read in the recent past, this one feels like it’s having real impact on the characters and their fictional but convincing Earth.
Both titles are recommended.