With James Wan’s Aquaman hitting theaters in two months, DC is boosting the hero’s profile on the page with crossovers putting him at the center of stories featuring major properties like Suicide Squad and Justice League. After facing off against the Squad last month, Aquaman is about to be submerged in “Drowned Earth,” a five-part story that makes Earth the target of alien ocean gods summoned by the Legion of Doom. This week’s Justice League #10 is a prelude to that event, sending Aquaman, Wonder Woman, and Firestorm on a search for the Graveyard of the Gods after the death of Poseidon, the water god of Greek mythology. It’s also the first issue of Justice League drawn by Francis Manapul, who pencils, inks, and colors the book with rich expression and a bold eye for design.
This exclusive preview of Justice League #10 spotlights how well Manapul works with Snyder’s scripting, and he fully evokes the youthful idealism of Arthur’s childhood on the first page with a rosy pink palette and a page layout that reinforces the closeness of Arthur and his father by contrasting it with the expanse of the sea. When the action shifts to present-day superhero exploration, the layouts become more dynamic and the coloring gains more contrast, establishing an atmosphere of drama and tension. Appearances from Firestorm and Adam Strange in these pages emphasize how Snyder brings in faces from all across the DC Universe to give this series a grandiose scope, and he’s actively expanding mythology with the addition of new interstellar gods in “Drowned Earth.”