Things currently aren't looking too good for DC's premier superhero team, the Justice League. Along with trying to uncover the mysteries surrounding the Totality and the formation of the Legion of Doom, there is the issue of the Earth being flooded from coast-to-coast by a group of vengeful sea gods in "Drowned Earth."
The man orchestrating these obstacles is writer Scott Snyder, and these events are just the latest in his multi-year plan for not only Justice League, but the DC Universe at-large. CBR spoke with Snyder about "Drowned Earth"'s three primary characters (Aquaman, Mera and Black Manta), Arion and Poseidon's roles in the story, the surprising father-son relationship between Batman and Jarro, and how Justice League and other titles are setting the stage for something big in 2019.
CBR: With Mera being the ruler of Atlantis, it was good to see her play just as important a role in "Drowned Earth" as Aquaman. Was that something you made sure to focus on when plotting out the story structure?
Scott Snyder: Yeah, one hundred percent. I love what Dan Abnett has been doing with her in Aquaman right now. And she’s a character I’ve wanted to work with for a while in addition to Arthur. So we knew the three big characters in this arc would be her, Arthur and Black Manta. Next issue we begin with a flashback to Black Manta’s childhood as well. They form the triangle of almost different takes on what not only Atlantis should be, but what the mission of what oceanic heroes should be versus their villains.
Right now Mera really feels like she should have defended Atlantis, protected it against these sea gods and she worries she’s failed as a leader because she didn’t look to weaponize things around Atlantis against any kind of threats and instead was looking to how to build it into something special. Arthur worries he was looking to the horizons for new adventures and new ways to use his powers and missed the threats coming. Black Manta, on the other hand, has always said we revered the oceans and always bowed down to them. Well now its time to take control and rule them.
Each character is at a crisis point in their lives where they’re rethinking what their role is, and trying to figure out if they’re staying true to their core values. It’s a great moment to pick them all up and I really love the story for that. It gives me a way to look at them in new angles and consider new roles for them.
The opening pages that you’ve been setting up have shown Aquaman as a kid, and Justice League #11 started with Mera as a child. Are there clues in these pages that fans should be looking for in those beats?
Thematically, it all comes back in the end. There’s definitely a clue in the Mera one about Atlantis and how it was originally designed that comes back later. The Arthur one comes back in the final moments of the story as well, in his relationship to his father and what he says to his father and how his father actually responds to him, which you don’t see in the scene. They’re meant to be emotional anchors and set you up as a reader for where these characters are in their lives when the event starts.