This volume collects issues 13-17 of Justice League and issues 14-16 of Aquaman.
Geoff Johns delivers a fantastic story with the aid of excellent visuals provided by Ivan Reis, Paul Pelletier and Tony S. Daniel.
The beginning of the book focusses on the League combatting Wonder Woman foe the Cheetah. It updates readers on the blossoming relationship between Superman and Wonder Woman, and provides some details into why this team is gelling so well — except of course for Batman and Aquaman who both feel that they are the leaders of the League. The pacing of the story is well done and each member of the League is given a chance to demonstrate their unique usefulness. I had a few issues with the relative lack of difficulty in which one villain could evade and combat the League, especially with Superman and Wonder Woman present. In a way it demonstrates that the Cheetah is a dangerous opponent even to someone as powerful as Superman.
The majority of the book is the "Throne of Atlantis" crossover and it is extremely well handled. A U.S. Naval ship is somehow taken over and fires its missiles upon Atlantis. In retaliation the King of Atlantis, Orm, also known as Ocean Master, initiates an attack against the northeastern seaboard – an attack that could quite possibly, could leave the U.S. in ruins.
The Justice League responds to the threat and quickly discovers that the attack was a setup by someone unknown. The League also learns that Aquaman knows exactly how the attack will play out since he was the one that planned it. This plot element was very enjoyable since in past volumes of Justice League it was usually Batman’s plans that caused the most grief. The crafting of the story is so well done that even when a huge blockbuster of a tale is being played out each character gets developed. Even the Ocean Master becomes a more sympathetic villain instead of just a power hungry king. Cyborg, a character I have until now had little to no use for, has some well-placed drama which makes him more enjoyable. I did have some minor problems with the ease in which Superman and Wonder Woman are taken down by the Atlanteans, but that was done in a way that I could understand and doesn’t ruin the plot at all. Aquaman shines in this book, easily becoming one of my favourite characters. The balance between him being a hero and being a king is well shown. Also a side story allows for the future creation of the Justice League of America.
The artwork is beautiful and the colouring top notch. Ivan Reis, Paul Pelletier and Tony S. Daniel share pencil time within this book, seamlessly blending action and drama. The art is clean and really impressive; it easily holds the bar that Jim Lee set in previous books for Justice League visuals, possibly surpassing it.
Throne of Atlantis is by far the best New 52 Justice League collection yet. Overall with a story that could be made into a blockbuster movie, and artwork that is excellent, this collection is an excellent buy, and one I am happy to have added to my collection.