The latest DC Comics event, "Drowned Earth," sees the Justice League literally out of their depth - and it looks as though Aquaman's greatest enemy, Ocean-Master, could be the only one who can save the world. An army of alien water-gods have launched an attack that threatens to wipe out humans and Atlanteans alike.
The signs are good that the upcoming Aquaman movie will be a success, and as a result DC Comics is preparing to tie in a little. They've launched their latest event, "Drowned Earth," which is designed to bring their aquatic heroes and villains front-and-center as the world faces a terrifying new threat.
The main plot kicks off in this week's Justice League #10, with Scott Snyder launching a plot in which alien water-gods return to Earth. It seems that, in the ancient days before Atlantis sank beneath the waves, one Atlantean hero named Arion created the Clarion. This was meant to send a cosmic call out to other oceanic worlds, to unite all the water-loving races of the cosmos. Unfortunately, not all the gods of the sea who heard the Clarion were friendly, and Arion unwittingly triggered a divine war.
The Justice League's enemies have sent out the Clarion again, and those warlike gods have returned. Worse, given recent issues of Justice League saw Earth's sea-god Poseidon slain, the planet stands defenseless. The gods unleash a flood of Biblical proportions, with poisoned water that mutates anything it touches into a bloodthirsty monster. And the Justice League are in no position to save the world this time; soon Batman alone is left, and he's currently badly injured. The Dark Knight's only hope is revealed in a tie-in issue, Aquaman #41, which reveals that certain people who can manipulate water are able to hold the floods back. That means Mera - but it also means Aquaman's evil half-brother, Orm, who fortunately was kept prisoner in the towers of Atlantis, high enough that Mera could break him out before the floodwaters reached him.
It's hardly unusual for comic book publishers to attempt to focus on characters who'll be appearing in the next blockbuster; in this case, though, "Drowned Earth" takes an unusual approach. Aquaman is sidelined right from the start - so much so that he only appears in a single double-page spread in his own comic. Instead, the focus is narrowing in on two members of his supporting cast; Aquaman's beloved Mera, and the ruthless and dangerous Ocean-Master. These two may ultimately be Earth's last hope.