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"Drowned Earth, Finale": Inside the Tomb of Arion

Quote1.png I'm sorry, Mera. The way mariners say good-bye is to wish each other fair winds and following seas. My heart, I wish you fair winds and following seas. Always. I will see you again. Quote2.png

Aquaman/Justice League: Drowned Earth #1 is a one-shot with a cover date of January, 2019. It was published on November 28, 2018.

Synopsis for "Drowned Earth, Finale"

Inside the Tomb of Arion

After taking the remaining Tear of Extinction from the bones of Arion, Mera was successful in making the sea gods and Black Manta retreat. But the queen of Atlantis, together with Flash and Superman, is still in danger, attacked by the fish-turned heroes and villains. When all hope seems lost, Aquaman and Wonder Woman come back from the Graveyard of Gods, just destroyed by Cheetah. Saving the lives of their friends, Arthur and Mera finally reunite. Then, Aquaman explains to everyone that him and Diana found Poseidon, and that the sea god tried to link Arthur again with the Life Force, but without success. He then sacrificed himself for them to come back, after telling them it was his fault that the Earth was drowned.

Aquaman tells Mera that the legend of Arion as they know it is false: Arion wanted to share life with other planets and other oceans, but Poseidon tricked him into believing the alien sea gods were evil invaders, just because he did not want to share his powers with anyone else. For his selfishness, Earth now is drowned and the sea gods truly became violent conquerors. This made Arthur understand something: they should not use the Tear to kill the sea gods, but they should reach out to them, and give them Poseidon's trident as a sign of peace. Mera does not agree with Arthur, but he gives him one shot to do what he wants.

Arthur then explains that a key part of his plan is to fire the Towers of Atlantis, built by Arion himself to be in truth spaceships destined to bring life in space, against the barrier the three gods set to protect themselves. Once the barrier is broken, he will go to them and make his offer. The command for firing the towers lies at the center of the Earth, discovered in the past by Arthur and Deathstroke during the fight against Barbatos. Diana, as the towers and the launcher are, in part, Amazonian technology, offers herself to complete this task: protected by Mera's aquakinetic powers, Diana dives into the polluted ocean and reaches the place. Meanwhile, Superman, Mera, Aquaman and an almost transformed Flash fight to stop the arrival of a Death Kraken, a beast whom upon touching the ocean will bring end to all life on Earth.

Inside the Center of planet Earth

Diana reaches the center of the planet and finds the mechanism to use for the launch of Atlantis' towers. But there, waiting her, was the Cheetah, with claws covered in the Tear of Extinction. With them, she was able to kill Poseidon and she will be able to kill Diana as well. When it was almost over, with Barbara inches away from killing her nemesis, Batman, inside an old suit of Lex Luthor, teleports there, knocking down Cheetah and saving Diana's life. Cheetah is transported back to the Legion of Doom's base, and so Diana and Bruce can finally launch the towers.

With the barrier breaking, Arthur tries to plea with the gods, but fails in doing so. Still, his call had an effect: Mera, who was starting to be heavily influenced by the dark powers of the Tear of Extinction, was free of its control and back to herself. She then called Arthur, telling him he had to focus on himself and the Clarion, Arion's crown, so that he could turn it once again into an instrument of Life. Aquaman does it, then he passes it to Mera, as she's the rightful ruler of Atlantis. Mera uses the Clarion to send Arion's original message, a message of union and life through all space. As the Triumvirate is also reached by it, they accept a parlay with Arthur and start planning for peace.

Meanwhile, Lex is sensing that the tides are turning, and orders Manta to retreat: they already had the Tear of Extinction and the Totality, so the mission was accomplished. But Manta's bloodlust is too strong, and so he refuses, killing the sea god Drogue to take control of the Death Kraken instead of him. He reveals that he coated all his weapons in the Tear of Extinction, then proceeds to kill also Gall, another of the gods. Tyyde, the last remaining of the Triumvirate, understands Manta is only a pirate and gives to Arthur back his powers. As Manta realizes he will never be able to control the Death Kraken, which will kill everything including David himself, he asks Lex to bring him back, but Luthor refuses, as he's now not a member of the Legion anymore.

With all life at stake, Arthur takes a bold decision: as he is the opposite of the Death Kraken, bringing inside his body and soul the power of the Life Force, he's convinced that an attack from the inside will defeat the monster and will save everyone. Mera, desperately, begs him to stop as there must be another way, but she quickly realizes that Arthur is right. Just like mariners, he sails away to discover new oceans and so sacrifices himself to stop the Kraken, succeeding in his quest. Earth comes back to normal, and everyone knows who was the hero that sacrificed to save the world. Mera accepts to take Arthur's place in the League while rebuilding Atlantis.

In the Hall of Justice, Wonder Woman tells the others she feels Arthur is not dead, but still among them. He's somewhere else, where they probably cannot reach them, but he's alive. They would have felt his death after all, as he's connected to all Life on Earth and beyond. With hope in their hearts, the League will wait for Aquaman to come back to them...

Appearing in "Drowned Earth, Finale"

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