Justice League International #1 Review
- Published on Saturday, 10 September 2011 01:00
- Written by Kevin
The Justice League International has always been a title that I have never been able to get into. Back in the 90's I did try to read JLI but I never liked the title or saw its appeal. It has always been one of those titles even with how many friends I have that like it I had never got into it. But with this new DC Comics being a fresh start for everything I have decided to give Justice League International a shot to draw me in. Can Dan Jurgens finally convert me into a JLI fan with Justice League International #1? Let’s find out.
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Aaron Lopresti
Inker: Matt Ryan
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: The Head of the United Nations Intelligence, Andre Briggs, tells members of the UN that people around the world lack confidence in every country's government and authority figures. Briggs tells the UN that they must assemble a team they can control and that people will love.
Briggs reveals different superheroes he wants involved with Booster Gold being the leader as he will be easy to control. The UN agrees much to Briggs and his assistant’s pleasure after the meeting is over.
In Peru, a UN research team is investigating some sort of phenomenon going on in the area. As they set up a huge hole opens up beneath them. The team all fall into the hole, leaving no trace except a cell phone.
Back outside the UN building, Booster Gold arrives and is greeted by Briggs who tells him that the Justice League he is a part of is different from what he thinks. With the mob outside the building getting more boiled up, Briggs takes Booster Gold inside to show him his team.
As soon as they get inside Booster sees that his team consists of Guy Gardner, Fire, Ice, Vixen, Rocket Red, August General in Iron and Godiva. Guy Gardner angrily protest having Booster Gold as the leader of the Justice League International is a joke. Briggs tries to calm Guy down but Guy decides to angrily storm off. Ice tells Booster to go after Guy while Godiva says Booster should prove he has what it takes to be a leader.
On the roof of the building, Guy is met by Batman. He tells Guy that he should sell Booster short but Guy disagrees. Batman says that he believes the UN is up to something but for now they should help because saving people is what they do. Guy takes off saying they can be a team without him.
The next day Briggs assembles the JLI and gives them their first mission of locating the UN’s missing research teams. After some argument about the teams jet being American instead of Russian, Booster tells the team it is time to start the mission. As they enter the jet, Booster is informed someone else will be piloting it. Booster goes up to the pilot’s seat and sees Batman in it. Batman tells Booster that he is joining them on this mission.
The team quickly arrives in Peru were they find one of the teams cell phone on the ground.
We cut back to the Hall of Justice where two men, who were once in the military, decide to show their unhappiness over the UN’s inability to do anything by blowing up the Hall of Justice.
Back in Peru, the JLI scan the area for anything that may be odd. Just then they are attacked by some lava creatures. Though they are outnumbered the team is able to work together well enough to drive the lava creatures off or so they think.
At that moment, the ground starts shaking beneath the team. The team quickly gets out of the way only to see a gigantic robot coming out of the ground. End of issue.
The Good: Out of all the comic books that I have been planning to pick up I had the lowest expectations for Justice League International #1. Surprisingly, in the first week of the new DC Comics 52 #1 JLI turned from being the book I expected the least of to the title that I am the most excited to read next month. Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti teamed up to deliver a Justice League book that was pure fun to read.
When I think of the DC Universe I think of a group of heroes who define hope and justice. Even in the darkest moments, the DCU has always been a place that was full of light and full of hope. However, at some point DC's books have lost those elements. In the process of trying to “ground” all their characters DC Comics lost what made their universe different from Marvel's universe.
However, with this fresh start where everything has been relaunched Dan Jurgens has taken this opportunity to bring back what the DC Universe has really been missing. Justice League International #1 was just a blast to read. From beginning to end, Jurgens does a great job developing the characters that make up the JLI, establishing the mission statement for the team and the conflict that the team will face both at the moment and future.
Jurgens understands that when helming a Justice League title that he should allow his imagination to run wild with how big of a scope the book can have. This book from the beginning sets up a large scope for the team as they deal with being controlled by the UN and having to face unknown threats that will challenge them as individuals and as a team. All the while, Jurgens balances things out with a wide variety of personalities. It will be interesting to see how they will get along as a team.
The concept of the team being controlled by the UN is interesting. It gives us a reason to why someone like Booster Gold would be the leader of a Justice League team. Booster is not the character when I think of who should be a leader of the Justice League team but this is a government controlled team. The UN, as the character Briggs showed, will want to make sure they will be able to control the team so they do not get out of hand and Booster may be the easiest “leader” to manipulate. Also, with the character's background as a PR lover Booster can give the team a more positive spin and help the negative feedback the UN has been receiving.
At the same time, Jurgens introduces Batman as someone who may act as the foil for Booster and Briggs in the future of the series. Though I am not a big fan of Batman being on the team, Jurgens does a good job establishing a reason for Batman to be involved. Batman is never one to trust anyone outside his closest allies. The UN making their own Justice League is more than enough to make Batman suspicious. Though he was happy to hang back and let Booster lead the team this will most likely not be the case as the series moves forward. It will be interesting to follow once Batman finds out the UN’s true goal for the team.
I also liked that Jurgens had Guy Gardner be the character that outright did not accept a joke character like Booster Gold being the leader of the team. Any time we have a team the leader needs to have someone that challenges their authority so that, as a leader, they can show they know how to lead. Just like with the reader, Booster will have the challenge of showing through his actions on the field why he deserves to be the leader since not everyone on the team is convinced he can do it.
As for the rest of the team, we did not see them get much of a spotlight outside of a couple lines but Jurgens did enough to establish these characters personalities, well except for one. Jurgens clearly establishes Rocket Red as the tech guy, Fire and Ice as the long range fighters, Vixen as the experience member with a wide variety of powers and Godiva as the rookie on the team. This mix of characters should lead to some good interactions which has me looking forward to reading issues where these characters are spotlighted more.
Aaron Lopresti provided some solid artwork. It was nothing spectacular but it got the job done. He did a good job with the characters expressions and providing energy to this mostly talking heads issue. He definitely showed talent when it comes to action scenes with the final few pages and I look forward to seeing Jurgens giving him bigger action pieces to draw.
The Bad: The only complaint I have for this issue is that Jurgens wrote Batman too light in working with such a public team. The character just did not sound like Batman. It actually felt as though Jurgens was writing Nightwing and not Batman. With Batman having so many titles and being part of the JLA I would much rather prefer Nightwing to be on the JLI and working as Batman’s mole on the team. We do not need Batman in every title but DC continues to show that they feel the need to have Batman be everywhere just like Marvel does with Wolverine and Spider-Man.
Overall: I approached this title with very little in the way of positive expectations. However, Justice League Internaional #1 has quickly jumped this title up to being one of the books I am most looking forward to reading. Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti gave us a book that is pure fun from beginning to end. This issue was a nice balance of character work at the beginning with some big action to end the book. Jurgens quickly established the characters on the team and what the mission statement is for the JLI. Though I am not sure about Batman being on the team, I highly enjoyed all of the character interactions we got in the issue. Out of all the new DC Universe 52 #1 books, Justice League International has become a must have book from the start.