This “relaunch” is less relaunch and more “getting the band back together,” taking the core of the recent (and excellent) “Justice League: Generation Lost” series and inserting it into the new continuity.

General Information

Title: Justice League International #1

Author: Dan Jurgens

Illustrator(s): Aaron Lopresti (pencils), Matt Ryan (inks) and Hi-Fi (colours)

Cover Date: November 2011

Cover Price: $2.99

Buy the digital edition.

Premise

The United Nations has decided to assemble of team of heroes under their control. They need to have international backgrounds, public appeal, and a means to be leashed. The plan: assign attention addict Booster Gold as leader.

High Point

Booster Gold: “You’re afraid I can’t cut it.”
Batman: “Wrong. You’re shorthanded. Besides — a few of us happen to think it’s a good idea to have a connection between our teams.”
Booster Gold: “Does the U.N. know you’re here?”
Batman: “I’ve always enjoyed your sense of humor, Booster.”

Low Point

This opens many questions about the new history. It won’t bother new readers, but if they say the Green Lantern history is mostly intact, but Justice League is getting rewritten, then I find the JLI history hard to reconcile, as this is clearly the first time the JLI has formed in the new continuity.

The Scores

This is weak in originality because it harkens back to a classic incarnation so closely. The overall roster is mostly familiar, but the leadership structure is from the more recent Justice League: Generation Lost series. I give it 3 out of 6.

The artwork is great. Lopresti got a feel for these characters recently, and delivers here. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is well done. In a world of superheroes, it would be inevitable that the “powers that be” assemble a team they think they can control. This is a sensible team for them to assemble, and the final roster’s reasons for joining are completely in character. I give it 5 out of 6.

The characterization is very well done. We only have time to really get a feel for Booster, Batman and Guy Gardner in detail, but Rocket Red, August General in Iron and Godiva also have good moments. Their U.N. sponsor/creator is well defined, too. The rest of the team are unfamiliar, but that fits with Booster’s perspective at this point, and that helps the reader connect to the central character. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response is strong. Unlike the oddly rostered James Robinson incarnation, this feels like a Justice League. (To Robinson’s credit, although he had more say in his team than McDuffie did, several of the icons people expected were denied to him.) It also feels new. Long time readers may know how this team can work, but new readers are just as uncertain as the characters. The good news is that the content works either way. I give it 6 out of 6.

The flow is very smooth. Most of the story is told with a single, continuous thread. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this was one of the titles I had the highest hopes for, and it didn’t disappoint. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Justice League International receives 35 out of 42.

The New 52

Here are handy links for the reviews of all 52 new #1 issues:

  1. Action Comics
  2. All-Star Western
  3. Animal Man
  4. Aquaman
  5. Batgirl
  6. Batman
  7. Batman and Robin
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight
  9. Batwing
  10. Batwoman
  11. Birds of Prey
  12. Blackhawks
  13. Blue Beetle
  14. Captain Atom
  15. Catwoman
  16. DC Universe Presents
  17. Deathstroke
  18. Demon Knights
  19. Detective Comics
  20. The Flash
  21. Frankenstein, Agent of S.H.A.D.E.
  22. The Fury of Firestorm
  23. Green Arrow
  24. Green Lantern
  25. Green Lantern Corps
  26. Green Lantern: New Guardians
  27. Grifter
  28. Hawk and Dove
  29. I, Vampire
  30. Justice League
  31. Justice League Dark
  32. Justice League International
  33. Legion Lost
  34. Legion of Super-Heroes
  35. Men of War
  36. Mister Terrific
  37. Nightwing
  38. O.M.A.C.
  39. Red Hood and the Outlaws
  40. Red Lanterns
  41. Resurrection Man
  42. The Savage Hawkman
  43. Static Shock
  44. Stormwatch
  45. Suicide Squad
  46. Superboy
  47. Supergirl
  48. Superman
  49. Swamp Thing
  50. Teen Titans
  51. Voodoo
  52. Wonder Woman