Justice League: Generation Lost was a pleasant surprise. So much so, I was disappointed to hear that Judd Winick would not be continuing to write the teams adventures in the new DCU. But as it turns out, lightning has struck twice. Based on the first issue, Dan Jurgens’ Justice League International is an equally pleasant surprise.
Last week, a lot of people complained about Justice League #1 in that it didn’t include most of the Justice League. People were expecting to see the team form and maybe even go on their first adventure. So many were disappointed to get a Batman/Green Lantern team-up instead.
Those people will find a lot to like in Justice League International #1. Jurgens gets things started right away. In fact, while we do get to see the team become officially sanction, UN director Andre Briggs has already gathered the team in advance. The team dynamic is more or less in place half way through the issue – although Guy Gardner is going to need some additional convincing.
And with that, the team is off on its first mission. Some UN Research teams have gone missing and the new team sets out to track them down. It’s pretty straight-forward super hero fare. And I mean that in the best possible way. The super heroics are well executed even if there’s nothing especially novel going on here.
Where the book excels is in the characterization. This is traditionally the strong suit of Justice League International. In spite of everything that is going on in the book, Jurgens finds time to give each character a moment. Guy acts like a jerk. Booster proves himself a capable leader. Rocket Red and August General in Iron develop a fun rivalry based on their countries’ disagreements. Jurgens even reintroduces readers to Godiva, a fun English character who was totally new to me.
My favorite line in the book is a throw-away reference to Justice League Unlimited. A by-stander mistakes Booster Gold for Green Lantern. Fans of JLU will catch the reference.
Aside from some of the cast members, the big carry-over from Generation Lost is artist, Aaron Lopresti. His work here is on par with his excellent work on the previous series and gives the new book a familiar feeling.
Justice League International isn’t going to blaze any trails. But if you enjoy fun super hero team books, this is the book for you. I look forward to seeing what’s next for this team.