BURIED TREASURE: Older Books Worth Digging For = J.L.I.

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL VOLUME 1: THE SIGNAL MASTERS (DC, reprints #1-6 from 2011-2012) Dan Jurgens, writer. Aaron Lopresti + Marco Castiello, pencilers.

Much lighter in tone and presentation than JUSTICE LEAGUE (its’ brother/sister title), JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL was one of the early casualties of the DC New 52 and lasted just twelve issues. This trade paperback collection reprints the first six issues (story arc plus epilogue) and will provide a very entertaining read for anyone who missed this during the initial invasion of new titles. I suspect that may be exactly what happened to this book. It could be it just got lost in the glut of new team books that DC introduced in the same month. Based on the story here, that’s too bad. Dan Jurgens (an accomplished scripter who created the Booster Gold character who leads this new team) managed to squeeze in a large amount of character development while the story unfolded, and could have fleshed this out into a monthly worth following had he been given more time. While Lopresti is no showcase artist, his work here is very good and visually pleasing. It reminds me of the best of Tony Daniels.

Citing a lack of public confidence in authority, a United Nations group assembles its’ own superhero team from various nations in order to tackle global challenges. The thought process is that this team would be under the control of the United Nations (unlike the Justice League who work independently of any government) and if successful would help restore faith in government. Things don’t start out well. They suffer from initial misdirection and indecision after being thrown together quickly and rushed into an early assignment, which started out simple and become ultra-complex.

The team, led by a self-conscious Booster Gold who doubts his ability to lead, is comprised of Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Godiva from Great Britain, Ice from Norway, Vixen from Africa, Fire from South America, Rocket Red from Russia, and August General In Iron from China. Batman serves as an unofficial/unauthorized participant and team advisor. After losing their first encounter with Peraxxus, a new threat of Galactus-like proportions who threatens to strip the Earth of all resources, the team regroups for a second assault. In addition to the action-packed main storyline there are side plots involving incompatibility between Booster Gold and Guy Gardner, an ineffective and flirtatious Godiva, amorous intentions from Rocket Red, competition between Russia and China, and an internal U.N. team struggling to keep their concept intact from doubting U.N. officials who want to disband Justice League International before it gets off the ground. No worries there - - - the DC administrative pencil pushers already made that decision for them. So, if you have been looking for some good super-hero team books to read but don’t want to make a big monthly commitment - - just check out the two trade paperbacks of JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL.

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