Justice League International. Issue 7. Comic Book Review!

Booster re-enacting Platoon!

 JLI #7!
(Jurgens. Lopresti. Ryan. Cox. Lanham!) 

With the Signal Men defeated and Earth saved from certain annihilation, the members of Justice League International expected to bask in glory and appreciation. Such is not the case as a new threat, one far more dangerous than anyone dared suspect, emerges and attacks with dire results, forever altering the team and sending it in a bold, new and unexpected direction.

In the seventh issue of the  Booster Gold Justice League International comic, we find the team rattled by a villain ambush that is surprising in two ways.

The first way being that it’s actually a smart ambush. While the maniacal overtones are there, it’s in line with the post Dark Knight feel of villains having plans that work on multiple layers. Back ups upon back ups, you might say. This one focuses on destroying the JLI physically (the explosion), but also serves to damage their heroic nature in front of the UN in that civilians are hurt and killed.

The second way is that the attack renders the team, as we knew them, destroyed.

I won’t go into heavy spoilers here, but this is the best case yet that the Nu DC Universe is playing for brutal keeps when it comes to characters. No one is safe through mere iconic status. While the characters hurt here aren’t exactly the iconic three, they are characters that pre-52 fans know… and it must come as a shock to the system to see heroes rendered so inert.

To that end, this is not the happy go lucky JLI comic you’d expect.

And that’s a good thing. I’m not sure it’s a good thing if done for the long haul (the original JLI, with the cracking banter, is still the best run on the material), but it does serve to add tension to the comic. Especially in Booster Gold’s reaction to the attack. I’ve been vocal about how I feel Booster Gold is the untapped MVP of DC Comics, and it’s proven here. He takes the team’s destruction hard, and yet still manages to throw everything he has at the villain. It doesn’t work, but the clear theme here is that Batman is grooming Booster to be the leader of a highly effective team. Long-term DC fans likely know why he is, but even short-term ones can recognise how effective an endorsement from Batman, the iconic of the iconic superheroes, is.

The issue also, hopefully, marks the start of the UN stuff being removed from the comic. Superheroes being regulated is always a tricky avenue to explore. On the one hand it makes sense from a real-life context, while on the other hand it serves to try and place the fantastical into our world… something which, more often than not, leads to some incredibly dull material. Jurgens is scripting this admirably for now, but it’d be nice to see some real fun pop into the title, ala the resurgence of Green Arrow.

Regarding the art, I’m finding the sterling work on the constructs of the new villain fascinating. It’s hard to make constructs feel unique after decades of Green Lantern comics. Throw in the Rainbow Corps, and interesting visuals can be hard to come by. Here, we get the sense that there’s a villain specific style to his constructs, clashing with Guy’s pure vinegar.

This is another rewarding entry in the JLI comic canon. I’d prefer more humour, but I don’t lower issue marks through armchair quarterbacking if I can help it.

Grade: B

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