Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Justice League International (volume 1)

Recently I read the first volume of Justice League International (1987). This volume was written by J M DeMatteis, a writer who also wrote the highly acclaimed Spiderman story arcs: Kraven's Last Hunt and Maximum Carnage.

What is the volume about then?

Well, essentially in the late 1980's the Justice League series wasn't doing so well. Most of the fan favourite league members such as Wonder Woman, Superman, Aquaman and the Flash were elsewhere.

DeMatteis brought an unusual approach which revitalised the series. DeMatteis created a sitcom style story with good measure of action added.

The Justice League was re-formed and showed the charm of each of it's new members in a light hearted yet problem solving group.

Highlights of the story in general (spoiler free)

  • The action is fun and exciting
  • A nice touch with the sprinkling of international politics and situations
  • Some interesting media style comic panels (the events from the perspective of TV news footage)
Highlights in terms of characterisation (spoiler free)

  • The characterisation is good, I enjoyed the representation of characters, some of whom I didn't know very well prior to reading this volume.


One of my favourite DC superheroes. He makes an awesome team leader, managing to utilise the various abilities and personalities of his team members.


I know a little bit about him, and I liked how this volume appreciated his backstory.

Martian Manhunter

In this context he functions as the Superman in the team, in that role as an alien who at times can be more human (as in compassionate and reasonable) than most humans are. He also acts like Superman in that he is an enromously powered being who is capable of considerable self-restraint.

Black Canary

A character I have a little bit of exposure to previously through some other DC comics like Birds of Prey, Green Arrow and Batman. She's just as badass in this volume as she is in those other series. Also she will tolerate no misogyny. I love her approach to such behavior.

Guy Gardner

I couldn't not mention the Green Lantern of the Justice League! His general rage and cockiness creates some hilarious tension within the team.

Mister Miracle

This volume is the first time I've read something with him in. I liked his dedication to the team.


First time I encountered him was in this volume. He's more a behind the scenes member of the team, but he was interesting in that capacity.

Doctor Light

Another new character for me. I enjoyed her powerset and also her strong personality.

Blue Beetle

I knew of him before this through wider reading. I love how down to earth he is.

Booster Gold

A measure of good writing is to give the reader a character just as new to a world as they are. Booster Gold is that character in Justice League International.

Dr. Fate

I loved the characterisation in this volume, particularly of Dr. Fate who was yet another new to me character. I would describe him as a cross between Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen (in his logical personality) and Marvel's Dr. Strange (in his fantastic cosmological mysticism).

Maxwell Lord

There is another member of the team, all I can really say about Maxwel Lord is that there is something quite familiar to me about him.

Wouldn't you agree, my regular guest Norman Osborn?

Yes Geordie Green Lantern. That is a bit unsettling. Anyway, today I approve of Justice League International, superhero situational comedies and fantastic cosmological mysticism.

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