Without a doubt, one of my favorite of the “New 52” books from DC is now Justice League International. The first issue was certainly good, but the second outdoes it in almost every way and makes for a great comic book.
For me personally, I normally associate writer Dan Jurgens with his penciling work, so I was a little nervous to hear that he would be the writer on this series, but he has hit it out of the park by writing an entertaining story that is equal parts a high-stakes battle for the Earth and origin story for this dysfunctional team. Almost every character in the newly U.N.-formed JLI gets
some screen time in issue two and they are all surprisingly likable. Jurgens’ love of Booster Gold from the “Old DC Universe” is preserved here as Booster gets multiple chances to shine and show that he is capable and maybe, just maybe, will be able to pull off his role as leader. Having Batman strongly support Booster is a nice touch, both in the story itself and for the reader as it makes the reader really want Booster to succeed. That being said, I think August-General-In-Iron might be the stand-out hero for me personally this issue. Admittedly, the story isn’t exactly shaping up to be groundbreaking and does rely on quite a few clichés (team that won’t work together/get along, the government suits messing everything up, etc.), but it is entertaining nonetheless, largely due to the strength of the characters, even if some (such as Vixen) go largely unused.
I was largely unfamiliar with artist Aaron Lopresti until about a year ago, but I plan to rectify that immediately; I LOVE his artwork. When I think of “Superhero Comics” this is the kind of artwork that I envision somewhat cartoony while still being consistent and vibrant with strong sequential storytelling that keeps things lively and fun. Even better, Lopresti keeps his characters proportional to each other and shows and shows a strong grasp on what facial expressions actually look like when paired with specific emotions. Matt Ryan’s inks keep things looking crisp and Hi-Fi’s coloring adds the right amount of brightness to keep the book looking fun. Some of the characters can look a little under-detailed and too smooth at times but this never really bothered me and isn’t a problem for the majority of the issue.
If the main Justice League book didn’t seem to grab your attention in the way you wanted, I highly recommend that you check Justice League International out. Dan Jurgens and Aaron Lopresti have created a superhero book that is great and, most importantly, fun. I will admit, it isn’t as new-reader friendly as I might like, but you get enough of a gist of who each character is that following the story should be no problem. Check this one out.