If there’s one thing to take away from this issue, it is simply this: the Justice League International team is not a very exciting team at all. Unfortunately, that sets the course for this comic, which is not very exciting.
Sure, there is the possibility of the destruction of the Earth. There are team dynamics. There are giants standing upon the planet, rending huge chunks from it. But the threat doesn’t feel big. Maybe the threat doesn’t feel big because the opposition to that threat — the JLI — is a mere nine members with moderate powers and skills. There are no heavy hitters here, save maybe Guy Gardner. Gardner, however, isn’t written as a heavy hitter. Booster Gold upstages him more than once and what should be an easy mission for a Green Lantern is drawn out and slow.
I can appreciate what Dan Jurgens is trying to do in isolating the team during their conflict with Peraxxus, but his roster leaves a lot to be desired. Many of these characters are one-note characters and nothing has really been done to change that from the first issue to this point. The characters’ power set doesn’t strike fear in their foe, who more than once scoffs at their attacks, yet they manage to stumble into defeating the big bad. The characters, good and bad, are not compelling. The friction between Batman and other members of this team is tired. The telegraphed saving of the day by an “underestimated” team member is painfully cliched. The story sleepwalks to the conclusion, but doesn’t celebrate reaching that point.
Aaron Lopresti’s art is good enough to make this book worth reading, and he certainly works well with Jurgens but, like the story, the art doesn’t have much sizzle. It’s good, solid, and enjoyable, sure, but it’s not shocking, breath-taking, or singly worth the price of the book. Maybe that can also be attributed to the cast, maybe it is a result of the story, or maybe it is simply the book finding its course.
I liked the concept of this international Justice League. The roster had some interesting surprises, but somewhere after the start, this book fizzled, settling into being ordinary. Jurgens and Lopresti have the capability to deliver extraordinary work individually; I hope we get to see them do so collectively in the near future.