Seeing O.M.A.C. on the cover of “Justice League International” #9 was enough to get me to pick up the book and flip through it for the first time in a little while. Seeing him drawn by Aaron Lopresti inside the book was enough to guarantee that I’d be buying it.
Dan Jurgens has been roughing up the JLI a great deal since the relaunch. Now, with Rocket Red dead and three other members of the team sidelined, the artist is able to dial in on particular members of the team more closely. This issue draws a pretty tight focus on Godiva, who Jurgens uses to narrate the plot and set the scene for readers. Through that design, Godiva comes across as a timid character that simply isn’t Justice League material.
That becomes quite evident on the second page as she bears witness to O.M.A.C. slamming August General in Iron into the street face first. The General doesn’t quickly recover from O.M.A.C.’s rage and Godiva proves to be less of a challenge. This skirmish, like the battle that breaks out in “The Culling” story over in the “Teen Titans Annual,” is an example of comic book cliche in action: misunderstood good guys beat each other up unnecessarily. It doesn’t do much to propel the title forward, but it certainly proves to be a great expository device.
Regardless of the relevance of the fight, it is nice to see O.M.A.C. again, even if he is slightly (with good explanation) off character. Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan drawing him only makes the experience that much more enjoyable. Lopresti has truly made this book his own and continues to do so with this issue. The panels are lavishly detailed and the characters are well defined and heroic without being absurd caricatures of humans. Hi-Fi’s colors enrich the experience and Travis Lanham’s lettering nicely encapsulates each character, especially O.M.A.C.
“Justice League International” is a quirky little title. Nine months in, I still cannot quite define the need for this title in DC’s lineup other than to house refugees from the DC Universe that have nowhere else to go. The inclusion of O.M.A.C. pretty well clinches that theory. For now, with O.M.A.C. making the appearance and a crossover with “The Fury of Firestorm: the Nuclear Men” coming up, I’m onboard.