Justice League International #3

Story by
Art by
Matt Ryan, Aaron Lopresti
Colors by
Letters by
Travis Lanham
Cover by
DC Comics

This series is hitting a nice stride now. The first two issues were a little wobbly, but with the Hall of Justice reduced to a pile of smoking rubble and a quartet of silent, giant robots appearing across the globe, Dan Jurgens is able to focus on the "Justice League" part of this book, and he throws some action at the heroes.

Like the more memorable Justice League of America stories from yesteryear, this issue breaks the team up into smaller pairings and sends each of them off on an adventure of their own. The pairings of Booster and Batman, Rocket Red and Ice, Fire and Vixen, and August General in Iron and Godiva each go into action to investigate the mysterious origins of the giants. In setting up the story this way, Jurgens gives himself a chance to spend a little more quality time with each character and begins to cobble together some personalities for these characters. There aren't any astonishing surprises in the characters' appearances, actions, or dialog, and Jurgens nicely gives each character a distinct voice. Adjunct JLI member Guy Gardner also gets some time in this issue as well, but mostly as the hothead we all recall him to be.

Aaron Lopresti's art in this issue is a keen match for the story. This issue has superheroes being heroic, and in doing so, they give Lopresti lots of fun, big scenes to draw. Lopresti does not disappoint, and fills all of those scenes with splendid detail. Lopresti's expressions are well suited to a book bearing the "JLI" title, and in this issue he loosens some of those expressions up a little bit more, adding even more fun to this story.

I do have one gripe with the art, though. With Booster Gold's new outfit, for whatever reason, my mind keeps finishing him off as Triumph. I'm pretty sure that's due largely to the change-up in the headpiece and the teal hue of the blue section of the suit.

Despite that, Booster Gold does, however, hold his own in this issue, helping Batman as the Dark Knight tries to unearth the secrets of the giants. Jurgens could easily turn Booster into the clown everyone seems to (still) expect him to be, but with gruff encouragement from Batman, Booster seems to be growing as a hero and a leader in this title right before our very eyes.

Travis Lanham's lettering makes a pretty big leap forward in this issue too. The character tags spread throughout the issue are bigger and bolder, drawing the reader's attention just long enough to share the necessary bits of information for each character -- their name and identity. Additionally, Lanham provides some haunting gibberish for the subterranean characters the League encounters. These are nice little tweaks that add to the title.

Plain and simple: this is a fun book. Jurgens and Lopresti continue to explore the new world of these Justice Leaguers, and they're bringing some new threats to the sandbox. The odd mix of characters is starting to develop nicely and there are some gems starting to shine, so I'm looking forward to more, especially with an axe swinging baddie waiting to take on the team.

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