Today, I’ll look at two more titles in the New-52 “Justice League” group.
So we go from Justice League #1, five years in the past when superheroes are mistrusted and hunted down, to Justice League International #1 in the present where the United Nations trusts superheroes so much that they want to form their own international team. A bit confusing, but once the initial disorientation goes away, we are left with a reasonable story. Writer Dan Jurgens and artists Aaron Lopresti and Matt Ryan provide a serviceable introduction to some of the lesser-known superheroes that will make up the team. The improbable Booster Gold is chosen to lead the group, more for his willingness to be controlled by the U.N. handlers than for his powers or leadership abilities. In previous incarnations Booster Gold was mainly present for comic relief, but here it looks like things will be played more seriously. The team line-up includes Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Vixen (from the fictional African nation of Zambesi), Fire (from Brazil), and Ice (from Norway)—all long-time Justice League members before the reboot—along with Rocket Red (from Russia) and August General in Iron (from China).
JLI’s first mission is to travel to Peru to find a missing research team. With Batman as a surprise stowaway, they quickly find some strange goings-on. But will Booster be able to get the diverse members to work together before they are all killed?
This looks to be a straightforward superhero book with a group of C-level heroes. I expect it will be a competent and mildly entertaining experience, but I don’t expect anything earth shattering. The artwork is solid and nicely meshes with the writing. This is the kind of inoffensive comic that you won’t mind your teenagers reading.
Mr. Terrific, as a character, has been around since the Golden Age of comics in the 1940s. Then he wore a green and red costume with “Fair Play” written across his midsection. A new, edgier, Mr. Terrific was created in the late 1990s. This time he had “Fair Play” written on the sleeves of his leather jacket. This version saw action in the Justice Society of America series of the 2000s and in various other guest appearances. Now he’s in a solo title, perhaps even edgier, with “Fair Play” tattooed on his biceps.
Michael Holt with an Olympic gold medal, “more degrees than half the faculties of Harvard and Yale combined,” and a net worth of over a billion dollars, seemed to have it made. Then an accident killed his wife, sending him into a deep depression. On the verge of suicide, an apparition of a son he never had admonishes him to not give up his life or his research. Now, armed with technology only the third-smartest man in the world could create, Mr. Terrific performs super science by day, and saves the world by night.
Writer Eric Wallace and artists Gianluca Gugliotta and Wayne Faucher have reinvigorated a somewhat lackluster character. Maybe it’s the scientist in me that loves the unapologetic promotion of science as a tool to solve the world’s ills, but I loved the way Mr. Terrific combined brains and brawn to succeed. Michael Holt is a wonderful lead character with the right combination of angst and can-do attitude. I can see this book going in a number of directions—from straight-up adventure, to science fiction, to a bit of romance—to keep the stories fresh and unpredictable. It’s also nice to see one of the few minority characters in the DC Universe get this kind of starring role. Mr. Terrific is my favorite in the New-52 “Justice League” group.