The deep chambers of Justice League International

I think it is safe to say that not every comic in DC’s relaunched New 52 got off to an incredible start. Still, many of those that were initially dismissed have picked up a bit of steam going into their third issue.

I believe the stories are beginning to coalesce as we hit or approach the half-way point in each book. One such line is Justice League International.

The story kicked off with a bit of a slow start, and the first issue was crammed perhaps with too much exposition, a problem we’ve seen with almost all of the team-centric titles – with the exception of Justice League, which has taken a flashback approach that is working very well so far.

However, as the story builds, we’re getting some real personality out of the team, and especially in the third issue, in which the various members have split up into smaller groups to face this book’s villain. In addition, the characters have stopped arguing and started expressing and revealing.

I still think that the addition of Batman is a little silly, as the caped crusader already has enough to do in his other 5 lines. I know he’s DC’s most popular property right now, but that doesn’t mean he needs to star in 10% of the New 52 titles (and appear in nearly half of them). Frankly, it’s just too much Batman.

Ignoring the gratuitous Batman, however, the team is interesting. It is comprised of a seeming hodgepodge of second-tier heroes, led by Booster Gold, and features members with origins in various major population centers around the world, including August General in Iron from China and Rocket Red from Russia. Many of the heroes are little known to fans, and I’d personally never read any stories from half of these heroes.

Relationships are starting to form, and the ways the team is going to work through the line is fast becoming clear.

Most of the drama will likely focus on leadership and teamwork – as usual for a team-oriented super hero line – but here we’ve got a focus on international tolerance and cooperation, and a leader who is not the seeming natural choice for the role.

Booster is going to have to rise to the leadership over and over as this team of free-spirits and strong egos push against him in perpetuity. 

The villain this time is interesting as well: A team of giant, humanoid robots have surfaced from under-ground at four points, and begun communicating with a large ship in orbit. When investigated, it’s clear that the machines have been below ground for longer than human history, as their underground machinery descends deep into the planet. When the team spilts up to investigate individual underground bases, each pair is overwhelmed by swarms of strange creatures.

Justice League International #3 can be picked up wherever you get your comics, including the comiXology store.