Justice League International—Volume 1

justice league international volume 1 cover trade paperback tpb
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Art: 8/10

A different take on the Justice League

Might be too goofy for some

Comic Info

Comic Name: Justice League (Volume 1)/Justice League International (Volume 1)

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: Keith Giffen/J.M. DeMatteis

Artist: Kevin Maguire

# of Issues: 7

Release Date: 2008

justice league #6 cover captain marvel vs martian manhunter shazam

Justice League (1) #6

Reprints Justice League (1) #1-6 and Justice League International (1) #7 (May 1987-November 1987).  There is a new Justice League in town and the new members are having as many problems getting along as they are battling the threats to the world.  With Batman and Guy Gardner butting heads, Captain Marvel’s insecurity, and other problems, the Justice League could be its own demise.  The Justice League is battling threats like terrorists and the Gray Man, but their new backer Maxwell Lord might have his own plans for the team.

Plotted by Keith Giffen and written by J.M. DeMatteis, Justice League International—Volume 1 is a DC Comics super-team series.  The collection features art by Kevin Maguire and was also collected in the Justice League International Omnibus—Volume 1.

Justice League never could get a break.  Though Super Friends! was popular and brought attention to the DC character through TV, the Justice League of America always oddly felt like a second tier DC book.  As comics were getting darker, Justice League (and later Justice League International) went the other direction.

Justice League was goofy.  You had characters bickering all the time, you had showboats, you had insecure characters, and you had characters who seemed to just sit back and watch like they were at a movie theater.  It was just a weird, odd concept for a superhero team, and Giffen and DeMatteis make it work.  It seems rather implausible, but it is really fun.

justice league international #7 cover

Justice League International (1) #7

The comic brings some of the cynical nature of the ’80s dark comics to the fun.  You have a real antihero in Maxwell Lord who takes an approach like Ozymandias from Watchmen to bring the team together…to make a bond, you manufacture trouble.  With “the world’s greatest detective” Batman on the team and another detective in J’onn J’onzz, it should have been rather obvious and more concerning about the manipulation, but the book keeps it light.

The issue to issue aspects of the comic are rather standard fare.  You have the characters battling supervillains, Soviets, and everything you’d expect in an ’80s comic.  It is the dialogue that raises Justice League above the other titles and the characterizations…don’t expect to be wowed by the stories.

Justice League International was a really odd duck that just got odder.  The series starts to get to where I want it when this collection ends, and the idea of a world-wide superhero team was a newer concept at the time.  This collection will leave you wanting more JLI…so go out and get it!  Justice League International—Volume 1 was followed by Justice League International—Volume 2.

Related Links:

Justice League International—Volume 2

Justice League International 1:  The Signal Masters

Justice League International 2:  Breakdown

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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