This week, on the Major Spoilers Podcast Stephen, Rodrigo, and Matthew take a look at Giffen and DeMatteis’ Justice League International, Volume 1.

In the late 1980s, writers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis redefined the Justice League of America with these unique, humorous tales, collected for the first time since their original comic-book publication.

With Batman, Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold and other quirky heroes of the DC Universe, the team battles the colony of spaceships known only as the Cluster, then must track their missing comrade, Mister Miracle to the dread planet Apokolips. And when our heroes arrive back on Earth, they must contend with the new Queen Bee and the return of Lobo.
JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL Vol. 1 collects the first seven issues of Giffen and DeMatteis’s run.  In these pages, the new, untested team faces off against terrorists holding the United Nations hostage, three otherworldly beings bent on destroying the world’s entire nuclear weaponry, the mystical and frightening Gray Man, and the Royal Flush Gang. Also weaving in and out of the picture is the mysterious Maxwell Lord, who seems to be pulling some serious strings in the shadows…

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  1. March 29, 2011 at 4:43 am — Reply

    I actually got a friend into comics w/the JLI. He liked Guy Gardner & Booster Gold on “Batman: Brave & the Bold”, so I pointed him towards this trade. After reading it, he fell in love with this series and discovered the joys of rooting through the back-issue bins. I think it’s because it has a mix between humor & traditional superheroics without one overwhelming the other that makes it so accessible.

  2. March 29, 2011 at 5:24 am — Reply

    Guy is the “real” green lantern. I love the story where Guy and Blue Beetle have a real boxing fight, and Booster and Bats just take ringsides.

  3. tidge
    March 29, 2011 at 5:52 am — Reply

    (This collection is only issues 1 thru 7 no? The “solicit” makes it sound more like the events of issues 13 thru 20.)

    I recently reread the original issues of the first two years of JL/JLI and I have mixed feelings about this series.

    Pro: The humorous elements are a breath of fresh air that didn’t get in the way of decent comic stories (at first). The art is fine, although Kevin Maguire was my first introduction to trying to play “where did he get the face” (Batman as Sean Connery in the later Bialyan arc).

    Cons: As a series, it was always doing a weird flip-flop between hyper-continuity with the DCU (Millenium, Invasion, etc.) and stories that seemed to be totally out-of-continuity (Gray Man, Manga Khan’s invasion, the pocket Avengers) plus minor issues with then current representations of characters that were quite different in their “own” books (Black Canary, Captain Atom).

    Overall, despite my love of the book I’m not sure that I can recommend it to anyone who isn’t a fan of the DCU. As an interesting note, I think the *current* DCU (2011) is in a good position to have a similarly irreverent title launched. There is a pretty weak JLA book, a handful of interesting characters in other titles that don’t have strong sales and there has been one too many recent “events”.

  4. March 29, 2011 at 6:19 am — Reply

    (This collection is only issues 1 thru 7 no? The “solicit” makes it sound more like the events of issues 13 thru 20.)

    That solicit clearly IS for issues 13 through 20, sorry. :)

    • March 29, 2011 at 6:53 am — Reply

      And what is really odd – the original description is the product description directly from Amazon

      • March 29, 2011 at 6:25 pm — Reply

        And what is really odd – the original description is the product description directly from Amazon…

        Must have gotten caught in the JMS Amazon retcon…

  5. Mokin
    March 29, 2011 at 11:38 am — Reply

    I started collecting comics slightly before this point (actually, I remember seeing the last “Crisis” books on the stand at my local comics shop…), and having read some of the last issues of JLA, I wanted to read that, thinking it would be the same as before.

    Boy, was I in for a big surprise!

    Up to this point, they are still the comics that defined what my tastes in comics would be. I became a DC guy, and got myself titles coming from these (Mister Miracle, Captain Atom, Starman (Will Payton), etc.).

    I dare say the period this came out is still one of the best period for DC Comics. This was intelligent. This was fun. This was entertaining. This is (for me) what comics should be. The characters were just right, and the interactions were delicious. They used all the different motivations and personalities so perfectly that you could believe these were actual people. They laughed and cried.

    I agree that the multiple events cross-overs were somewhat slowing things down, but as I said, I was becoming a DC guy, so I collected Millennium, Legends, and all the others. They did not matter at the time. Rereading those today, they somehow seem to lack a little, but I still love ’em.

    I always suggest people read this, just so they can see that comics can be witty and entertaining. I don’t think I missed the target with anyone I lent it too.

    Mokin’s opinion…

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