Most of the members of the Justice League International have been trapped under the dome of the Zero Hour Metropolis. Without their powers and resources dwindling, how can the Bwa-ha-ha League hope to hold it together?
Previously in Justice League International: With Superman, Wonder Woman, and the Flash all getting revamps and relaunches, and with Aquaman on his creative limbo vacation, it looked like the Justice League was going to fall apart. That is until Batman (and J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen, and Kevin Maguire) reformed that team as an international task force that ended up being more comedy and heartstrings than bang-biff-pow adventure.
Then, Zero Hour arrived.
ONE YEAR LATER
Though it has been decades since we last saw the JLI together, for Blue Beetle, Fire, Ice, Red Tornado, Captain Atom, and Martian Manhunter, they’ve been trapped under the domed city of Metropolis for a single year. It’s been a rough year for the team with only Red Tornado having his powers, as they have worked desperately to hold the city together. Resources are dwindling, the citizens are getting angry, and Ted Kord is trying to keep it under control.
Under the writing direction of Ron Marz, the JLI ends up confronting a rampaging Metallo army, and lose quite a bit of property in the process. It has been a very long time since I’ve revisited the original Justice League International – we aren’t counting the Formerly Known as the Justice League here as that was post Zero Hour action – but I think Mr. Marz is really tapping into the zeitgeist of the mid-90s and bringing that storytelling method to the page. The sequence with Metallo walking down the street, chewing the scenery, while having his robot army attack Metropolis feels like something readers would have seen during the heyday of the original series. Having Blue Beetle question his leadership skills, and learning about new romance (yes, there is some of that), seems to be par for the course. The only things missing are Guy Gardner, Booster Gold, and Oreo cookies.
There is a rather lengthy sequence between Martian Manhunter and Blue Beetle regarding Ted’s leadership of the group that probably could have been trimmed down quite a bit, but overall the issue moved quickly. Marz’s take on both the pre-Zero Hour JLI and the world of Kingdom Come show a stark contrast in how the characters work. Instead of cookie cutter development and dialogue that does’t align with the characters, this issue finally felt like I was reading something that was ripped from a specific time-period and smashed together.
Similar to the way Marz is telling the story, Mike Manley’s art seems very familiar and on model with what we saw way back in the day. I love seeing great shading on characters. A great example is the fight scenes between Metallo and Blue Beetle, where fire, electricity, and natural light rendered correctly, gives the pages a feeling of depth. There are few times when the dark shadows go a bit over the top, but I really got a kick out of seeing familiar faces, familiar costumes, and technology that takes me back.
BOTTOM LINE: NOSTALGIA FACTOR
Like Convergence: Batgirl #1, the nostalgia factor for the fans is going to be a big draw in this issue. It would have been nice to see more members of the team present, but those that we do get don’t disappoint. The story is well written, and those that think the team was too eager to get into a fight with the Kingdom Come Universe, probably don’t remember the ’90s, ’cause that kind of stuff happened all of the time. Convergence: Justice League International #1 is a solid outing, is missing half the team, but keeps the story moving.
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