With a story that has felt several issues too long, the cataclysmic events that have been culminating for too long now come to an end with this solid issue – one of the most solid in a very long time despite a few problems.
Captured and primed for a live execution, the J.L.I. need to think quick before Breakdown and the rest of his super villain cronies known as The Burners (again, a name I only picked up from Comic Vine and not the actual comic) can kill them – maybe with a little help from the demon residing with O.M.A.C. The only problem? If they can wake up his inner demons, how will they put them back to sleep?
The impressions characters made in this issue went from nonexistant to great. The villains seemed like push overs in this issue. They were easily taken down after several issues established how powerful they all were. But seeing their defeats was entertaining and did felt very gritty when compared to the rest of this series. In fact, this issue felt like the most graphic of all the other issues. It was surprising to see how many of the J.L.I. seem to disregard life so easily. An entire argument in the recent Superman vs. The Elite movie, about not killing no matter how bad the person is was inexistent in this issue, which did seem like an uncharacteristic turn for the characters. They instantly seem much more brutal. However, this uncharacteristic brutality did lead to several great moments for the artwork to shine.
The tidbits of narration in this issue are handled by Green Lantern Guy Gardner, who has quite a few good moments that almost make me want him to be the leader of the J.L.I. But not only does Guy have his moments in this issue, leader Booster Gold has a great moment towards the end of this issue with O.M.A.C. where he proves how capable he is and a moment that is just so "Booster." As the monster O.M.A.C. becomes is about to deliver a fatal blow to Booster Gold, Gold does something that reminds me why he is one of my favorite characters - a quality this series almost made me forget. But it felt like some of the protaginists were unneeded after several issues of usefulness. Godiva barely did anything and it's easy to forget Batwing is in this issue since he added nothing to the story and seemed to serve as only a warm body for fans of the Batwing series to follow. Batman doesn't even bother to show up for this issue.
Despite the unexpected brutality, the story arc was finally resolved, a grand feat for this issue. But there was a misplaced cliffhanger that felt like it came out of left field and just served to drag the series on for another issue. A character turns evil, and while his characterization is barely established, his actions in a past issue and this issue make his turn to the dark side a bit jostling and seem to be only a paper-thin method to keep the series going for one last issue.
Penciler Aaron Lopresti and inker Matt Ryan finally have some full-page artwork that I can say are one-hundred percent awesome and rewarding. The best image is one featuring August General in Iron and Breakdown, a graphic and well drawn scene. The rain added to the environment helped not only that scene become more grim, but added to the mood of the battle for a great effect.
What was also really great were the colors from the Hi-Fi company run by Brian Miller that made up Lightweaver's lights. The colors gave his lights a beautiful look. The very first page of this issue instantly stood out because of it. The only exception was the two-paged panel in the beginning which was also marred by character design issues.
The character designs are still sub-par, not only in the two-paged spread but throughout thia issue. The expressions are sometimes awkward with too many lines and shadows rippling characters torsos. Civilians are also given little attention. During some pointless bar panels that do nothing but detract from the story (thankfully these are very few), the characters are barely given faces.
The artwork and story in this issue were more amped up then they have been in a while. The misplaced brutality, while out of character, did serve to add a grim mood to this series making the battle have a greater feel than it would have if the mood of the series continued to be as light as before. The ending of this issue does have problems since, with only one issue left before it's cancellation, Justice League International could have been completely over and done with in this issue without dragging another issue into it. The story has been stretched far enough, and it was nice to finally see this issue put it to a respectfully satisfying rest, but readers following this series are tired out because of the pacing.
And I still have to trudge through one more issue.
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.