The JLI VS Breakdown and friends
Justice League International #10
It is time to concede that this storyline has run its course, but judging by the cliffhanger it seems that Dan Jurgens is determined to dedicate another issue on this less than impressive narrative. However it isn’t all bad as August General In Iron is on hand to at least make some of the issue interesting.
It feels like a long time ago since the explosion that resulted in injured team-mates and this is due to the repetitive nature of the issues since the event. Here is another book that has the obligatory hospital visit and some pontificating on the future of the team. This arc was improving, but it hits a brick wall here. Apart from August General’s solid characterisation, the rest of the issue is a dud. The main problem being the fact that the antagonists are cardboard archetypes. Breakdown is just another clueless zealot who believes he is doing what is best for the oppressed. He doesn’t hold your attention and the fact he is essentially dealt with so quickly makes him almost laughable. Lightweaver is given some backstory which seems to come out of no where and Jurgens’ intentions with the scene are utterly transparent. This is sloppy writing, putting in an eleventh hour plot development which will clearly come into play next issue for a quick deus ex machina. Breakdown’s other team-mates are really not memorable, in fact you’d have to read the issue more than once to even remember their names. Intersek at least does something in the narrative, even if it is contrived.
Until Intersek does her thing it was nice to see the team actually win a fight. However after the ending it leaves the whole fight seemingly pointless. The JLI just seem to be completely incompetent and it is starting to have a knock on effect on the characters. No matter what they plan to do there is always a sense that they can’t pull it off. But this isn’t the main reason the team is starting to seem flat. Batwing and OMAC are now shuffled to the background, which is a shame. OMAC only ever goes on about being turned back into a human and quite frankly by issues end he just turns whiny. Batwing’s presence is so muted that you will have a hard time to remember if he even had dialogue. Even perennial Jurgens favourites Godiva and Booster are becoming tiresome. The most unbelievable thing about the whole narrative is that Vixen is probably never going to walk again. Amazingly a character who has been so underutilised is now benched for the long term, even though her powers could probably fix her. It is really quite an insult to the character and the two other females in the book who are unconscious this issue (with Fire potentially falling deeper into a coma).
At least Aaron Lopresti continues to bring some flavour to the proceedings. Again his art is perfect for the title, with its expressive characters, dynamic poses and well paced action beats. The book at least looks good and still has that old school feel to it. But much like their treatment in the narrative, Breakdown and his friends are all uninspired visuals. Especially Breakdown who is reminiscent of the terrible character designs that plagued the 90s.
So this is the issue that highlights all the problems the title has. They are mainly narrative based as Jurgens has seemingly run out of steam. The antagonists are uninteresting and the interesting heroes have become annoying as they regurgitate a flat script. Lopresti does his best to keep us visually engaged, but it doesn’t distract enough from the narrative. For now the Justice League International is a title that has too many problems.
A COMIC BOOK BLOG RATING
|The art and August General In Iron||Dull villains, most of the cast are becoming annoying and the plot is flat.|
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