Justice League International was a series once before, but what people remember is not what DC is doing with the series this time. The original series was funny, madcap, zany. It was written by Keith Giffen and managed some iconic moments. It also managed to portray some characters in ways that DC has been trying to shake right up to this reboot. Guy Gardner is violent, dumb and somewhat inept. Booster Gold is a clown and somewhat inept. Somewhat inept is actually a pretty good description of well over half the characters in the original series.
This reboot has a decent start, it is one of the “heroes have been around awhile” reboots and there’s some odd backstory that I’m hoping will be explained eventually. That backstory has nothing to do with the characters and everything to do with the headquarters and the public’s perception of the League. This version of the Justice League International seems like a combination of the original league and Checkmate. Though the original JLI was sponsored by the UN for a little while, the behind-the-scenes here feels much more like what went on with Checkmate.
Other than that, it is a fairly straightforward “new team” book with characters meeting each other and determining their place on the team. That storyline will go on for awhile. Overshadowing that is the author’s (Dan Jurgens) near constant efforts to show this won’t be a zany group like Giffen’s was. Various characters are either being ultra-responsible or simply deciding not to join. They’ve got some of the standard members of the old team: Booster Gold, Rocket Red, Fire, Ice and some new ones: August General In Iron, Vixen and Godiva (existing characters, but new to the team) and Guy Gardner (GL) and Batman being associated with the team, but either staying away for now (Guy) or not supposed to be there (Batman).
It is a smaller team than last time and some effort has been made to make the team evenly international, but there’s still a preponderance of Americans. This series has potential, but if it rapidly devolves into constant harping about if Booster can be a good leader and Godiva being saucy and not contributing and Batman being the one everyone looks to, then they’d better get zany quickly ’cause nothing else will save it.