1. The extended version of Max’s White Lantern vision was a nice way to open this issue, as it really deserved more than the panel it got in Brightest Day (which it got for obvious reasons, like that it gets four pages here). I like what’s being done with Max here, though the first page of this issue reveals something that could be big. Max is talking to someone and had to scramble the hell out of the connection to do so, so that means someone else knows who Max is and wasn’t mindwiped. Anyway, the look on Max’s face after recovering from seeing his vision, that smirk, it’s like he knows deep down he’s going to be a hero again. Even if it means killing another one.
2. The JLI is going to break into Checkmate? That’s a pretty big task ahead of them, and the exchange between the various members about the task does a great job at not only nailing the different personalities, but also getting across the impossible nature of their task. Sure, Fire is a former Checkmate agent, but she broke in a few issues ago so it’s not going to be an easy repeat trick.
3. The plan they use is nothing short of brilliant, and it takes full advantage of my favorite new character, the new Rocket Red. I mean, sure, Captain Atom creates the diversion, but the rest of the League breaking in dressed as Rocket Reds so as to avert the blame elsewhere? That feels like a JLI move. Of course, the things that happen in these costumes feel much more JLI like than that.
4. The problem with this though is that Fire’s obviously green hair is hanging out of her helmet and….how many women have green hair and know how to get into Checkmate? She could have at least pulled it up. I mean, yes, it does help to differentiate her from Ice visually given that they dress identically, but she stands out too much for a mission where they’re supposed to be disguised. Then again, Skeets disguises himself by turning into a mini rocket with a red star on it, which wasn’t that much better.
5. Fire and Ice have some great exchanged in this issue, not the least of which is when they bring to the readers attention that anytime someone mentions Max Lord everyone doesn’t just not know who he is, but they seem to get agitated that it’s being brought up. Max is a smart guy, and this kind of safeguard is the kind of thing that would make a telepath not bother to check for the truth. This is especially bonus for me as I was thinking going into the issue “Wouldn’t J’onn just detect the presence of mind control?” but now I realize that he wouldn’t even bother to look because of the suggestion included with forgetting him.
6. Though the girls realizing that Booster was the leader was my second favorite thing, with the previous thought being the third. It was quick, to the point, and hilarious for all the right reasons. At the same time, for everything that’s happened with Booster over the past few years, it’s super easy to forget that the list of people who know how awesome he’s gotten can be listed as Bruce Wayne, Rip Hunter, and J’onn J’onzz. Fire and Ice would have no clue, and it’s nice to see this paid mention to as it is something that a writer could easily brush over.
7. I still love the new Rocket Red and his anti-capitalist ways and ramblings, he’s pure comedic gold everytime he starts talking. It’s almost like he’s The Russian from Garth Ennis run on Punisher, only in armor, and more anti-America than killer. Same level of fanboy though, as he is just psyched to be on the Justice League….even if he does hate America.
8. Now, my favorite Fire and Ice bit of the issue is when they decide that they need to seem like they’re with Red, and not just dressed like him, so they start trying to yell out the same kind of banter as him. And the fact that one of them yells out “FREEBIRD!!” during the middle of the fight was bonus points.
9. Joe Bennett is great, and I’ve been a fan of his for years. He was one of the artists that kept 52 consistent, and it’s nice to see them go back to him for help here. He’s got a great style that could be lent to many titles, and he’s a definite asset to this title.
10. Overall: 8/10 It’s a fun issue that’s action packed from cover to cover. It’s well paced, the the art is great, the characters are all in character, and it pushed the plot forward. While this book won’t be winning any story of the year awards, something does need to be said about consistency, because this book has been nothing if not consistent. There’s yet to be a bad issue, and I’ve yet to finish an issue and not immediately want more. Kudos, Mr. Winick, this is the best thing you’ve written in years. And it’s not even just because you’re using Booster!
Tags: Booster Gold, Events, JLA, JLI, Joe Bennett, Judd Winick, Justice League International, Justice League: Generation Lost, Reviews