Justice League International #21 Apokolips Wow!

THE CREATIVE TEAM: Keith Giffen (Plot & Breakdowns), J.M. DeMatteis (Script), Ty Templeton (Pencils), Joe Rubenstein (Inks), Gene D’Angelo (Colors), Andy Helfer (Editor)

JUSTICE LEAGUE ROLL CALL: Finally all reunited! J’onn Jonzz the Martian Manhunter, Big Barda, Rocket Red (Dmitri) , Green Lantern (G’nort), Green Lantern (Guy Gardner), Fire (Beatriz DaCosta), Ice (Tora Olafsdotter), Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Booster Gold, Hawkman and Hawkwoman, with Oberon as civilian support. Barely there: Captain Atom. Obviously on holiday somewhere: Maxwell Lord Still not appearing in this comic did he go on hiatus to appear in a movie or what: Mister Miracle (Scott Free).

GUEST STARS: Lobo, Lord Manga Khan, Granny Goodness, Darkseid, some other Apokolips randos. L-Ron and his robot pal K-Dik

THE STORY: The Earth half of the the League are shocked to find they have been dragged through space to team up with their Space-dwelling half, and they have to fight space minions. A lot of space minions. Barda leads the charge to free her beloved husband from the bad guys.

Lord Manga, meanwhile, ditches his robot body (!), assumes a gaseous form (!!) and sneaks out of his captivity to re-kidnap Scott Free.

While the heroes are battling on, Oberon climbs through a tunnel or two, is unexpectedly reunited with evil overlord Darkseid, who shares his pretentious taste in literature.

Darkseid, who wants nothing to do with Scott Free having been humiliated by his escapology antics once too often, returns the goods to Barda on condition that absolutely everyone vacates the facility. Lobo is about to argue, but non-corporeal Manga Khan pays him off and sends him packing.

Darkseid goes off to have a word with the way-to-ambitious Granny Goodness and her pals, and the Justice League returns home, world-weary and underwhelmed.

THE CHARACTERS: Everyone gets their moments in this action-packed comic, despite there being way too many members of the League now they’re all back together.

Fire and Ice are probably the least well served, script-wise, though it was nice to see some powerful visuals depicting Ice’s mighty powers and how they can be utilised in battle.

Batman, still pretending he never left, gets in some deadpan snark. Rocket Red gets to show off his snazzy new armour. Hawkman is a grump. Barda kicks ass.

It’s Oberon, though, who gets the understated hero moment of the comic, with his skills of geniality and practicality coming to the fore.

THE COMEDY: Despite this being one of the most anti-climactic resolutions to an epic storyline of all time, this is actually a pretty great issue at the grass roots level. It’s pacy and punchy, full of quips and banter, with a lovely collapse of ‘we’re getting too old for this shit’ at the end as the heroes throw their hands up in despair at the universe.

Blue Beetle gets some especially good material, and is getting the hang of bouncing his jokes off Booster.

J’onn, I’m pleased to say, gets in an Oreo joke at the end, as they all choose their particular brand of de-stressing technique. And Captain Atom is always at his best when he is left out of everything, and has to plaintively protest being the only grown up in the room.

THE ART: Templeton is doing a creditable job with all the space hijinks and character work, though he isn’t doing anything to mitigate the boobalicious outfits worn by Fire and Ice.

THE KITCHEN SINK: Yeah there are way too many characters in this comic now.

PREVIOUSLY ON THE ONE TRUE JUSTICE LEAGUE:
Justice League The Story So Far
Justice League #1 (May 1987)
Justice League #2 (June 1987)
Justice League #3 (July 1987)
Justice League #4 (August 1987)
Justice League Annual #1 (1987)
Justice League #5 (September 1987)
Justice League #6 (October 1987)
Justice League International #7 (November 1987)
Justice League International #8 (December 1987)
Justice League International #9 (January 1988)
Justice League International #10 (February 1988)
Justice League International 11 (March 1988)
Justice League International 12 (April 1988)
Justice League International 13 & Suicide Squad 13 (May 1988)
Justice League International 14 (June 1988)
Justice League International 15 (July 1988)
Justice League International 16 (August 1988)
Justice League International 17 (September 1988)
Justice League International 18 (October 1988)
Justice League International 19 (November 1988)
Justice League International 20 (December 1988)

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