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There once were four robotic signalmen. Who were under the control of a very bad man. But then came the team, with Justice as a theme, who managed to do the wham-bam-bam. Or did they? As presented in this tale, Written by Dan Jurgens; Drawn by Aaron Lopresti; and Published by DC Comics in January 2012.

So what’s the story morning glory?
In part four of ‘The Signal Masters’, we see the Justice League International in very deep do-do indeed – literally.

First off, the ‘muck men’ governed by the global mastermind, Peraxxus, manages to subdue the individual units of this global team – plus Guy Gardner – before teleporting them all together to his lair.

Next, Peraxxus tells the League his plan on refining the Earths’ elements, and how he is using the Giant Signal Men as an external force for his nefarious schemes’.

And finally, Batman and Godiva find a way of breaking free of their current incarceration, leading towards a very unsatisfactory confrontation – i.e. ooops!

Oh! I almost forgot to mention, if the League cannot thwart Peraxxus’ plan soon, the U.N. is going to blow everybody up – bless them.

What is the most memorable sentence spoken in this issue?
I thought it funny when Godiva used her hair to try and grab Batman’s gadget, which was located within the goo covering his body, and they said...

Godiva: Got it.
Batman: That’s not my belt.
Godiva: Oh! Sorry.

Messy... but moving all the same.

Was the story any good?
Conceptually, this story was a rather linier and straightforward tale. Heroes get captured – bad-guy explains his plans – heroes escape – and then, oops, heroes are not as cleaver as they thought they would be.

Granted, it did feel kind of different compared to some of the earlier offerings of this series – such as ‘the team are now all together in action’. However, where a dynamic story is concerned – no – not really – rather conservative fair I am afraid to say – though one which was fairly nice in the telling.

Was the art any good?
Errrr – yeah – I suppose it was on a certain level. OK, I know that I am not the biggest fan of Aaron Lopresti’s art on this book. But honestly, I did find that this issue was more bolder and detailed in the execution – especially within the splash pages and dynamic scenes.

Though, on the reverse side of this statement – the colouring does come across as being too colorful all in all. Also, when the background artwork is fudged over with a standard gradient, nah, too bland I am afraid to say.  

What is the best thing about this issue?
Now I do not mean this in a bad way, but I thought that the ending was the best part of this book. Personally speaking, seeing these heroes have a hard time in doing what they want to do; is part of the enjoyment. Plus, it does come across too pat if the heroes win too easily – trite even.

What is the worst thing about this issue?
I thought that it was a stupid notion, that a gadget in Batman’s utility belt, was as powerful as the powers in Booster Gold’s, Fires, Rocket Reds, and August Generals arsenal.

Correct – am I not? This does play somewhat contrary to what we know already.

If you could sum up this issue in a phrase or saying, what would that phrase or saying be?
The heroes do not win, and some fans are disappointed – so simply put ‘Everyone loses’. 


If this issue were a movie, an object, or a piece of music, what would that be and why? 
OK, so this was an adventure story that looks like a kids cartoon, does not seem to go anywhere, and at the end of the day was kind of inconclusive. So, in my estimation, this issue of Justice League International is – ‘Masters of the Universe’ the movie.

What do you think would have made this issue better than it was?
Now the story in itself was generally fine reading really – even though a bit bland at times. Nevertheless, I would have preferred more character and more humor instilled into this tale – because when this does arise, it does stand out compared to the rest. 

Final thoughts...
I do feel at times that I am very harsh on this book. However, I really want it to be good. No – better than good – I want it to be amazing. But can the current creative team pull that off? Especially when what has been on show so far is very generic superhero fare? Or am I expecting too much? And just yearning for something that will never come to pass.

Should I just accept ‘good’?

Marks out of 10? 7.5

JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #4 JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #4 Reviewed by David Andrews on December 19, 2011 Rating: 5
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