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Justice League International
The Leaguers all standing closely together looking to the camera with Guy Gardner saying, "Wanna make something of it?"
Cover of Justice League #1 (May 1987) by Kevin Maguire and Terry Austin.
Group publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceJustice League #1 (May 1987)
Created byKeith Giffen
J. M. DeMatteis
In-story information
Type of organizationTeam
See: List of Justice League members
Justice League International
Series publication information
FormatOngoing series
Publication date
  • Justice League
    May – October 1987
    (#1-6) Justice League International (1987 series)
    November 1987 – April 1989 (#7-25)
    Justice League America
    May 1989 – August 1996 (#26-113)
    Justice League International (1993 series)
    June 1993 – September 1994 Justice League International (2011 series)
    September 2011 – August 2012
Number of issues
  • Justice League: 6
    Justice League International (1987 series): 19 (#7–25)
    Justice League America: 94 (#26–113)
    Justice League International (1993 series): 17
    Justice League International (2011 series): 12, plus 1 Annual
Creative team
  • (1987 series / JL America)
    Gene D'Angelo
    (2011 series)
Creator(s)Keith Giffen
J. M. DeMatteis
Collected editions
Volume 1ISBN 1-4012-1666-8
Volume 2ISBN 1-4012-1826-1
Volume 3ISBN 1-4012-1941-1
Volume 4ISBN 1-4012-2196-3

Justice League International (JLI) is a fictional DC comics superhero team that succeeded the original Justice League from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. The team enjoyed several comic books runs, the first being written by Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis, with art by Kevin Maguire, created in 1987.[1] Due to editorial conflicts, the team's new makeup was based largely on newer characters, such as Booster Gold, and recent acquisitions from other comic book companies, such as The Blue Beetle.

In 2010 and 2011, the team experienced a resurgence as part of the Blackest Night and New 52 comic runs.

Publication history

Following the events of the company-wide crossovers Crisis on Infinite Earths and Legends, Justice League of America writer J. M. DeMatteis was paired with writer Keith Giffen and artist Kevin Maguire on a new Justice League series. However, at the time, most of the core Justice League characters were unavailable. Superman was limited to John Byrne's reboot, George Pérez was relaunching Wonder Woman and Mike Baron was launching the Wally West version of the Flash.

As a result, the initial team consisted of:

The resulting comedic tone was Giffen's idea, introducing new characterizations to old characters: Guy Gardner was now a loutish hothead, Booster Gold was greedier and more inept than he had been in Dan Jurgens' series and Captain Marvel displayed a childlike personality.

When Black Canary resigns, Green Flame and Ice Maiden (both from the Global Guardians) join.[4][5] They eventually change their names to Fire and Ice and become long standing members within the team.

The series was nominated as "Best New Series" in 1988 by the Harvey Awards, but lost to Paul Chadwick's Concrete.[6] It also featured Adam Hughes' first work for a major comic book publisher.

They fight the Champions of Angor, other-dimensional superheroes intent on destroying all nuclear weapons. Bialya's dictator Rumaan Harjavti takes advantage of the Champions to eliminate his rivals.[7] In Russia, the League fights the Rocket Red Brigade, until Mikhail Gorbachev allows them to help. Wandjina sacrifices himself to stop a nuclear meltdown and the League are sent home by international law.[8] Millionaire entrepreneur Maxwell Lord takes an interest in the team, breaching their security and suggesting Booster Gold as a new member.

Booster proves himself in combat against the Royal Flush Gang and Lord declares himself their press liaison.[9] The Martian Manhunter saves the world when they battle against a conscious psychic plague and he consumes it.[10] Gardner challenges Batman to a fight over leadership, but Batman knocks him out in one punch. Doctor Fate is captured by the Gray Man, a rogue servant to the Lords of Order.[11] Teaming up with the Creeper, they release Fate and stop the Gray Man from taking over the world.[12]

Earth is attacked by a mysterious satellite and the League travels into space. Miracle recognizes it as a modified New Genesis device and neutralizes it. They return home as heroes. Maxwell Lord introduces a proposal to get United Nations funding and they are given sponsorship in exchange for government regulation. This plan allows them to act as an independent city-state with worldwide embassies. Captain Atom and Rocket Red #7 are added to the team by the United States and Russia, respectively. Captain Marvel and Doctor Fate quit the team for personal reasons; Batman steps down as leader, appointing the Martian Manhunter to replace him. They are reintroduced to the world as Justice League International.[13] Despite a series of embarrassing accidents, they successfully move in to embassies around the world. This includes Moscow, New York City and Paris.

With issue #7, the series was renamed Justice League International to reflect the team's new international status. The name change spawned the term "JLI", which is used when referring to this period in Justice League history. The series was again renamed following the launch of Justice League Europe in 1989. The series was known as Justice League America until its cancellation in 1996.

"Justice League: Breakdowns"

"Breakdowns" was a 16-issue crossover between the Justice League America (#53–60) and Justice League Europe (#29–36) titles, changing the tone of both series from a humorous one to a more serious one and introducing new creative teams to both series. The major events that occurred were the following:


The Justice League gets a larger roster as seen in Justice League International #24 (February 1989), cover art by Kevin Maguire and Josef Rubinstein.

The Justice League titles continued to expand into the early to mid-1990s. Titles included: Justice League America, Justice League Europe, Justice League Task Force, Extreme Justice and Justice League Quarterly. Justice League Europe was later retitled to become the second volume of Justice League International.

In the latter part of the series, more recognizable characters, including Superman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Aquaman, joined, followed by lesser known characters such as Bloodwynd, Maya, Maxima, Nuklon, Obsidian, the Tasmanian Devil and Triumph. Longtime JLI-era characters such as Captain Atom, Martian Manhunter and Power Girl were revised and revamped.

By 1996, with the commercial success of the series fading, each of the titles was eventually cancelled.


In 2003, Giffen, DeMatteis, and Maguire reunited for the six-issue miniseries Formerly Known as the Justice League. This depicted Maxwell Lord trying to get the gang back together as The Super Buddies – a hero-for-hire group that operated out of a strip mall. 2005 saw a second storyline, I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League, by the same creative team published in the pages of JLA Classified. This tale told a story of the characters attempt to rescue Ice from Hell.


Following Blackest Night, DC launched two alternating 24-issue bi-weekly comic book miniseries, Brightest Day and Justice League: Generation Lost, written by Keith Giffen and Judd Winick. This second series features Captain Atom, Booster Gold, the new Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes, Fire, Ice and a new Rocket Red (by the name of Gavril Ivanovich) and essentially saw the return of Justice League International, as explained by Giffen:[14]

In all of my years in comics, I have never experienced anything like the complete 180 this project took once the brainstorming kicked off. Like I said, when we started the writers' summit, the Justice League... hell, why mince words... Justice League International was not on the table. Then someone, and I really wish I remembered exactly who, stirred the JLI into the mix.

Over the course of the series, Power Girl and Batman joined the group as well, with Wonder Woman appearing in the book's final three issues. The title was heavily tied to Winick's run on Power Girl, which had the title character dealing with villains connected to Maxwell Lord's plans in Generation Lost, and eventually had her rejoin Justice League International after a crossover between the two titles. The title also indirectly tied into Odyssey, a storyline published in Wonder Woman that saw the title character being removed from history with her existence forgotten by most of her fellow heroes. This formed the basis of the book's finale, with the members of the Justice League International racing to track down Wonder Woman before Lord could find her and kill her.[15] Plot threads from Kingdom Come and The OMAC Project also appeared.

Generation Lost ended with a teaser that a new Justice League International series from The New 52 would be coming in a few months (with Booster Gold as leader).

The New 52

As part of DC's 2011 New 52 relaunch of all of its monthly books, Justice League International was relaunched in September 2011, after the conclusion of the Flashpoint storyline, written by Dan Jurgens and drawn by Aaron Lopresti.[16][17][18]

This version of Justice League International is formed by United Nations director Andre Briggs as a UN-controlled counterpart to the original Justice League and is based out of the Hall of Justice. The founding members of the team consist of Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, Rocket Red (Gavril Ivanovich), Green Lantern (Guy Gardner), Vixen, August General in Iron and Godiva, who are recruited to the team due to having their identities publicly known. Batman is denied membership due to having a secret identity, but is allowed to accompany the group as part of an effort to foster good relations between the JLI and the original Justice League. The team goes on to defeat the Signal Men and the alien conqueror Peraxxus.[19]

During a press conference outside the Hall of Justice, Rocket Red is killed when a bomb explodes, while Fire, Ice and Vixen are hospitalized and become comatose. This leads Booster Gold to recruit Batwing, OMAC and Firehawk to the team.[20]

DC canceled Justice League International in 2012,[21] concluding with issue #12 and Justice League International Annual (vol. 2) #1 in August.[22][23]


Collected editions

Title Material collected Published date ISBN
Justice League: A New Beginning Justice League (vol. 1) #1-6, Justice League International (vol. 1) #7 May 1989 978-0930289409
Justice League International: The Secret Gospel of Maxwell Lord Justice League International (vol. 1) #8–12, Justice League America Annual #1 February 1992 978-1563890390
Justice League International Volume 1 Justice League (vol. 1) #1-6, Justice League International (vol. 1) #7 March 2008 978-1401217396
Justice League International Volume 2 Justice League International (vol. 1) #8–13, Justice League Annual #1, Suicide Squad #13 August 2008 978-1401218263
Justice League International Volume 3 Justice League International (vol. 1) #14–22 November 2008 978-1401219413
Justice League International Volume 4 Justice League International (vol. 1) #23–25, Justice League America #26–30 March 2009 978-1401221966
Justice League International Volume 5 Justice League International Annual #2–3, Justice League Europe #1–6 January 2011 978-1401230104
Justice League International Volume 6 Justice League America #31–35, Justice League Europe #7–11 May 2011 978-1401231194
Justice League International Book One: Born Again Justice League (vol. 1) #1-6, Justice League International (vol. 1) #7-17, Justice League Annual #1, Justice League International Annual #2, Suicide Squad #13 January 2020 978-1401295714
Justice League International Book Two: Around the World Justice League International (vol. 1) #18-25, Justice League America #26-30, Justice League Europe #1–6, Justice League International Annual #3 January 2021 978-1779507617
Superman & Justice League America Vol. 1 Justice League America #61–68, Justice League Spectacular #1 March 2016 978-1401260972
Superman & Justice League America Vol. 2 Justice League America #69–77, Annual #6 September 2016 978-1401263843
Wonder Woman & Justice League America Vol. 1 Justice League America #78–85, Annual #7, Guy Gardner #15 March 2017 978-1401268343
Wonder Woman & Justice League America Vol. 2 Justice League America #86-91, Justice League International (vol. 2) #65-66, Justice League Task Force #13-14 October 2017 978-1401274009
Justice League: Corporate Maneuvers Justice League Quarterly #1-4 February 2020 978-1401299064
Justice League International Omnibus Vol. 1 Justice League (vol. 1) #1-6, Annual #1, Justice League International (vol. 1) #7-25, Annual #2-3, Justice League Europe #1-6, Justice League America #26-30, Suicide Squad #13 October 2017 978-1401273866
Justice League International Omnibus Vol. 2 Justice League America #31-50, Justice League Europe #7-25, Justice League America Annual #4, Justice League Europe Annual #1, Justice League Quarterly #1, Justice League International Special #1 November 2020 978-1779502964
Formerly Known as the Justice League Formerly Known as the Justice League #1-6 April 2004 978-1401203054
I Can't Believe It's Not The Justice League JLA: Classified #4–9 December 2005 978-1401204785
Justice League: Generation Lost Vol. 1 Justice League: Generation Lost #1–12 April 2011 978-1401230203
Justice League: Generation Lost Vol. 2 Justice League: Generation Lost #13–24 October 2011 978-1401232832
Justice League International Vol. 1: The Signal Masters Justice League International (vol. 3) #1–6 May 2012 978-1401235345
Justice League International Vol. 2: Breakdown Justice League International (vol. 3) #7–12, Annual (vol. 2) #1, The Fury of Firestorm: The Nuclear Men #9 January 2013 978-1401237936
Convergence: Zero Hour Book One Convergence: Justice League International #1-2 and Convergence: Catwoman #1-2, Convergence: Superboy #1-2, Convergence: Green Arrow #1-2, Convergence: Suicide Squad #1-2 October 2015 978-1401258399

In other media

The JLI's initial roster as they appear in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Justice League International appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Introduced in the episode "Darkseid Descending!", this version of the team is assembled by Batman, Aquaman, and the Martian Manhunter to combat Darkseid following an unspecified incident that led to the Justice League's disbandment, initially consists of them, the Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Guy Gardner, Fire, and Ice,[24] and are based in the Justice League Satellite. In subsequent episodes, Rip Hunter, Robin, Kid Flash, Superman, Wonder Woman, Plastic Man, the Green Arrow, Captain Atom, Captain Marvel, and Rocket Red have joined the team.


Martin A. Stever reviewed Justice League International Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer No. 83.[25] Stever commented that "thanks to clever characterization and wit, this creative team makes team moving day as exciting and as much fun as a brush with Armageddon".[25]

See also


  1. ^ Manning, Matthew K. (2010). "1980s". In Dolan, Hannah (ed.). DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 228. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. It was clear that the [Justice League] needed a major overhaul. But no one quite expected how drastic the transformation would truly be in the hands of writers Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis and artist Kevin Maguire.
  2. ^ "On the First Year of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis' Justice League International". Sequart Organization. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  3. ^ "Doctor Fate (Volume)". Comic Vine. Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  4. ^ Jimenez, Phil (2008). "Fire". In Dougall, Alastair (ed.). The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 121. ISBN 978-0-7566-4119-1. OCLC 213309017.
  5. ^ Justice League International #14
  6. ^ "1988 Harvey Award Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  7. ^ Justice League #2
  8. ^ Justice League #3
  9. ^ Justice League #4
  10. ^ Justice League Annual #1
  11. ^ Justice League #5
  12. ^ Justice League #6
  13. ^ Justice League International #7
  14. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (January 12, 2010). "Justice League International Returns in 'Generation Lost'". Retrieved January 12, 2010.
  15. ^ "Generation Lost: Judd Winick: The Future of Max Lord & the Gen Lost Gang". p. 2.
  16. ^ Hyde, David (2 June 2011). "The New Justice". DC Comics. Retrieved 2 June 2011.
  17. ^ "Live From The DC New 52 Panel… Updating". July 21, 2011.
  18. ^ Rogers, Vaneta (August 17, 2011). "The DCnU Take 2: Justice League International". Archived from the original on February 1, 2012. Retrieved February 26, 2012.
  19. ^ Justice League International (vol. 2) #1–6 (September 2011 – March 2012)
  20. ^ Justice League International (vol. 3) #7 (April 2012)
  21. ^ Langshaw, Mark (May 15, 2012). "Justice League International to end with issue #12". Digital Spy. Archived from the original on May 19, 2012. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
  22. ^ Justice League International (vol. 3) #12 (August 2012)
  23. ^ Justice League International Annual (vol. 2) #1 (August 2012)
  24. ^ Who's News | 'Batman: The Brave and the Bold' returns tonight, prepares for the coming of Justice League International Archived 2012-07-16 at
  25. ^ a b Stever, Martin A. (October–November 1988). "The Ruler". Space Gamer/Fantasy Gamer (#83). World Wide Wargames: 28.