Internationally Unknown: Dan Jurgens on Justice League International and the New DC Universe

This has been a big week for veteran writer/artist Dan Jurgens; his Green Arrow #1 and Justice League International #1 have both reportedly sold out all over the country, and in the Justice League International he not only gets to follow the story of Booster Gold, a character he created in the 1980s and of whom he, until last month, chronicled the solo stories--but also the birth of a new Justice League International for a whole new era at DC Comics.

Of course, to do that it seems as though they may have had to scrap a lot of the history of the previous era's Justice League International, and that has upset some fans. The issue was addressed a bit in the pages of Justice League International #1, but Jurgens joined ComicBook.com for a discussion of fan reactions to the title, the changes and the relaunch. He also talked a little bit about those cryptic comments made by co-publisher Dan DiDio regarding the history of the Justice League International franchise and the existence (or not) of a certain blue-hued former member.

This story runs as a companion to the upcoming first edition of my monthly International Exchange column on Comic Related.

ComicBook.com: Obviously some comments made by Dan DiDio on Facebook have stirred a bit of controversy. Can you clarify for me whether or not Booster Gold ever had a partner-in-arms who faced down Doomsday and a bunch of other villains with him over the years?

DJ: My general thought is that some of those things are a part of Booster's past in this universe, but not in the way you might necessarily remember them.

So, for example, Booster and a couple of these heroes fought together, but more as part of a heroic "call to arms" than any organized Justice League team. It's clear that Booster and Guy know each other, as do Booster and Batman. Same, in my mind, with Fire and Ice, though not nearly as well.

ComicBook.com: Similarly, while this is the first time we’ve ever seen a Justice League International, can you tell me whether this is the first time most of these people have met, or whether Booster, Gavril, Ice and some others had an adventure together last year?

DJ: As I said previously, some have been together as part of a larger, heroic endeavor before. They have a few shared adventures in their past. Whereas you might want to think of it as a very specific story with a specific cast and team name, I now think of it as something that happened, though with a slightly different spin.

ComicBook.com: We've got a few reader questions, submitted by Kevin Allen via e-mail: Justice League is taking place roughly 4 years in the past, Action Comics 5 years ago, while most other comics are starting in the present day. But where does JLI fit in? Guy mentioned that Hal is part of the Justice League, but we know that when Green Lantern starts next week, Sinestro has the ring and Hal has been sent back. Does this first arc start just before the present day, or are we reading too much into Guy's statement?

DJ: JLI is present day. Present day, however, can always have a little bit of fudge room for a couple weeks' time. It's always been that way. Like a Superman story where there's snow in Metropolis but it's clearly summer in Gotham-- that kind of thing.

ComicBook.com:Just how much is Booster playing to type here? By that, is Booster playing up his "I am just an ad spokesmen/superhero" with the UN because he knows that is expected? And if so, how much?

DJ: We'll be exploring that in issues to come.

ComicBook.com:There seems to be a lot of seeds about the history of the DC Universe being planted here: The Hall of Justice (and it being 'for the people'), Ice, Guy and Booster apparently knowing each other, so on. For things like this, do you have to talk with other writers, to make sure you're not stepping on any toes? Or have you been given free reign to, for example, blow up the Hall of Justice?

DJ: Everything we've constructed gets passed through the office so we don't end up with conflicts. There were some things we wanted to do that would not have worked, so they were put aside. Other things we hadn't thought of that we embraced.

Lots and lots and lots of conversations, notes and discussions went in to trying to make this work and fall together in such a way that it made sense.

For example, blowing up the Hall of Justice as a way of cutting ties with the past was actually an idea Dan DiDio threw out. I thought it was great and was happy to run with it. It fit perfectly with what we're trying to do.