After reading the first volume of Justice League International, I absolutely wanted to read more. This was, in part, because I obviously liked it. As I said before, I dug its offbeat, oddball sense of humor, and while it was unique for its time, it was also a breath of fresh air in the present since DC's trades are still infected with the awful retro-90's nonsense that was the New 52.
On top of that, it featured the Blue Beetle, and Linkara's retrospective on the Blue Beetle had me eager to read more about it--both because the JLI days are covered a bit in his videos on Ted Kord, and because I'd grown to appreciate the ol' goofball and his epic bromance with Booster Gold.
Side note: my second favorite type of superheroes are super buddies. More superheroes that are best pals and less of them punching each other because of vague, poorly defined reasons, okay?
When I went hunting for the second volume of JLI, though, I felt like I'd been sucker punched. The price was astronomical. I don't know what sort of trickster gods control the prices of comic trades for the online market place, but their decisions seem arbitrary and cruel.
Case in point:
You may be wondering, "Why in the good goddamn is the SECOND volume in this series starting at $35 for the hardcover, and $50 for the SOFTCOVER??"
To which I would reply: yeah...weird, right?
If I'm collecting something, I want it in my hands. As I stated in an earlier post, I will buy the digital forms of a comic if I have to in order to fill in the gaps of something, but I really, really don't like it.
Luckily for me, I stumbled across another listing--Justice League International: The Secret Gospel of Maxwell Lord. I looked it up, and while they don't contain exactly the same comics, it's very, very close.
From what I can tell, JLI vol 2 is basically a reprint of Secret Gospel but with 2 extra issues--a crossover with the Suicide Squad. Since I honestly don't really care about Suicide Squad, and don't care about a random crossover to drop $30 extra, I went with the older, cheaper option.
As for the contents? It's not bad. The biggest problem is that it crosses over with an event from the time--Millenium. The reviews online for the event don't make it seem particularly good, but I figure I'll get around to it at some point just to see what the hell was actually going on during this volume.
On the one hand, there are text-heavy recap pages between most of the issues that you have to read so that you actually understand what's going on. And that's kind of annoying. If that sounds terrible, just skip this.
On the other hand, this volume features the gang moving into a new headquarters and fucking everything up, and the most bizarre Green Lantern I've ever seen. Plus some stuff with Maxwell Lord that would be sweet if not for the spectre of Countdown to Infinite Crisis looming over it.
All in all, it's a decent volume, but if you want it, I recommend picking up Secret Gospel instead of the "proper" vol 2 unless you HAVE to have those two issues featuring the Suicide Squad.