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Justice League International

“Bialya, My Bialya”

Volume 1, Issue 16, August 1988
Released April 12, 1988

Cover Price: 75¢
Guide Price: $3.00 (as of 2011) Rating
  • Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
Fan Rating
  • Currently 4.0/5 Stars.

Justice League International, Vol. 1, #16. Image © DC Comics



Writers: J. M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen
Penciller: Kevin Maguire
Inker: Al Gordon
Colorist: Gene D'Angelo
Letterer: Bob Lappan
Editor: Andrew Helfer

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Cover Description: Bruce Wayne stands in the middle of a spotlight wearing a tuxedo, holding a gun, and casting the shadow of the Batman. On his left is Green Flame and on his right is the Queen Bee II. (No Booster Gold.)

Brief Synopsis: While Martian Manhunter leads a rescue mission for Mister Miracle into deep space, Batman leads a covert operation into the hostile nation of Bialya.

Booster Gold's role in this story:
Featured (Booster Gold plays a prominent role)

Costume Worn: MARK I power-suit

This story has been reprinted in:
Justice League International Book One: Born Again (2020)
Justice League International Omnibus (2017)
Justice League International Volume 3 (2009)

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Page 3, panel 2
Batman chooses Booster Gold, Blue Beetle II, and Green Flame to join him on an undercover mission to Bialya. It remains a mystery why Batman thought that Booster, whose face has adorned nearly every product made, would make a good undercover agent.

Page 4, panel 1
Booster is having a bout with airsickness. Though he has flown private planes several times before with no apparent nausea, he has never before been shown to fly as a passenger in a large commercial plane. (Though the plane shown in panel 1 appears to be a mid-range, twin-engine Boeing 737, the one in panel 2 looks more like a long-distance, 4-engine Airbus A340. Perhaps the Leaguers changed planes?)

Page 5, panel 3
While Batman is undercover in the borrowed identity of Bruce Wayne ("He owed me a favor."), Green Flame is masquerading as Bitsy O'Brien, Booster is Bharjwarj, and Beetle is George Bailey, the character portrayed by actor Jimmy Stewart in the classic film It's a Wonderful Life.

Page 6, panel 1
Beetle compares himself to Peter Lupus, the actor who played Willy Armitage on the 1960's television spy drama Mission: Impossible.

Page 8, panel 6
Manga Khan addresses robot S-3-E-3, who is clearly named in reference to the popular robot R2D2 from the movie Star Wars. The recent references to Star Trek and Star Wars will combine when...

Page 9, panel 3
...Khan confuses "the jump to hyper-space," the faster-than-light propulsion method depicted in Star Wars with preparing for "warp speed," the faster-than-light propulsion method portrayed in Star Trek.

Image Copyright DC Comics

Page 14, panel 9
When Booster laments that his undercover assignment is not as interesting as that of movie spy James Bond, Beetle compares the pair to Lou Abbott and Bud Costello, a pair of twentieth-century comedians remembered primarily for their slapstick gags and enduring "Who's on First" routine. Beetle doesn't make clear which one of them is Abbott, the straight man, and which is Costello, the bumbling stooge, though one can guess.

Page 15, panel 4
FIRST APPEARANCE: First appearance of Queen Bee II, concubine-turned-dictator.

Page 16, panel 4
Abdul Abdullah Abdul tells Batman that Booster and Beetle were gassed and removed from their quarters. (This will turn out to be more significant than it first appears.)

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Boosterrific Review: After some seriously shaky missteps in recent issues, the writing team of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis return to their strengths in this issue featuring terrific characterization, subtle humor, and international intrigue. This is the style that the globe-trotting Justice League International has been built upon, and here it is clear to see why. Great fun.

Boosterrific Rating:

  • Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
Worth Its Weight In Gold.

Average Fan Rating:

  • Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
(1 vote)

  • Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
KMD (Nov. 11, 2009, 15:51:17)
A fun issue that holds up well.

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