Thursday, August 16, 2007

BS REVIEW: BOOSTER GOLD # 1


This might surprise you, but I liked Booster Gold #1. Don't worry, I don't just absolutely love it, but all in all, it's pretty fun and I'll probably be picking up #2.

The truth is, I've always liked Booster Gold. It probably has to do with me occasionally confusing him for Animal Man when I was younger (those goggles, man), but even more than that, it was Dan Jurgens, Booster's creator and penciller on the new series.

Back in the day, Jurgens was a doer at DC, not just a talker. He made things happen in the DCU, and good or bad, it was always interesting. To me, Booster Gold was Jurgens' attempt at introducing a bright and shiny (literally) Silver Age concept hero into the, not just post-Crisis, but post-Dark Knight and Watchmen world, and believe it or not, when he wasn't just the butt of every JLA joke, Booster actually meant something to a lot of fans.

And if this new series keeps it up, who knows... maybe he might again.


In #1, we see that, post-Infinite Crisis and 52, Booster Gold is, yet again, low man on the superhero totem pole despite having helped save the universe (52 times, by his count).

But a misunderstood punch-up with the Royal Flush Gang puts Booster in position to win a spot on the new JLA. He gets one week to prove he's got it together enough to be a Leaguer, and he's determined not to screw up. But Time Master, Rip Hunter has other plans and soon steals Booster into the time stream which is where the series' really gets its set up.

Hunter tells us all history before New Earth is "like wet cement", and in danger of being manipulated by forces trying to eleminate Earth's heroes. Each "wet patch" is represented by a fissure in time that needs to be sealed or fixed.

It wasn't real clear to me why Hunter can't do it alone, but he ends up recruiting Booster, citing his time-travelling origins, his heroism in 52, and his inconsequential rep in the superhero community (nobody'd expect it from him), as reasons that make him the perfect man for the job. With Booster's interest peeked, Hunter goes on to explain if it works, Booster will be the greatest hero of all time... the catch being, no one will ever know about it.

After revealing that, of course, Booster turns him down.

A week later Booster meets the JLA and is welcomed into the fold. But when his membership plague morphs into a death certificate for Green Lanter Hal Jordan, Booster's eyes are opened to the troubles of a hemorrhaging time stream, and he quickly decides to join Hunter... under the condition that once it's all said and done, he'll help find a way to bring back Booster's best friend, Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle.


One thing I noticed about the issue was just how much it borrows from the Booster Gold centric Justice League Unlimited episode, The Greatest Story Never Told.

In the episode (which also has a Composite Superman reference), Booster single-handedly stops a black hole from devouring Earth while the rest of the League are fighting Modru off screen. In the end, Booster is the hero of the day and nobody really even notices... very similar to the premise of the current ongoing, I'd say.

But honestly, it's not a bad way for Booster to work and might make for some interesting motivational conflicts down the road.

One of my biggest complaints since Infinite Crisis has been DC's weird non-committal stance on what existed before the new 52 statue quo. What Krypton's the right Krypton? Was Superman ever Superboy? Did Joe Chill kill the Waynes? And if so, does Batman know? Why're there multiple versions of the Legion? All important questions, right?

Having a series that actively takes steps to clean up some of this stuff is pretty neat, I guess.

I still remain pretty suspicious of DC and maintain that they've got no idea what they're doing, but for now, I'm intrigued and on board for Booster Gold... but who knows what the future holds?

Booster Gold
DC Comics
$3.50
By Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz, Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund

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1 comment:

Philip Looney said...

It looked like a fun series, but it's on my "wait for trade" list.