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Booster Gold: Blue and Gold

DC

Written by Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz; Art and cover by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund

Jan 11, 2010 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Juggernaut-scribe Geoff Johns (The Flash, Green Lantern) and former film executive Jeff Katz (Freddy vs. Jason vs. Ash) inject a ton of cheeky humor and witty plotting into Booster Gold’s second time traveling volume (finally available in paperback). The big thrill of reading Blue and Gold (issues #0, #7-10, and #1,000,000) is seeing artist and Booster creator Dan Jurgens (Death of Superman) return not only to Michael Jon Carter, but his lesser known 1990s creations.

For instance, an underground favorite Justice League for some DC fans was the group that came together right around the end of Justice League International‘s initial run. This post-Breakdowns, pre-Death of Superman League tossed some lovable oddballs into the mix. Core team members Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Fire, Ice, Guy Gardner, Maxima, Mister Miracle, and Martian Manhunter/Bloodwynd, were exquisitely illustrated and written by Jurgens.

Blue and Gold sees him once again drawing from that well, and in more than 10 years hence, Jurgens proves he’s still got it. The team’s off-kilter camaraderie is depicted with panache and confidence and tiny running gags give the old readers something to chew on too. The best one comes when the formerly deceased Blue Beetle (saved from the timestream by longtime friend Booster) thinks everyone else had been declared dead.

Thankfully, this graphic novel’s not all nostalgia and obscure references. The absolutely etertaining plot centers on Booster traveling through time to fix anomalies and saving Beetle from being murdered by Maxwell Lord. Of course, Booster’s well-intended actions send ripples through time that prove to create a wormhole of problems for the two heroes. Johns and Katz provide a time-hopping journey that really hones in on the special relationship between Beetle and Booster. The superohero friends’ small talk during battles is fun to read only in fits and starts though. On the other hand, dialogue between the stone-serious Rip Hunter and the wise-cracking duo of Booster and Skeets is usually fast-paced and deliciously combative.

There are some plot surprises beyond the comedy too. (The following contains some spoilers.) Booster’s father, disguised as Supernova, was revealed as Mr. Mind and the return of Booster sister Michelle (aka Goldstar) in the final panels brought a smile to this reviewer’s face. Blue and Gold‘s writers also pull off a great Back to the Future reference when Batman summons Booster to the Batcave. He pulls out photographs the Joker took the day he shot Barbara Gordon (Batgirl) and asks Booster why he’s in the background of all of them. The resulting interaction between these two very different individuals is done extremely well. (End of spoilers.)

On the art side, Jurgens and inker Norm Rapmund (Superman/Batman) form a prismatic one-two punch. Jurgens still favors bold, clean lines and his style works for such a lighthearted tale. Jurgens almost trips into the Jim Lee territory of pencil work, but he adroitly sidesteps that “too clean” form. The lack of dark tones in the art team’s palette can be forgiven when considering their sharp attention to detail on Rip’s chalkboard or the reflections in Booster’s goggles. You often find yourself wishing there was a Booster Gold animated series to showcase all these garish costumes and snappy oneliners.

Blue and Gold‘s knotted plot surprisingly moves about as fast a Time Sphere, and it’s unfortunate. This team-up felt so right and unforced. You know this dream team couldn’t last much longer though. The timestream wouldn’t allow it. The kinetic energy of Booster Gold: 52 Pick-Up dips off only a touch here, before the series really hit some speed bumps in the overly comedic Reality Lost trade (#11-12 and #15-19). Final judgement: Booster’s always good for a quick read. (www.dccomics.com / www.geoffjohns.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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Nausicrate
January 10th 2011
1:58pm

Booster’s well-intended actions send ripples through time that prove to create a wormhole of problems for the two heroes. Johns and Katz provide a time-hopping journey that really hones in on the special relationship between Beetle and Booster.

Nausicrate
January 10th 2011
1:58pm

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