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Beetle Takes Bat

June 25, 2009

     The newest Booster Gold arc spins directly out of the events of Batman: Battle for the Cowl.  With the original Batman dead, Rip Hunter sends Booster back into the Batcave to retrieve the photos of him fighting the Joker in order to save Barbara Gordon, as per the retconned events in the Killing Joke.  However, when Booster arrives in the Batcave, he ends up alerting the new Batman, a.k.a. Dick Grayson, the former Nightwing.  He shows Grayson the pictures and tries to explain things, but his new enemy, the Black Beetle, arrives on the scene.  The Beetle fails to defeat them in combat and instead chooses to travel back in time, where he kills Dick Grayson long before he could ever replace Batman.  Now, Booster will have to travel back in time to save Dick Grayson so that Batman can live on.  And in the new extra feature, Blue Beetle faces off against the mysterious robot Thinko!, deals with his friends’ romantic troubles, and then meets Thinko!’s descendants, Unimate.

     Booster Gold is one of the most consistently good series that I read.  It may not be as great as some of the other ones, but you can always count on it to produce quality work.  I’m happy to see the Black Beetle thread from Booster’s first two arcs.  My only complaint is that Dick Grayson’s personality in these pages seems at odds with how he was acting in the new Batman and Robin series.  That could be because, in that series, we get to see him “relaxing” with the new Robin, Damian Wayne, whereas here, he’s “on duty” in front of someone who he doesn’t trust.  Nonetheless, that personality shift was a bit jarring.  But that’s literally my only complaint.  And of course, Dan Jurgens handles everything well, from the dialogue to the art.  For the Blue Beetle co-feature, I would understand what was going on better if I had read the Blue Beetle comic book.  And I do plan to go and buy trade paperbacks for that.  Unfortunately, since my only previous introduction to his supporting cast was in one issue of Sean McKeever’s craptastic run on Teen Titans, I don’t know much about it.  All I know is that this story seems to have more of the cutesy, semi-campy yet fun superheroism that I miss in modern comic books.  That makes me want to get those trade paperbacks even more.  Matt Sturges and Mike Norton do quite a good job here convincing me of that.  Black Beetle and Blue Beetle.  Lots of Beetles in this comic book.  Now, all it needs are THE Beatles, and we’re set.

Plot: 8.8      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 9.0      Overall: 9.0

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