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The Black and the Gold

January 13, 2010

     Booster Gold‘s had a hectic past couple of months, dealing with Black Beetle and his old pal, Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle, returning from the dead as a Black Lantern.  In the former storyline, in the alternate timeline Black Beetle created, Rip Hunter, Skeets, and Raven team up with Green Arrow, Kyle Rayner, and Zatanna to help fix the timeline.  Booster Gold gets captured by Trigon, but as a part of Black Beetle’s plan, gets released by Lex Luthor.  Black Beetle takes a mysterious red beetle, which was his whole objective, and heads off into the timestream, and Zatanna returns Rip, Booster, Raven, and Skeets to Rip’s time sphere as everything goes nuts.  They fix the Teen Titans’ encounter with Deathstroke, with Booster playing the part of Deathstroke.  Then, when Booster tries to get the photos from the Batcave a second time, this time trying a tad earlier, he gets attacked by Damian Wayne, the new Robin.  He explains the truth to Batman as Rip Hunter tracks down T.O. Morrow, Black Beetle’s formerly secret associate.  Black Beetle attacks, but using chronal energy, Rip Hunter is able to defeat him, or at least temporarily stop him.  Then Booster takes Dick Grayson to see his parents in the past as motivation for the latter being Batman.  In the Blue Beetle backup, Blue Beetle takes on Black Beetle, who claims that he is one of Blue Beetle’s old friends and Blue Beetle himself.  He also claims that Beetle’s sister will have a great role to play in the future.  Although Beetle’s scarab almost takes him over with a powerful, murderous impulse, he manages to defeat Black Beetle without killing him.  Then, in the Blackest Night tie-in, Ted Kord returns as a Black Lantern and attacks Supernova and Rose Levin.  However, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle team up and take him down together, using an old invention of Ted’s to generate the white light needed to stop the Black Lantern.  More importantly, someone has accessed Ted’s lab, and since it wasn’t Booster, and the lab was keyed to only open for Booster or Ted, that means that the real Ted may be alive…  In the past, Booster’s sister, Goldstar is living in Coast City… before it gets blown up by Hank Henshaw.

     As I said before, the issues of messing around with the timestream are beginning to get ridiculous.  The idea that now the Deathstroke that the Titans first met is really Booster Gold is silly, and I doubt that any title other than this one will even acknowledge that as canon.  So personally, the only things I take as canon in this title are the things that don’t involve fiddling with the timestream, like what happens to the cast itself.  If you think of things that way, this is still a superb title that tends to get overlooked on a rather regular basis.  Dan Jurgens continues to do great work with his creation, and Black Beetle is a nice and enigmatic addition to Booster’s rogues’ gallery.  I only wish this arc had actually answered the question of who he really is.  Unfortunately, between that and Matt Sturges’ Blue Beetle story, it’s even more confusing now than ever.  I’m also glad to see that Jurgens used the whole Blackest Night situation to further his own plots.  Booster and Jaime Reyes are kind of the new Blue and Gold, and then there’s both the questions of if Ted is really alive and of what is going to happen to Goldstar.  I’m also glad to see Booster getting rightfully angry at Rip for once, since Rip’s laws of time can get confusing.  Both Jurgens and Mike Norton to a great job with the art, making the transitions between the Blackest Night story rather seemless.  Otherwise, not much to say about the art, since it’s still just as good as before.  It would be nice if Jurgens was a tad more careful of which major DC Universe events he fiddled with, but it’s still a consistently good read considering.

Plot: 8.8      Art: 9.0      Dialogue: 9.0      Overall: 8.9

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