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A Terrible Mistake

June 18, 2010

A new era for Booster Gold begins as the Justice League International writing team of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis “reunite to bring the Bwa-Ha-Ha back to Booster Gold,” as the cover says.  In their first issue on the title, Booster Gold #32, Booster is in the future, the 30th century to be precise, to recover some sort of artifact for Rip Hunter.  The problem is that Hunter landed him smack dab into the middle of the Great Darkness Saga, and the Daxamites are busy reshaping Daxam into Darkseid’s image.  Yes, Keith Giffen was one of the two writers for the original story.  Anyway, Booster finds a small group of people who have escaped the carnage thus far, and despite them doubting whether or not he’s a real superhero, he guides them along.  Unfortunately, he ends up bringing them into the remains of a high security prison, and the Emerald Empress is there waiting.  She’s rather… sexually interested in Booster, but she wants to kill Rani, a small kid Booster rescued, so Booster rejects her.  Which is not to say that he was going to have sex with her otherwise, but he was trying to attract the Empress’ attention.  He flies off to pull away the Empress’ eye, and he manages to destroy it by flying onto the planet’s surface and getting the eye caught in some of the Daxamites’ heat vision.  However, the Empress takes the time to kill all but two of the people he was protecting before running in rage at the destruction of her eye.  One of the two survivors commits suicide in grief, leaving the girl Rani as the only one Booster successfully protected.  Needless to say, he’s not too pleased with himself.  He uses some 3oth century bathroom tech to patch up his suit, then brings Rani back to Rip’s base.  Seems that, because of poor handwriting, Booster went forward in time a few days too far.  However, he did grab the artifact, which was Dr. Fate’s helmet, so the mission was a success.  And Booster basically tells Rip that Rani is staying.  Then, Rip gives Booster the bad news: Maxwell Lord has returned.

Well, this issue was definitely far wittier than an average issue of Dan Jurgens’ or Geoff Johns’ work on this title.  That’s not to say that they couldn’t tell or a joke or two, but Giffen and DeMatteis just poured on the jokes at the beginning.  That just made the contrast even starker between the oddly light-hearted beginning and the deaths of almost all those people.  Now, I can’t help but notice this as a tad familiar, though, since this is the second time in the last few months that Booster has helped rescue a little girl from her untimely death.  The other girl is with Sondra Crain, wherever they are, but still.  It’s obviously for the purpose of expanding Booster’s supporting cast, and that’s fine with me.  The whole issue was very tightly constructed, and it’s leading right into Justice League: Generation Lost, for which Keith Giffen is one of the two writers.  I’m glad to see that the only major cast member of that book who has his own title is getting his title closely coordinated with it.  I also liked the Emerald Empress saying “Eye” instead of “I,” though there were a few times where that wasn’t the case (editing error).  And Chris Batista surprised me.  I knew that he was one of the better artists on 52 back in the day, but he really did a great job with all the action and craziness.  His Emerald Empress was truly seductively evil, and I loved the scenes above ground.  They were as apocalyptic as you’d expect them to be.  Rani’s hair color did change once to blond, but it’s not too big a deal.  So I do have high hopes for this book.  Giffen and DeMatteis are definitely experts on Booster Gold, and I’m glad to see them bringing their brand of humor to this book, especially considering that, due to its recent subject matter, it’s been lacking in the laughs department for a while.  Guess I’ll be staying on this book for a bit longer.

Plot: 8.6      Art: 8.8      Dialogue: 9.1      Overall: 8.8

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