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Aiming High

August 6, 2010

Booster Gold’s troubles with Maxwell Lord aren’t over, so in Booster Gold #34, he decides to return to the past for another chance at finding proof of Lord’s existence and treachery.  First, Rip Hunter tells Booster to deal with Rani, and Goldstar refuses to let Booster give Rani away.  So she makes it her mission to take care of the girl.  Then, Booster and Skeets head back in time, where they are immediately met by Blue Beetle.  Seems Ted Kord has another brilliant job for them to do: to get back some lesser version of the Book of Destiny.  Booster wants to and tries to leave, but he decides that there’s little harm in spending some time with his best friend, especially since he can just travel through time again as if no time had passed.  Despite Skeets’ warnings.  The trio head to some secret order of the Vatican that guards dangerous artifacts.  But this book was stolen just recently.  Although neither Booster nor Beetle recognize the creature in the security tapes, Beetle lies about it to keep their employer comfortable.  They then head over to Mr. Miracle and Big Barda’s house to convince them to help.  Although they’re not happy to help, they change their tune when they realize that they don’t want to leave the fate of the universe in the hands of the Blue and Gold.  Miracle tracks down the bad guy by his energy signature by using Mother Box, but the trail leads them to a planet inhabited by a fire-breathing dragon that seems to be in the middle of nowhere  They see more of those strange creatures on a nearby castle, and they decide to check it out.  Then, we meet Hieronymous, the Underachiever, the guy behind the theft.  He’s some guy who wants to take over the world the easy way, and he bought some mail order demons and sent one of them, P’upik, to retrieve the book.  He sends out the army after Booster and co., and Booster realizes that he doesn’t like being treated like a doofus when he doesn’t act like that anymore.  The army arrives and attacks with a volley of arrows followed by  a charge, while back at Rip’s lab, Rani finds Goldstar’s old outfit.

Man, Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis are really doing a good job with this series.  The overall storyline that it’s currently following, the return of Maxwell Lord, is totally serious.  But they are just putting Booster through all these ridiculous things in his attempts to recover evidence of Lord.  It’s really interesting to see them write the Blue and Gold just like they used to, especially since I wasn’t exactly around to read Justice League International back when it came out.  They’re a rather funny pair together, and not just in really crude ways.  Beetle can actually be rather witty.  After all, he is one of the smartest people on the planet.  And of course, I’m sure that there’s a massive change in their dynamic with Booster’s more serious self now.  I actually think it’s very interesting to see Booster Gold of all characters be the straight man in a comedic duo.  And personally, I think Miracle and Barda make interesting additions to that dynamic.  Well, Barda does, anyway.  Makes me sad that three-fourths of that team are currently deceased.  It’ll also be interesting to see what ends up happening when Rani inevitably puts on the Goldstar costume out of curiosity.  And is Michelle done with that costume forever, or will she put it back on once Rani starts playing with it?  This whole issue is really just loads of fun.  And yes, Chris Batista may not be Kevin Maguire, but he does a dang good job of emulating his style while still being distinct.  He’s definitely getting a lot better with his facial expressions, which is important considering the style of comedy Giffen and DeMatteis are going for with this book.  It’s also interesting to see Giffen’s own work.  He’s certainly a lot better than you might expect someone who’s primarily an artist to be.  It’s a definitely more cartoony, stylized style.  Although I wouldn’t have minded more of Batista’s work, it does its job anyway.  So this book is definitely in good hands.  Let’s hope Booster gets to keep his ongoing for quite a long time.  And by the way.  Hieronymous the Underachiever?  Hilarious!

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

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