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Stuck in the Past

August 26, 2010

Booster Gold’s little jaunt in the past with his old Justice League International buddies continues with Booster Gold #35.  Big Barda beats up all of Hieronymous the Underachiever’s enthralled minions while Hieronymous himself tries to convince the queen of the planet, Queen Artemis, to help him unlock the secrets of the almost-but-not-quite Book of Destiny.  She refuses, insulting him at every turn, but he threatens her with a superweapon he teleported in from halfway across the universe called a planet pounder.  It throws moons.  Elsewhere, the old Darkstars investigate the disappearance of the planet pounder, and one of them worries about his own romance issues.  Booster Gold continues to insist that he shouldn’t have gone with them, and Blue Beetle reveals that he knows that Booster isn’t his Booster.  He figures that Booster just wants to relive the glory days, and Booster bites his lip, not wanting to tell the horrible truth.  Queen Artemis agrees to help Hieronymous after getting badly beaten, but when he hands her the book, she just tosses it out the window.  Barda catches it, but one of Hieronymous’ demons steals it from her.  Mr. Miracle and Booster try to retrieve it, and Barda comes up with the brilliant idea of tossing Beetle at the demon holding the book.  It actually manages to work, as Skeets retrieves the book, and Barda decides to tear through the castle to get at Hieronymous.  Booster flies in to save Hieronymous before Barda gets at him.  Hieronymous tries to threaten him with the planet pounder, saying he has nothing left to live for, but when Booster tries to convince him of the virtues of living, Hieronymous chooses to activate the pounder anyway, then teleport away.  Mr. Miracle, Barda, and Booster teleport to the pounder to try to turn it off, and Barda reveals her dark secret: that she actually respects him and Beetle.  Just as Miracle thinks he’s beginning to figure the pounder out, the Darkstars show up and assume that they’re the ones who stole it.  And then, in a brief epilogue, Rani proves to be more technologically savvy than Rip Hunter.

You know, this whole situation that Booster has found himself in is just absolutely hilarious.  I assume it’s classic Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, but as I never read their original JLI run, I can’t be totally certain.  Seriously, though, the whole thing is comedic gold.  Hieronymous is just a silly villain, and it’s fun to see Artemis insult him over and over.  Because he really is that stupid.  As for what this whole thing might due to the timeline, I just figure that Booster always went back in time and always ended up helping prevent this catastrophe, so that’s why it had no effect on the future.  Time travel is rather confusing.  It also makes perfect sense that Ted can figure out that Booster isn’t his Booster.  They are best friends, after all.  But it was just so terrible to have to read Booster trying to avoid giving him a concrete answer about the future.  The death of Ted Kord is one of the saddest deaths in comic book history, and as a big fan of Booster, it’s so sad to see him back with his best friend, knowing he’s dead in the future.  As for the Rip Hunter/Rani epilogue, I figure that Rani’s knowledge just comes from the fact that she’s from the future and therefore much more used to advanced technology than Rip.  Yes, he’s a time traveler, but his father, who taught him everything, was only from the 25th Century, while Rani is from the 30th.  Chris Batista’s art continues to be absolutely perfect for this series.  He’s got those great, emotional faces, just like former JLI artist Kevin Maguire.  And he’s already proved himself to just be a natural at working with Booster Gold.  It’s rather sad, though, that he couldn’t finish the whole issue.  Pat Olliffe has already worked with Booster before, so it’s not that big a deal.  But I know I’m not the only one who likes it when one artist is able to finish a whole issue by himself.  Anyway, props to Giffen and DeMatteis for being able to use the whole Justice League: Generation Lost thing to write their own, completely separate and yet topical stories.  Their run on Booster Gold has been a blast thus far, and I can’t wait to see what hilarious directions they take the series in next.

Plot: 8.8      Art: 8.9      Dialogue: 9.2      Overall: 8.8

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