Make sure you look at the panel after the Parting Shot

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A year ago, about the time Booster Gold was disgraced in the eyes of Earth-1, Dan DiDio said Booster would become one of the best loved heroes of 52. Turns out he was right, but I never got the impression Booster was the hero of 52. I really got the feeling there was more to the Booster Gold is THE hero of the DCU than was let on in that series. If 52 saw Booster Gold in the minor leagues, then Booster Gold #1 sees Michael Jon Carter get the call to call from upstairs. If you are looking for a jump on book, this is it.

boostergold_01_01.jpgFor those not familiar with the loud mouth braggart that is Michael Jon Carter a.k.a. Booster Gold, you either missed out on 52, never heard of Justice League International, or simply don’t read DC Comics that much. If you fall into any of these categories, don’t worry as the first several pages of Booster Gold #1 get you up to speed quickly.

In a nutshell, Michael was born in 2442, was a good football player, but got drummed out when he bet on (and later threw) one of his own games. The only work he could find was as night watchman at a museum, where he stole superhero artifacts, then traveled back in time (thanks to Rip Hunter’s Time Sphere) with his robot companion Skeets and became a superhero in our time.

But a lot has happened since his initial debut, and issue #1 kicks off with Booster fighting the Royal Flush Gang, in what later turns out to be a fight very similar to the one that got Booster noticed by the Justice League in the first place.

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Now that he’s back, Booster wants to rejoin the team, but they are split. Superman and Batman both acknowledge Michael’s ability to step up to the plate when it matters, but everyone else thinks he’s nothing more than an idiot. Batman gives Booster one week to be a real hero, at which time the JLA will vote on adding Booster to the line up. But this series isn’t about Booster getting back on the League, it’s about Booster being a hero and saving our Multiverse-butts again and again.

Well that’s a bit misleading. In addition to Booster and Skeets, his ancestor Daniel Carter, otherwise known as Supernova (you really need to read 52 – seriously), and the Time Master, Rip Hunter all team up to fix the anomalies that were left over when the team saved the Multiverse the first time.

Yes Dear Reader, time is still broken.

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Heh – Rip Hunter made a Tom Welling Prime Punch Joke…

With a few upgrades, both Booster and Skeets are able to travel through the time stream and go on missions directed by Rip Hunter. Sounds like a modern day retelling of the Time Tunnel to me, but hey, if it worked back in the 60s, why not play it out again today.

And the first thing that needs fixing is Booster’s own lineage. Rip transports Booster to the events of World War III, where he must save a plane Black Adam has smashed. It’s only after Booster safely lands the wrecked craft that he meets a nice girl – a girl that eventually marries Daniel Carter. Yup, Booster just met another relative. It’s too bad some mysterious man in black with red eyes knocks Michael out (hopefully not killing him) and steals his Supernova costume.

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Could this be Stinky the Monitor, or maybe even Degaton?

This brings up one of the biggest problems with time travel. If someone were to find out where you were born, or even who some of your ancestors were, that villain could travel back in time and erase you from existence. Yeah, pretty heavy to wrap your head around, and to see exactly what could happen, you should check out the five part JSA/JSA event that can be found in – that’s right – JSA #68 – #72 (2005). And I’ll give you three guesses who wrote the time travel arc.

Give up?

Why it’s none other than Geoff Johns, the writer of Booster Gold, Infinite Crisis, and one of the writers behind 52!

It looks like the story is continuing because someone is out to kill the members of the Justice League. Rip wants Booster to help him fix the problems, thus becoming the greatest hero no one has ever heard of. That’s just not Booster’s way, and he declines the invitation.

The good news is, he does get an invite to join the Justice League of America, but when he looks at his invitation it instantly turns into a death certificate for Hal Jordan. As much as he hates it, Booster knows Rip is right, and he’s going to have to play the part of a fool in order to go unnoticed by whoever is up to no good.

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Wow, a return to Rip Hunter’s lab. Take a good look at the board people, I know this is a road map to what DC is planning down the road. Check back later today for a more in-depth look at Rip’s Board.

In exchange for fixing all the problems in time, Booster will help Rip if he will break one rule of time travel.

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For the second time, I have to say, “Wow” Booster is really proving he is not only a hero, but a friend. If all this plays out, perhaps we’ll see Blue Beetle back before this is all done (please please please don’t fuck us over on this one DiDio).

Meanwhile, eight years prior, someone arrives in Space Sector 1417.

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In addition to the constant references to 52, Booster Gold #1 actually mimics the Week and Day motif 52 used during its run, making this more of a sequel than a stand alone series. It’s too bad DC didn’t make Booster Gold the weekly series instead of Countdown. The mystery and build up of the first issue makes for a much better read, and got me into the action better than the first eight issues of Countdown.

I really enjoyed everything about this issue; from the writing by Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz, to the Dan Jurgens layouts, with finishes by Norm Rapmund, this issue is filled with holy cow moments, holy crap moments, and an abundance of bwahahaha. If you are a new reader to the DCU and did read 52, then hop on board Booster Gold now. I have a feeling this is going to be your primer to Final Crisis and will (hopefully) clarify character back stories and get you up to speed on who is who. If the next 11 issues are as good as this one, then this will be the best series DC has put out. I know Geoff Johns is on for the first three issues, I just hope he and the rest of the team are in for the long haul. Booster Gold #1 is off to a rocking start and earns 5 out of 5 Stars.

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Parting Shot
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BONUS IMAGE PAY ATTENTION

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DC made an editorial decision that each issue must now feature a splash page within the first three pages. I’m not sure I’m a huge fan of that decision, but I can say that I am a fan of the Preview of Coming Attractions DC has been putting in the first issue arcs. It played out perfectly in JSA, got me all worked up in Flash, and now that I see three Blue Beetles in one panel, I hope DC sticks with these kinds of sneak peeks.

The Author

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment.

You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...

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23 Comments

  1. August 17, 2007 at 10:53 am — Reply

    Holy heck, it’s Booster and the League of Beetles!! This issue was amazing, and I love the fact that Dan Jurgens is back on a character that suits his art. Booster’s smarmy public persona is perfect for Dan’s slick and shiny art style.

    Of course, this means I have to find something else to review on Sunday…

  2. Mark I.
    August 17, 2007 at 11:48 am — Reply

    Go Booster Go! This looks like it’s going to be good. Although it has that feel of “made for trades” that’s invaded almost every recent series of Marvel and DC for the past ten years.

  3. Roy
    August 17, 2007 at 11:48 am — Reply

    Damn, that looks good. I loved the in-comic commentary from Rip on the Tom-Welling Prime “continuity changing” punches. Anyone else think its notable that the Big Blue Boy Scout is missing from the “Final Crisis” panel? Could be nothing, as their are a lot of other Leaguers missing from that panel, but Flash and Supes missing caught my eye…..as did the fact that Guy, and not Hal, is the GL included in the panel. But far and away, the best panel on here is the chalkboard, and all because of three lines of text…..

    “Don’t worry
    about countdown

    focus elsewhere”

  4. Roy
    August 17, 2007 at 11:50 am — Reply

    Oh, and what does red represent on the GL color scale?

  5. Mark I.
    August 17, 2007 at 11:50 am — Reply

    Oh, and…

    “Could this be Stinky the Monitor, or maybe even Degaton?”

    My guess off-the-cuff is Young Darkseid, out to reverse his future death.

  6. Josh
    August 17, 2007 at 12:45 pm — Reply

    Supes and Flash were missing from the Final Crisis Panel because it’s suppossed to represent some form of the JLI era Justice League.

  7. Josh
    August 17, 2007 at 1:30 pm — Reply

    I love how the justice league in the second panel is reminiscent of the Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League International (With Batman, Booster, Martian Manhunter, Guy, no Supes or WW, and is that Fire and Ice I see?).

  8. Brent F.
    August 17, 2007 at 1:38 pm — Reply

    As a long time Booster Gold fan, this… this is like the second coming of Christ for me.

  9. August 17, 2007 at 3:01 pm — Reply

    Josh: Your right on with the JLI, I’m just wondering who the guy in blue is – it isn’t Beetle, and it isn’t Boomer, but could it be an amalgamation of the Beetle’s from the various Earths?

  10. Jim
    August 17, 2007 at 3:20 pm — Reply

    Whoa, look, it’s the 80s Aquaman blue costume!

  11. August 17, 2007 at 3:23 pm — Reply

    The guy in blue is Aquaman. I loved that suit when he wore it.

  12. August 17, 2007 at 3:28 pm — Reply

    Well that answers that! Thanks guys!

  13. Brother129
    August 17, 2007 at 6:02 pm — Reply

    Definitely the way to start a series. This is how you write a #1 issue. I must admit I had to put the book down halfway thru because time travel always gives me a headache. However, I wonder if I travelled back in time prior to my reading and gave myself an Advil..would that do the trick?

  14. Dave
    August 17, 2007 at 6:26 pm — Reply

    Long time Booster reader (as in bought the FIRST Booster Gold #1 back in 85), first time commenter here.

    LOVED this issue.

    Just a couple of notes.

    Not pictured here, but Batman has an interesting stare after Booster puts on his little act and leaves JLA HQ. Is it possible that Batman saw right through it and knows something is up?

    Also, if you read carefully, Booster says in exchange for his help, Rip’s going to break his most precious rule “a couple of times”, and that they’re going to *start* by saving Ted. The most logical second part of this would be saving Booster’s sister Michelle.

  15. Brother129
    August 17, 2007 at 9:55 pm — Reply

    He’s the Goddamned Batman. Of course he knows. Dave: refer to the Major Spoilers dictionary-it changed my life:)

  16. Brent F.
    August 17, 2007 at 11:41 pm — Reply

    Brother is right Dave, nothing goes down without Batman knowing about it.

  17. sps49
    August 17, 2007 at 11:52 pm — Reply

    So- this is Dan Jurgen’s second time doing art on Booster Gold No. 1?

    Wonder if mine’s worth anything yet?

  18. August 18, 2007 at 9:31 am — Reply

    Brother is right Dave, nothing goes down without Batman knowing about it.

    In the words of Hannibal Tabu, DC wants you all to know that ” Batman Is Smarter Than You ™”.

  19. Dave
    August 18, 2007 at 4:03 pm — Reply

    Of course the problem is that Batman knowing something is up could be a Really Bad Thing (patent pending). If he starts actively fighting against Booster ending up in history as a moron, which the 2nd preview is suggesting, that could work against Rip’s plan here.

  20. Jerry S.
    August 18, 2007 at 6:57 pm — Reply

    where’s the collar? i always loved Booster’s collar… why was it removed?

    Geoff Johns leaving? Yyyeeeessss!!! Now bring on DAn Jurgens as both the writer and artist! That would be the ultimate BG fan’s dream.

  21. Jerry S.
    August 18, 2007 at 7:01 pm — Reply

    and oh, did anyone notice Daniel Carter’s words?

    * 38th in Madden…
    * ask a 14 yr old kid…

    38+14 = 52…

    so 52’s not over yet? coincidence? conspiracy?

  22. Christopher
    August 18, 2007 at 7:14 pm — Reply

    please please please don’t fuck us over on this one DiDio!

    Amen, brother.

  23. Stephen
    August 18, 2007 at 11:26 pm — Reply

    Jerry S: You scare me…

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