“Zero Hour? Again?”
When you ask the comic fans of my fatherâ€™s generation you normally donâ€™t get a lot of good things said about Booster Gold. He was self aggrandizing, selfish, moronic and nowhere near the top flight of heroes that were the beloved at the time. And, really, thatâ€™s the whole point isnâ€™t it; Dan Jurgens couldnâ€™t have created a more perfect character.
Who would have thought that when the original Booster Gold issues debuted back in 1986, we would be looking at the beginning of a hero that would, eventually, captivate the entire DC Universe.
And that is what has happened with the most recent Booster Gold run. Somehow, by taking Booster out of the regular time-stream and giving him the tagline â€œThe Greatest Hero The World Has Never Known,â€ DC has managed to create a hero that we love, not love to hate.
Last issue Booster Gold finally managed to fulfill his own mission upon joining up with the Time Master Rip Hunter. Though Hunter was adamantly against the rescue of Blue Beetle, with the help for past, present and future Beetles, Booster Gold was able to rescue Ted Kord from Maxwell Lord.
Now personally, I was glad that Booster was able to rescue Ted, even if it only turns out to be for a short little while, as is perfectly acceptable considering the strain this will be putting on the time stream. I was a big fan of Ted Kordâ€™s Blue Beetle; from his interaction with Barbara Gordon, aka, Oracle, to the way that he died.
So when a character that has received much needed rewriting and been implemented as well as Booster Gold has is reunited with his best friend Ted Kord, you can at least rest safe in the knowledge the story is going to keep you guessing.
Geoff Johns has once again cleared the bar with room to spare with issue #00, a tie-in, and may I add the last tie-in, with Zero Hour, DCâ€™s 1994 crossover event. Despite the apparent magnitude of what Johns has done by revisiting Zero Hour, the Time Sphereâ€™s encounter with Parallax and Extant is almost a passing thought. Granted, the battle scene is one worthy of the characters involved, ie, the third string of heroes going up against Parallax, but the storyline somewhat sweeps us past it.
The majority of this comic, at least in terms of importance, is given over to Booster Goldâ€™s past, as they are thrown back in time to the day that set Michael Jon Carterâ€™s life on track with Booster Gold. If you are a fan of the character building storylines, then you will love this story. But even if you donâ€™t, you should be satisfied by their encounter with Parallax enough to get you through the back-story.
Saying goodbye to the other Blue Beetles was worthy of the comic, even if it could be sometimes interpreted as a little sentimental. And we are once again asked the question, â€œJust who is that future Blue Beetle?â€ Nevertheless, you are immediately swept on past that when the third to last page hits. I wonâ€™t spoil the surprise, because I like to leave you something to read.
Iâ€™ve been a big fan of the artwork in this run of Booster, owing my thanks to Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund. It is suitably realistic, without disappearing over the line in to painted realism. Booster Gold is the epitome of â€˜Greek god meets the maker of Spandex,â€™ but in a good way. And when you see Hal Jordanâ€™s face discover the Time Sphere has just popped in to his line of site, youâ€™ll laugh! It took me a second reading to see it, but â€¦ itâ€™s great!
Johns is definitely setting us up for a massive heartbreak at some point in the near future. The friendship between Booster and Beetle, or Blue and Gold, depending on what part you read, is too strong to just let it settle; someone is going to die or, more realistically, be ripped back in to line with the stream of time.
Either way, this is a comic series you have to get your hands on. Geoff Johns is without a doubt the master of the DCU at the moment, and he is penning stories that make even once-third-rate characters like Booster Gold seem as if theyâ€™ve been top-flight characters for time immemorial. Definitely 4 out of 5 for me!