“Zero Hour? Again?”

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When you ask the comic fans of my father’s generation you normally don’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, that’s the whole point isn’t it; Dan Jurgens couldn’t have created a more perfect character.

boostergoldcover.jpgTitle: Booster Gold
Writer: Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz
Art and cover by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund

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 “The Greatest Hero The World Has Never Known,” 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 Kord’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, DC’s 1994 crossover event. Despite the apparent magnitude of what Johns has done by revisiting Zero Hour, the Time Sphere’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 Gold’s past, as they are thrown back in time to the day that set Michael Jon Carter’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 don’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, “Just who is that future Blue Beetle?” Nevertheless, you are immediately swept on past that when the third to last page hits. I won’t spoil the surprise, because I like to leave you something to read.

I’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 ‘Greek god meets the maker of Spandex,’ but in a good way. And when you see Hal Jordan’s face discover the Time Sphere has just popped in to his line of site, you’ll laugh! It took me a second reading to see it, but … it’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 they’ve been top-flight characters for time immemorial. Definitely 4 out of 5 for me!

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The Author

Joshua Hill

Joshua Hill

I'm an aspiring author who just happens to also work on the web, reporting on the environmental research and science at Planetsave.com that makes sense of the climate change hype, reviewing fantasy books at FantasyBookReview, because I love fantasy books and want to tell you all about it. I also blog over at Life As A Human and at Extralife.

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14 Comments

  1. February 21, 2008 at 10:36 am — Reply

    I completely agree. The new Booster series has hit very few false notes for me, from the Ted resurrection, to the Barry and Wally cameos, to the reveal of Supernova. It’s been a fascinating reworking of Booster without destroying that which has come before.

    And I’ve always been a fan of the whole “one man and companions traveling through time” story structure (what some call the ‘Quantum Leap’ or ‘Sliders’ model, but what an old dude like myself calls the ‘Doctor Who’ model).

    But one thing bothered me… “Comic fans of my father’s generation?” I bought Booster Gold #1 off the stands at S&S Drugs in 1982. Are you saying I’m OLD???

  2. February 21, 2008 at 1:04 pm — Reply

    Matthew: We are both old… these young whipper snappers these days! But maybe having josh writing some tutorials will bring in the younger crowd with their fancy music and parachute pants.

  3. February 21, 2008 at 1:09 pm — Reply

    Oh, and don’t forget all the MTV video games…

  4. Sanlear
    February 21, 2008 at 1:18 pm — Reply

    Back in your day, I bet you walked twenty miles through the snow to get to a comic book shop!

  5. February 21, 2008 at 1:26 pm — Reply

    Actually in my first year or two of college I did not own a car, and when Matthew wouldn’t let me ride in one of his many $300 beaters he was always buying, I did have to walk at least two miles to and from the shop on more than one occasion and sometimes in the snow!

  6. DrStrangeCubicle
    February 21, 2008 at 2:04 pm — Reply

    Was the walk to the store uphill, both ways, Stephen?

  7. February 21, 2008 at 4:44 pm — Reply

    dude, i live in western kansas, what the hell is an uphill?

  8. February 21, 2008 at 4:48 pm — Reply

    Matt – I was actually referring to my fathers generation being a bit older than your fine self… more, fans of the golden age… etc…

  9. DrStrangeCubicle
    February 21, 2008 at 5:12 pm — Reply

    People still live in Kansas? Probably Skrulls

  10. February 21, 2008 at 5:23 pm — Reply

    If you’ve seen the morons around here driving, you’d swear they were from another planet, so you might be on to something.

  11. DrStrangeCubicle
    February 21, 2008 at 6:34 pm — Reply

    Heh, I could say the same about my area as well (San Francisco).

    So I’m not completely off-topic, I really enjoyed the issue, with the highlight (perhaps not too original on my part, but…) being Parallax/Extant reacting to the time sphere and then Jaime/Dan’s banter regarding whether they’d been seen or not.

  12. Roy
    February 21, 2008 at 8:51 pm — Reply

    Kansas drivers can’t be as bad as PA drivers. I live in MD, and when we were kids at the beach, we’d literally run the other way if we saw PA plates coming down the street.

  13. nu
    February 21, 2008 at 9:42 pm — Reply

    i think the fix for keeping ted around is giving him another costumed identity like when booster went supernova. maybe ted is the black beetle? or do we think that one of boosters grandparents is the black beetle and the other is supernova?

  14. Sanlear
    February 22, 2008 at 8:19 am — Reply

    I shouldn’t talk too much, I actually have walked through snow to get to a comic store (back when I was 18 and stationed on a ship). Now I’m almost 36, and still collecting comics. But at least I can drive through the snow. :)

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