The Booster Gold title has been one of the biggest surprises in recent years. No one ever thought that Booster Gold could be developed in to a comic title that anyone would actually pine for. But with Geoff Johns writing all bets are off apparently, as Booster Gold #09 continues the mind-blowing adventures of Booster and his best friend, Blue Beetle.
Now putting aside the fact I wish they had called it Blue and Gold or something along those lines, turning the title in to a team up book, I very rarely have anything to complain about with this title.
In the wake of Boosterâ€™s unsubtle announcement at the end of issue number 8, that he and Beetle were going to be reforming Justice League International, that is exactly what happened in the first half of Booster Gold #9, and to great effect.
First weâ€™re presented with a page of Maxwell Lordâ€™s soliloquizing, which really goes to the heart of the Maxwell Lord character; evil genius with a penchant for bragging. He was the villain that came out of the James Bond villain master-mold, and we loved him for it; or hated him, as the case may be.
Turns out that, along with Superman â€“ who he is controlling telepathically â€“ Maxwell Lord has brought the Brother Eye satellite a new power source; Doctor Light, Hoshi Kimiyo.
Jump to Booster and Beetle, who have just used a recovered Mother Box to transport to the Batcave in their attempt to reunite the JLI. Not surprisingly, Bats has disappeared, and it appears that Booster is suffering from an injury of some sort. I note this seemingly insignificant fact because itâ€™s highlighted just a bit too much to be a passing thing.
With Booster shrugging off his injury, he and Blue Beetle go about collecting the members of the JLI, starting with Mr. Miracle, followed by Guy Gardner, Fire and Ice, and then Martian Manhunter. In their discussion with Guy Gardner, we discover that Hal Jordan, Jon Stewart and Kyle Rainer have all been lost, and that the rest of the Green Lantern Core is fighting Sinestro. Oa has been lost, which would suggest that Geoff Johns has incorporated the Sinestro War in to his Booster storyline, but with a reversal in the winners (for a given value of winner).
With the team back together â€“ except for Batman who we have already concluded is nowhere to be found â€“ Maxwell Lord is targeted. Not necessarily the smartest move any of them have made, but without Batman and with a groggy Martian Manhunter thatâ€™s not necessarily surprising.
Lord still has Superman in tow, as well as a number of OMAC units, but fortunately Superman is taken out of the picture momentarily as Maxwell Lordâ€™s telepathy is attacked by Jâ€™onzz.
The rest of the team attacks the OMACs, including the previously infected Green Arrow, while Ice uses the time to free Dr. Light who reveals that Lord had her children killed. What happens next is, subsequently, not overly surprising, as Light burns a hole through Maxâ€™s chest.
However, in the meantime we naturally find that Batman has been stowed away on the satellite as a guard, and has been working to get close enough to take down the satellite. He is less than happy with the intrusion, but Booster, of all people, has words with Bats and they make a move on the command center.
Geoff Johns has really brought a sense of DC-reality to this series, kind of peering behind the big curtain of the DCU to what really happens when the heroes donâ€™t have everything go their way for once.
Dan Jurgenâ€™s art is really beautiful in this issue, with his skill being exemplified in just a small panel where Superman announces, with tears running down his face, that â€œMax murdered Lois.â€ The tears and strain on Supes face is palpable, and you really feel it. The panel shows the creative pairs grasp of DC characters, with a short moment between Supes and Bats that once again exemplifies their own relationship.
Booster Gold #09 gets 4 out of 5 from me, as Johns and co-writer Jeff Katz have once again delivered a fearsome story to rival anything being written at the moment. If you havenâ€™t jumped on the Booster Gold train then you better do so soon!