Review: Booster Gold #12

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Or – “The Story Takes Place In The Past…  I HAD To Wait To Review It.”

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I am soooo late.  I can’t even begin to tell you what has happened in the last couple of weeks, other than to say that I think my hair hurts.  As for the comic books, the show must go on, even when creators move on or editorial caveats force change.  Geoff Johns brought Booster Gold back into the public eye, but now that he’s moved on, how will the book fare?  No better way to find out then to click…

Previously, on Booster Gold:  The events of 52 have brought Michael Carter to an impasse in his life.  Once a respected hero, he fell to the status of Justice League joke, and when he finally realized his life’s BG1.jpgpath and found his way to heroism, it turned out he couldn’t tell anyone about it.  Teaming up with Rip Hunter, the Time Master, Booster began patrolling the timestream like a gold suited Sam Beckett (not the writer, either) setting right wrongs and protecting the flow of time.  After breaking the rules to try and save his long-deceased best friend Blue Beetle, Booster was thrust into a dystopic future ruled by a vicious Max Lord with Superman under his mental control.  Beetle sacrificed himself, knowing that his sacrifice was the key to unraveling the horrific events that created that particular skein.  But the loss of his friend was balanced by the saving of his sister Michelle (once the hero called Goldstar) and now the Carter siblings work together to fix the things that go wrong.  Of course, they’ve also managed to turn Killer Moth from minor Gotham City footnote to uber-powerful lord of crime, nearly gotten Rip Hunter killed, and left Gotham even worse than during the close of “Batman Begins.”  Now, in the wake of his mistake, Booster Gold has to go back and repair timestream damage that he, himself caused…

This issue opens in the Batcave, with a hysterical BMF moment for Alfred Pennysworth, as Booster tries to hork a Bat-costume and nearly gets a faceful of buckshot for his troubles.  “Perhaps you relied on my master’s vow against using lethal force,” Alfred explains.  “Let me assure you I subscribe to no such niceties.  Oh, HELL yeah.  Heh.  Booster and Goldstar are saved by Skeets with the stun ray, and grab a costume and the classic old-school Batmobile and run.  Dan Jurgens art in this sequence is really well-done, conveying Booster’s exhilaration clearly, and giving us a beautiful rendition of Adam West’s car.  Their improvisation takes ‘em across town, where young Barbara Gordon enters her chamber to find… Batgirl?!?  Babs attacks, and suddenly Booster starts blocking her strikes, before “Batgirl” gasses her.  As Booster (and Goldstar, in the Batgirl suit) take their leave, Commissioner Gordon arrives.  The Commish gives chase, but the Gold siblings get away clean.  Gordon turns to his daughter, and seems strangely happy that she was beaten up by the Dominoed Daredoll.  “Batgirl was in your room,” he says strangely, “but she’s gone now and you’re still here.”  And the other shoe drops…  Gordon knew his daughter’s identity.  And he’s thrilled to find out that he was “wrong.”  It’s a very well written little piece of dialogue, and the moment really works for me.

With his own costume too obvious (and also likely to unravel space-time if discovered) Booster stops at a costume shop and picks out a new suit of clothes…  An Elvis jumpsuit, complete with big 70’s shades.  It actually looks pretty cool.  Batgirl and “The King” head for Killer Moth’s latest crime wave.  Of course, Killer Moth isn’t Killer Moth at all, but instead Booster himself in the Killer Moth costume, as seen last ish.  The twosome take the Moth down, and Booster remarks, “I can still feel that punch.  I hit me harder than I thought.”  Heh.  Goldstar is confused, as she and Rip (from the past) pop into view and take Booster Moth into the sphere.  The cops arrive, and everyone is confused, as the whole situation doesn’t make sense.  “Maybe that wasn’t the real Batgirl?” questions one of the cops, and the Commissioner snaps at him, still hoping beyond hope that his daughter isn’t a loop in a pointy hat.  The issue ends with a mysterious figure arriving at the Gotham Museum (the scene of the Moth’s heist) and realizing he’s arrived too late.  “Ralph Dibny, this isn’t your day…”

This was a nice issue, sort of a change of pace from the usual dark and significant Booster/Rip arguments, and the life or death consequences of the last few issues.  The moments with Booster in action with Elvis jumpsuit and flight ring are a lot of fun, and Goldstar out-thinking big brother is a running gag throughout the issue.  Dan Jurgens’ art, which I’ve mentioned in the past is sometimes an acquired taste, really does it’s work here (though it’s probably significant to note that he is the creator of B.G. and thus Booster’s costume and antics are perfectly suited to his pencilling chops) and Chuck Dixon’s story moves at quite a clip.  It’s an entertaining package overall, and proves that losing Johns doesn’t have to be the death knell for this title.  Booster Gold #12 ranks 4 out 5 stars, and a clear recommendation for those who like their comic books to still have that long-lost essence of fun.

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