Faces of Evil
As Iâ€™ve mentioned before, Iâ€™m not a big fan of company wide events.Â For some titlesÂ the company wide event works, almost like it was planned, but for the larger majority, the company wide event gets shoe horned in a way that pulls the reader away from the story because of the â€œHey, look what weâ€™re doing!â€ style of writing.Â Fortunately, for Booster Gold the Faces of Evil event works only because there is time travel involved.
When we last saw Booster, he and his sister were trying to recover a ancient Egyptian knife that was somehow tied a major time flux.Â Booster ended up getting sucked into time warp and ended up in Europe during World War I.
Iâ€™ve always appreciated how DC was able to bring characters from different time periods into company wide events, and it did it again here by pitting Booster Gold against the German pilot Hans von Hammer, a.k.a. the Enemy Ace.Â Without Skeets itâ€™s a wonder Booster is able to keep dates, events, and people in check, but he is able to remember who von Hammer is, while at the same time duping those around him into thinking heâ€™s wearing an experimental American aircraft uniform.
Booster discovers he is behind enemy lines, when he befriends a fellow American soldier by the name of Cyrus.Â Unfortunately, von Hammer captures them both and takes them to a hidden castle deep in the mountains for interrogation.Â Booster eventually makes his escape with Cyrus in tow, thanks to von Hammer, who isnâ€™t too keen on his fellow Germanâ€™s treatment of prisoners of war.
The big shocker of a reveal doesnâ€™t come in the portrayal of von Hammer as a kinder softer killing machine, but the fact that Cyrusâ€™ full name is Cyrus Lord and he is indeed a descendant of Max Lord – the guy who killed Boosterâ€™s best friend of all time.Â This revelation does bring up the classic question of â€œif you could go back in time and kill Hitler, would you?â€Â Booster has been bounced through the time stream enough recently, that he knows no matter what he does, certain moments in time are fixed, so even if he did kill Maxâ€™s ancestor, thereâ€™s no guarantee Blue Beetle would still be alive, if and when he returns to the present.
The Egyptian knife does play a key role in this story, but unfortunately, Dan Jurgens ends up falling into the classic Quantum Leap situation, whereby when the story is finished, Booster jumps to somewhere else in time.
I also didnâ€™t care for the way Jurgens wrote off the fantastic reveal and confrontation between Booster and Ralph Dibny.Â As Michelle and Skeets jump into the Time Sphere they release a chronal wave that erases Ralphâ€™s short term memory.Â I would much rather have left that memory in place as it could have lead to some very interesting stories down the road, or at least made certain revelations that much more tragic as Booster and Ralph both live with the memory of how loved oneâ€™s lives could have been saved.
I will admit I have no idea who the villain that is revealed at the end of the issue is, but once again, itâ€™s time travel, so anything and everything is up for grabs.
For some reason, this far into the game, Booster Gold seems to be losing some of its luster for me. I donâ€™t know if it is because the current story line seems to be a retread of what weâ€™ve seen before in other time traveling stories, or if it is something else, but if something doesnâ€™t change soon, I foresee Booster Gold losing readers, which would be a real shame.Â Even with that revelation in mind, this issue wasnâ€™t terrible.Â It was a good story that featured characters from DCâ€™s past done in a way that made sense.Â Booster Gold #16, earns an above average 3 out of 5 Stars from me.