Booster Gold has the disease Chronal Leprosy. With such a disturbing illness, he has to ask himself some questions: What’s going to happen? Can someone help me? Where, and more importantly, when can I go to get help? Oh, and above all else, what is Chronal Leprosy? Find out after the jump.
BOOSTER GOLD #43
Writers: Keith Giffen & J.M. DeMatteis
Artists: Chris Batista & Rich Perrotta
Letterer: John J. Hill
Cover Artists: Chris Batista & Rich Perrotta
Editor: Rex Ogle
Publisher: DC Comics
Previously in Booster Gold: Booster got back from doing time for his origin and was telling Rip and Michelle what happened. His cell mate was his future self, now known as the Perforated Man. He had contracted the disease Chronal Leprosy, which was causing time vortexes to appear as lesions across his skin and send him careening randomly through time popping back to the “present” every millisecond. The previous issue ends quite darkly, Booster making the connection and showing the earliest signs of the disease, with the two sitting on earth at its last few moments.
THE SEARCH FOR A CURE
Confusingly, the story starts in medias res as Booster shows up in the middle of a battle between the Legion of Super Heroes and Validus. Quickly enough, Booster lets us know that Rip sent him here to go to the Time Institute for some answers about his new disease. Well, while he recounts his tale, the Legion takes down the big villain and Booster, despite being sick, tries to catch Validus and stop him from crushing any civilians. The Legion very much takes this the wrong way and has a second prisoner.
Fortunately for Booster, this gets him to one of the people he wants to talk with anyhow, Brainiac 5. Brainiac mostly agrees to speak with him since the gear that he has, you know the superhero kit he stole from the museum gig 500 years in the past (brain hurt, I hate time travel), is Brainiac’s. This entire sequence is just fantastic, between Proty (sorry Matthew, but what’s a Proty?) and Chameleon Boy? (man, I should bone up on my Legion knowledge) are playing Good Cop/Bad Cop with the tiny clay mute as the Bad Cop. Then in a great shout to Booster’s past, Booster tells Brainy he should try some Oreos, because Brainy reminds him of another uptight, green-skinned alien he knows.
Either way, after explaining himself, Booster gets where he wanted to, the Time Institute, and they are able to identify the new disease and provide Booster with an apparent cure (paradox that the Perforated Man exists/existed but now never should means Brainy can’t be sure). Either way Booster gets a cool new power out of this, his aging is drastically slowed. Once Booster heads back to the 21st century, we find out Rip actually convinced Brainy to do this and that Rani, Booster’s adoptive daughter, has actually been reported as missing.
GOOD PEOPLE, DULL FUTURE
Everyone in this book looks good. We get a good difference between scarred Booster, nauseous Booster, and healthy Booster. The Legion all look good and are quite expressive, from battle concentration, to anger, to frustration we get a great range. I was only disappointed in the back drop, with most of it being kind of drab and gray and only a panel or two of things that actually look quite futuristic. Now don’t get me wrong, none of it was bad or intrusive, but I wouldn’t have minded getting distracted by the awesome tower or the weird instruments on a few more occasions.
BOTTOM LINE: WORTH IT
Despite being a little confused as to where we started (I had to go back and see how the previous issue ended just to make sure I didn’t miss/forget something) the story is good. We have a mostly happy, character driven story that wraps up the issue with the Perforated Man and gives us a reasonable excuse for Booster’s life to take even longer than expected. The references are all quite good as well and the character moments, such as Brainy admitting he’s jealous of the Time Institute’s tech are well done. Booster earns his own star and a few more, for a happy 4 stars out of 5.