Nearly twenty years ago, Booster Gold was first on the scene to fight against Doomsday in a fight that culminated with Superman’s death. Today, they’re together again for the first time, but this time there’s no Superman to save the day!
I Thought Doomsday Wasn’t Until 2012…
In the world of Flashpoint, Nathaniel Christopher Adam is a United States General, and the human controller of Project Six, also known as Doomsday. That control was disrupted while he was fighting Booster Gold, and is now free to act autonomously for the first time in this DCU.
You’ll Disbelieve a Woman Can Fly
I still miss the bwa-ha-ha of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis run on Booster, but Dan Jurgens is doing a good job of shepherding his creation into a noble and powerful hero. I am hesitantly optimistic for his time on the Justice League International title, but I am sure it will have a drastically different feel from Giffen and DeMatteis’ JLI. This issue of Booster deals with the havoc that Doomsday wreaks after he escapes from General Adam’s control, and for some reason is capable of reading a sign that says Metropolis and phonetically pronouncing it. I strongly doubt anyone would have taken the time to teach a mindless killing machine how to read, so either this plot point was due to laziness on the part of the writer in a desire to recreate his famous march to Metropolis, or we have to assume that some of General Adam’s cognitive functions were imprinted onto Doomsday while they were connected. Either way this stuck in my craw a bit, especially after the great explanations of plot points that Mark Waid has given us in Irredeemable.
We get some character development of Alexandra, the Greek woman who Booster has befriended, and discover why she was able to fly in a previous issue; she’s able to absorb some power from anyone she has physical contact with. It seems a bit of a stretch to me that she’s able to mimic technology based power as she would’ve had to do from Booster, but I’ll forgive Dan Jurgens this time. The issue ends with Alexandra being grabbed by Doomsday as she attempts to save Booster, which means that the blurb in the letters column “Let’s just say no one can stop Doomsday except–” was referring to Alexandra, as she mimics Doomsday’s powers to end this fight (hopefully) quickly. I’ve been annoyed that Booster, who is the only person besides Barry to remember the proper timeline, has been sidetracked for the entire event so far and made irrelevant as a result. Next month’s cover has him chasing down Barry, so hopefully we’ll actually see some plot development on that front. The story was decent while not great, but worth reading. It’s about a three and a half out of five for me.
Artistic Identity Crisis:
From the dual art credits on this issue, I am assuming that Dan Jurgens has been pressed for time with writing the JLI ongoing title and penciling Green Arrow (which he is now co-penciling with George Perez according to the solicit for issue 2), so Ig Guara was brought on board. This gives the issue some severe problems with finding an artistic identity, as the two artists were clearly not on the same page with some character elements. In Jurgens’ pages General Adam looks respectable and fierce, with thick white eyebrows and a strong chin. In Guara’s pages, his eyebrows are thin and black, and he looks like a mildly constipated Charles Xavier hooked into Cerebro. Guara has also given Booster Gold hair even floppier than Matt Smith’s, and while the floppy haired Doctor may have grown on fans, the floppy haired Booster serves as an illustration of why DC’s mandate of three-in-the-can is negatively impacting their current product. Dan Jurgens art gets a solid 4.5 stars, but from what I can gather he did less than half the pages in this issue. Ig Guara’s art gets a 2 from me because, while he may be a reasonable artist in his own right (he was one of the artists on Green Arrow Industries, which I greatly enjoyed), he really ought to have tried to serve up a product that was artistically coherent with the rest of the issue; at the very least he could’ve looked at the pencils from the last issue of Booster and seen how Dan did it.
BOTTOM LINE: A DECENT ISSUE
Overall this is a decent issue, though it suffers from artistic inconsistency, and requires a suspension of disbelief at several plot points. I give it 3 stars out of five, with a reminder that if DC wants the sales boost Booster has gotten from the Flashpoint banner, they need to make Booster actually relevant to the Flashpoint plot.