He’s the ultimate fan-boy, and now he’s turning his attention to a new superhero… Your Major Spoilers review of Bat-Mite #4 awaits!
Previously in Bat-Mite: Exiled from his home dimension (a world of reality-warping imps), the creature known as Bat-Mite has been stranded on Earth. After encountering (and trying to improve) Batman, Hawkman and Robin, he has run afoul of a villain known as Gridlock, as well as making new friends in the form of Weed and Reagan, whose apartment has become his unofficial Mite-Cave. Now, Bat-Mite has a new challenge for his skills as a life coach, in the form of Booster Gold!
DAN JURGENS WRITING = BOOSTER GOLD!
With the theme of this mini being ‘Bat-Mite encountering and trying to help superheroes with their image issues’, I knew it was only a matter of time before we saw Michael Carter make an appearance in these pages. Booster arrives at Casa Weed, actively seeking the help of Bat-Mite (and making the obvious ‘Shaggy’ joke in reference to Weed’s familiar appearance, making me happy somebody hung that lampshade), and leading to the team-up we’ve all been waiting for! After a three-page sequence wherein ‘Mite gives Booster a magical makeover, transforming him into the dark and gritty Black Gold (alter ego: Texas Tee), the twosome attack Gridlock in his lair, where we discover that he is using his abilities to create perfect collectibles (taking more than a few shots at the “Pristine Mint” collector’s mentality in the process), ending things with a little bit of time-traveling day-saving by Booster. There are quite a few points in the issue where the plot gets lost in the shuffle of sight gags and jokes, and I have to admit I had to read it three times to figure out how Booster got reverted back from the Black Gold persona, but overall it’s an okay story with a nice emotional bit at the end…
‘CARTOONY’ DOESN’T MEAN ‘BAD’
From an art perspective, this one is kind of a mixed blessing. The simpler line work and cartoony style used by Colin Howell is pleasant throughout, fitting Bat-Mite perfectly, and making the scenes of domestic lunacy entertaining. Booster Gold’s overworked and over-designed New 52 costume has never looked better (to wit, it’s never looked more cohesive in design, thanks to the simpler lines), but the combat sequences don’t always make clear storytelling sense, and the design for Black Gold is a little too bland for my tastes. (You’d figure Bat-Mite would have a more distinctive design sense after his own costume and the Hawkman revamp in issue #2.) Still, given that the book is actually successful in being funny and making Bat-Mite fit in the glowery world established since the Flashpoint retcon, I’m perfectly willing to overlook that sort of thing…
THE BOTTOM LINE: THE NEXT ISSUE TEASE SELLS IT
As the issue ends, Bat-Mite realizes that the next client for his image-altering services should be The Inferior Five, a panel that not only gives this book an extra half-star, it makes next issue a must-buy for me, because that character team-up is a match made in Bob Haney heaven. In short, Bat-Mite #4 is successful in being funny, sorta-successful at the old fighty-fight, and does a lot to remind me why Booster Gold is fun (something his post-Flashpoint appearances haven’t always done), earning an entertaining 3 out of 5 stars overall. It’s an issue that works best as a chapter of the larger story, but works as a stand-alone on the strength of the main characters delusion.