Comic Book Review: Booster Gold #10

Booster Gold has been a gem of a title. However, I am curious to see how Johns and Katz can extricate them from the corner that they have painted themselves into with the Ted Kord storyline. At this point, I am not too sure how Johns and Katz can resolve this story without pissing off the fans.

If they let the Blue Beetle live then you have that contingent of “nobody stays dead” fans who will be in an uproar. If they kill off Ted once again then you will have all the Blue Beetle fans who will be pissed as they will view this story as nothing more than pissing all over Ted and rubbing the fans’ faces in the fact that he is still dead.

Hopefully, Johns and Katz have some creative, original and unexpected ending in store for us. Let’s go ahead and hit this review for Booster Gold #10.

Creative Team
Writers: Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz
Artists: Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Rip Hunter, Daniel Carter and Rose Levin at the Time Lab surveying the wreckage of the destroyed time sphere. Rip Hunter thinks how he can never reveal his true identity. That no one can know his true name. No one can ever know him. That he has to spend his life protecting the time stream. Rip thinks how he must save Booster since Booster is destined to train the greatest of all the Time Masters.

Rip tells Daniel and Rose that if they don’t stop all of this now that Booster Gold will be erased from history. That the time sphere that Booster and Blue Beetle borrowed from the 25th century is the same one that Booster uses in the weeks before he becomes Booster Gold. Now that time sphere is destroyed. That they have to put the time sphere back so that Booster’s origin is reinstated. Rip says that they have about an hour before Booster Gold will fade away from reality.

Rip says that they will go get another Time Sphere to put back at the museum. Then they will return Blue Beetle back to where he died like a bitch. Skeets inquires if there was any other way to fix things without having to kill such a cool character like Ted Kord. Rip replies that he wishes there was but that they cannot change the past. No matter how much they want to. Rip whispers “I know that all too well.”

We cut to Booster, Blue Beetle and the JLI brawling with the Time Stealers. During the brawl we see Booster begin to fade in and out of reality. Suddenly, Skeets arrives on the scene and starts battling Supernova’s evil robot Maximillion. Skeets quickly takes out Maximillion.

Supernova begins mocking Booster and tells Booster that he has always been a joke. Supernova mentions how Booster never became a respected member of the JLA. That Booster even has recently failed in his job a time cop since he couldn’t save Barbara Gordon from being shot by the Joker.

Booster is stunned that his father even knows about him trying to save Barbara. Booster begins to fade in and out of reality again. Booster says that Supernova cannot be his father. That his father would not know such things.

Supernova then laughs that Booster thought that his fool of a father was capable of all of this. We then slide inside of Supernova’s head and see Mr. Mind inside. Mr. Mind took over Booster’s father and is the mastermind behind this entire attack.

We then cut to the 31st Century with Rip, Daniel and Rose arriving at Brainiac 5’s lab in the old Levitz Era Legion Headquarters. Rip apologizes to Brainiac 5 for what they must do. Daniel then quickly knocks out Brainiac 5. They then take Brainy’s time sphere.

We hop back to Mr. Mind kicking ass on both Booster and Blue Beetle. Mr. Mind reveals that he had little trouble escaping from Dr. Sivana. Supernova then opens his mouth and belches forth thousands of Mr. Mind’s “children” which are little larvae versions of Mr. Mind. Booster fries some of the larvae.

Booster then has Skeets dial up some feedback which scrambles Mr. Mind and then Booster blasts his dad’s ear which causes Mr. Mind to be dislodged and come flying out of Supernova’s head. Booster’s dad then regains control of his body and asks what Booster did to his ear. Supernova then calls his son an idiot and passes out.

Mr. Mind says that this is not over and that he must make his escape. However, Blue Beetle stands over Mr. Mind and retorts that it is time for Mr. Mind to “buzz off.” Blue Beetle then stomps on Mr. Mind and squishes him to death.

Booster continues to fade in and out. We then see the Black Beetle blast Fire which roasts her to death. Blue Beetle says that as long as he is here that their friends will continue to die. Booster disagrees and says that there must be a way.

Blue Beetle then retorts that they all have their moment and that he has no regrets about his. Blue Beetle tells Booster that when he thinks of him to please remember to smile. Blue Beetle then says “Bwa-ha-ha.” (Cheesy. Am I watching Steel Magnolias?)

Black Beetle then charges Blue Beetle and yells that he cannot let Ted do this. That if Ted stays then Jamie never comes into being. That the will never “take her away from me.” Black Beetle says that is what Mr. Mind promised him. Black Beetle says that Ted cannot die. Blue Beetle responds “I have to.” (Even more queso.)

Ted takes out the Black Beetle and then hops into the time sphere. Ted puts his hand up to the window of the sphere as Booster stands on the other side. (It is much like what a prisoner does when his girl comes to visit him at prison and they talk to each other with that glass window in between the two.)

The time sphere disappears and everything fades to white all around Booster Gold as he screams “Ted! I want to have your babies!” (No, actually, I made that up. Booster only screams out “Ted!”) End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Booster Gold #10 was another strong read. Yeah, it had its defects, but all in all Johns and Katz put together an entertaining issue. Booster Gold #10 was wonderfully paced. The story flows along briskly without ever feeling rushed. Johns and Katz serve up a fine blend of dialogue heavy scenes and adrenaline pumping action scenes. If you like action packed issues, then you will certainly enjoy Booster Gold #10.

Booster Gold #10 was well plotted. Johns and Katz have crafted such a tight and focused story arc full of neat twists and turns. It is fun watching all the different plotlines sliding together in a pleasant fashion. Johns has done a fine job constructing such a balanced story that has been one seriously wild ride.

For the most part, the dialogue is well done. Johns and Katz have an excellent feel for all the characters and that allows them to generate some good chemistry between the characters. Johns and Katz have certainly made it a priority to always pull of quality character work in order to make sure that each character is three dimensional.

I liked the cameo appearance by Brainiac 5 in this issue. As a Legion fan, I found it interesting that the Legion headquarters that Johns and Katz show us is the one from the Levitz Era Legion. Brainaic 5 also looked like the Brainy from the Levitz Era. This definitely was not the Legion HQ or the Brainiac 5 from the version of the Legion that we are currently getting on the Legion of Super Heroes monthly title.

Since Johns is handling the apparent re-re-re-boot of the Legion with the Three Legion mini-series, it follows that this scene is important. I have a feeling that the current Legion on the Legion of Super Heroes may end up going bye-bye. DC really isn’t doing the Legion any favors by constantly giving readers different versions of the Legion in practically every DC title that they appear in. It only serves to confuse readers who are not long-time Legion fans. And confusing readers is hardly the best approach to get them to give the Legion a try. Right now, Legion continuity is such a mess that I don’t know why any new reader would bother giving the title a try.

Okay, I totally veered off course, let’s get back to Booster Gold #10. Johns and Katz threw a massive swerve at the reader with the stunning revelation that Mr. Mind was the mastermind behind the Time Stealers. That makes much more sense. It seemed odd that Ultra-Humanite, Per Degaton and Despero would all agree to follow a complete no-name like Booster’s father.

This was also a brilliant move to build off of the ending of 52 when Booster had to lock horns with Mr. Mind. I have always liked this despotic worm and find him to be one of the most unique villains. I definitely did not see this plot twist coming at all which made the big revelation in this issue that much more entertaining.

I liked that Blue Beetle got to deliver the crowning blow in this battle by stepping on Mr. Mind and squishing him to death. Of course, I’m sure that one of Mr. Mind’s “thousands” of children will pick up his mantle. This won’t be the last time that our heroes are plagued by this ill-tempered worm.

Johns and Katz did a fantastic job handling Rip Hunter’s character. I have never really been interested in Rip’s character until this story arc. Johns and Katz have made a real effort to flesh out Rip’s character in order to make him more interesting to the reader. Johns and Katz focused in on Rip’s mysterious origin and his obvious sadness that the past cannot be changed. I have this feeling that Johns and Katz might be setting up the eventual revelation that Rip Hunter is really Ted Kord.

Personally, I think that revealing that Rip is actually Ted Kord would be pretty damn cool and a rather creative and original idea. It certainly beats the predictable outcomes of either brining back Blue Beetle from the dead permanently or simply killing Ted off once again.

Johns and Katz bring back Rip Hunter’s infamous blackboard that is chockfull of neat little teasers. We get a teaser about Midnight stalking Gotham. We get a teaser about the Red Lantern Corps who are sure to play a big role in the upcoming Blackest Night event. We get a teaser dealing with the Titans telling us that Trigon is a red herring. Hopefully, Winick’s entire run is a red herring and DC is going to put another writer on that title.

“Why, Captain Atom? Why?” is a question I have asked myself since the botched handling of his transformation into Monarch and then the subsequent lame role that Monarch played in Countdown. I would love to see Captain Atom return to the DCU.

I don’t know what “City of Angels > Zatarra” is hinting at other than Zatarra is going to be doing something in Los Angeles. “Jean Paul Valley lives” has been explained to me. I dropped Batman durign the period that Bruce Wayne was not the Batman. “The Perfect Peter Platinum” does not mean anything to me.

“Listen to Libra. The Prince will fall on his sword.” “That’s not him!” and “Who is under the mask?” where the three that intrigued me the most. I know who Libra is. I am curious to learn who “The Prince” is. The other two teasers are cryptic enough that I just can’t place them at all.

Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund combine to deliver plenty of nice artwork. Jurgens gives Booster Gold such an enjoyable clean look. Jurgens also does a good job conveying the emotions of the various characters through their facial expressions.

The Bad: The dialogue at the end of Booster Gold #10 was unimpressive. The entire “death” scene was pretty cheesy and was crammed full of hackneyed dialogue. This was surprising considering how solid the dialogue has been during Johns and Katz’ run on this title.

This predictable ending lacked any real purpose. Nothing was accomplished by bringing Ted back for a couple of issues and then sending him right back to his death. It provided zero character growth for Ted. We already saw Ted’s heroic nature during the events that took place prior to Infinite Crisis. This current story arc did nothing to make me think that Ted was anymore of a hero than I thought he was prior to his death.

This story also fails to provide any character growth for Booster. We already saw Booster getting deconstructed during 52 and then reassembled into a true hero by the conclusion of 52. We then saw Booster learn the hard lesson that time cannot be changed in Booster Gold #5 when we saw Barbara Gordon getting shot by the Joker over and over and over again.

This story also fails to make Booster anymore of a hero than he was at the beginning of this title when he turned down his coveted JLA membership. Booster became a true hero when he decided to help Rip guard the time stream and be the greatest hero that history will never know. Booster subordinated his own ego and desire for attention and glory by having his peers view him as an egotistical jerk so he could fulfill his role as a guardian of the time stream.

So, I just don’t see how this story ending with Ted’s death once again performed any character growth for either Ted or Booster. And that is the litmus test for whether a story had any value or purpose at all.

At this point, it just comes across more as Johns and Katz engaging in a bit of comic book grave robbery. They simply violate Ted’s character one more time and rub it in the fan’s face that Ted is dead and will never come back. It is almost like DC is telling the fan to get over it and move on from Ted and embrace the new Blue Beetle. That is probably the one way that guarantees that I will forever hate the new Blue Beetle. And that is despite my strong desire to see more Hispanic characters in the world of comic books.

The ending of Ted Kord willingly sending himself back to the moment of his death in order to prevent the time stream from unraveling was painfully predictable. The reader saw this resolution coming from a mile away. The fact that this was so blatantly obvious several issues ago makes me think that Johns and Katz still have a big swerve in store for us. There is no way that Johns and Katz are going to end their run on Booster Gold with such an uncreative ending.

Overall: Booster Gold #10 was a wild ride that made for an extremely entertaining read. I think that most fans will love this issue. Booster Gold #10 has action, adventure, stunning plot twists and an ending that is sure to spark a serious debate between readers. You cannot ask much more than that from a comic book.

If you still have not given Booster Gold a try then do yourself a favor and get this story when it comes out in trade paperback format. You won’t be disappointed.

5 Comments

  1. “Jean Paul Valley lives”

    This is in reference to the character Azrael. He took over the role of Batman, when Bane broke Batman’s back.

    “Listen to Libra”

    This is a reference to Libra, one of the main villains in Final crisis.

    I have a theory that Rip Hunter might be a grown up Kamandi that Booster rescued from the end of time. How cool would that be?

    A. Non

  2. “Jean Paul Valley lives” and “The Perfect Peter Platinum isn’t so perfect” both mean nothing to me. They must deal with titles that I do not read.

    Jean Paul Valley took over for batman when his back was broken, it might tie into the whole Batman RIP deal. Peter is a future version of Boster gold. I think he will be adressed in the one million arc.

    I kind of liked the death. Orginally, Blue beatle went out like a wee little girl. At least this time he died heroically to save the world. It’s a step up. Plus, we don’t know for sure that he’s dead, so the open endedness means he could be back and that both sides an be pissed off.

  3. i like your rip theory it would be cool if he were ted. how ever imust disagree jaime reyes the new blue beetle is perfect and awesome i want him to be around forever

  4. Peter Platinum is a nod to the next BG issue.

    The Ted Kord/Rip Hunter theory has been around for awhile but their so different that it just doesn’t make sense to me. I think Johns might have had the idea of who Rip was in JSA. BTW Rip is cool, how many big brain type can you say beat up a caveman with their bare hands?

    Teds’ “death” isn’t sealed to me. There are too many factors to say it is. Black Beetle is with him in the Time Sphere and Booster has the scarab. Those issues have to be addressed or it’s still left open.

    -E

  5. As I’ve seen mentioned elsewhere, the ending of Booster Gold 10 seems to be a deliberate homage to the ending Star Trek II and Spock’s death (also, see the whole mind control worm connection.) Given what happened in Star Trek III, that suggests Ted isn’t dead yet, per se (and suggests how Ted may be coming back.)

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