Comic Book Review: Booster Gold #8

Booster Gold never fails to deliver a quality read. DC has a real gem on their hands with this title. Johns and Katz are in the midst of giving us a wild tale as Booster and Blue Beetle deal with the repercussions of saving Ted’s life from Maxwell Lord. I’m positive that Booster Gold #8 will be another fine read. Let’s hit this review.

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 Booster Gold summarizing the events of the last couple of issues. Boost and Blue Beetle follow Hawkman and Green Arrow to their secret headquarters of the resistance. Along the way Hawkman and Green Arrow continually bicker about which path to take to get back to the headquarters.

The constant bickering leads Booster and Blue Beetle to be concerned about the effectiveness of this group of resistance fighters. Booster even mentions that he heard from Black Canary that even Batman was “scared” to get in between Hawkman and Green Arrow when they were fighting. (Really? That is totally inconsistent with Batman’s personality and I completely don’t believe it.)

Booster and Blue Beetle agree that Hawkman and Green Arrow would only invite the best of the best to be a part of their Freedom Fighters. We arrive at the secret headquarters of the Freedom Fighters and find out that this ragtag band of heroes consists of Hawkman, Green Arrow, Pantha, Wild Dog and Anthro. Booster and Blue Beetle immediately agree that they are screwed with this bunch of losers.

Hawkman tells everyone to get ready to go to Lord’s castle in 10 minutes. That Blue Beetle’s ship is invisible to OMACs and that they are going to take the fight to Maxwell Lord. Booster Gold tells Hawkman to slow down. That Maxwell Lord has Superman as a weapon and that this rag tag band of heroes isn’t going to be able to take on Superman.

We cut to Maxwell Lord’s office where Superman has a beaten Wildcat in his grip. Lord commands Superman to kill Wildcat. Superman stands there motionless and refuses to kill. Lord comments how he can control Superman to do anything except kill.

Brother I then tells Lord that eventually Superman will wear down and Lord will be able to command him to kill. Lord retorts that Hal Jordan never broke. Brother I responds that the OMACs took care of Jordan. Lord comments that all the heroes who refused to join the JLA when Lord ran it will die.

We shift to the time stream where Rip Hunter tells Rose and Daniel that they are headed to the end of time. That the chronal energy the Black Beetle had was pure and can only be found towards the end of time. That the Black Beetle, Supernova and Rex Hunter all have to be connected. That while Skeets pinpoints Booster’s distress signal they are going to take the fight to the bad guys.

We shift to the Vanishing Point at the end of time. Black Beetle, Per Degaton and Despero are all meeting together. Per Degaton mentions that Rip Hunter is racing toward them. Black Beetle reminds Despero and Per Degaton that Supernova has stated that Rip Hunter is not the real target.

That in order to wipe out the legacy of the Time Masters from the history books they have to get rid of Booster Gold. And that they cannot kill Booster. The only way to erase Booster’s influence on history is to break him and make him walk away before he realizes his true destiny and that of his line.

We then see Supernova and Ultra-Humanite on one of the monitor screens. Supernova reminds Per Degaton that it is Supernova’s right alone to harm Booster Gold. We then shift to Rip Hunter’s Time Lab where Supernova and Ultra-Humanite are located. Supernova instructs Ultra-Humanite to shatter the Time Sphere to prevent Booster from continuing to try and fix time. Ultra-Humanite destroys the Time Sphere.

We zip back to our heroes in Blue Beetle’s ship on their way to Lord’s castle. Blue Beetle suggest to Booster that they head back to Rip’s Time Lab and get the Time Sphere and try to fix this problem another way. Booster states that he refuses to take Ted back to when he got killed. (Goddammit. It is so obvious that Johns brought back Ted just to kill him off again.)

Suddenly, Superman torpedoes through Blue Beelte’s ship and grabs Anthro and flies off. Booster and Hawkman fly Blue Beetle Green Arrow, Pantha and Wild Dog down to Checkmate’s castle. Our heroes immediately begin brawling with a bunch of Checkmate soldiers.

Green Arrow is then shot with a dart that turns him into an OMAC. The OMAC then blasts Hawkman with a laser and kills him. Maxwell Lord then appears on the scene and takes control over Wild Dog and forces Wild Dog to shoot and kill Pantha and then shoot and kill himself.

Booster Gold and Blue Beetle are the only heroes still alive. Lord then shoots Blue Beetle in the shoulder. Lord then says that there is much more going on with Booster Gold than he ever imagined. Lord demands that Booster Gold tell him everything that he knows about time travel.

Booster blasts Lord and then grabs Blue Beetle and runs for it. Booster heads into the armory where the weapons of all the slain super heroes are stored. Ted spies a mother box and quickly uses it to teleport Booster and himself back to old Justice League International headquarters in New York City.

Booster and Blue Beetle talk about how the poorly run Freedom Fighters never stood a chance against Lord and Superman. They agree that they need to find heroes who they know inside and out and have great team chemistry with. Suddenly, Booster and Blue Beetle realize they need to get the Justice League International back together again.

Comments
The Good: Booster Gold #8 was another excellent issue. This issue has a wonderful flow to it as it moves at an enjoyable pace. Johns and Katz crank out a nice blend of drama and action. Booster Gold #8 was strongly plotted as Johns and Katz continue to deliver a tight story. This is a focused story arc that moves in a methodical fashion. Resolved plotlines immediately serve as the foundation for newer even more interesting plotlines. Johns and Katz makes sure that questions keep unfurling as quickly as they are answered.

Katz whips up some enjoyable dialogue. I dig Katz’s sense of humor and his ability to deliver serious dramatic dialogue as effortlessly as he does humorous dialogue. And it is impressive how smoothly Katz can segue from the two styles of dialogue. I also appreciate that Katz tempers the humor to make sure that it never sinks to the level of pure “Bwa-ha-ha” style dialogue. I have had enough of that with Booster and Blue Beetle and doing that style of dialogue would only serve to negate the quality character growth that both men have recently received.

Katz continues to do a wonderful job with the chemistry between Booster and Blue Beetle. The reader gets the proper sense of what close friends these two characters are. Booster and Ted world so well together and it has been a real treat to see them in action once again.

Katz and Johns deliver plenty of action in Booster Gold #8 that helps make this issue a fast and fun read. One of the more enjoyable aspects of this title is that most of the issues have managed to strike a fine balance between dramatic dialogue heavy scenes and exciting action scenes.

I liked the strange collection of oddballs that constituted Hawkman and Green Arrow’s Freedom Fighters. I thought it was interesting that Anthro made an appearance on this team. Anthro is a fairly obscure character, but given that Morrison is using both Anthro and Kamandi as bookends in Final Crisis, it makes sense that Johns would insert Anthro into this story arc.

I continue to dig this collection of villains that Johns and Katz have assembled on this story arc. It is becoming obvious that Supernova is indeed the leader of this cabal of villains. That is an excellent twist. When these villains were first revealed, the vast majority of readers had to immediately think that Supernova was a flunky on the same level as Rex Hunter.

Johns and Katz end Booster Gold #8 with a wonderful hook ending. I know that all the fans of the Justice League International are probably rather excited over the prospect of seeing the old team back in action together. I have to admit that even though I was never a huge fan of the “Bwa-ha-ha” League, I am still excited to see the return of the JLI.

Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund continue to crank out plenty of quality artwork. Jurgens gives Booster Gold a nice clean and classic look.

The Bad: I strongly dislike that Johns and Katz are hinting toward Ted getting killed off yet again. Per Degaton, Despero and Supernova all talk about how Booster’s spirit must be broken so that he walks away from his job as the guardian of time. Given how Booster was ready to walk away from his job helping Rip once Rip refused to help Booster save Ted, it seems rather obvious that forcing Booster to watch Ted die once again would be the best way to make Booster quit his job.

The fact that this is such a transparently obvious direction makes me hope that Johns and Katz are merely using Ted dying a second time as a red herring. I can’t believe that with the high level of quality work that we have gotten on Booster Gold that Johns and Katz would be that predictable.

Overall: Booster Gold #8 is another fine issue. Johns and Katz continue to make this title one of the best reads on the market. Booster Gold is a balanced title that should certainly appeal to fans who desire action adventure themed stories as well as readers who enjoy stories with strong dialogue and plenty of character work. Booster Gold also manages to walk that fine line of delving into the rich history of the DCU that will delight long time readers, but still remains new reader friendly.

6 Comments

  1. I love your comic book reviews. You do a fantasic job of breaking down the good and bad elements of each issue. Well done. I hope Booster Gold gets the trade paperback treatment soon.

  2. I really not sure about this idea that Lord can’t make Superman kill; in the leadup to Infinite Crisis he was in the process of killing Batman until Wonder Woman intervened, and then it sure seemed like he was trying to kill her (by, among other things, trying to throw her into the sun).

    I’ll really miss Johns and Katz when their run ends with #11 (well, actually issue #1,000,000; I can’t wait for the whoever next team to do a tie-in to Marvel’s “-1” month), although I’m glad Johns stayed on longer than he had initially planned (he also says the new team is good, although I suppose that could just be professional courtesy; ah, well, wait and see).

    Another good issue, although I really hope there’s some kind of twist coming here, because if not then the ending to this story has been painfully obvious since #5.

  3. Anyone (Rokk? islandliberal?) with guesses on who will replace Johns/Katz? My guess is Jurgens will take over Booster Gold again.

  4. If you want a twist, then Ted goes back in time to die not by his own choice, but because he is either hijacked or tricked by Rip Hunter without Booster Gold knowing.

    Then, when the depth of this conspiracy become known, Booster finds out about what Rip did, so he becomes conflicted because he finds before him a great task that only he can accomplish, but to do so, he must rely upon the man who killed his friend.

    I’m sure Rokk (and others) would hate that Blue Beetle goes out like that, with not even a moment of self-sacrifice, but if you want a twist, there’s that option.

  5. Oooooooh. Busiek. Now there is a good idea. I think he did say he was going to have two DC titles (Trinity being one).

  6. A twist that would make Ted survive would be that one of the villains, Black Beetle, for instance get killed. Then Booster transfers Black Beetle’s corpse to the time just before Infinite Crisis and uses it as a substitute for Ted. A twist that would make everyone happy! (Hopefully.)

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