Comic Book Review: Booster Gold #9

The Revolution always looks forward to the latest issue of Booster Gold. Johns and Katz have been tacos in the bank with this title. Booster Gold has quickly become one of The Revolution’s favorite DC titles. It should be fun watching Booster and Blue Beetle gathering their old teammates together to take on Maxwell Lord. Let’s go ahead and do this review for Booster Gold #9.

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

Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: We begin with Maxwell Lord and Superman arriving at Brother I’s satellite base. Lord thinks how he is close to realizing his mission in life. That Lord has wanted to make the world better by keeping power over the world in the hands of men and women and not androids, aliens and metahumans. That Lord’s OMACs will destroy all of the metahumans. Then humanity will get a second chance and Checkmate will be there to make sure they don’t screw it up. We see that Lord has captured the good Dr. Light and will use her as a permanent power source for Brother I that will never run out
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We cut to Booster Gold and Blue Beetle use Mr. Miracle’s Mother Box to arrive at the Batcave. Batman is missing. Beetle says that the Mother Box is telling him that there is no trace of Batman anywhere. It is like Batman has vanished off the face of the Earth.

Booster thinks about how Rip Hunter told him that Booster cannot change the past. Booster thinks that Rip is wrong. That for once in Booster’s sad career that he is going to do the impossible. Blue Beetle then gets a lock onto Mr. Miracle’s location.

We cut to Mr. Miracle in Belle Reve prison. The entire prison has been converted over to hold just one man: Mr. Miracle. Lord has kept Mr. Miracle alive in hopes of coercing him to showing Checkmate some of his Fourth World technology. Mr. Miracle refused to cooperate for the last time. Therefore, Lord has ordered him to be killed.

We see Mr. Miracle busting his way through one security measure after another. The prison guards monitoring Mr. Miracle from the monitor room panic and decide to flood the level that Mr. Miracle is on. Suddenly, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold appear on the scene and tell Mr. Miracle to come with them. They then use the Mother Box to teleport away from the prison.

We cut to Fire standing with Guy Gardner on a snowy mountain outside some massive doors going into the mountain. Fire tells Guy that no matter what he does she will never be okay with him trying to get back into Ice’s pants. Guy is actually rather tame and simply asks nicely for Fire to heat him up since he is conserving his power ring’s energy. Evidently, thanks to Superman-Prime, Hal, John and Kyle are all gone and the rest of the Green Lantern Corps are getting their butts kicked by the Sinestro Corps. Therefore, Guy has to conserve his power.

Suddenly, Ted, Booster and Mr. Miracle teleport onto the scene. Fire is giddy with happiness that Ted is still alive and she gives him a big hug. Booster comments that he is also still alive, but Fire doesn’t appear to be that thrilled over that fact. Booster tells Fire and Guy that they are here to get the Justice League International together to take on Maxwell Lord. That they are going to find Martian Manhunter and get him to lead them.

Fire then says that Ice is trying to get help from the Norse gods to take on Maxwell Lord. Suddenly, the doors in the cave open and Ice comes walking out. Ice is crying and says that the gods refused to help them. Guy then gives a little pep talk that they don’t need the gods and that Justice League can do it on their own. Booster and Ted are surprised by Guy’s positive attitude.

We cut to Rip Hunter, Daniel and Rose arriving at the Vanishing Point in the time stream. Evidently, the Time Stealers have already left. Rip notes that the villains seem obsessed with Booster. Rip wonders why the villains haven’t just gone ahead and tried to kill Booster. Rip wonders why the villains would toy with Booster. Rip is worried about the villains already leaving the Vanishing Point means that that the villains are way ahead of them. Rip also says that this is the first time that he can’t see the future.

We shift to the JLI arriving where J’onn is being held hooked into the giant machine from Infinite Crisis. Currently, the rest of the Green Lantern Corps are fighting with doppelgangers of Superman, Lex Luthor and Conner Kent. Ted says to Booster that even if they stop Lord that it sounds like the entire universe is at risk.

Booster answers that once they take down Max then they will tell the League what happened. The entire story. Time travel and saving Ted. Everything. Then they can help them fix it all. Our heroes then finish freeing J’onn from the machine.

We cut back to Maxwell Lord on Brother I’s satellite station. Suddenly, the Justice League International teleport onto the scene and attack Lord, Superman and his OMACs. Our heroes being brawling with the OMACs. Maxwell Lord and Martian Manhunter square off and have a battle of telepathy with Superman as the prize. Lord tries to force Superman to kill J’onn while Martian Manhunter tries to free Superman from Lord’s control. Our heroes free Dr. Light from the machine that she was hooked into. Dr. Light mumbles that Lord killed her children when he captured her.

Booster notices one of the Checkmate guards fighting alongside the JLI. The guard rips off his cloths and it is Batman in disguise. Batman tells Booster that Batman had infiltrated Checkmate months ago and was close to freeing everyone without drawing any attention to them. That Booster screwed up. That Batman was about to take back control of Brother I.

Booster snaps into control and tells Batman that he is wrong. That Batman will never destroy Brother I. That even if they stop Lord that Brother I will continue to carry out Lord’s orders. That Brother I has become sentient. Booster says that they need to get to the command center where they can access all operations from there. Booster breaks into the command center and finds a flashing red button that controls Brother I and presses it.

We cut to Lord proving to be the stronger telepath and J’onn collapses in defeat. Lord is about to have Superman kill J’onn when suddenly Dr. Light blasts a huge hole through Lord’s chest. Lord collapses to the ground dead. Superman regains control of his mind. Superman reaches for Batman and begins crying. Superman says that Lord murdered Lois.

Booster then says that he can fix Lois being killed as well. That Booster can save everyone. That he needs Rip. That they can still set things right if they can find Rip.

Suddenly, we see a time sphere appear on the scene. Initially, Booster thinks it is Rip. However, we see the Time Stealers step out of the time sphere. End of issue.

Comments
The Good: Booster Gold #9 was another excellent read. Johns and Katz continue to be absolute money on this title. This was a perfectly paced issue. The story shifts seamlessly between fast paced action scenes and well done dramatic scenes. This is definitely a wild ride of a read.

Booster Gold #9 was well plotted. Johns and Katz keep this story moving along with a purpose. Johns has such masterful long-term vision and is deftly pulling together all the different plotlines into one enjoyable complex story. Johns continues to do a good job meshing the events of Infinite Crisis into this story arc.

Katz crafts more of his always excellent dialogue. Katz has continually impressed me with his ability to deliver such quality external voices for each character. Katz also treats the reader to plenty of good character work. Katz takes the time and effort to make sure that the characters in this story are fully fleshed out and well developed. The strong dialogue and character work naturally lends to some fantastic chemistry between the various characters. The reader gets a true sense that these members of the JLI really are old friends.

What is really enjoyable with the team of Johns and Katz is how the two writers complement each other. Booster Gold #9 is a serious story dealing with several grim plotlines. And that is to be expected with a Johns title. However, Katz brings such a delightful humorous touch to this title that balances out Johns’ somberness. Without Katz, Booster Gold might be too depressing of a read. Katz well timed humorous dialogue keeps this story from being too heavy.

The entertaining banter between Booster and Ted is perfect. Katz also sprinkles other funny panels into the story like when Fire hugs Blue Beetle out of happiness that he is still alive, but then reacts much more subdued to Booster being alive. This was a nice subtle way to further Booster’s image as a hard-luck hero who gets little respect.

While clearly committed to strong complex plots, quality character work and good dialogue, Katz and Johns still know that you have to deliver rocking action scenes. And Booster Gold #9 definitely delivers plenty of furious action.

I enjoyed seeing Mr. Miracle back in action. I have always liked Scott Free. He has a great look and an intriguing power set. The concept of an entire prison being modified to hold just one man was very cool.

Johns and Katz continue to do a wonderful job with Booster’s character. Yeah, Johns puts Booster over on Batman. And I have no problem with that. Booster’s character gets some validation in this issue after always being continually discounted by the big guns like Batman. So, Booster gets the chance to grandstand Batman and play the role of the hero with the plan.

Hey, this is a Johns title. It is no secret that Johns doesn’t like Batman. So you know Johns will always get one of his pet characters like Hal or Booster over on Batman when Batman shows up on their title. It is like you know when Frank Miller writes Batman that Miller is probably going to punk out other characters like Superman and Hal when they appear on the title.

I dig that Johns and Katz continue to emphasize Booster’s refusal to accept defeat. Booster displays such grit and determination that borders on sheer stubbornness. Booster doggedly insists that he can make everything right. That Booster will fix all that has gone wrong due to him rescuing Ted. Booster is driven to do the impossible and keep Ted alive and still fix mess with the time stream due to Ted being saved.

This determination to “do the impossible” for the first time in his “sad career” makes me think that maybe Johns isn’t going to end this story with the terribly predictable ending of Ted having to be killed in order to fix the time stream. It would be much cooler to actually see a hard-luck hero like Booster who seems to always screw up to actually pull off something impossible that Rip Hunter claims cannot be done.

It was great to see the Justice League International back together again and taking on Maxwell Lord. It was a refreshing change of pace to see this collection of misfits riding to the rescue instead of the iconic version of the Justice League. These characters have been routinely mocked as the joke version of the Justice League so it was cool to see them getting the glory of taking down Lord. It was enjoyable seeing the JLI presented as a group of real heroes and not just a mere punch line.

I liked the dramatic death of Maxwell Lord. I was not expecting Dr. Light to get the honor of finishing of Max. I figured that would go to either Booster or Ted. Personally, I would have rather seen Ted put a cap in Max’s ass than Dr. Light. Still, it was well done and Max had it coming after killing Dr. Light’s kids.

We get an awesome hook ending in this issue. I liked the dramatic appearance of the Time Stealers. I love this collection of villains. I have been looking forward to this inevitable showdown between the Time Stealers and our heroes. This should make for one excellent brawl in the next issue.

Jurgens and Rapmund combine to crank out plenty of nice artwork. Jurgens presents such a clean and enjoyable looking comic book.

The Bad: I have no complaints with this issue.

Overall: Booster Gold #9 was another excellent issue. This title continues to be one of the strongest comic books that DC is currently publishing. Johns and Katz are treating the reader to a historic run on this title. If you still have not given this title a try then I would definitely recommend doing so. I would at least encourage you to get the Booster Gold trade paperback of their run on this title.

8 Comments

  1. I hate to say it , but the first time I glanced at the Time-Stealers panel, I though it was Youngblood!I am going to read this in trades. I would add it , since I am dropping JLA, but Johns is leaving in 3 issues. Oh well. This seems like a great use of continuity without it washing everything else away.

  2. Another great review, I enjoy reading your insights about Booster. I have to agree about the “sad career” part. Everything seems against Ted living making him dying too predictable.

    I haven’t read everything Johns had done with Batman but I assumed he acted like this because nothing snaps him out of his jerk phase around IC. Nightwing is dead, Robin is captured, and Alfred is an Omac. They did have Batman stand up for Booster in #1 though.

    And while I always thought it would be cool for Max to shoot and the bullet to bounce of Boosters’ force field back to him I can’t see either Ted and him killing. Teds’ not a killer and while I do see Booster acting in a fit of rage I don’t think he would if Ted is still alive. Just my two cents.

  3. This was a lot stronger than last issue, I thought (the whole ‘first team’ bit seemed kind of pointless, given how it accomplished nothing, although that was obviously the point). I enjoyed seeing the old group, and their interaction is strong; in fact, the teamwork/reunion battle is so enjoyable that I at first overlooked the huge logic flaw in the big fight, which is simply that it only lasts as long as it does because everyone acts like a moron except Doctor Light. Maxwell Lord is a regular human, but no one on the team (several of whom are avowedly there to kill him) uses the basic tactic of attacking his physical body, which is, well, regular human. Particularly when J’onn is facing him down, declaring that he will kill Lord, but then doesn’t just pulp his head with his superstrong hands or heat vision; he just fights him telepathically.

    I really liked all the allusions to events that happened during and after Infinite Crisis that still happened in this timeline, but with different outcomes (the arrival of the Multiverse survivors, Ice getting resurrected).

    Jurgens’ art is great, and it seems especially appropriate for this collection of late 80/early 90s types. He’s sticking around as artist after Johns & Katz leave, which is good (there have been rumours that he’s the new writer too, although that’s just speculation; we’ll know next week, I suppose, when the solicits for September should be out).

  4. I’ve always loved Dr.Light, but I felt she was sorely never really developed beyond the 1980s Justice League International title. I see a lot of potential in Johns taking over the character. A weekly comic featuring C List characters like 52 or Countdown could be a great opportunity to develop her character.

    I never really liked Booster Gold until Johns took over. Of course BG will never be A list, but Johns works hard to bring him ever so close as possible. I would have to say BG has taken my number 1 spot for DC comics over Green Lantern. I really despise Johns having to think we need another history lesson in Hal Jordon. It appears he wants to do with GL what John Bryne did in the Man of Steel for Superman.
    Anyways…BG rules!!!!

  5. A “doppelganger” of Conner Kent? Is this really a copy of the real guy, or actual Conner being mind-controlled by Lord or Luthor?

    This may constitute an official exception to my “No Conner, no money for DC” rule.

  6. That’s just what Guy calls Superboy-Prime, since, from Guy’s perspective, the only Superboy he knows is Conner.

  7. it was a reference to superboy prime from infinite crisis, so at the time there where 2 superboys

  8. Has there ever been an official explanation for why changing time doesn’t leave people with alternate memories here, but does with the Titans of Tomorrow? You can probably claim that different methods of time travel have different rules, but I didn’t know if that had ever been addressed. In fact, it seems so odd how this works with the Titans that I almost expected it to be a specific story point.

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