REVIEW: Booster Gold #32 by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis

Booster Gold #32

Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis

Art by Chris Batista

Make with the ‘Bwa-ha-ha’ because the boys are back and writing Booster! That’s right, the fabled JLI creative team has reunited, and together then will be writing the continued adventures of the greatest hero you’ve never heard of, Michael Jon Carter! That’s right! Booster Gold is being written by the two men that made him a comedic legend in comics! And it’s like they got right back on the horse with him.

I guess I should segue quick before it gets confusing, everyone who reads my stuff knows I’m a Booster fanatic, it’s not to be helped. I also happen to think that Dan Jurgens is the definitive anything and everything for the Boost-man. Writer, artist, all of it. No matter what anyone else does, I have the bar set by him. At the same time, Formerly Known as the Justice League is a huge part in my fandem, so Giffen and DeMatteis definitely aren’t slouches in my book. Just as well, Chris Batista is one of my favorite ‘Wait, who’s that guy again?’ artists; and I’ve been a fan of his work for years, whether it be his Legion, his JLA arc with Geoff Johns, or the fact that he was my favorite 52 artist.

So the book is definitely in capable hands, but is it enough? Do they manage to maintain the feel of just what exactly Booster has grown into being over the past few years? Or do they turn him into an inept jokester to harken back to days long past?

Well, issue opens up with Booster in a far flung time trying to do his protector of time and space duties, this time winding up in a time period that Mr. Giffen is much familiar with….The Great Darkness Saga, particularly the point where Darkseid uses three billion Daxamites under a yellow sun to reshape a world in his image. Booster’s mission, whether he likes it or not, is to recover an artifact from a warzone that makes Normandy Beach look like a playground squabble.

So in other words, four pages in an off to an awesome start. JLI Booster wouldn’t have been caught dead….well, unless he was actually, you know, dead, in a place like this. But yeah, Booster is there on a mission, people are dieing left and right, and he’s the only hero they’ve got. He spends most of the issue helping people that took his sarcasm seriously and believe his name to be ‘Major Idiot’, as well as helping a little girl who REALLY needs to use the bathroom.

As if the heat vision burning every inch of the planet wasn’t enough though, Boost also goes up against a classic Legion of Super-Heroes villain that I will not spoil.

The book maintains the action and danger that Jurgens managed to inject into it, with much more of the trademark bwa-ha-ha humor, and it works rather well. Very natural fit for Booster, and I like it a great deal. Though the humor is not what I worry about with Booster, I expect it in spades, rather I’m worried we might lose the serious edge that Booster has acquired over the past few years, where he was earning the title of the Greatest Hero You’ve Never Heard of as opposed to just telling people that he was. It would be a shame.

Now Chris Batista is no Dan Jurgens, but that’s not an insult. While I’ve always said that Dan is who you go to for iconic looking heroes and villains, as well as crisp and clear action, Chris Batista goes balls to the walls with the action and details, and I think he’s going to fit in very nicely on this title. I just hope he’s a long term artist, and not just doing a few issues or an arc before getting shuffled onto something else.

At the end of the day though, this is the first issue in a brand new chapter of Booster Gold, and it’s a chapter that I deem….must read.


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