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

Booster Gold #33

Written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis

Art by Chris Batista

Thematically, this is not the Booster we were reading two issues ago. The greatest hero you’ve never heard of, the time cop who has to carry around the weight of his actions, that isn’t the extreme focus of the book right now. That isn’t to say it’s all be brushed aside, not at all, but the focus of the book has definitely been shifted into Generation Lost mode, and with it comes the bwa-ha-ha. That means that there is a random little girl hanging out with Booster and Rip, and that Boost needs to watch his language. That means that his focus is on Max, how to find him, how to stop him, and most importantly, what drove his friend to these lengths? The former JLI writers might be making with the funny, but they’ve hardly skipped out on the character development, as one thing Booster has never really done since Ted died was focus on his own relationship with Max Lord.

A great moment comes early in the book when a member of the current Justice League tries to lecture Booster about how he doesn’t know what he’s doing, and how the JLI were a bunch of screw ups. This leads to an awesome Booster moment where he proceeds to lay the verbal smackdown on all of the JLI haters, pointing out that they mattered, that Batman and J’onn wouldn’t have been long standing members if they didn’t matter.

The Max incident is looking more and more like it’s going to be a big character point for Boost going forward, not just because he’s one of the few people in the DCU who remembers he exists, but because Max was his friend long before he was leading up Checkmate and blowing Beetle’s brains out. And it’s weird, because Booster’s feelings towards Max Lord haven’t really been explored, I mean, he’s furious that he betrayed them and killed Ted, ┬ábut Max had been dead for a while in real time before Booster got his ongoing, so it never had an excuse to be explored.

The meat of the issue is Booster using time travel to try and prove the existence of Max Lord, and given where he goes, and who he sees, and all that surrounds it, it’s hilarious. I mean, yes, there’s a lot of serious business, but Giffen and DeMatteis are doing a phenomenal job at balancing out the funny with the story, and while yeah, it’s not as serious of a super hero book as it was a few months ago, that doesn’t make it bad. The tone of the book changing was a concern, yeah, but not nearly on par with them just coming on and throwing away what Booster has been doing for the past few years in favor of a JLI revitalization. Thankfully with writers like Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis we really had nothing to worry about, as they really do have their continuity down, and show a respect for what’s come before. Even if it’s material sandwiched between two of their own runs.

Chris Batista continues to be a fine followup artist to the creator himself, Dan Jurgens, and his pencils are just great. He even manages a subtle difference in the stylings between the different eras Booster winds up in, not to spoil, but he definitely can pull off modern and vintage in the same issue. Still happy to see him on a monthly!

So is it Johns or Jurgens Booster Gold? It isn’t. Is that a bad thing? Not totally, it’s still the greatest hero you’ve never heard of, and he’s still a time cop, his jokes are just finally funny again.



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