Booster Gold #44
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund
Finally….Jurgens has come back home! Not that the run by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis was bad, but after being spoiled by years of Dan Jurgens it was hard to leave Booster’s more serious tone in favor of time-travel assisted ‘bwa-ha-ha’. Well, that, and yet another “Booster deals with Ted Kord’s death” story. This issue picks up in the aftermath of Jurgens Time Masters: Vanishing Point mini, as opposed to the last arc of this title, and it’s marked clearly as a Flashpoint tie in. Why? Because after Booster looks at the blackboard that Rip Hunter didn’t write everyone is all of the sudden gone, and he’s in the world of Flashpoint. Booster now joins Barry in the list of heroes who remember the world that was….and then trumps Barry by still having his powers.
The issue is not unlike the first issue of Flashpoint, with Jurgens dropping us right into the thick of things and later going back to give us a little setup. By dropping us right in it builds a sense of importance to the situation Booster is in, as well as the dire nature of being a flier passing over the United States. Why does being a flier matter? Because apparently the U.S. doesn’t have any, so he’s immediately mistaken for a hostile Atlantean. Why they would expect an Atlantean soldier to be flying at them I’m not sure, though I imagine it will make more sense once we see a little bit of Emperor Aquaman. Seeing Booster shot at, bombed, and entire buildings being taken out to stop a perceived threat, however, that goes a long way to show just what kind of a state Aquaman’s attacks on Europe have left the U.S. I mean, to launch an attack over one of your own cities? You don’t do that out of anger, you do that out of fear, and it’s a subtle little notion brought out of a not-so-subtle event.
The downside is that not a lot happens in this issue, to be honest, and while it’s cool that we got dropped directly into things, the issue goes back to explain a lot of it. Including retelling the history of Booster for the umpteenth time. It’s a fish out of water issue with Booster assuming that he’s dropped into another timeline, or into one of the other 52. Assumptions Booster should be making as, obviously, that’s his purpose in the DCU these days; time travel and alternate realities. It also makes him the perfect character to put over the fact that the Flashpoint timeline is written over the core timeline; as opposed to being a divergent timeline or universe, there is no home to go to…he’s already there. Of course, Booster has to discover this the hard way.
Dan Jurgens brings more than a stable and familiar characterization to this tile, he also brings the familiar style that makes it so hard for me to not speak his praises. His style just radiates an iconic nature to all of the characters involved; so while Chris Batista was doing energetic action during his stint, you look at Jurgens and the story just feels that much more epic. He’s the definitive style for this title, not to mention Superman (in my eyes), and while this is hardly the most eventful issue, he does get to showcase some of what he can do. I fully expect next issue to look better, if not just for the inclusion of some much needed action that this issue lacks. Booster needs to fight someone, not block and run.
It’s a lukewarm return for Mr. Jurgens as nothing really happens in this place setter of an issue. Booster is in the world of Flashpoint with no way out and no knowledge of how it happened, and, most importantly, without Rip Hunter. He’s believed to be hostile, he has no idea how to get them to realize otherwise, but….this is a set up issue. The last page more or less confirms it by introducing us to our threat for next issue and the promise for a potentially one sided ass kicking…with Booster on the receiving end. One thing Johns hadn’t accomplished in his setup in the first issue was the actual American response to Aquaman and Wonder Woman, we knew how the heroes and villains felt, but this issue is the one that shows up what the U.S. government does at things they perceive to be threats, and that’s kinda cool. By the end of the book…it’s not a bad title, it’s just disappointing. The art is great, and the characterization is great, but nothing really happens and just as the book heats up to the ‘good part’, we get a to be continued and it’s just over. Now, obviously, i can’t wait to read the next issue, I just expected more out of this one.
Tags: Booster Gold, Dan Jurgens, Flashpoint (DC Comics), Geoff Johns, Reviews