"The Ghosts of Atlantis"
Writer: Bill Williams
Artists: Carlo Barberi(p), Zach Howard(i), Heroic Age(c)
This issue of Justice League Unlimited teams up Superman with Dr. Fate, Aquaman and Booster Gold. Now, if I hadn’t seen “The Greatest Story Never Told” I would have suggested writer Bill Williams may want to have his head examined for thinking that he can make Booster Gold into something other than comedy relief. Fortunately, I have seen “The Greatest Story Never Told.”
Booster Gold in the animated continuity is much different from the DCU version. While he possesses a sense of humor, he doesn’t behave like a juvenile. He does not have any illusions about himself. He does not act arrogant, and as a result, he comes off as a likeable, low-powered super-hero who tries his best and usually succeeds. Bill Williams’ story in Justice League Unlimited reinforces that idea.
The story begins with Aquaman calling for help. He suffered a sneak attack in one of the ancient temples festooning the ocean bottom near Atlantis. This brings Superman, Dr. Fate and Booster to Aquaman’s aid. Along the way, Williams plays off Booster--more down to earth--against Dr. Fate, and it’s Fate who realizes that he acts the boor toward the young hero. Williams furthermore winningly shows that Superman accepts Booster as he is.
DC spoils one of the villains behind the scheme to take over Atlantis and indeed the world, but Williams keeps the identity of the second culprit hidden from the reader. The dialogue he chooses for this particular villain doesn’t really suit his characterization from the animated series, but it’s a minor quibble when the plot excites and the remaining characterization excels.
The art by Carlo Barberi looks a little different but does not suffer from substitute inker Zach Howard. Barberi provides an action-packed mix of fantasy-oriented violence and heroic courage. He as usual handles the subtleties of expression within the context of the Timm animated style.
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