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Booster Gold #9

Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2008
By: Erik Norris

Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz
Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund, Hi-Fi (c)
DC Comics
While Booster Gold and Blue Beetle hunt down their old teammates from the Justice League International days, Max Lord continues to show this twisted version of a world returned to mankind from the grasp of the meta-human. Also, Rip Hunter also continues to talk in riddles!

Booster Gold is a series for fans of DC Comics, no doubt about it. Almost every page is littered with references for long time readers to grab hold of. While that makes for an engaging, and rewarding read for DC veterans, it also segregates its audience by veering away from a fundamental principal of comics; being able to pull in new readers. However, Booster Gold #9 seems to correct a lot of these mistakes, filling in readers with the motives of all the cast involved, and thusly produces a comic that continues the adventure of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle for followers of the series, but is also 100% accessible for newbies.

The issue’s opening page with a monologue by Max Lord, details exactly why he wants to rid the world of superheroes, returning the future of mankind to, well….mankind. And while we have known his reasoning behind his motives for a few issues, it has never been so plainly stated in one page. That single opening page lays the groundwork for our villain, and from there we are treated to the real meat of the issue: Following our heroes, or lack there of, around.

It should be no surprise the dialogue in Booster Gold #9 is as crisp as ever, with Booster and Blue Beetle slingin’ banter while they search for a solution to their impossible task. Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz have a great voice for both of these characters and it oozes off every page making me kind of depressed with how easy they make scripting look. By the time the rest of the Justice League International team is introduced, Johns and Katz have created a sandbox with infinite dialogue possibilities that all make perfect sense and flow seamlessly. Nothing feels awkward and forced for plot service, it all fits naturally. And before you ask, the whole JLI concept is also made clear through clever dialogue for new readers.

Dan Jurgens also turns in some of the best work on Booster Gold with issue #9. Every panel has a refined finish that makes his characters “pop” off the page without unnaturally pulling them out of their environment. A lot of that praise can be slung at Norm Rapmund and colorist, Hi-Fi, for adding that little extra something to Jurgen’s pencils. I also have to comment that Jurgens draws an exceptional Mister Miracle, a real treat for me, being a huge fan of the character.

However, not everything is perfect. While the banter is witty, and solid, I still miss the overly humorous approach the first half of this series took. While I’m all for epic plots, space battles, and correcting wrongs, Booster Gold was something special because it did all these while slipping on a banana.

Even with the “Indiana Jones” model (everything working out based solely on luck instead of skill) of the first four issues seeming to faded away for a more standard superhero plot progression, I can still highly recommend Booster Gold to anyone, now more than ever. It seems fan service problems have been addressed to avoid alienating audiences, which in turn, makes for a fun, engaging comic.



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