January 21, 2011

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Booster Gold Volume 1 52 Pickup

Written by Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz
Illustrated by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund
DC

I picked this up totally on a lark, fully expecting not to like it. I'm not a fan of the direction of DC comics since Johns and Morrison basically took over control of the universe, and what little I've poked my head into at the bookstore by Johns recently really didn't thrill me. As if that wasn't enough, the premise is time travel, something that usually doesn't grab me, either.

But for whatever reason, I enjoyed this one a lot more than I expected to. Maybe it's because Johns is a bit more restrained here, scaling back on the brutal scenes of murder and gore. Maybe it's because Jurgens draws a great comic book, and the visuals here are as good as ever. Or maybe it's that Booster is part of the DC Comics world that we won't ever get back, and this is a link for me, however fragile. Either way, I had a lot of fun reading it.

Booster, in the wake of 52, is just about to put his life back together when Rip Hunter tears it apart again in the name of saving the multiverse. Now Booster must fade into obscurity as he hops about trying to patch holes created when someone messed with everything in the time-space continuum. But if Booster has his way, he won't do it alone--after all, what good is being able to change time if you can't save your best friend? Can this new job save Ted Kord? Only time will tell!

The premise means that, not unlike Exiles, we get to romp through some great times in the DC Universe. Booster battles Sinestro when he's a Green Lantern, challenges Jonah Hex to a drinking match and meets a moralizing Barry Allen, amongst other things. Though the mission is serious, a lot of the tone is not. For the first time in a long time, I actually smiled and laughed at a DC comic book. Though Johns cannot help himself and insists on having one serious moment that hits a sour note, the general take on things is entirely more old-school than you'd expect. Since I prefer that way of writing, I enjoyed this one immensely.

Whenever I read a book like this, I wonder why DC (and Marvel) can't do more books like this and less ones where people are literally ripped in half or vomit blood. It clearly can be done, but too often it's with lesser-known characters, which means the sales are lower. Why not try this with Batman or Spider-Man and see what happens? The results might surprise you, guys. Maybe you can start selling above 100,000 copies a month again.

Filled with great drawings of much of the DC Universe by Jurgens to a possible return of a man who was wronged, Booster Gold has a lot to offer any reader who takes a chance on it. It's not amazing comics, but it's good old fashioned fun. Readers looking for comics that feature good stories without as much of the unneeded violence should definitely check this one out.