- Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis #55, by Tad Williams & Shawn McManus (DC)
- Booster Gold #1, by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz, Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund (DC)
- The Brave and The Bold #6, by Mark Waid, George Pérez & Scott Koblish (DC)
- Countdown #37 of 52 (backwards), by Paul Dini, Adam Beechen, Keith Giffen, David Lopez, Mike Norton, Don Hillsman II, & Rod Ramos (DC)
- Armageddon Conquest: Quasar #2 of 4, by Christos N. Gage, Mike Lilly, Bob Almond & Scott Hanna (Marvel)
- Invincible: My Favorite Martian TPB vol 8, by Robert Kirkman & Ryan Ottley (Image)
- Invincible #42-44, by Robert Kirkman & Ryan Ottley (Image)
If you were on board for Keith Giffen’s Justice League series or last year’s 52 series, then you know that Booster Gold is a glory-hound hero who does the right thing while trying to promote his image and get rich. He’s a bit of a comical character, whose history has gotten rather tortured as his powers have changed, his best friend has been killed, and he’s helped save the timestream.
If you’re a True Believer, though, you know that Booster Gold was the first superhero created after the Crisis, way back in 1986. Created by Dan Jurgens, a writer/artist with a clean line who’s probably best-known for killing off Superman, Booster was a frustrated ex-football player from the 25th century who came back to our time to become the hero he always imagined himself. He set himself up in Metropolis and went toe-to-toe with Superman for popularity. It was a nifty premise, and the first Booster series – which ran 25 issues – did a good job of exploring Booster’s past and present (and future). Jurgens’ writing and art always seem just a little stiff to me, but you can’t fault his enthusiasm or cleverness.
It seems that Booster’s popularity has finally reached the point where it’s time for him to get his own series, but how do you relaunch a character who’s, well, done it all? Apparently by having him do it all again: Booster is recruited by Rip Hunter, Time Master to help repair damage in the fabric of time, which someone may be exploiting to destroy the Justice League. He’s finally convinced to side with Hunter rather than joining the JLA himself, but at a price. It’s an interesting premise – one which might wear thin quickly, but which suggests that perhaps there’s a goal at the end of the road, rather than a series of one-off adventures. Which would be nice.
Jurgens returns on art, credited with the “layouts”, which usually means the final art more reflects the style of the guy doing the finishes – by Norm Rapmund in this case – but it looks like Jurgens’ art through-and-through. Geoff Johns co-writes with Jeff Katz, which I suspect means that Katz is doing the bulk of the writing while Johns is present to lend some name recognition to the book. Hard to tell. All things considered, it’s not a bad start.
B&B wraps up its first storyline, “The Lords of Luck”, with one final set of guest stars as our heroes take on some bad guys who know every move they have planned – almost. It’s almost anticlimactic after the big Legion issue last month, but this has been a great series. I guess Waid and Pérez have one more storyline planned before Waid heads off to become editor-in-chief of Boom! Studios.
But I think it’s going to be a while before either creator manages to top this one. This has been a great series so far.
I’m pretty impressed with how Robert Kirkman juggles the large cast, characters who come and go, relationships that shift over the course of a year or two, villains who sometimes get their final rewards and others who keep coming back, he does a good job of keeping you guessing. I think sometimes he’s a little too brutal in handling the characters, and that certain characters get the short end of the stick in their exposure, but nobody’s perfect.
It takes a lot for a serial story which isn’t headed to some sort of definitive conclusion to keep my hooked. I’ve read through four years’ worth of Invincible this year, and it looks like it might be that book.
Oh, and Ryan Ottley‘s art just keeps getting better and better.