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Booster Gold #8

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008
By: Jon Judy

Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz
Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund
DC Comics
“Blue & Gold Chapter 3: Freedom Fighters”

I signed off my last review of an issue of Booster Gold by saying “And if you are one of those incurable fans, see you back here next month when our history repeats some more and I kvetch about this stuff all over again.”

Man, I hate being right. It happens to me so infrequently that I’ve never had the chance to get inoculated to its effects. Unfortunately, this was one of those rare occasions where that stars misaligned and I turned out to be correct about something. My criticisms of Booster Gold #8 are the same ones I’ve had about this book for several issues now.

Well, to be fair, I have had to adjust some of those criticisms somewhat. For example, this is from my review of Booster Gold #7:

“For months now my primary complaint about this title has been that it seems to be arbitrarily designating some events from the DCU’s past as immutable whereas others can quite easily be changed.”

Well now I’ve had to expand that criticism, because in issue #8 it’s not just the rules of time travel that seem arbitrary. Somehow, inexplicably, Maxwell Lord has limited telepathic abilities – he can not only control minds, but he can read them.

One of my other complaints about this arc is that it has read like fan fiction or like a story that will end up with a giant F.U. to the fans. That complaint is applicable in a stronger form in issue #8.

A side-note: Many years ago, a young Jon Judy wrote a blind “pitch” – it was hardly, I’m sure, fully realized enough to be considered a professional submission – to DC Comics, where it no doubt found its rightful home at the bottom of a trash can (this was before widespread recycling, kiddies). This pitch was for a comic book reviving the Giffen Justice League, and my plot to make this reunion happen revolved around a threat so massive that it laid out all of the A-list superheroes, leaving only the Giffen Leaguers to deal with it. Deal with it they did, and realizing they were better as a team than as individuals, they decided to remain together.

Minor spoiler alert: At the end of this issue of Booster Gold, Ted and Michael decide to go looking for their old teammates, that they might be able to deal with a threat that the rest of the planet’s superhero population couldn’t defeat. There are two ways for this story to end: Either they deal with it successfully, proving the merit of that version of the League, or they get their asses handed to them.

So either this ends up being fan fiction – the kind of story a young, absolutely untalented guy named Jon Judy could have written more than 10 years ago – or it ends up heaping further abuse upon the much maligned Giffen League.

Well goody.

But my major complaint about this story arc is that Ted Kord is not behaving like himself, like a hero, and that trend also continues here in #8. Ted only suggests once that he and Booster should go back to the past to ensure that Lord succeeds in killing Ted, thereby ending the life of the one, true Blue Beetle but saving the future and untold numbers of lives in the process. Booster shoots that idea down, and Ted doesn’t bring it up again.

As Colonel Potter would say, moose muffins. If Ted Kord could save anyone’s life – let alone thousands of lives – by sacrificing his own life, he would do it gladly and readily and without hesitation. And if Booster refused to go along with it, he’d cold-cock his best friend, take off in the time bubble, and do it his damn self.

That’s what heroes do, and Ted Kord was a hero.

On top of everything else, the thought that Green Arrow and Hawkman could ever be as incompetent as they are portrayed in this issue boggles the mind of my inner-fanboy.

Bottom line: This comic book is entertaining enough judged in a vacuum, but nothing exists in a vacuum. This is not the way Green Arrow, Hawkman and Ted Kord would behave, and the readers are about to be either pandered to or put upon. Sadly, I’ll be back next month, and until the bitter end of this series, to find out which it will be. And to kvetch about it some more.



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