I’ve been wanting to dip into Booster Gold for Clearing the Backlog for a while. I had started to read his most recent run in trade a few years ago, but to tell the truth…it was one of the first trades I bought and read, so I felt like I needed a refresher.
I adore Booster Gold as a character. If you aren’t familiar with him, he’s a disgraced athlete from the 25th Century who uses his knowledge of the 21st Century to fight crime. Most other heroes see him as a showboating glory-hog—although more recent takes on the character cast him as the hero who does the right thing without getting the credit.
To that end, Johns and Katz’s first arc follows up the events of 52, which helped raise Booster Gold’s profile with readers. Time Master Rip Hunter recruits Booster to repair lingering damage to the time stream and save the Justice League. The catch is that Booster makes an ideal candidate because his reputation as a joke protects him from being a target by the same people who are hunting down other heroes. The book also addresses Ted Kord’s death during Infinite Crisis; Booster’s grief over his best friend’s death drives him to try to save Kord’s life—despite Rip’s assurance that to do so would be impossible.
That all sounds pretty bleak. While this arc certainly has its dark moments, it is humorous and delightful. Seeing Booster jump from point to point in time is a lot of fun—for example, in one issue, he has to out-drink Jonah Hex in the past to make sure Superman stays alive in the present.
Equally charming is Jurgens and company’s art. In part, that comes from having the character’s creator providing pencils. But it is also because Jurgens and Rapmund’s lines are bombastic and over the top, and Hi-Fi and Loughridge’s colors bright and bold. Even in the dark or the desert, skies glow with a vibrancy that helps to define the book's tone.
I knew going into reading this that I had loved it when I first read it. If you’re not familiar with Booster Gold, this is a great place to start to get into the character—but be aware that you might bump into some references to ongoing events from the time that you might not be familiar with. If you are a fan of the character, odds are that you’ve read this; if not, go for it. If it were a little more new-reader friendly, it would be a go-to superhero recommendation for me; it might still be anyway, if I’m talking to someone willing to do a little homework.
- Booster Gold, Vol. 1: 52 Pickup (#1-6)
Writers: Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz | Penciller: Dan Jurgens | Finisher: Norm Rapmund | Colorists: Hi-Fi, Lee Loughridge | Letterers: Rob Leigh, Jared K. Fletcher, Nick J. Napolitano, Randy Gentile