Pick of the Week

August 15, 2007 – Booster Gold #1

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Avg Rating: 4.0
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    Size: pages

    Story by Geoff Johns & Jeff Katz
    Art by Dan Jurgens
    Inks by Norm Rapmund
    Colors by Hi-Fi
    Letters by Rob Leigh

    Published by DC Comics | $3.50

    I don’t know if you are shocked, but I’ll be honest with you, I am. For a book that I wasn’t even going to buy when it was first announced, Booster Gold #1 sure came a long way.

    I’m an old time Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League fan. That series remains one of my all time favorites. As a result I’m quite familiar with Booster Gold and that probably has hurt him in my eyes for quite some time. In that book, he and Blue Beetle were the comic relief in a book where everyone was funny (even Batman). I found him to be a very entertaining side character but not someone I would ever think I would be interested in following in a solo book. This feeling carried over into last year’s stellar series, 52. I had a hard time accepting him in a heroic role because in my mind he’s still the guy who tired to turn Kooey Kooey Kooey into a resort and casino.

    So when DC Comics initially announced the books that were going to be coming out of 52, I passed right over Booster Gold without even giving it much of a look. But then I did look and I saw that Geoff Johns was the co-writer — one eyebrow raised — and then I read the premise in DC’s solicitation: ALL-NEW Booster Gold will take you through time and space, to the greatest moments of the DCU that have happened and will happen. That raised my second eyebrow, and since I was out of eyebrows at that point that meant I was all in for this book. A time-spanning trip through DC’s history and the multiverse? Sign me up!

    The most amazing thing that Booster Gold #1 did was exceed my expectations. I had thought that I would really enjoy the book on a DC Nerd level — it would appeal to my sense of history and would allow me to revisit favorite characters long forgotten (like Robin of Earth 2). But what it ended up doing — and with Geoff Johns at the helm I really have no idea why I was so surprised — was it gave Booster Gold many layers of depth that I had never seen explored before. They’ve crafted a character here that is unlike any other I’m reading. He’s not a straight up hero like, say, Superman. Nor is he, well, a dick like I’m told The Irredeemable Ant-Man is. He falls somewhere in the middle. He is clearly a hero and he is clearly brave and he clearly wants to help people. But he also wants the credit for it. He wants to save you from a burning building but he also wants you to tell the news crew how great he is for saving you. This issue spends a lot of timing introducing you to that self-centered guy so that at the end when he makes two decisions, the emotional weight hits you all that much harder.

    If there is one slight downside to the book it would be the art by Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens. When I was a kid I was a big fan of his and I was always so excited to see him on a book. Now that I am older and my tastes have changed I can appreciate that he is still very skilled at rendering characters and storytelling, but his work lacks dynamism. His characters tend to come off as stiff. People always seem to be standing ramrod straight. The art wasn’t necessarily a negative in the book, but it wasn’t overly a positive either.

    Above all, this book was an exhilaratingly fun read. There were several sequences in which I found myself holding my breath waiting to see what would happen next. I’m a big ol’ sucker for time travel, save the universe, visit alternate worlds stories so this is right in my wheelhouse, and the fact that it is being told with such love and such skill is just icing on the cake.

    Conor Kilpatrick
    Bwa-ha-ha? No? Okay…

    Did you read Booster Gold #1? Add a comment and tell everyone what you think about this week’s comics!


    1. Booster Gold #1 did indeed kick ass.

    2. do i have to read 52 to get this?

    3. I am reading 52 in trades, and have had most of what happens ruined (thanks Wizard) so i know what happens, but you don’t have to read 52 to understand the character. This is a great comic in my eyes.

    4. Im too new to this whole DC thing to pick up Booster Gold, i only get Flash, Green lantern, and Detective Comics. Im a super marvel zombie…

      but two things from this week…

      i want honest opinions…
      how much fucking better is Stuart Immonens art on Ultimate Spider-man…
      i know this is his first book, but it just felt… right. The story has that classic feel from the first few arcs of USM but this art is just so much better! I mean, dont get me wrong, i love Bagley, and his run was historic… but this is just awesome!!

      i can only hope Imonen stays on for more than a few arcs!!

      as im new to flash…
      how fucking awkward was this book?! I really know nothing about Wally West (dont hate me) im new to the book with Bart and im just filling in the blanks but this super kid shit… this is like gay incredibles.
      am i dumb for wanting to drop this already??

    5. Yeah, I gotta go w/ Booster, too. Geoff is gonna rock this one out of the park and Dan Jurgens, who you thought would’ve gone the way of a box full of Superman#75’s, is going to end up our generation’s Jim Aparo. Solid stuff.

      Ultimate Spider-Man was great, too. I’ve been a fan of Immomen since the 90s and he just keeps getting better. Rob, barring a tank in sales, he’s probably the artist for the next 100 issues. Though it does seem too soon for another Goblin arc. Maybe they’ll surprise me.

      I really liked the Flash, but need to see where this goes. It looks beautiful and I’m willing to give it a few months because it holds true to Wally’s story, which for the past 20 years has been about growing up, moving on to the next thing, and family legacy.

      I’ve started looking at New X-Men for the past few months and, honestly, it’s a pretty good team book as far as character juggling goes and the art is fantastic, it just needs like 3 less characters. Kill some kids, guys.

      Brave & the Bold & Cap were also good reads.

      Just a note from last week since I just listened to last weeks podcast, but I think you folks need to read NOVA closer. You keep assuming something happened or is going on entirely different than what actually happens (like when you thought Rich was “dead”).

    6. Boost was my pick as well. This book was all kinds of good both funny and serious but in all the right places.

      brave and the bold looked great and I enjoyed it as an ending to the first arc.

      I liked Flash but I didn’t love the art to be honest. The kids were a bit to round in the face I suppose, but that’s me.

      Action was okay, it was more about the big reveal that lead into…

      Countdown which I’m enjoying if only because it’s picking up some steam!

      And finally Amazons attack…I”m glad there’s only one issue left otherwise I’d have dropped it.

    7. Booster is definitely my pick this week as well. It’s like Quantum Leap but starrting an anti-hero.

      Oh and the best quote ever: “Punching history. Please”.

    8. Just read Booster Gold a few minutes ago. Yup, it was blast. A fine pick.

      Captain America would be my POW though. The intricacies of Brubaker’s plot are slowly coming to the surface. Love the segmented episodes of Bucky, Sharon and Black Widow. Terrific characterizations w/r/t Lukin and Stark too.

    9. can anyone tell me if the Martha Washington books are worth reading? I almost bought the trade today but i have to by books for school so i held off.

    10. Booster Gold was great….lived up to expectations….I also liked Cap…..Checkmate was solid, BUT I think my pick would be Justice League….no action really within, BUT it was interesting to see the interaction b/ween the two original members critquing the team….lots of subplots for the new writer to use…..

    11. Concerning Immomen’s art on Ult. Spidey:

      Yes, it feels weird. Yes, it looks good. I think he did great on capturing Peter Parker unmasked, but he made Spiderman too big. He looked no different than 616 Spiderman. I hope he scales him down in future issues.

    12. Have collected anymore of that Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League series yet? i have the first trade and it was okay, but i heard it gets funnier as the book progresses. I’d like to see more

    13. I thought this book was something that the industry has been missing for a wile…fun. It’s a sad state that when I go to tell someone about a book I’m into all I get asked is “who dies” and I feel that Booster Gold number one really took me back to the JLI days with out insulting the real life feel of modern books. All and all I would tell everyone to pick up this book because yes, it does help to have read 52 you get a perfect run through it’s events in right in this issue. So if you ARE a fan of grim and gritty but don’t want it every waking moment check out Booster Gold number one, it’ll defiantly entertain you without insulting your intelligence.

    14. Have collected anymore of that Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League series yet? i have the first trade and it was okay, but i heard it gets funnier as the book progresses. I’d like to see more

      There’s only the one trade, which is a fucking crime.

    15. I did not pick up Booster Gold this week, although I am intrigued. Since I missed the 52 train, the only exposure I have of him is when Doomsday smashes his face in a car door…repeatedly. Maybe this will be a better chance to get to know the character.

      Overall, I thought this week was just ok. A few of the books were pretty disappointing.

      Like Flash…are they really writing this book like Bart didn’t exist? That is LAME-O. The last book was so good, but why would they ignore everything from Bart’s run? Also, the art is great for somethings, and really weird in other places. I think it might be that painted style. It only really fits the book in places.

      Brave and Bold was a lot of fun, but what in the great fuck is going on in the story? I really need to re-read all of the issues because there’s was just so many characters doing crazy time warp things with zeta beams and giant eye balls. Yowza!

      Captain America was great this week. I just wish they would make this book 40 pages so Brubaker could spend more time with each vignette. It’s really starting to feel a lot like Countdown…

      Speaking of which, it was a pretty fun issue this week. I can’t wait to find out what happens to the Rogues. Man, talk about the unluckiest guys in the DCU.

      I also caught up on Jack of Fables, and wow, is that book just crazy, silly fun. I really, really like it right now.

      The book I’d like to pimp this week definitely has to be Maintenance #4 from Oni Press. This is just so much fun and it’s hilarious. The cartooning is great and the concept is pure gold. There is a trade that collects the first three issues, and I highly reccommend it.

      In closing, my pick this week is a tie between Hellblazer and Robin, simply because those two books kicked my ass with awesomeness.

    16. I was torn between 3 this week, Brave and the Bold, Justice League and Booster Gold. All 3 were good, fun stories to read. I especially liked Booster’s ultimate goal for his job.

    17. To Cameron R. (5th post):

      “Kill some kids”? Dude, you haven’t been reading it for very long have you. The kids on this team drop like flies. A school bus full of depowered X-Freshman friggin blew up right after M-Day. And the Stepford Cuckoos lose a sister semi-annually. Trust me, there are gonna be some deaths. Although I was really happy that Santo wasn’t killed when he fell all to pieces a couple issues ago. Rockslide is one of the coolest new X-characters in years, and definitely a future X-Man. Any other ‘New X-Men’ fans agree with me? This is definitely the best book that no one is reading.

    18. I’ve gotten most of the way through my stack of trades from the convention, and heres the report.

      Goodbye Chunky Rice– Good. Looks at loneliness from a lot of different perspectives. The ending does leave you wanting a lot more. A good little book but its not nearly on the same level as Blankets.

      Fables Vol. 1-3– Really really good. Josh was right when he said it takes a while to get invested into the characters and the story but its so worth it. I’m dying to get the next trade when I have spare cash.

      Spiderman Blue– Kinda not good. I must say though that the art was very well done

      Daredevil Yellow– Good. Better than spidey blue. I loved the art of course. The story was good, but I think it was probably better read in issues bacause the beginning each issue was almost the same every time and it felt very monotonous reading the book straight through.

      Captain America: Winter Soldier Vol. 1-2– Another recommendation from you Josh. I remember I posted that I didn’t like Ed Brubaker and you suggested that I buy these books. Big big thanks from me. These were AWESOME(my POW this week was also Cap. Am. which it wouldn’t have been this time last month).

      P.S. I still have the first hardcover volume of Invincible to read(which I can blame all the ifanboys for suggesting this series so highly). I saved this book for last since its so huge but I’m stoked to read it.

    19. Great pick of the week. Booster Gold was a big surprise.

    20. Have collected anymore of that Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League series yet? i have the first trade and it was okay, but i heard it gets funnier as the book progresses. I’d like to see more

      There’s only the one trade, which is a fucking crime.

      You’re half right, Conor. There are two trades, but one has been out of print for ages. If you include the two minis (I Cant Believe and Formerly Known As) there are a potential 4 trades.

    21. USM was awesome this week, I love Immonen’s art but I didn’t really like how he drew Peter. How great was the little sequence with Carol Danvers and Osbourne?
      Am I the only one that hopes Peter and Kitty get back together? The thing that I liked about the Ultimate U was that they were changing things around. Collossus being gay, Wolverine being an assasin for Magneto, and all of the little things that made USM feel like an entirely new universe not just a modern age telling of the Spiderman story. But lately everything is reversing to the original stuff, all the couples are pretty much the same and even some of the stories are way too similar to the originals. I want to be surprised I don’t want to see the consequences to every story in the Ultimate U be the same as they are on the 616 U.

    22. Completely agree about Immonen’s art. Love the spidey stuff, but the parker stuff was not good. He drew peter kinda how Jeffrey Brown drew himself in clumsy. I just didn’t like it. I honestly dont know who I want peter to be with. Mary Jane, or Kitty. That’s good though because it shows that they’re both three dimensional characters. Neither one is painted as the “b***” and you feel almost as confused as peter.

    23. Josh, plwase read Middleman. Scour for it. It’s freaking awesome!

    24. I absolutely plan to.


    26. I’ve been a Booster fan since his first series by Dan Jurgens in the 80’s. I was 12 or 13 at the time and thought Booster was my chance to get in on the ground floor with a new hero. I loved it. This new series doesn’t strike me so much as a new direction for booster as a return to his origin after a long spell in limbo under writers who possibly didn’t “get”Booster and so turned him into a parody of himself or a joke. I have high opes for this series.

      On a slightly different note…What the hell do you mean Geo-Force is Lame!?!? Bato was another series I loved in the 80’s (still have the complete run) and Geo-Force was my favorite part of the team. This guy can go toe-to-toe with Superman fer cryin out loud. I’m super excited that he & Black Lightning and in the League. It feels like the entire DCU is being written directly for me. I just hope McDuffy doesn’t cut all the subplots Meltzer has started when he takes over.

      I just listened to the show.

    28. My pick was probably ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN #112…it was awesome, but I don’t really like Immonen all that much…

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