Comic Fodder

Erik's Weekly DC Comic Reviews 1/16/08

Booster Gold #6
By Geoff Johns, Jon Katz, and Dan Jurgens

With issue 6 of Booster Gold, plot threads reaching all the way back from Countdown to Infinite Crisis conclude, and oh what a conclusion it is. The whole issue created a smile on my face the size of the Grand Canyon as Countdown to Infinite Crisis was my introduction to a lot of the DCU, along with Blue Beetle. From that single issue, I fell in love with the character of the Blue Beetle and at its conclusion; I read in horror as he took a bullet to the dome. However, here comes Booster Gold #6, bringing the journey full circle. Whether it’s Geoff Johns, Jon Katz, or a combination of both, the scripting is top notch. Booster, Rip, Skeets, and all the Beetle’s voices are perfect, as they have been since the series’ inception, and it has really sold the drama overlaying a ridiculous time traveling plot.

Dan Jurgens also turns in more great art to accompany the fantastic scripts. While he has never been a flashy penciller, he sells actions and facial expressions very well. Characters that look happy, depressed, driven, or angry, look that way, convincingly, due to Jurgens’ talent. The combination of great writing and art make Booster Gold a must buy title month in and month out. While Booster is by no means a tier one character, for the last few years his story has been one of the more compelling in all of the DC Universe and it looks like its going to stay just as exciting. Long live the Blue and Gold!

Justice League of America #17
By Alan Burnett, Ed Benes, Dwayne McDuffie, and Jon Boy Meyers

I am really confused by this series at this point. What started as a great tribute to the meaning of the Justice League of America to its fans, and the DCU, has turned into a plug system for the rest of the DC line. Last issue, issue 16, was entirely a plug for a 12 issue maxiseries revolving around the Tangent universe, and while issue 17 ties directly into the current DCU, its still a plug for Salvation Run, a mini series tying into Final Crisis. Though it is the most interesting of all the plots leading into DC’s next Crisis, and a threat worth investigation by the League, I still feel it could be handled by one of the other many Final Crisis miniseries. It would be nice if the recently relaunched JLofA series could find its own voice and tell some stories void of the rest of the DCU. Just look at what Geoff John’s is accomplishing over in Justice Society of America. The man is able to tell stories that carry themselves and still connect to the current state of the universe they occupy.

Another peeve I have about JLofA right now is the fact that this new arc isn’t written by Dwayne McDuffie. The man just took over writing this series, and instead of being in the driver’s seat, he is writing a backup about plot threads left from Brad Meltzer’s run. McDuffie is the one of the men responsible for Justice League Unlimited, a cartoon so badass, mere mortals have to wear diapers while watching, and he hasn’t had a chance to impress me because he has to tell stories fitting an editorial mandate, or he gets replaced for someone else to do the same.

Now while this issue, and following issues of said story arc, tie into the on goings of Countdown, it doesn’t mean this story isn’t interesting. I do like the head butting of the Justice League and Amanda Waller’s Task Force X government sanction. It is a cool dynamic that the JLofA cannot interfere because, technically, what is being done to all the super villains is legal on paper. Thus, making me curious to see how this story plays out.

Finally, I have to comment on the art. I started out loving Ed Benes’ art on Justice League but around issue 12 something went wrong. The inks and color palette changed, and all of a sudden I can’t stand it. Benes’ art now looks like most 90s comic art; bad. I hope something is fixed for future issues, but I must say its still leaps and bounds above Joe Benitez.

So do I recommend JLofA #17 to readers this week? It depends entirely on your outlook. Either way the writing is good, but if you are looking for a story that stands by itself, void of the tie in plague, and could be something you can reread in future, then JLofA #17 isn’t it. If you are looking to find out every detail of the DCU leading into Final Crisis, then Justice League of America #17 is right down your alley. Personally, I hope JLofA can find its footing because its slowing slipping off my pull list, and it relaunched as my number one title under Meltzer.