Comic Fodder

Erik's DC reviews 2.13.08

Booster Gold #0
By Geoff Johns, John Katz, and Dan Jurgens

At the launch of the new Booster Gold series, I never imagined Blue Beetle would come back. Carrying on the threads from 52 following Booster, Skeets, and Rip Hunter as they thwart time traveling deviants was 100% fine with me. Once hints of Ted Kord’s (Blue Beetle) return kicked me in the face via the cliffhanger of issue #1, I got really excited. What is arguably one of the strongest relationships in comics could be reborn.

With last month’s issue Ted Kord is back into the DC Universe as Booster’s partner in crime, preventing the destruction of time and space from behind the curtains. The question now becomes, where do they go from here.

Answer: Backwards

If the numbering of this issue isn’t indication enough, Booster and Blue Beetle are traveling back to Zero Hour, a 1994 DC crossover event. However, don’t let that scare you as you need know nothing of the happenings of that poor money trap. Through the writing of Johns and Katz, everything worth knowing is presented through dialogue and the story of Booster and Blue Beetle continues forward from there. All the Zero Hour tie-in accomplishes is setting up the issues plot, the origin of Booster Gold.

It seems the destroyed Time Sphere, thanks to Parrallax and Extant, has rocketed our heroes to the future, and low and behold, right to when Booster decided to throw his life away. The conflict of issue #0 comes from the fact that Booster just saved his best friend Ted from death, but now is faced with the opportunity to mulligan his own past, preventing himself from ruining his football career, and more importantly, eventually getting his sister killed. However, if he goes through with this, he loses Ted forever as he will completely change his future. But of course, Geoff Johns and John Katz play the situation out right and what happens is left up for you to read.

Booster Gold continues to be a fantastic read each month. With the prospect of Ted Kord staying around for a long while, readers can look forward to some amazingly funny, action packed stories to really bump this series up to the 11 mark. Maybe they will even rename the series “Blue and Gold” to really jazz fans, old and new.

Green Lantern Corps #21
By Sterling Gates and Nelson

After three issues of Peter Tomasi taking over the writing duties on Green Lantern Corps, we already have a two part fill-in written by Sterling Gates, the man responsible for the Green Lantern Corps/ Sinestro Corps Secret Files. This two part story follows Boodika post her inclusion into the Alpha Laterns, a topic introduced in the main Green Lantern title under Geoff Johns, detailing how she has become but a shell of her former self.

This brings me to my first problem with issue 21. The plot comes out of nowhere when placed in the bigger picture of the Green Lantern Corps series. For the last two issues they have been setting up Mongul’s power ring search, along with Guy and Kyle moving to Oa, and to place a two part story that doesn’t fit into the bigger picture of the GLC title moving the plot sideways instead of forward. Yes, the Alpha Lanterns are a huge part of the Green Lantern mythos following the war and I understand that the main GL title and GL Corps are going to tie together more closely following the Sinestro Corps War, but it is a complete detour of what Peter Tomasi has been setting up in the series. Neither the Alpha Lanterns, nor Boodika are the focus of this series. They get their time in Geoff John’s Green Lantern. So while these two issues will give semi interesting back-story to one of the new Green Lantern/Manhunter hybrids, it doesn’t captivate me at all when compared to what the Green Lantern Corps title has been setting up.

As if the story wasn’t mediocre already, issue 21 also lacks any sense of gripping dialogue. If the Alpha Lanterns concept wasn’t something fresh, it would have seemed like this issue of Green Lantern Corps was snagged out of a time capsule. Every sentence is written as though it came from a 1960s comic with loads of exposition. Sterling Gates should be relying on the talents of his artist, in this case Nelson, to convey the emotions he is trying to get across, not his dialogue. Speaking of Nelson, the man draws adequately. While not as flashy as a lot of the artists today, Nelson’s panel layouts are top notch producing some impressive camera angles to the action.

Overall this is a pretty lackluster issue of Green Lantern Corps. A series that has come out of the gates kicking and screaming post Sinestro Corps War has hit a road bump two issues in. I look forward to issue 23 when Peter Tomasi picks back up the reigns and continues to tell his story involving Guy, Kyle, and Mongul. As for next month’s issue 22, the finale of this Boodika story, I would say to skip it unless you are a fan of Boodika or a completist.