Booster and Beetle are saving the Justice League again, but can they manage to trend on social media?
Blue & Gold 1
Written by Dan Jurgens
Art by Ryan Sook
It seems as though there are very few writers who can accurately get the essence of Booster Gold on a four-color page. Over the last few years, I’ve cringed at Tom King’s attempts to write the character, either when he was doing a guest spot in King’s overly-epic BATMAN run or as one of the leads in the dismal HEROES IN CRISIS. Writing Booster as a complete buffoon or a sad-sack who screws up everything he touches may seem like it’s keeping with Booster Gold’s true nature, but it really misses out on a lot of his nuance.
Of course, the gravest disservice done to the character was essentially eliminating him in the New 52, after DC Comics had spent years building him up, letting him grow and actually making him a hero. His story arc in FIFTY-TWO – the weekly series from Grant Morrison, Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid – gave Booster a lot of new life that was carried over into a solo series. And then he was gone again, disappearing into the time stream until the right reboot found him.
Instead of another solo series where Booster again grows into a hero that would no doubt be forgotten by the mid-point of the decade, Booster is now back with his best buddy Blue Beetle, another hero who’s been woefully underused since MAXWELL LORD blew his brains out at the start of the Infinite Crisis. And it’s being written by Booster’s creator and one of my favorite comic book writers, Dan Jurgens, so I feel confident that at the very least Booster will be handled with care in this 8-issue miniseries.
Yes, Booster is a bit of a buffoon here. He spends most of the issue playing to an audience on social media that clearly pities or downright loathes him – if they even know who he is – while attempting to rescue the Justice League after the team was captured by an alien invader. Instead of letting the would-be hero get destroyed, Booster’s robotic assistant Skeets finds Blue Beetle and convinces him to suit up and save his friend. Together, Blue and Gold manage to save the League and repel the alien invader
All in a day’s work for our heroes.
While Booster is angling for membership in the League so he can use the status to make more money in endorsements and online crowdsourcing, the team has a particularly harsh view of Booster, secretly telling Blue Beetle that he’s welcome. The League, though, has no room in the Watchtower for Beetle’s best buddy. Ted Kord turns down the invitation, lets Booster down gently and suggests the two go into superheroing themselves. I imagine at some point they’ll look up Fire and Ice and try and get the old JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL band back together. I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw either of them.
I was really looking forward to this issue and I think it delivered. Jurgens and artist Ryan Sook did a fantastic job incorporating the comments from Booster’s social media live stream into the story. The comments from the virtual peanut gallery were never distracting and managed to add to the narrative as it built to the reunion of the Blue Beetle-Booster Gold team. There’s a lot of potential in the remaining seven episodes, and I have a lot of faith in Jurgens and Sook to continue to tell a fun story.