Written by Dan Jurgens (Booster Gold) / Matthew Sturges (Blue Beetle)
Art by Dan Jurgens (Booster Gold) / Mike Norton (Blue Beetle)
With this 25th issue, Booster Gold volume two ties with where the first volume ended, and it’s not done yet. This issue wraps up the Day of Death arc while the Blue Beetle supplement finishes the two-part Black and Blue story.
Booster Gold has just saved time once again, so what’s he going to do now? While he wants to take some R&R and maybe a date, Rip Hunter sends him to finish the task in the Batcave he was doing at the arc’s beginning. Worried you’ll be lost if you’ve missed a few issues? Don’t. Booster Gold recaps the entire story in a two-page spread. This issue is really a standalone. It deals with just enough main story to say it has some progression, but the encounter with the new Batman is the main focus.
Booster Gold’s strength is that he’s a likeable and relatable character. While Rip basically lives his life for the mission, Booster knows that’s insane and tries to relax. He manages to take some time and enjoy the finer aspects of time travel. Rip may be very strict in traveling through time when necessary, but Booster is a bit more laid back, adopting a “look but don’t touch” philosophy. He understands he must not change the past, but just like any one of us, that doesn’t keep a guy from being curious. Booster mentions witnessing some of history’s most notable events, leading to some interesting mental images of an out-of-place Booster Gold.
This goes into Booster Gold shining as much as his costume. Booster Gold is a very human character, and he also realizes that (for the most part) so are his super colleagues. This is how Booster Gold makes his allies and his friends – he’s able to connect to them. Despite being a showboat from the future, despite all the backtalk and laziness he may have, he’s always been a good guy, and those who can really see what he’s doing understand that. For his friends, Booster doesn’t have any hang ups about showing someone something in the past if it’ll help him get by.
Jumping to Blue Beetle, the current Blue Beetle, Jamie, struggles to keep his murderous armor under control as usual, until Black Beetle makes him care less and less about the whole “not killing” thing. Jamie is still a teenager though, and he’s relying on his friends and family for support, as shown by them standing ringside the whole fight. This connection keeps him grounded and relatable for the readers.
The story also leads to some good geeky moments, from different ways to deal with time travel found in fiction to really playing up on the Ted Kord Blue Beetle and Booster Gold’s bromance.
The main problem with Blue Beetle is he only gets ten pages. It’s better than complete cancelation, but it doesn’t give much time for a fully fleshed-out story. Another problem is that the writer Matthew Sturges makes Brenda kind of run out of the story right at the beginning, which doesn’t really go anywhere.
The art in both parts is pretty average, not particularly note worthy or eye catching. The art in the Booster Gold part though is a bit more detailed and textured. It’s also too superhero-ish. Booster is too stocky and blocky. Plus, he has eight abs. That’s at least two too many, making his torso look kind of stretched. He does not need to be that ripped.
Then there’s Batman. Really, it’s not as bad as it is off. Most art depicting Dick’s Batman has him being a slimmed-down version of the Caped Crusader. Here, however, he’s as built as Bruce, which doesn’t fit his more acrobatic style. If it weren’t for the longer hair and actually emoting, Dick would look like Bruce.
Blue Beetle’s half doesn’t have that problem. Instead, it has the Blue Beetle suit talking in dialog bubbles with light blue borders and text. While it’s still readable, it’s not the easiest on the eyes.
This issue shows why people like both Booster Gold and Jamie’s Blue Beetle. Both are fairly relatable characters by their realistic attitudes and their grounded connections. The issue stands on its own well enough if you know the characters’ basics, so give it a look if you like the Blue or the Gold.
Overall (Not an Average) 7/10