First off, let me say that I’m amused in a good way by the temporary ditching of the second feature in “Booster Gold” this month. Don’t worry, fans of Blue Beetle. “Booster Gold” might be taking over the entire issue, but Jaime Reyes isn’t going to just stand around and let it happen. Instead, Dan Jurgens uses the opportunity to let the second feature star appear in the main story, complete with pages drawn by Mike Norton. It’s a smart way to let the two features connect, and hopefully (as it makes sense, story wise) other books won’t be afraid to play around with story lengths down the line.
As for the story itself? Well, as “Blackest Night” rages across the DC Universe, of all the characters to show up against Booster Gold, it’s a given that Ted Kord would appear here. (Just in case you didn’t notice his head taking up the entire cover.) Then again, it’s a bit of a mini-reunion here, with all sorts of connected characters popping up this month. It’s nice to see Jurgens still building on what led up to here; characters and moments aren’t forgotten, and are used in a way that both serves as a nice bonus to long-time readers as well as getting explained for new readers that they wouldn’t feel lost.
Because it’s the first of a two-part story, “Booster Gold” serves primarily as set-up, with the climax bringing the last of the main characters into the mix. I’d have liked to see a little less set-up and a little more forward movement, but considering that the book will (hopefully!) get a lot of new readers this month since it’s part of “Blackest Night,” I can see why Jurgens is making sure that those new readers understand everything that’s happening.
Jurgens and Norm Rapmund do their usual solid job on the art; it’s very handsome, classical superhero styling. They get to tackle a lot of the big names of the DC Universe here, and everyone looks perfectly on form, well enough that if DC ever needed someone to draw all of the in-house model sheets they should look no further than Jurgens and Rapmund. Norton’s pages starring Blue Beetle look great as well; like Jurgens, Norton has a clean art style and they fit in well enough that to the casual reader they might not even notice the shift in art. With “Booster Gold” being a solid read month after month, hopefully “Blackest Night” will help bring in some more readers. It’s a fun book.