Ever since Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis took over writing “Booster Gold,” the book has been all over the map, both figuratively and literally. In many ways, this is one of the most consistent issues to date, but even then it’s one of DC’s more manic books.
I like that Giffen and DeMatteis are trying to make “Booster Gold” fun; while some of the more serious stories told by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz, and Dan Jurgens on their runs on the title were good in their own right, it’s nice to have the light-hearted, fun-loving version of the character back on the books. We’ve got the running gags, the one-liners, and the all-over-the-place scattershot approach to plotting here, but for the first time since creative team switch, I’m starting to feel like it’s working.
Sure, there are some particularly juvenile parts of the story (Estrogina? Really?), but it’s told with such a childish glee that it somehow works in spite of itself. “Booster Gold” also takes excellent advantage of the time traveling nature of the book in a way that it hasn’t up until now. Sure, it’s very “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure” in nature, but there’s something about Booster Gold hopping through time to ask a future Blue Beetle how he gets out of a particular jam that made me chuckle. It’s an elegant solution to a problem, although of course now that cat’s out of bag it’s going to hard to keep from wondering why every sticky problem isn’t solved that way.
The story does meander, though, and when plot points from earlier issues are finally brought up at the conclusion it’s hard to keep from wondering just how far off track from the initial story’s idea we’ve ended up. I’d like to see a little more focus in “Booster Gold” under Giffen and DeMatteis down the line; beyond a certain point, this wide scatter of story gets frustrating with how quickly it seems to move its initial thrust.
“Booster Gold” #37 has easily the nicest art from Chris Batista and Rich Perrota on the series to date; we’ve got Batista’s normal expressive faces and comic timing, but at the same time there’s a nice hard edge to his pencils that works well for the outer-space setting. Even the over-sexed appearance of Estrogina works out well here; I think it helps that Batista doesn’t just make her top-heavy, but rather a solid, powerful, muscled figure that exudes not just sex appear but strength and endurance as well. (That said, I still can’t stop laughing at the expression on Estrogina’s face once Blue Beetle re-appears, to say nothing of the “It’s a boy!” panel.)
After a rough start, “Booster Gold” is starting to click into place. I don’t think it’s quite up to the quality of the creative teams that came before, but another few issues like this and I think Giffen, DeMatteis, Batista, and Perrota will have settled in quite nicely. It’s nice to see everything come together.