I feel a little bad for Chuck Dixon. He’s had this two-issue “Booster Gold” story on the books for quite a while now, long before his sudden removal from “Robin” and “Batman and the Outsiders” was announced. And now, his final work at DC Comics (for now) looks to be a story that will be remembered as ignoring the really great set-up from the previous month.
The sad thing is, “Booster Gold” #11 isn’t a bad issue, and had it been published six months ago (with very minor alterations) it probably would have been called an above-average fill-in. It’s a pretty basic time-travel story, where a domino effect of changes to the timeline continue to ripple backwards and forwards as Booster Gold attempts to fix the accidental erasing of Batman. It’s amusing, especially with Dixon’s decision to use the D-grade villain Killer Moth as one of the primary pieces of the story.
The problem is, when Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz left the book last month, they’d done so by adding Booster’s formerly-deceased sister Goldstar into the fold, as well as a much stronger bond between Booster and Rip Hunter. And this month? Well, technically Goldstar and Rip are both in the comic, but they’re utterly incidental to the story. This may change next month, but for now there’s no reason why Goldstar couldn’t have just as easily be replaced with former supporting cast members Rose Levin or Daniel Carter, or in fact no character at all. This story’s been planned for so long that surely Dixon could have found something interesting for Goldstar to do in the first issue after her return.
On the bright side, Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund continue their strong, enjoyable art in “Booster Gold.” I’m glad that Jurgens will take over the writing with #15, if only because between writing and drawing the original “Booster Gold” series as well as drawing all of the current series, I can’t help but think that he’s got a good idea on the full potential of the comic. For now, though, he and Rapmund are shouldering the load here; the art flows smoothly and attractively, and at least when Goldstar is on panel they do their best to try and make her feel like part of the story instead of mere window-dressing.
If this story had a different slot in the series of “Booster Gold” then I suspect no one would really care about the rest of the supporting cast getting so obviously sidelined. Then again, this is “Booster Gold,” where one of the tenets of the series is that if you get a sequence of events it can spell disaster. “Disaster” is too strong a word, but none the less I wish everyone involved had remembered that when approving this script to run where it did. Hopefully next month will pick things up a bit.