I will admit it, I was a little worried when Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz left “Booster Gold” after a year’s worth of issues, last July. But if there was one writer who could tackle the character, I’d told myself, it was surely his creator, Dan Jurgens. Now if only there hadn’t been four months of non-Jurgens-written issues, I suspect that Jurgens’ taking over of “Booster Gold” with #15 would have been a little more heralded and noticed. And you know what? It’s a shame, because Jurgens is making “Booster Gold” a lot of fun.
Jurgens has remembered that a time-travel story should at its root be unpredictable. After all, if things were all simple and going to fall into place, then it would be a rather dull story by any stretch of the imagination. With a time-travel story, it can be downright disastrous, since by the very nature of traveling through time, predictable equals easy to solve. Jurgens is doing just that, following up on Chuck Dixon’s two-issue story involving an Egyptian dagger that Booster keeps following through time. Or is it the dagger that’s following him?
Either way, it’s a good solid issue. Jurgens is making good use of both Booster Gold and his sister Goldstar, and by keeping them apart from Rip Hunter it throws the characters into the deep end without any sort of sage advice that they can follow. It’s fun watching each of them deal with their own conflicts, from Goldstar trying to convince Elongated Man that she’s not a villain, to Booster ending up in the depths of World War I and being pursued by the Enemy Ace himself, German pilot Hans von Hammer. There are some nice touches there, like Booster making the logical assumption that he’d landed in an apocalyptic future based on the landscape. It’s a good reminder of just how brutal the trench warfare of World War I was, and Jurgens keeps it from ever looking cartoonish or forgettable.
Jurgens also follows on from Johns’ and Katz’s tag of connections of characters throughout the years. For those who like that sort of things, it’s a nice little coda to this issue; for those who don’t care about them, though, it doesn’t affect how you’ll feel about the rest of the issue. “Booster Gold” may have suffered a little bit under four months of issues that didn’t feel like they were doing more than stalling for time (although to be fair, Dixon’s at least have connected up with the rest of the series), but everything definitely feels back on track. It’s a good time to be reading “Booster Gold.”