In theory, this issue should have been a lot of fun. Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, the architects of the heyday of “Justice League International,” take Booster Gold back in time to try and sneak into the JLI’s headquarters. Present day Booster Gold dealing with the past JLI, how can it go wrong, right?
Unfortunately, it feels a little flat. Maybe it’s because too much of the issue ties it into “Justice League: Generation Lost.” I understand that Giffen is in-between a rock and a hard place there; either he ignores it entirely within the pages of “Booster Gold” and annoys people for pretending it’s not happening, or he addresses it and annoys a different group of people for tying into another series. At the end of the day, though, Giffen and DeMatteis’ story doesn’t work because it simply doesn’t have that spark of fun that one has come to expect from both “Booster Gold” and “Justice League International.”
Sure, they try. Giffen and DeMatteis’ attempts with Rani are amusing at first, but it feels so one-note that it grows tired pretty quickly; in general, that’s the problem with this issue. It never feels like they’re providing anything new, and the same jokes are recycled one too many times. It’s frustrating because when Giffen and DeMatteis are on form, they’re a riot. So far, though, the magic just isn’t quite there.
On the bright side, Chris Batista’s pencils look great. I like the way he draws people’s rounded faces and figures, and he’s the rare superhero artist who seems to understand how hair flops and falls. Like Chris Sprouse, he manages to make his art have a slight edge to accentuate the softer forms, and it’s a look that evokes a general classic comic book feel. His art (well, along with Kevin Maguire’s cover, which serves as the flip-side to last month’s cover) is absolutely the high point of “Booster Gold.”
So far, Giffen and DeMatteis aren’t wowing me on “Booster Gold.” I know it’s early, and they can still pull it out, but for now this feels more like a comic just biding its time until the cancellation gong drops. Hopefully that’s not the case. But right now, this could use a shot of excitement or two, and quick.