Booster Gold #34

Story by
Art by
Keith Giffen, Chris Batista, Rich Perrotta
Colors by
Letters by
Sal Cipriano
Cover by
DC Comics

This is a fun adventure. As Booster himself says, he has "literally got all the time in the world," as he embarks upon a repo job with his old pal, Blue (Ted Kord) Beetle. The story, dubbed "Deja Blue (and Gold!)" takes Booster back to the Justice League International days where he was frequently dismissed as an idiot. The story takes Beetle, Booster, Mr. Miracle, and Big Barda to an alien dimension in search of the "Cliff's Notes version of the Book of Destiny." Only from the minds of Giffen and DeMatteis.

Giffen pitches in and helps out a bit on art this issue, drawing a framing sequence that features Rani, Booster's sort-of adopted daughter from the future-but-now-destroyed Daxam. Rani meets Mikey's (that's what she calls Booster, because "Booster's a dumb name") sister, Michelle, and the two form a bond that allows Booster to return to his mission of stopping Max Lord.

Batista's storytelling is as solid as ever, but his characters seem slightly more flat in this issue. I wish I could pin down a reason for this assessment, but it fails me. They're just flatter. The backgrounds are still elegantly detailed, right down to the closing mechanism on the door leading to the rooftop of the Justice League International embassy. It's this mastery of detail that enables Batista to put Scott Free side-by-side with Booster Gold and make them distinguishable, even if the color were stripped from the page. Both men have the same basic hair style and physique, but Batista gives subtle variances to make each discernible.

Hi-Fi just gets how to color a superhero book. There aren't many books on the racks nowadays that feature characters soaked in the primary colors quite like the quartet charging into action in this issue. Hi-Fi hits them with the colors and makes the rest of the page work with them, rather than subduing the colors of the characters, oversaturating the characters or making the page a bloody mess. This is a bright, loud, hero book, and Hi-Fi brings the bright and the loud.

Giffen and DeMatteis manage to help Booster turn the corner in this issue, offering up a peek inside the mind of Michael Jon Carter. They clue us in as why today's Booster is different from the Booster of yesteryear, and they do a good job selling it. Of course, being Giffen and DeMatteis, they also bring some loving derision to Booster, but this issue the humor happens more around Booster than directly because of (or to) him.

I do, however, get the sense that this adventure might just be marking time for something else though. Whether that something else is a synching point with "Justice League: Generation Lost" or coordination with the larger "brightest Day" event remains to be seen.

This is a nice aside from the "Brightest Day" quest Booster is on. Giffen and DeMatteis are having a fun time playing with Booster Gold's world and reminiscing with the characters that brought them so much attention and adoration before. It's a nice reunion for all parties, including us readers.

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