I originally had little to no intent to review this issue of "Booster Gold," having just reviewed the prior issue. After all, the players are all the same: same creative team, same characters, same scenario. Except this isn't the same scenario. This is the close of a chapter in the life of Booster Gold. This issue finally gives Booster a chance to come down off of his pretentious rockstar-like pedestal and be human in the present-day DC Universe. The hero who is best known for his ego finally faces the truth and realizes that even though he can travel in time, nothing can undo what has been done.
Booster Gold finally allows himself some closure for his dear friend, Ted (Blue Beetle) Kord.
We're all familiar with the feelings Booster expresses in this issue. We just happen to have different ways to release them. Most of us have needed the closure Booster claims in this issue, whether it is the passing of a friend, the loss of a relationship, or the changing of a different chapter in our lives. This issue gives us a chance to empathize for Booster. Giffen and DeMatteis deliver a believably damaged hero who is just as human as the fans reading this book and those not even aware that comics exist. This may not be a classic for the ages, but it certainly struck me as a classic for right now.
The writing duo does a nice job of balancing the grief in Booster's life with the highlights of Booster's life from a pitch-perfect sitcom cast: a gentle razzing from his sister, some comradery from his mentor, and, most importantly, a big hug from Rani. These moments help keep Booster grounded and really helped this issue hit home for me.
Batista is on hand to deliver the anticipated high-quality art that we've come to expect from him. His characters wear their emotions cleanly as they proceed through their detail-filled lives. Booster is just as human and expressive as young Rani, who has an adventure all her own in this issue. While Booster is sulking through part of the issue, there are more than a few great drawings of Booster - the hero - as he mopes through this story.
This issue is a bit of a departure from the time-hopping tales of this volume of "Booster Gold," focusing on the person wearing the costume rather than his never-ending battle against the hiccups and heartburn caused by ripples in the timestream. Nonetheless, this is still an enjoyable read, just as so many issues of this series have been. Quite simply, and to paraphrase the cover, "Booster Gold" is the greatest hero you're not reading. Do something about that, will you, please?