Things get a little emotional as Booster sets out to prove himself.
OLD SPOILERS AHEAD
Title: "Face Off"
As thrilling as Boosters' tax problems are we open to a new scene as Mr. Twister (just a normal looking guy that doesn't appear again) threatens to blow up a hockey rink. As a hockey player tries to stop him Mr. Twister causally guns him down before reminding the viewers of the time he wants his money by 11:52. Lt. Rogers sees Booster coming to offer a hand but he isn't impressed. What he says to Booster and the reaction is something you have to see for yourself. It's another build up to how people view him and how affected he is by the perception of others. Being a hero isn't as easy as he assumed but Booster at least expected respect after what they did with the 1000. Determined he tries to save the day only to discover Mr. T. has a radar device and detected him. With no other choice lest he risk the lives of others Booster let's himself join the hostages on the ice.
Trixie gets her work out interrupted by Dirk who stopped by after hearing about the situation with Booster on the radio. He's surprised to learn Trixie lives with her aunt and her real name is Theresa. It's another one of those moments where the characters realize they really don't know each other and in Dirks' case he forgot what he learned. This scene has some details I adore that are often overlooked. Jurgens has said that one of the reasons Booster was a football player was to make his turn to a superhero more realistic since he'd already be in shape. Trixie herself is seen working out and worrying about staying fit.
While she has some body issues it's never to the point the character is self pitying. She knows that the exercise is working but that doesn't mean she wants people to see her in a form fitting outfit. The art shows her unconsciously crossing her arms over her chest and looking uncomfortable when Dirk shows up. It says a lot without having the characters say a thing. Why is she standing like that? Not just because of her doubts about her looks, or the fact he's her boss. They don't really know each other that well so they don't have that level of comfort. Dirk himself doesn't seem to notice although he's amused at her aunts' reaction to him seeing Trixie like that. Of course she doesn't really cover up that much when she gets a jacket but I still like the details.
Back at the hockey rink Mr. Twister wants to make an example out of the crowd thanks to Booster showing up. To stop him from taking it out on them Booster says to punish him instead. The dialogue is pretty strong in this series (outside my quibbles over characters over explaining themselves) and for the most part the voices remain distinct. Mr. Twister is written in a way that makes him insane yet amusing. Although his last words are extremely corny he's meant to be a bit character so it's not a big deal. The hockey players are forced to beat Booster in order to save the lives of the other people. The odd part is that they are actually hitting his forcefield but no one except Booster and Skeets are aware of this. I suppose it could be a lower setting so they don't break their hands. Acting like their hurting him gets Booster to where he wants to be in order to take a shot at the fuse box. This takes out the lights which allows one of his lesser-known-but-still-used-powers to work. His goggles with their different kind of vision of course.
But once again things don't go as planned since Skeets wasn't fast enough to take out the bomb and Mr. T sets the count down off. Skeets takes the baddie out while Booster tries to get the bomb away from innocents. It soon explodes leading to an almost completely silent page as Lt. Rogers and others react. There are times where the art needs to speak for it's self, as an artist and writer Jurgens gets that. It works well and breathes more life into the characters. Having Rogers slowly watch the debris rain down then glance over to Skeets before walking over isn't something that would work as well with words. Nor Dirk and Trixie glumly watching tv as the scene plays out. When Booster appears again he earns that moment because of the weight that was given beforehand. It doesn't come off cliché even though we knew he'd be okay. On a meta level this also works well as a nod to his "death" in 52. Because this is the "glory hound" at heart and it's why so many readers knew Booster couldn't be the way he was depicted. At the end of the day he may say certain things and even want things for himself but he's a hero because he'll end up doing the right thing. No matter what it could cost him.
Trixie and Dirk are overjoyed that Booster is safe which leads to the first big step in their character development. Dirk thinks Booster has it all with the money, fame and women, Trixie scoffs at this reminding him that there's more to life than the superficial. While Dirk agrees if it's what his client wants he'll be happy to help him out as long as he gets his fee. Clarifying herself Trixie says that she thinks Booster is lonely and doubts he's really happy. This surprises Dirk who says Booster has tons of friends including them and Skeets. Once again she points out that they don't know anything about him but they have to try to be there for him in the future.
Returning home Booster feels upbeat about finally being accepted and feeling at home in the past. This is where Skeets brings up one of the sadder reasons for always being strict with their history lessons. That whether or not he likes it Booster has to always remember that their outsiders. If people realize he's from somewhere else they won't accept him. Even stating that while Superman is an alien he's still a part of the era. This section does date the book some as it states that our lead should act like he was born in 1966. Which will always be a problem with comics either with the text stating current events or the art depicting the styles of the time. This will get worse in further issues with certain cameos. Back to the Senator Ballards' tax plot it turns out Boosters' accountants didn't pay his taxes like he assumed.
They were waiting for his social security information which he can't give them for obvious reasons. Usually in time travel stories these things are non-issues so the thought put into this was very appreciated. It adds a bit of realism you wouldn't expect. Skeets believes the problem will be resolved with the lawyers pointing out his intentions are good. Booster reminds him that his intentions were good before and he still lost everything. Then turns his attention to a globe with his mother and Michelle's images. The little teases are building up before the reveal of his true origins, something which I'm pretty sure no one expected. For example one theory centered around him being a child of Legions members.
Trixie and Dirk come to his penthouse later on to give him good news on getting more time to deal with his taxes. They start to celebrate when Trixie spots the images of his family and tries to touch it. This makes Booster snap at her and take it away. While apologizing we see the words that not many beyond the faithful Booster Gold fans know about. The discussion I mentioned issues ago involving Dirk making a deal on the phone? It was for this moment of pure awesomeness.
Yes, you read that right.
It looks kind of retro, sort of racecar like. To see it is to know it so I won't try to describe it further. Booster takes it for a spin where his driving skills are shown in their full glory. Needless to say it makes sense as his time allowed cars to fly without these pesky roads and signs. And rising draw bridges.
Senator Ballard is pissed that he couldn't get the tax plot to work. He claims that Booster ruined his life so he wanted to return the favor.
The book ends with a prologue for next issue which will feature Booster meeting someone pretty important.
Say What?: For those that aren't aware the blaster shots that Booster shoots from his gloves? Those are officially called Booster Shots. The puns are strong with this one.
Mr. Twister has a Jet-Sled?
Booster likes 60s music.
Did You Notice?: Booster once again dons the cape for his encounter with Mr. Twister. I'm not calling this a fight since he lets people hit him and never actually attacks anyone.
Questions Raised?: How did Booster take that image globe with his familys' picture with him when he just left the museum with everything he stole and the clothes on his back?