Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Booster Gold #19 (Volume 1)

Remember how I said Broderick was the best written villain and in general the bad guys were one of the biggest weaknesses of the series? Yeah. Right after the great character piece we got last issue we get this villain. Interested in who Boosters' fighting?

Title: "Revenge of the Rainbow Raider"

Booster turns up at an art show to buy some paintings that will be worth a whole lot of money in a few years. While there he runs into his fake love interest Monica Lake who's still pissed at him. While Boosters' fine with insulting her and her date he realizes that there's a time and place for that. So instead he gives her boyfriend a fake stock tip and advices him to dump Monica. Yea for maturity! Artist Paul Morris refuses to sell his work to Booster because he sees the hero as a money grubbing capitalist. Something that will be very ironic very soon.

The Rainbow Raider crashes the party like a neon skittles ad and attacks Morris. For those who don't know RR has the power to not just ride his namesake but also use colors to affect peoples' moods. Finally we found the true inspiration for Geoff Johns emotional spectrum. Well sort of, blue isn't hope here it's depression which he uses on Morris while Monicas' boyfriend gets zapped with red and uselessly attacks. Booster gets yellow and is too scared to go after RR. I don't get why everyone's so hard on him since they all saw what RR did to the other people. Even one of the guys that got hit with the beams doesn't connect the dots. Weirder still Lois Lane, the woman that sees this sort of stuff all the time and likely knows how Rainbow Raider works blames Booster. She is right that RR is a C lister but considering she was a witness it's a little odd that she takes this stance.

Rainbow Raider tells his origin and it's very Silver Age-y. People bullied him, Morris and him were friends. RR was colorblind and worked with Morris, then Morris stole credit for everything. Oh, and RRs' father made him glasses to let him see colors but also gave him powers. You know the standard backstory stuff. Honestly this bored me a little, I feel a little for RR but at the same time I don't. He keeps saying how much he hates Morris but got distracted by the Flash? It's not the same level of conviction and drive Broderick had. This feels like RR just remembered the reason for his origins and figured why not. He just steals back his work and doesn't do anything else to Morris besides embarrass him. Not really a burning hatred, you know what I mean?

The theft gets Lois Lane to print a bad piece on Booster and the insurance people want him to find the art for them. He doesn't want to be hired since it gives the impression that he'd work for anyone. This does show that he's smart in the PR. regard but at the same time Booster seemed more business minded than truly altruistic.

Meanwhile Michelle is taking her ill fated trip across America and is amazed to visit areas that were impossible to see in her time due to radiation. Another bit of 25th century info, her time was overpopulated without enough food to go around. A little detail but I always enjoy the snippets Jurgens gives us. Apparently Shell is also the type that likes her space in quiet spots while Booster prefers living in the lap of luxury. Checking into a bed and breakfast type place Michelle lies about who she is and comes across some evil looking kids playing in her room. After everyone's gone she ponders if she can go through with her plan knowing Booster wouldn't like it.

Booster tracks down Rainbow Raider who takes down Skeets. Then after soundly defeating our lead blinds turning him white. Yep, this isn't a one off story it continues in the next issue.

Overall: I wasn't too crazy about this story. I didn't loathe it but I'm really not sure what the tone's supposed to be. This could have been a wacky issue since even the comic admits Rainbow Raider isn't that great of a villain. In fact the powers already give the impression that he's more of a joke than a threat. The problem is that it's played straight and pretty much everyone has to be dumb for the plot to work. Despite everyone seeing and hearing what RRs' powers do they all believe Boosters' a coward? Booster, who fought unarmed for most of last issue, can't fight smart again? He had to announce himself when RR was distracted then run into him head on? Is Jurgens trying to show that Booster isn't taking it serious or is he trying too hard to make RR a threat? Maybe a little of both.

It looks like Jurgens still had plans to use the Superman world within his Booster Gold book. At this point we have not just the Superman rivalry but the start of one with Lex Luthor. Lois Lane thinks that it might be time to cover a different hero since Clark gets most of the Superman stories done. She might be judging Booster too harshly but there also seems to be a vibe that it's mainly to get a story. If anything Lois should be fair since that's the whole point of her character as a reporter. Lois wants to get a scoop but it has to be the truth. Like I said it's really hard to get what sort of vibe Jurgens was going for. I enjoyed the relaxing section with Michelle which showed more of her character and the bits of foreshadowing. As a Booster Gold story this is a little embarrassing for the character who even Rainbow Raider says hardly put up much of a fight. It's far from the worst I've read but all the Rainbow Raider parts just make this a very "meh" issue.

Say What?: This is the first mention of the Booster Gold/Lex Luthor feud. BGI lost a deal thanks to Luthor

According to Lois' article Booster was on Letterman, filled in for Johnny Carson and danced Joan Rivers?