Monday, February 3, 2014

Booster Gold # 21 (Volume 1)

Within the last few issues it becomes clear that Jurgens felt compelled to tie up loose ends which often comes across as rushed. Whether rumors of the higher ups telling him to sever all connections Booster had are true or not he nevertheless gives one more of a build up than the others. This is also known as Michelles' exist arc. Let's see how it was handled.


Title: "Invasion from Dimension X"

Before I get started on the story aspect I should mention the art which I feel I've neglected to talk about in past reviews. The reason for this is that I usually think there's not much you can say about good art as it speaks for it's self. Everyone has their own taste of course so not everyone will agree with me. Jurgens is usually pretty strong although I would say that ironically the Rainbow Raider arc was my least favorite in that department. Not bad just not up to par with some of his other work like this issue. To his credit Jurgens' Booster Gold issues don't really pander to the male gaze the way most comic art tends to do. There's actually a fair bit of beefcake although it never feels as exploitive as some more infamous artist (Greg Land.) Usually it's action related or something done in character as Booster is shooting a commercial or trying to look appealing. A few times (although only once in this vol.) Booster gets the classic ripped and revealing costume treatment which is tastefully done. Well done but not over the top which is something I think lesser artist and to a degree writers can fail to do with someone that's trying to promote himself like Booster.

While there are female characters that show up wearing skintight costumes none of them are really sexualized. Just look at the Goldstar uniform, it's a female take of Boosters' costume while still differing from it enough to have it's own identity. I've seen fan artists that weren't aware of Goldstar that have done hyper sexual versions of a female Booster Gold costume. This is simple, classy, pretty practical, and even managed to hold up decades years after it last appeared.

Skeets and Booster search for the missing Michelle with Booster making another death threat if anything happened to her. I didn't remember him making so many but I think he would have tried to carry it out back then. Maybe his time with the JLI softens him on the idea? Anyway he has a bad feeling that Michelle is in serious trouble. Tracing her to the bed and breakfast place Booster finds the clerk dead then the portal the aliens used. One of the aliens attack ending up killing himself rather than reveal information.

Piecing together clues they figure out where to go and who to contact since the alien mentioned his race being defeated by the Teen Titans. He talks to Wonder Girl and doesn't really learn anything useful to the present case. Just that the aliens are invaders from a place the TT called Dimension X. Donna offers to meet him to help out but Booster says it's not needed since he called the JL already (he didn't.) In truth he doesn't want them to have all the glory and seems to think their naming abilities are uninspired. While this is a foolish move on his part since his sister is endangered I don't think it affects the outcome but more on that later.

Dirks' mad that Booster hired a manager to handle the finances when Trixie points out that he's the PR. man. She offers to treat him to dinner at her place showing more hints at her potentially moving on from Booster with Dirk. Before he can answer the new manager Mac Garrison arrives and she doesn't care for what she sees. Dirks' shocked since he expected a man and Mac responds that he's not the type to look beyond the obvious. It ends on a onmious note as Mac thinks to herself on the plans she has for BGI. She's not in the series long but I'll always have a soft spot for her based on the brilliant line she has once the Manhunter mess comes around.

Back to our hero, Booster gets more and more worried over his sister. He admits that growing up they were never close like most twins and only recently have been getting closer. Sadly we the readers haven't seen too much of that still it's a interesting detail. It might explain why Michelle only thinks the fame, glory and power interest him in being a hero. In vol. 2. it sounds like she was Jon Carters' favorite (hard to tell who was talking given the Mind plot.) But he left early so was Booster their mothers' favorite? Did Booster not really relate to his sister given his own interests?

The invaders plan on studying Michelle to gain understanding to how the human body works so they can teleport human leaders and take over our dimension. They have her hooked up to what looks like two piles of dirt connected to a machine. It's complex science people. Anyway it drains her power suit and also her life. Seeing her look so tired in the art and wanting Booster to save her is heartbreaking. He finds his way to them threatening kill the leader if he doesn't bring out his sister. But the bad guy only smiles and gives Booster a choice. Save Michelle before the machines drain her or save innocent lives that are about to be attack by a giant monster. A distressed Booster doesn't know what to do.

Did You Notice? : Like last time Michelle wrote Trixie Carter in the registry. While she has no reason to hide her name (few even know her brothers' real name much less that he has a sister) this shows that she sees the Booster/Trixie connect and approves.

Booster threatens to blow off one of the invaders heads. In fact I'm not sure he doesn't. Booster claims that his blast was on a lower setting which the leader is unimpressed with but we never see the head of the guy he blasted. He likely didn't since he says he's setting it his blaster to kill after it happens but art wise it's not clear.

The covers' tag line is misleading as the choice Booster makes isn't about his life against Michelles' but innocent lives.

Say What?: Booster mentions the TT owning him a favor for helping them out in the bits I previously reviewed. But, er, he never helped them out per se. He was going to but had to help protect the president.

Booster breaks in thinking how the law wouldn't stop other heroes (except Captain Marvel/Shazam.) While it's not surprising Batman is named Guy Gardner is because he's spoken of almost as if Booster admires him. Not that I ever got the vibe that Booster dislikes him but Guy hasn't really acted in a way that deserves this respect besides being part of the league.

While it's nice to see Booster thinks outside the box it's kind of odd that he assumes some lizard creature he encounters can talk especially since it's not the same being as the invaders.

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