Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Booster Gold #23 (Volume 1)

The last part of the Superman/Booster Gold crossover.


To recap the Action Comics #594: Trixie thought she saw Booster when he should have been in another Dimension. Superman fought the fake Booster Gold and the real one showed up on the last page. Now that we're all caught up the story takes off from there.

Noticing the extra Corporate Crusader Superman tries to figure out what to do while the Boosters fight. Since he fought the real deal before he knows that something is up with the imposter since he can actually get hurt by the blasts. Superman tells Lois to get to safety which she shrugs off because there's a story to cover. He uses his x-ray vision to confirm the real Booster (much to Boosters' discomfort) but isn't fast enough to avoid the fake. Seeing that the Man of Steel has difficulty Booster wonders what's up with him since he doesn't see what the problem is. Superman can't explain it himself and on Boosters' suggestion they team up to take the imposter on together.

Cutting back to the not so-distant past at Michelle's funeral Booster doesn't feel like dealing with people when Trixie puts her foot down. While she understands he's grieving she feels that he owes them an explanation given the anti-Superman speeches he's been giving. He tells her that he hasn't been doing any of that and if they don't believe him then the JLI can back him up. Dirk shows the recordings of the other Booster leading to our hero deciding to get to the bottom of it.

Back to the three-way battle Superman can't get near enough to do anything so Booster handles the whole thing by himself. He scoffs at Superman not being able to see something so obvious since his time has androids all over the place. Booster claims their easy to spot although he'll be surprised when they pop up in other comics. I like to think he was saying this just to piss his rival off. The android is destroyed and the thing that affected Superman is Kryptonite. Something that Booster flaunts in Supermans' face thinking he should keep a hold of it. Just in case. Not too thrilled with that Superman wonders how the league deals with the other man.

Lex Luthor is behind the whole thing and plots to make Booster take the blame for everything. He's none too pleased that the superhero thinks he can tangle with him in the business field. After buying out the company Booster was trying to get his pettiness takes a new high as he plans to over the building across from Boosters' mansion out of spite. Still not done another attacker goes for the Man of Steel on his command. Before he can the heroes talk with Lois and Booster saying how displeased he is with the negative press he's received lately. Superman admits he knows about one in particular, Lois ripping BG during the Rainbow Raider arc, which sounds like it wasn't retracted despite Booster saving the day. If that's the case maybe there's something to the androids' implication that Lois was bias in Action Comics #594. Booster says that while his double wasn't him it might have had a point.

Before they can get into an argument the hired baddie Lex has attacks mainly focusing on Superman. Sadly he takes back the Kryptonite so no more taunting the Man of Steel for the Corporate Crusader. After pushing BG aside the guy gets taken apart by Superman who's very aware of Luthor setting this up. In the middle of disarming the baddie he comes across a BGI ID, the man claims he works for Booster. To his credit Clark doesn't believe it for a moment even with the armor being made from pieces BGI owns. He points out that since their out of range of the cameras the ruse is pointless. Still being honest Booster admits he's not pleased with the set up or the fact Superman got his own celebration day. Luthor can't be brought to justice since there's no evidence. Pleased with himself despite not killing Superman Luthor holds a party as he believes he destroyed Booster in the market.

Bruce Wayne appears at the party and while it's just a single panel cameo I like to think he was interested in what happened between Superman/Booster especially since he knows Booster is grieving. But all he does is tell Lex what a great party he's throwing before Booster crashes the event in 80s tux. Wasting no time he informs Luthor that he brought the bidding up for the company they were competing for knowing Luthor would pay double for it. He adds to the insult by seducing Luthors' date then leaving with her with a few panels suggesting Luthor make a female android.

Sadly for Booster this comes at a bad time since someone emptied his accounts. Next issue reveals who betrayed him and starts the last arc of the series.

Overall: It does feel like Booster isn't affected by his sisters' death when he deals with his double. When he's at the funeral he's more somber and even snippy at the others. This actually makes sense even though it's not spelled out. Booster hides how he really feels, he's been doing it since the start of the series and it's part of his public image. Furthermore last issue had him pondering being alone due to losing Michelle. Dirk and Trixie know him better than anyone save Skeets so he can shed the mask around them. Facing the robot gives him a chance to focus on something else and to pretend things are normal. That will become a bigger character trait years later but also gives an excuse for why Michelle isn't talked about until CTIC. Yes some members of JLI were at her funeral but none of them actually met her. For all his talk of celebrity Booster is actually a private person. Plus having the funeral on the same day that the city started "Superday" must have hit a nerve.

I don't think the idea of giving him a Booster "twin" was intentional on the writers part after he lost Michelle. I do like the meta idea of it coincidentally happening at this point especially since this version looks just like him. Since he blamed himself for her death I could see it being very satisfying for him to destroy his own image in a physical way. I'm reminded of 52 where he actually battled himself and said some pretty nasty things.

I enjoyed this much more than Action Comics, the characters are shown to be more human and the POV isn't so one sided. The interaction between Booster and Superman is really fun, more so than their first team up was. They aren't buds but they have a kind of understanding and grudging respect for each other. Superman never believes Boosters' behind the plot despite their issues with each other. It's helped by the fact Booster is open with his problems with Superman and his willingness to lend a hand when there's trouble. Jurgens doesn't make either a saint, while Booster may have a point with Superman getting the most credit he's still being petty. Especially when he taunted with the Kryptonite although I found that hilarious. As for Superman his annoyance with his rival is more playful here. The exchange between the two when Booster asks if he's supposed to leave since he dislikes the situation and the panel of Superman silently grinning is priceless.

The thing is it can be entertaining when heroes are jerky but most of the times writers do it because of personal bias. I enjoy this rivalry because it can make Superman act childish and it works so well with the characters. I do miss this interaction in later comics although it does feel right when they do bury the hatchet. Booster being a jerk to Superman and Luthor was the highlight of this issue. These are two people you don't want to mess with and he does it on the spur of the moment because they piss him off. Most would either side with one to spite the other but no. He rushes in to taunt them in ways no one else would. It's just expectant and that's one of the things that makes him interesting.

Say What?: I love, positively love that has that weariness Supeman has on the cover. Like he doesn't want to have to deal with two Booster when one annoys him so much.

The phrasing just bugged me with this one. Technically they didn't bury Michelle since there was no body.

#22 had Tixie saying she saw Booster the day before Michelle's funeral when he was actually in Dimension X. Now Booster is thinking that his imposter was doing anti-Superman things for a week. If that's true why didn't he hear about it until then the funeral?

Trixie should have gotten information on what "Booster" was saying from Dirk since he's the PR. guy but not even the real deal points this out. In hindsight this makes sense given the last issues.

Booster actually agrees with everything the robot said the only difference is that he knows better than to say it in public. I love that detail, it's just so human and makes this even funnier.

A little nod is given to the ring Lex Luthor has/will make from Kryptonite as Booster comments about it out loud. It must be great saying these things that you know will happen thanks to history class but knowing no one else will get.

It's hard to tell who was talking but did Bruce Wayne really say he hung out with the Beatles?

Actually Luthor does make a Lois android which some believe he romanced just before the relaunch.

Did You Notice?: Both Booster Gold series feature a cover with two Boosters.

Questions Raised?:  All of Luthors' employees seem to be female. Was this a thing with him back then? Or was Boosters' dig actually correct and their androids?

Why didn't Luthors' hired goon use the Kryptonite when they get it back? He could have actually stood a chance if he did or a piece was part of his equipment. Great planning there Lex.

Superman never tells Booster who's behind the plot on panel. So did he do so off panel or did Booster put it together himself? I like to think it was the latter.

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