"The Assault" or "Down" as it's referred to inside. After last issue's entertainment I can't wait to read this one.
OLDER SPOILERS AHEAD
Last issue had Superman and Hal going off on their own on some planet. Now their all awake and in space. Dr. Fate informs everyone that he can't bring them home since he's really not sure how to do it. This is one of the few series I've read where the heroes keep failing to stop the bad guys because of their own stupidity. It's really quite a feat. Katma doesn't think it's that bad since they can still travel. Hawkman points out the small fact their 11 light years away from Earth although Hawkwoman thinks they only need to wait until the older Dr. Fate can be contacted by his student. The dead-ish GL that hasn't done anything since he found Harbinger literally looks like he's decomposing. Why doesn't anyone seem to care about this poor bastard?
Hal says that it's no biggie since GLs can move fast in space. Captain Atom doesn't think they need to race since he assumes the Manhunter war is over. Yes by all means lengthen this with more mingling.
Harbinger: I spent 20 years serving the Earth, but almost none of that on Earth--and once I found a love for Earth forged from 20 years of concentration denial!
We know you're 20 years old, it's one of the facts they keep reminding us but I doubt you served anyone as a baby. She has a little fit doing a Dorothy "no place like home" wish then blinks out of sight leaving the rest stranded. That really helped a lot. I especially love the dead GL freaking out knowing he's got to suffer alone with this group. Arisia wished someone told her Harbinger could teleport, Fate gives some half assed explanation of others evolving (not Fate apparently) and the heroes go the slow route. In other words Harbinger does it because the plot says so.
Ted and Scott drive a spiky pinball to the Manhunters base. When Aqualad thinks they should have spotted the activity beforehand Aquaman makes on of the few valid excuses. They already explore 71% of the planet so not noticing a spot tends to happen. After seeing Batman refer to the skeleton man as "Bones" I did a quick internet check and yes, it's in fact the came character that appears in Batwoman. Only he wore spandex and a pirate cape. Pirates were apparently a big thing back then. Anyway my search says he accidently killed Skyman making his past scenes with him more awkward. If his claim to be related to the Kane sisters is true then it also makes him Batmans' cousin. ...Bruces' family tree keeps getting weirder.
Batman: With their layer upon layer of secrecy! Remember their second motto--"the Manhunters are a myth!
Yes they hid so well that they gained a cult following, caused paranoia and had people publically support them. That motto doesn't apply anymore, I'm not sure it ever did.
Batman: The cult's capabilities will be crippled for a long time to come--and I know that when you fight crime, that counts as a win!
Yep Batman counts never fully ending a threat as a win! Makes sense since that's the same thinking that allows his rogues galley to keep coming back. It's easy to see why Jason Todd decided to use different methods. Guy jokes a little making Diana think only the brain damaged aren't affected by the pressure of their mission. I like to think she means Batman too just because I like the idea of her still harboring negative thoughts against him. Plus I'm sure she doesn't count wins the same as he does. The outsiders (non-human heroes) say how great Earth is, Kilowog looks like he's trying to hug the forcefield then Wally finds the opening. Harbinger pops up to go over her backstory AGAIN. She says she has to be involved instead of standing idly by--which she has been doing for the past couple of issues.
The Chosen do another vital part of their training, learning Tai Chi! Truly no one else could do that.
Gregorio: (Thinking) I can use the gentle side of me, instead of having someone else do it--!
That innuendo makes me wonder how he thinks he'll be serving mankind. I mean I know the Chosen are supposed to breed (which I don't think they mentioned) but he doesn't know that. He must get something else from Tai Chi than most. Betty notices HHH and Nadia aren't doing so well.
Nadia: You are everything--we dared hope!
They REALLY must have low standards if the Chosens' abilities to talk, stay, dream and do this impress them so much. Of course these are the same guys that brought the Manhunters--their current enemies--into being. Makes you think since the Guardians later consider the GLs a failure. This is their bar of excellence! Now we can confirm that the Oans have no common sense. Toms' wife gets upset that her husband is no longer a normal man. HE HASN'T DONE ANYTHING IMPRESSIVE OR INHUMAN! Why is everyone acting like their becoming heralds of Galactus ? If this is DCs' version of cosmic power it's very disappointing. The guy did Tai Chi lady, that hardly makes him a wizard!
Back to the heroes at the center of the Earth John Stewart tells everyone to be quiet. This supposed tense moment would have been better if there wasn't a panel of John making a construction of chewed bubblegum. Seriously what's supposed to be going on there? The Manhunters don't have all the information of their other bases but assume this is their last stand. Booster doesn't seem to be paying attention during this and I don't blame him. John listens in and it's only now I realize that construct he made is supposed to be a ear. They plan on destroying the world by blowing it up, Booster volunteers to guard the device. I'd like to point out that the Manhunters have just proved once again how stupid they are by agreeing to this. Even if you believe Booster Gold is in it all for the money why would he do this if not to stop them? He'll not only die if they use it, he'll never be born.
Bones comments on what a great idea it is (really?) which alert the Manhunters since they were trying to be quiet. The roof gives under all their weight crashing them down a level. Apparently the Manhunters can't build solid structures either. Which you'd think you be a priority since their surrounded by volcanos and hazardous conditions. Wonder Woman stops Superman and John from muscling in on her fight with Pan, an agent of the Manhunters. I guess back then she didn't kill people because Pan gloats over this. Diana doesn't let go which shows that he's actually a robot too. Meaning Booster is the only non-robot with them at the moment. Weird. Wally is still furious over what the Manhunters did to his family.
Green Arrow: (Thinking) Man, if you were to pin me down I'd have to say all these people in costumes are just silly! But..thrilling too. Dammit!
Thanks Ollie, that really added some much needed information that applies to this tense situation. Not that you're one to talk about silly costumes. Deep thoughts man, nice to know everyone's fetishes.
Mr. Miracle says what we've all be thinking about the repeatedly annoying "No Man escapes the Manhunters" phrase. It might have been cool at the start now it's just laughable. Aquaman remains anal about his 71% of the world and Aqualad is a little too into the violence.
Aqualad: Every time I do this, I wish I did it more!
Moving on from that disturbing sentence the Manhunters seem alarmed to see the GLs and Harbinger. Which doesn't make sense because they should have noticed them as soon as they arrive. I also have no idea what Bones is doing when he says "bye bye!" Posing? Trying to smother a robot? I'm amazed that even if briefly Kiliwogs' grief over losing his planet is brought up as he tries to stop the Manhunters from destroying another world. I sort of wrote that off halfway in. Some of the heroes manage to make it to the bomb...somehow they know where it is.
Green Arrow: (Thinking) These guys don't seem so silly--!
These are the deep thoughts of a man fighting for the fate of mankind. Also, yes, yes they are.
Ted yells out that Booster is a double crossing creep, everyone fights. Grandmaster tells the other to use the bomb then race towards it. Just before he can hit the button Booster stops the Manhunter blasting him away. The Manhunters are shocked by this of course (imagine someone not agreeing to their insane plan.)
Booster Gold: I've got a lot of pent-up frustration to get rid of here!
Millennium will have that affect although taken out of context this line's still funny. Seeing this followed up by the exchange of dialogue over a "lousy human" between the humans and Manhunters just feels surreal. It would of been okay with just WW countering the statement but then Mr. Miracle and Jade have to add their two cents. Like their just trying to hard to banter and the cherry on top of this is the Manhunter that seems to take this seriously. I don't know it's just strikes me as funny.
One of the Manhunter takes off revealing it to be a woman...maybe? I still don't know how this all works with Dirk being a robot then not. As it is this feels like one of the most random things to put in that really has nothing to do with anything we've seen so far.
Harlequin?: Some Manhunters have to take a longer view--and the Harlequin doesn't wear spectacles for nothing--!
If that's supposed to be an attempt at humor I think a part of me just died a little.
Boosters' happy that it's over and tells the heroes that he did infiltrate the Manhunters. Ted gets on his case saying he's not fooling them. Ollie thinks he only turned because the Manhunters were losing and Dinah glares daggers at him.
Booster Gold: How can you think that of me? My biggest worry all along was that nobody'd believe I could be anything less than an idol of millions!
While there isn't anything in Millennium to suggest one way or another which is true I do believe Booster. He's not the type to let innocent people get put in danger and we know from Booster Gold #24 Vol. 1 that he didn't care about the money. He tells Trixie that it didn't matter because he's been poor before and could make it back. At that point he lost his family and was frustrated that heroes like Superman kept looking down at him. The only thing that worried him was the truth about his past getting out but that's not mentioned once during this. Booster acts like the money is the reason he sided with them, not that he would tell them about the scandal but look at what he's saying here. He didn't think anyone would think him capable of being less than the image he presents.
On a meta standpoint it's one of the deeper things about this series. Here are these beings that cause paranoia by being able to be anyone they want to betray anyone at any time. Booster takes advantage of that and not only does that paranoia take hold of the heroes but one has to wonder if it was always there. They sure bought the lie pretty fast and never seem to think he might be under mind control like Firestorm was. Ironically this is the crux of Booster Golds' character: the image he projects that everyone buys into and rarely bother to see past the surface. He will do things to make himself look bad to do the right thing. It's sort of fitting that Ted believes the lie and is the first to say so. Not because they end up being friends but because he doesn't understand. Some have called BS. on his refusal to join Maxwell Lord in Countdown to Infinite Crisis. But I think it's in character, Ted might end up doing some dumb things in JLI but he's a Silver Age character. A Ditko character, he wouldn't compromise himself even for the greater good. Booster and him have different backgrounds and this is one of the many times that's apparent.
This also reveals Boosters' worst fears that people really do see him in a negative light. At this point he has earned his spot on the JLI, proved he wasn't in league with Max to get that done too. Worked with these people to save lives and now he realizes that didn't make any difference. They all see him as a sell out that values his own comfort above the human races continued existence. Keep in mind this is a guy that already has issues with himself because of his past failures.
Ted Kord: Careful, Canary! Let's leave him for Wonder Woman!
I know their not friends yet and this isn't the worst thing Ted will do to Booster. Still shut the hell up Ted. This line gets me because of the implications he's suggesting. WW ripped Pan apart so give Booster to her. Seriously this is one of the times I remember why Ted could piss me off. This does seem to at least freak Booster off enough to agree to come along.
The heroes return from space, Wally is horrified by the dead GL they still won't put out of his misery, then Superman tries to give a speech. Only HHH and Nadia interrupt him because their dying and don't have time to wait for him to finish. Well they don't say their dying but they look like they are. ANOTHER mingling session happens (you'd think they'd all have each others' information by now) and the Oans say that the Chosen must see the world before they accept their destinies. One sees a suspicious car and decides to check on it. Not sure how someone can sneak up on a GL HQ without anyone noticing in a car but whatever. I love the last panel with half the people happily smiling and the rest looking horrified as Booster flies off with a member of the Chosen. He promises to show her how rotten the world really is. Guys if you have a problem with it maybe you shouldn't have brought him to the place all the Chosen were and locked him up!
Overall: This still makes no sense and is just as much fun. I really liked the little scenes with Booster which manage to be one of the few bits that's good just for the insight on the character. It also makes me see Booster Gold #25 differently just because of Ted and Dinahs' actions here. I think I'll finish this mini series before reviewing the last BG issue from the first series.