Friday, April 13, 2018

Preview: Batman #45

Well I knew King wouldn't get Booster but I didn't expect this.


I have no idea why Hal committed suicide. Because he went insane? Because his ego is so big he wanted to prove his will power was greater than the ring's rules? Because King hates him? All of the above? And why do that so gleefully in front of Booster? Did he want Booster to tell Guy or something?

King has no idea how to write Booster because the character would NEVER think that was "awesome" ! I've already seen excuses for this when I was curious how people were reacting.

1. Booster is young when this happen and younger people don't "get it" back then, they think their immortal, etc.

He grew up in the bad section of Gotham, was dirt poor with an abusive father that abandoned his family when he was four. Booster never had the illusions of youth this excuse is alluding to. He got desperate and greedy, at times he put on fake upbeat facades but he didn't act like this when he first became Booster Gold. Do you know there is a story with him reacting to a suicide in his early hero days? Justice League International #25.

Ted got them a job capturing a vampire for a lab. It's the usual Blue and Gold routine until the vampire reveals the lab that sent them has been killing it's people. Ted thinks it's a monster for drinking blood and Booster brings up the fact humans can't talk because we eat meat. I bring that detail up to help illustrate how the two think. Ted is slow on the uptake and is the one that wants the money for their bounty the most up to this point. Booster actually picks up things quicker and more realistically. They chase the vampire only to find him impaled at the bottom of a pit.

Ted believes the vampire was so scared he tripped and fell. Booster doesn't think that's likely since the vampire lived in the area a long time and had to have known the pit was there. The worst thing Booster does is suggest they can still bring back the body if Ted still want the money he's been clamoring for all issue. Which I read as Booster either thinking Ted would do it anyway and wants to get it over with or was being sarcastic. He's clearly not happy about it.

2. Booster is older and desensitized.

The last time we saw Booster was in Action Comics written by his creator and Booster still has empathy. He didn't want Clark to have to witness his mom dying along with his planet. The only reason he allowed it was because Clark would have kept trying until he knew the truth. Booster still risked everything to save Lois and her father. He doesn't celebrate death.

3. The alternated timeline is affecting him.

This was suggesting the changes to the timeline were affecting him by changing his own timeline to make him a different person. No. This wouldn't happen for a couple of reasons. Rip Hunter made Booster a suit that was equipped for his job. Plus time travellers aren't affected the same way others are because of time particles (different books have different names for it.) We have Booster seeing death certificates of heroes on his JLA certificate showing he's different than them.

Booster for example recalled the main timeline while Flashpoint was overriding it. While he was forgetting it you also have to remember Rip Hunter didn't exist there making him a paradox since he first travelled back in Rip's sphere. It was hinted that Booster still recalled but repressed the memories later on, in fact I'm fairly certain Jurgens confirmed this in an interview.

In most appearances Booster can recall the main timeline and has to discover how the new one works. This would not be the case if he was altered by the changes and in a time he was familiar with. If he changed along with the time he wouldn't realize anything was different.

4. He doesn't see it as a real timeline.

Meaning Booster wouldn't care about the people in the altered world since he figures he'll change it back. Not the case. Back in the Flashpoint story Booster came across a woman during a fight that he escaped with to prevent her from being hurt by Doomsday. Booster never met this woman before, he had to find out information about this timeline and quick. She was terrified this stranger had apparently kidnapped her and the fact he had powers which equalled terrorist to her. Booster could have taken advantage of this to scare her into giving him information. He could have been a jackass and knocked her out. He could have even left her to explore the world elsewhere.

But Booster took the time to actually talk to this frightened woman and explain to her that he wouldn't hurt her. Because he honestly cared about her wellbeing and wanted her to know she was safe.

King doesn't seem to get any of this. He thinks this is all funny without understanding why Booster Gold means so damn much to so many people when other "comedy" characters fail. He doesn't seem to get the pains Johns and other writers went to to elevate Booster past his joke status. You may say it's too early to tell but this isn't a good start. I find his Booster and Skeets very annoying. Does King realize Skeets is supposed to be a presence to keep Booster focused? Not a bickering robot that has no wit?

Also Booster wouldn't shine a spotlight he'd destroy Skeets by doing that. But I really don't expect much at this point.