B∞ster Gold: Blue and Gold

In the spirit of completion, the finale of Geoff Johns’ run on Booster Gold.

After saving Ted Kord from being killed by Maxwell Lord, Booster and the Beetles travel into the time stream. Once they return to their own time, they notice the OMACs roaming the skies. With Lord’s plan to control Earth succeeding, the Blue and Gold must reunite with some unlikely allies.

Johns’ goes out with a bang on this series. An alternate universe story can sometimes be an issue, like in Flashpoint where it was hard to care for these alternate characters. In this series it is subverted by having the location be the a timeline and not another universe so time travelling characters appear by the end to create drama. The original resistance team is an alright group of obscure characters like Mad Dog, Pantha, and Anthro. The world travelling scenes in the middle of the book are my favorite parts and harken back to the JLI era.

If I had one con it would be the predictability of the ending. This alternate timeline is too destroyed to be inhabitable, so they had to restore the timeline in the exact way you would expect. This is made up for by Booster Gold #1,000,000 a call back to the DC One Million event. It wraps up the story nicely with good character moments for Batman, Booster, and Rip Hunter. The art is also a plus, I’m always a fan of Dan Jurgens’ art.

Writer: Geoff Johns

Artist: Dan Jurgens

Rating: Vintage

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April Comics Ranking

Time for part two of April’s comic rankings.

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#10- “Convergence: Justice League of America #1”

Pros:  Nice to see Ralph and Sue together again, best villain introduction of the event

Cons: Spends too long introducing characters, basically nothing happens until the end, muddy art

#9. “Green Lantern 23.4”

Pros: Great origin story, Sinestro is still a great villain

Cons: Hard to read with the layout, doesn’t explain why Sinestro has so much will

#8-7

#8. “Convergence: Aquaman #1”

Pros: When he arrives Deathblow is cool, Aquaman has the respect he deserves

Cons: Stilted art, spends too long introducing the villain

#7. “Convergence: Justice League International #1”

Pros: Good fight scene, Ted is a funny guy, nice setup for the next issue

Cons: Doesn’t focus on the other members much

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#6. “Convergence: Shazam #1”

Pros: Replicates Golden Age art, the battle against the Monster Society is really good

Cons: The dome doesn’t come down

#5. “Convergence: Batman and the Outsiders #1”

Pros: Gives equal focus to the team, colorful and bright art, very emotional scenes

Cons: I have a hard time buying that Batman can’t bring down the dome in a year

#4-3.1

#4. “Convergence: Green Lantern/Parallax #1”

Pros: Bright art, delivers exposition very well, the fight kicks off quickly

Cons: Princess Fern is such a ridiculous villain even Parallax makes fun of the idea

#3. “Convergence: Green Lantern Corps #1”

Pros: Goes deep into Guy’s psyche, unique art style, great to see John and Guy interact

Cons: Ending scene doesn’t make much sense

2.2

#2. “Convergence: Booster Gold #1”

Pros: Very quick moving story, explains a lot about the event, they recognize all the things Booster has done for the DCU

Cons: There’s a lot of dialogue, but it is well written

And the winner is…

Winner

#1. “Convergence: Blue Beetle #1”

Pros: Focuses equally on the three heroes, funny jokes throughout, first glimpse of Telos, explores more about the dome

Cons: The other city isn’t shown

And that’s the end for April. Hopefully the second issue of these are better or just as great in some cases.

Convergence: Booster Gold #1

It’s time for my most anticipated issue of the Convergence event. It’s Booster Gold time. Our writer is none other than Booster’s creator, Dan Jurgens. Our artists are Alvaro Martinez and Danny Miki.

We begin where New 52 Booster is being tortured by Brainiac to reveal the location of Vanishing Point. Rip Hunter arrives to save the New 52 Booster so he can help find Pre-52 Booster and his sister. Turns out that all time travelers have been kidnapped by either Telos or Brainiac. Once Pre-52 Booster is freed, many twists and turns come out which I won’t spoil.

Final Thoughts: This is the most densely packed issue I’ve read so far. It feels like important things are happening at all times. It’s nice to see Skeets return and he and Booster keep up their original dynamic that worked. The art is pretty dark and gloomy, but this book sets up that tone. The only downside is a mention of the Kardashians, which means I have to accept the Kardashians exist in the DC Universe.

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#1. Booster Gold

Let it be known that I am predictable. I just had to go for the gold, though (Thanks for the joke, Harrison.)

Origin: Born in the 25th century, Micheal Carter was a professional football player at Gotham University. His dad convinced him to throw games to pay for Micheal’s mother’s operation. Micheal is caught cheating and becomes a disgrace, having to work as a night watchmen at a superhero museum. He stole a Legion Flight Ring, Brainiac 5’s force field belt, and Skeets a security robot and went back in time in Rip Hunter’s time machine. There he saved Ronald Reagan’s life, and accidentally gained the name Booster Gold, a mix of his nickname “Booster” and Goldstar, his planned hero name.

Life: Booster’s life is defined by the tragedies he suffered. He starts off looking for fame and endorsements, but when his sister comes back and time and is killed, he is humbled. He joins the Justice League International, where he becomes best friends with Blue Beetle. After Ted’s death Booster recruits Jaime to be the new Blue Beetle to shut down Brother Eye. Booster goes on to save the multiverse in 52, and then is in charge of fixing holes in time. During Blackest Night, Booster has to kill a Black Lantern Ted Kord. During Brightest Day, Booster has to deal with a revived Maxwell Lord.

Why he’s on the list: Do I need to even explain at this point? He’s Booster Gold, “The World’s Greatest Hero you’ve never heard of.” He saved the entire multiverse from Mr. Mind and continued on to save Superman, Green Lantern, the Flash and a myriad of other heroes. But he isn’t perfect and still tries to defy the laws of time to bring back Ted, a defining character moment. He has the highest amount of guilt placed on him when bad things happen, such as Ralph blaming him for Sue’s death. In the end, good things still happen to him and he continues to fight crime with his son, Rip Hunter.

Recommended Reading: Booster Gold (Vol. 2), Showcase Presents: Booster Gold, 52

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March Comic Ranking

March Comic Rankings:

We’ve made it past the first month, and with Convergence this month, Vintage Bullet will be more active. For now, let’s celebrate the best (and worst) of March 2015.

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#7- “Time Masters: Vanishing Point”

Rating: Borrow from a mate

Pros: Rip’s childhood, decent fights, Dan Jurgens’s art is always good, cool villains

Cons: Heavy expository dialogue, forced conflict between Booster and Hal, almost no plot.

#6- “Flashpoint”

Rating: Buy it at a bargain

Pros: Cool characters, decent art, amazing ending

Cons: Anticlimactic, weak fights, padding, tie-in heavy.

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#5- “Ultimate Comics Spider-Man,” Volume 1

Rating: Full Price

Pros: Good origin story, nice art, great fights, world building

Cons: Unfunny dialogue, not much new ground.

#4- “All-New Ghost Rider,” Volume 1

Rating: Full Price

Pros: Likable protagonist, amazing fights, interesting art style, great villain

Cons: Absurd amount of swearing, Robbie shaves his hair.

Special

#3- “Batman: Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth”

Rating: Full Price

Pros: Interesting plot, Arkham’s origin is told, dark and heavy mood, layers of symbolism

Cons: Hard to read Joker’s words, art makes some parts confusing.

#2- “Marvel Zombies 1”

Rating: Vintage

Pros: Dark comedy, great alternate Earth story, bloody fights, escalates perfectly

Cons: Spawned some rubbish

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#1- “Booster Gold 52 Pick-Up”

Rating:Vintage

Pros: Great character development, fun to see the DC history, hilarious dialogue, strong supporting cast, smart action scenes

Cons: Characters look a little too similar

Thus brings the end of the first Comics Ranking. I had this sixth sense about this whole blog thing, and it’s kind of a funny story where this has gone. My original theory of everything was that reading this blog would make the reader feel like the captive, but in the end, we are all saved by big hero six. (Wow, I thought this forced thing would come out better. For real though, thanks for the 5 people that read this.)

Booster Gold 52 Pick-Up Part 2

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He had this scar a long time ago. Who would trust someone with that scar?

Last time in the “Adventures of the Greatest Hero You’ve Never Known,” Booster was drunk and got into a fender bender with the Flash, I forgot to credit the artists and writers last time, so I’ll rectify that this time. The writers are Geoff Johns (Green Lantern) and Jeff Katz (Freddy Vs Jason Vs Ash) and the artists are, of course, Dan Jurgens (Superman) and Norm Rapmund (Time Masters: Vanishing Point.)

Issue #4 begins with everyone leaving the time sphere and realizing that they are in Central City, the hometown of the Flash. The more primitive time sphere appears and out walks Supernova and Rex Hunter, a former Time Master that was kicked out for trying to kill a young Lex Luthor. They reveal that their plan was to take every other heroes place in disasters, to become the greatest superhero team in history. Flash and Kid Flash attack the villains, but their timelines disappear, as this is the night that Barry becomes the Flash. Booster flies after Supernova and he brings out his own upgraded version of Skeets, Maximillion, who is loaded with weapons. Skeets flies away and notices that their is a lightning rod above the building where Barry Allen is struck by lightning. Rip Hunter gives a badass boast about how he has mastered all cultures’ fighting styles, and that “Junior, your ass is mine,” and proceeds to beat Rex down.

Booster goes to remove the lightning rod and Supernova grabs his leg. Booster rips off Supernova’s mask, and reveals that it’s Old Man Withers, I mean his dad, Jonar. Skeets rushes in and crashes into Jonar, freeing Booster, who breaks the lightning rod. Skeets is blasted by Maximillion, and when Booster goes to grab him Jonar takes the piece of lightning rod from him. Lightning strikes Jonar and Maximillion and him are teleported away, while Barry is also struck, bringing Flash and Kid Flash back. The Flashes go back to their time travel, and Booster and Rip go back into the time sphere. Booster wants to quit saving time, and just save Ted Kord, but Rip convinces to save one more person, Barbara Gordon, AKA, Batgirl.

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Being beaten by your own robot sidekick must hurt

Issue #5 begins with Booster and Rip recapping the events of The Killing Joke, where Barbara Gordon was shot and paralyzed by the Joker. Rip says he upgraded Booster and Skeets so that they can now teleport straight into the time stream. They leave, and Rex Hunter wakes up tied to a chair, where Rip begins to torture him. Booster arrives at a Gotham carnival, where he is quickly stunned by a dart. He is jumped by some of the Joker’s henchmen who short out his force field and knock him out with gas. We cut back to Rip and Rex, when Rex’s body begins spiking chronal energy. We then see the other Time Stealers, (Per Degaton, Despero, and Ultra-Humanite) at Rex Hunter’s crib, where they had just killed him. Booster wakes up in a cage, and Skeets frees him from it. He races forward to try and save Barbara, but is too late, and she is still shot

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“Rot in hell,Max” is the great quote of the century

Booster attacks the Joker, but is stunned by his camera and beaten down. Before Joker can shoot him, Rip returns Booster to his lab. Booster tries to save Barbara at least three more times, until Rip stops him. He reveals that it is impossible to save Barbara, and her being shot is solidified time. Booster gets really mad and demands to go back and save Ted. Rip tries to explain that it’s impossible, but just then three Blue Beetles (Dan Garrett,the original, Jaime Reyes, the current,and a future version just called Blue Beetle) appear. They say that Ted can and must be saved to ensure the safety of the future, ending the issue.

Issue #6 begins with the Blue Beetles in the time sphere, and it’s great to see a legacy hero talking to his successor. Rip Hunter then appears in Rose Levin and Daniel’s house and holds up some costumes for them. We go back to where Booster is giving  a really sad recap of how Ted died and we see that scene again, where Maxwell Lord has Ted tied up. Before Max can shoot Ted, however, Booster and the Beetles bust in. Our heroes fight against Max and his O.M.A.C army, but Booster is trapped in Max’s mind control. He prepares to shoot Ted, so Booster jumps in the way, taking a bullet straight through his eye. Ted knocks out Max, and Booster reveals that the bullet went through the goggles and just grazed his forehead. They all get back into the time sphere, and Booster prepares to tell Ted “A long story.”

This beginning arc is over, but next time we’ll be covering something different.Now to the review.

Plot: Booster travelling through time to fix wormholes is a great way to explore the rich history of the DCU.

Characters: Booster is a great main character. He isn’t overpowered, and he has to use his own wit to get through. His very sad origin and current life, make for a character we can relate to. Rip Hunter and Skeets are just hilarious in every scene, and are very helpful.

Action: Action isn’t big in this book, but when it happens it looks grand. Things such as the Sinestro fight and the brawl in Central City would be the highlights.

Art: Dan Jurgens still makes amazing art, but the characters do look a little samey,and Rip’s hair changes to a different color after the first couple issues.

Ending: With Ted alive again, and the ecstatic look on Booster and Jaime’s faces, the ending is a very happy one, with plenty of potential to continue on.

Final Thoughts: This book is just absolute fun. The dialogue is smart, funny, and doesn’t have to over explain the time travel, since Booster knows most of this. The sadder scenes in the book, such as when he says he has barely any friends and when he talks to Guy, serve to create a tragic hero. We see the evolution of a selfish hero, stripped of the one thing he thought he wanted,fame. In the end he realizes that friends and family are what he truly wants, but with a horrible father and a dead best friend, it’s just impossible. Wow, that got depressing. Anyway, let’s celebrate the second…Vintage rating!

Rating: Vintage

Booster Gold 52 Pick-Up, Part 1

Now this review was a long time coming. I may have mentioned once or twice that Booster Gold is my favorite superhero. He was the first DC hero to appear after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, back in 1985-1986. After that series ended, he went on to be in multiple Justice League teams, but most famously, Justice League International. After the events of 52, in which Booster saved the multiverse, he was given a new series.

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At least the wise cracks make sense when Booster does them

Issue #1 begins with Booster fighting against the Royal Flush Gang. After he defeats them all the Justice League appears. Booster tries to convince the League to allow him entry, which they are naturally skeptical of. They give Booster a week to prove himself to the League, so he goes out to save people. He first stops off at his own house, where his ancestor, Daniel Carter (Supernova) is using the suit’s power to freeze time for the user, so he can play Madden without needing to drink or eat. As Booster argues with Daniel to go out and help people, Rip Hunter appears in his time sphere. Supernova is also seen being knocked out by a shadowy figure.

Rip Hunter takes Booster into the time sphere to tell him how the time stream is full of temporal anomalies, and he must fix them. Rip drops the big bombshell by telling Booster he must play up his show-off, jerky persona so no villains will suspect him. Booster is against the idea of being an “egotistical, self-centered fool,” as Skeets puts it. He does, however, rescue a plane that Black Adam attacked during World War 3. The most important person he rescues is Rose Levin, a freelance reporter.

A week later Booster walks into the Hall of Justice, and is accepted into the Justice League. Superman hands him his member’s certificate, which transforms into a death certificate for Hal Jordan, “The Greatest Green Lantern.” Booster turns down the membership, and flies back to Rip’s lab. He agrees to help Rip fix the timeline, but only if they go back to revive Ted Kord, (Blue Beetle) who was killed by Maxwell Lord in the lead up to Infinite Crisis. The issue ends with Supernova talking to Sinestro,when he was still a Green Lantern, on Korugar.

Issue #2 begins with Rip examining the death certificate of Hal Jordan, Historical scans of it then show that Hal is no longer the “Greatest Green Lantern,” but Guy Gardner is. He explains that Sinestro comes to Earth before Abin Sur, which causes a chain reaction of Guy becoming Green Lantern and then dying of a disease. Sinestro turns rogue much earlier, and takes over the universe. Booster goes back in time, while Rip goes time diving to, “Find who’s ass he needs to kick.” Booster spots Guy checking his phone constantly and looking at some football tickets. Sinestro flies into view and Booster intercepts him by tackling him into a football stadium.

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Booster really does screw with Green Lantern a lot

Booster gets the upper hand by using Sinestro’s weakness to yellow, but Sinestro still knocks Booster away. Booster chases after him, and convinces him that Supernova was just one of his enemies trying to make him feel fear of being replaced. Booster then decides to learn what’s wrong with Guy, and walks into a bar with him. Guy tells Booster that his dad is dying, and he wants him to visit him, but Guy hates his drunk, abusive father. Booster tells Guy the story about his own crook of a father, and says “it never hurts to say goodbye,” which convinces Guy to go visit his father. Booster goes back into the time sphere, and Skeets tells him that because he talked to Guy and got him to visit his father, that he is the reason Guy doesn’t become Green Lantern because Hal was closer to Abin Sur’s crash site.

Booster then checks the death certificate which has changed into one for Superman. Rip Hunter then slams into the side of the time sphere, with his armor in tatters. Supernova flies by and then travels back to the old west to hire a gunman, who turns out to be Jonah Hex, ending the issue.

Issue #3 begins with Booster and Rip at their house, looking for Daniel. Rip says that when he was time diving he saw Supernova and a more primitive time sphere. Rose Levin knocks at the door, looking for Booster Gold, so they leave Daniel to deal with her. Rip finds out that somehow the villains created a domino effect, that makes it so Superman was found as a baby by Lionel Luthor. He raises Superman as his son, but on Superman’s birthday Lex finds out and kills Superman a year later. Booster goes through the time wormhole and comes out in the old west.

Booster talks to Jonah Hex who agrees to tell Booster who hired him if he can outdrink him, and buy their whiskey. After drinking about four bottles of whiskey, Jonah decides that Booster is his friend and he’ll tell him what he wants to know. We then cut to night where Booster and Skeets are riding on horses (Yes, the flying robot is on a horse,) and reveal that Hex’s target was Dr. Westfield, the man who delivers Jonathan Kent’s great-grandfather. Booster tells a drunken story about how he lost the cape he used to wear, and Supernova appears. He fights Booster, winning because of the Supernova suit’s many abilities. He summons up a bunch of bison to stomp Dr. Westfield, but Booster saves them, and Supernova goes back into the time stream.

Skeets locks onto his chronal trail, and they follow him back into the time stream. Booster goes back into the time sphere, and follows the trail. Rip and Booster argue about Booster being drunk, and he shouldn’t be driving. Booster says they can’t hit anything out here, but then a crash is heard. They look outside and see Barry and Wally, Flash and Kid Flash, who were on the cosmic treadmill, ending the issue.

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Jonah Hex is drinking to forget about the awful movie about him

Next time we finish this story arc.