Saturday, 6 November 2010

Booster Gold #7

Well, I'm back. I hope you enjoyed my random mutterings on the MCM Expo. I also hope you found the time to listen to the latest episode of Awesomed By Comics. I sent Aaron and Evie an e-mail about my encounter with Kieron Gillen (Have you read Generation Hope yet? Oh, go on, it's great!) which they then read out on the show whilst also giving the blog a gentle plug. Well, once they worked out what the site address was! There was a slight miscommunication that made it sound like I had asked Kieron to sign my copy of Phonogram with a reference to their podcast, whereas the dedication was all Kieron's idea, based on our chat. Let's face it, if I'm going to claim credit for someone else's ideas, I'll probably choose someone less  well-known than Kieron Gillen!

I also got the chance to read Superman: Earth One. I'll not go into too much detail, save to say that I really enjoyed the first half of the issue, especially the bits where Clark slowly found his feet in Metropolis, but once the aliens turned up to invade, my interest started to wane. The art was wonderful, although the final reveal of Superman made him seem just a little on the weedy side. What did take me by surprise this week was Superman #704, which was one of the best fill-in issues I've read in a long time. It served the wider story, but put a long-overdue focus on the Clark and Lois relationship. For the first time in years, I found myself really believing in their relationship.

And now, an apology. As I've mentioned before, I work in retail, and the next eight weeks are the busiest weeks of the year for me. I'm also angling for a promotion, and with this on top of the pre-Christmas trading, I'm working an insane amount of hours. Therefore, in order to alleviate my guilt at not keeping to the regular, twice-weekly schedule that I would like to, I'm going to scale back my blogging activities over the next few weeks. I won't be giving up the blog, as I really enjoy both writing these posts and my behind-the-scenes oh-so-secret project that only two people out there know about, but I'll need to reduce my schedule to a weekly basis in order to be able to get through the next two months. Still, this should see us through to Legends quite nicely.

And finally, my scanner is playing up again, so no scans today. Go and grab the Showcase Presents: Booster Gold collected edition if you want to see what this issue looks like.

The Lesson

Creator-Writer-Artist: Dan Jurgens
Inker: Mike DeCarlo
Letterer: Augustin Más
Colorist: Gene D'Angelo
Editor: Alan Gold
Cover Art: Dan Jurgens, Mike DeCarlo
Cover Date: August 1986
Release Date: 15/05/1986

Booster Gold, Skeets, Fern and Zee have been taken to the planet Vellar, in a remote part of the galaxy, where they are interrogated by Lord Galeb. They discover that powerful magic has given them the ability to understand the alien language, as well as reducing them in size so that they are the same height as Zee. Lord Galeb, leader of the planet, accuses the heroes of treason, having aided and abetted Zee, who is a traitor, a charge he admits. Booster and Superman attempt to break free, but Galeb's consort, the wielder of magic, brings them down with a magical blast.

In a prison cell, Zee tells of how he attempted to overthrow Galeb's monarchy to free his people from tyrrany. When the revolution failed, Galeb executed Zee's wife and children. Booster wants to head back into action and overthrow Galeb, but Superman counsels holding tight and not interfering in the internal power struggle of the world. The two argue until Galeb arrives to free them, having had his consort telepathically probe them whilst they were unconscious and having discovered their innocence. Booster Gold wants to stay behind and work to overthrow Galeb, but Superman's morals lead him to step in and restrain Booster. The two fight, with Booster throwing everything at Superman, determined to replace the government on Vellar. Skeets speaks to Galeb, before interveneing in the fight by disabling Booster's technology. Booster is angered at his friend's 'betrayal', but when Skeets reveals that Zee never had a family and had been lying to him all the time, Booster hangs his head in shame before apologising to Galeb.

Back on Earth, Lois Lane arrives for a pre-arranged interview as Superman and Booster return from Vallar with Fern. She comments to Superman that he is yesterday's news compared to Booster, but that Booster might not have the staying power of Superman. As she and Booster head off for the interview, Superman confirms with Skeets that Booster's presence in the 20th century is part of historical record and not an paradox. As he leaves, he warns that if Booster uses his knowledge of the future for destruction, he'll have to reckon with Superman.

It's taken a while to get this entry done and dusted. There have been some real life issues, details of which have been given in previous posts, but there has also been one significant factor at play: I don't particularly enjoy this book and find myself fairly uninterested in it. That's not to say that there isn't interesting stuff in here, but the main focus of the plot, the runaround on Vallar, is so generic it hurts.

Part of my problem of this issue is the way that the strongest elements of the previous issue are jettisoned here. The character of Fern, our introduction to this story, plays almost no part in this issue beyond reminding the reader of how he is able to survive in an alien atmosphere. There is no reaction from Fern when Zee is revealed to be a liar and the antagonistic force on Vallar, and he pretty much disappears off-panel on the return to Earth. Also gone is the rich characterisation of Booster that was introduced last issue when his origin was revealed for the first time. Here we are given a hot-headed and arrogant Booster, although he has the grace to show humility when Zee's true colours are revealed. It is hard to disagree with Superman's assesment of Booster Gold throughout, which is suprising considering that this is Booster's book. It's a shame that what was such an important story for Booster Gold in issue #6 should finish with such a weak second part.

The Geeky Bits: The cover to this issue would be neatly reversed by John Byrne when Booster and Superman meet again in Action Comics #594.

Next on World of Superman: It's finally over. The first chapter in World of Superman draws to a close as Superman learns what have known for over a year now when he encounters the image of his father in The Man of Steel #6.

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