Booster Gold #1, my first comic in a month

Let me just tell you, the Time Away From Comics is not going so great. My life hasn’t fallen into a complete pile of dog poo or anything (lots of job interviews and looking at apartments), but I just flat out miss comic books. I’ve read plenty of blog posts about how it doesn’t really hurt that much to leave the Happy Wednesday cycle for a few months, but hump day just isn’t the same without a trip to the comic shop.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketSo, it was a pleasant surprise when the fine folks at DC Comics sent over a copy of the new Booster Gold series this morning. The series, as you probably know, spins out of 52 (such series are cleverly referred to as “52 pickup”). Booster is back, still a dickhead but at least without logos plastered on his costume. Skeets is also back and evil free. The initial fight with the Royal Flush Gang is a nice reference to the character’s origin, and just like then, Booster uses the petty bout to ingratiate himself to the JLA.

The fairly boring intro becomes a lot more interesting once Rip Hunter shows up and spouts a whole bunch more mumbo jumbo about the multiverse and timestream being under duress because of wormholes and time jumpers and whatnot. Honestly, Rip Hunter is one entertaining SOB. Can you imagine being friends with him? How off-the-wall would parties get once he showed up?

“Oh, the keg is all empty, is it? Well my chrono-intensifier will allow us to warp to the inter-space of the Greek gods of myth and steal their sweet ambrosia!!! Now pop some DMX on the stereo, Rip’s gonna get down!!!”

Sadly, the jumbled mess of time traveling nonsense that ensues in this issue makes just about as much sense as the above sentence. Which is to say, none at all. It’s no surprise that Geoff Johns is involved. Sinestro Corps aside, he’s been one of the main culprits in crafting this new status quo in the DCU, and it just doesn’t make a lick of sense. We’re all supposed to be concerned about these “time jumpers,” yet we never actually see them in action or how or why they’re jumping or how exactly this is hurting the multiverse. It’s like the writers and editors just invented this threat (also present in Countdown, et al) and just expect us to say, “Oh, okay, this is dire!” They need to SHOW us that it’s dire.

A key example of this nonsense comes when Rip explains that Booster essentially needs to reprise my role in Timecop and save all the heroes from time-traveling villains who will strangle them in their cradles, or something. Then he says they need to catch those dang time jumpers. However, their first act is for Booster himself to create an anomaly to save some people from Black Adam, circa World War III. HUH? This could all be some masterful groundwork of an incredibly intricate time-traveling mystery plot. I just don’t see it. Instead, it looks like a certain someone is hoping no one gives any thought to what he’s writing.

The sad thing is, this book has kind of a cool retro DC feel. In Dan Jurgens’ art and Johns’ writing, there’s the feel of the fun and frivolous stories of yesteryear. It’s written in a way that far too few books are, a way that younger readers can enjoy. Too bad it’s a convoluted mess. So if you’re looking for a good DC comic to share with the kids, stick with The Brave and The Bold.