Booster Gold and robotic sidekick Skeets are in Coast City, investigating the enigma-ridden blackboard that appeared in time master Rip Hunter’s secret lab a few issues back. They’re looking for Green Lantern but find themselves attacked by a military machine which mistakes Booster for the enemy – an Atlantean attacker.
Atlantis at war with the surface world? In the world of Flashpoint, yes, and that’s where Booster finds himself. Not having read Flashpoint #1, Booster doesn’t know anything about this new reality, so he retreats from the next attack in a bid to catch his breath. But he’s assaulted again, this time by a beam from a satellite. Realising they’ve been unknowingly transported from Rip’s lab, Booster and Skeets try to return home and that’s when the gravity of the situation really becomes apparent …
Writer/artist Dan Jurgens builds the sense of threat page by page, showing us the escalating attacks by the military men, so fearful of Booster that they’re willing to sacrifice a city block to take him down. We see Booster and Skeets deal with assault after assault, never panicking but gradually realising that freaking out would be a reasonable response. There’s a cameo by the Flashpoint version of Silver Age stars the Sea Devils, apparently targeted more towards taking down devils from the sea than swimming in it. And there’s a surprise villain on the final page who I’m even less happy to see than Booster, though my reasons are different – fear in Booster’s case, boredom in mine.
The nearest thing to a misstep in this script is the recap of Booster’s history, something this book seems to throw up far too often. I suppose Jurgens wants to serve new readers arriving for the Flashpoint tie-in, but surely most DC Universe fans know who Booster is – he’s been around for over 30 years. Plus, there’s a handy legend on the splash spread.
We don’t learn much more about the Flashpoint world here than we already know – Cyborg appears on TV screens as the big hero and it’s apparent that having conquered Europe, Aquaman wants the US too – but I don’t mind that. This is Booster’s book, and so the story should focus on him; I’m sure more juicy details will be added as we go along.
I doubt Jurgens’ layouts could be bettered so far as storytelling is concerned – we zoom through the issue without ambiguity, while being given plenty of interesting perspectives and action shots. Finisher Norm Rapmund adds texture and weight to proceedings, making for some fine-looking artwork. And it’s all splendidly coloured by Hi-Fi Designs, while Carlos M Mangual handles the lettering nicely.
Wrapping up the book is a powerful cover by Jurgens and Rapmund that will sit perfectly on the eventual collection.
This issue should give Booster his best sales figures since the early issues. I hope plenty of the first-timers stick around. If quality counts, they will.