It’s Michael and Ted vs a space princess in the latest issue of the long-awaited Blue Beetle/Booster Gold mini-series.
The lady’s name is Omnizon, and she wants someone to take her to Earth’s leader. Of course, Earth doesn’t have one, with so many governments around the world. Instead of demanding the planet be handed over to her, Omnizon must defend herself as Booster Gold steps up to keep the heads of New Yorkers who refuse to pledge fealty intact.
It’s actually a welcome distraction for Booster, whose big moving day into the new offices of his and Beetle’s heroes for hire venture hasn’t gone as planned.
Beetle had found himself unable to tell his best pal he’s been kicked out of family firm Kord Inc, so hasn’t the funds to pay the rent. He does prove his worth in battle, though, bringing his latest toy, Buggles, to the fight.
And after that, the day gets better.
The first thing I noticed about this issue was the art – the super smooth work of Ryan Sook is absent, replaced by the more rough and tumble stylings of Cully Hamner. I’m a fan, though – I’ve liked Hamner since Green Lantern Mosaic, on through the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle and up to today. Hamner draws a terrific Blue and Gold, giving them the raw energy that suits such an action-orientated issue. Omnizon has a fun design, though she’s no match for DC’s number one obnoxious space princess, Maxima.
Given this series is written by Dan Jurgens, who’s had a lot of experience writing Maxima, I wouldn’t be shocked were she to show up soon. I wouldn’t be disappointed if she didn’t, though, as Jurgens is giving me prime Ted and Booster, reminding us what a fun, interesting relationship they have. And you can’t have Booster without Skeets, who seems delighted to now have a ‘female’ pal with the arrival of Buggles (points if you don’t have Video Killed the Radio Star in your head right now).
The mystery woman from issue one shows up, and I was right about who she is… it’s a shame I never named her in my review, but I didn’t want to spoil the surprise for anyone who hadn’t guessed. But I was correct, honestly!
The only thing I’m not enjoying is the geek chorus of social media types watching Booster’s every move. Well, Bibbo apart, a bit of Bibbo is always good. And the fans do prove prove useful this time.
Which brings us to an interesting panel:
‘Heroz4u’ is the name of the heroes for hire team starring in the upcoming One Star Squadron mini-series, which was announced by DC only a couple of weeks ago. I wonder if the Mark Russell/Steve Lieber six-issue story was meant to be not only out, but over, by now.
I’ve heard a couple of complaints that this series winds Booster’s personality back a few years, painting him as an airhead after his generally pretty serious Geoff Johns-originated series of a few years ago, but his time as a time cop is referenced here. And, cleverly, Jurgens also reminds us that he didn’t exactly earn respect when he was with the Bwaa-Ha-Ha Justice League. The message is, Booster is an adaptable character, he can be serious, he can be silly, he can sometimes be both at once.
And that’s what we’re getting in this sharp series. Is it repositioning Booster and Beetle longterm? I have no idea. But it is respecting both heroes’ history while telling an extremely entertaining tale. And that’s enough.