Blue & Gold #8 review

Ryan Sook’s movie poster cover is the perfect opening to the final issue of a spectacularly good-natured mini-series. Two shining heroes getting great reviews for their endless good deeds.

And that’s pretty much how things stand as ‘Unmasked at Last’ opens. Michael and Ted’s Blue & Gold Restoration venture has been doing good all over the world, the heroes have thousands of adoring fans…but they’re very, very strapped for cash. And that’s despite recovering quite the artistic horde from Flash villain Rainbow Raider.

The business model for the company is that in return for watching real-time adventures, fans pledge cash. Superhero crowdfunding. But our heroes have been helping so many people that they’re in trouble, reveals business manager Terri.

And things get worse when, after an ambush from an unexpected quarter, an old menace returns.

Aha, the Black Beetle, enemy of not only Booster, but Blue Beetles Jaime Reyes and Ted Kord. And this issue we learn who he really is. The reveal is satisfying – he has a classic comic book motive – though I’m not convinced it will stick. Well, he’s claimed to be a different person pretty much every time he’s popped up.

By the end of the issue we’ve had a great fight scene, a tremendous trip to the past, a surprise bequest and bags of entertainment. Best of all, while Michael and Ted always look for life’s lighter moments, they’re not presented as buffoons. They’re both smart, determined scrappers and they deserve their win.

Dan Jurgens has been writing team-ups of Beetle and his own creation, Booster, on and off, for decades and nobody does them better. Every page is a delight, with the best pals’ trust and affection making this series something special. The dialogue zings and the plotting and pacing puts most other writers to shame.

Penciller Ryan Sook and inker Wade von Grawbadger provide stupendous art to match the fast-moving story. From the opening page, which shows the Rainbow Raider mission from various perspectives, to the final panel, which brims with the promise of good things to come, via that astonishing art haul spread, the art is blisteringly good. The facial expressions are priceless. And wait until you see Beetle’s new ride… Sook is also handling the colours, the book is bright and beautiful, and the skin tones he manages are wonderful.

Rob Leigh is ridiculously underrated, I never see him singled out for the superb letterer he is. Blue & Gold deserves a letterer this good. Thanks, too, to editors Brittany Holzherr and Chris Rosa for wrangling all this goodness.

Hopefully this series has been successful enough to bring us more adventures of Booster, Beetle, Terri, Skeets and Buggles. I’ll crowdfund this book anytime.

4 thoughts on “Blue & Gold #8 review

  1. This issue lacked the utter buffoonery of the previous ones and I wish that ratio had been reversed. I wouldn;t have been tempted to skip this issue otherwise. I was glad I hadn’t because both heroes’ intelligence ws restoed just in time to (hopefully) appear inn their next mini!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello, Sir Martin of Gray! I just went ahead and read this entire mini-series, based largely on your enthusiasm for it, and I am really glad that I did. This was such a fun, classic-style-but-not-stuck-in-the-past DC Comics superhero story that I had a grin on my face the whole way through. I will be keeping much more of an eye on the current DC offerings in hopes of catching and encouraging project like this one. Sure, my cynicism rose up at the very end and whispered “no one will ever follow up on this, and the next time you see these characters, Geoff Jons will have them murder each other.” But! For now: I am pushing that nasty brain-goblin of mine aside and basking in the joyful afterglow of this excellent mini-series! Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hey Max, I’m chuffed to bits that you enjoyed this series, let’s send a message to DC that we’d like more of This Kind of Thing (as the day on Father Ted). Apologies if you’ve let it be known one way or the other, but have you tried current Flash issues written by Jeremy Adams and drawn by a number of fine artists? They’re huge fun, starting with #768, which is on the app along with about ten subsequent issues.


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