My comic shop is Blue Beetle Comics in Barrie, Ontario, Canada.
I’ve been going there for about two years now. The staff is knowledgeable, fun and most importantly the store is clean and it’s easy to find stuff. On the off chance you can’t find something, the staff knows where to look and 90% of the time when they point it out to you, you feel like a moron (not that the staff makes you feel stupid) because it’s in a pretty obvious place that you somehow missed.
People would be amazed at how hard it is to find a comic shop like that. For instance a lot of my friends enjoy a store in downtown Toronto that I will not name.
I can’t stand the place because it is a disaster area. It looks like their Diamond shipments arrive via cannons; stuff is just everywhere…and the place smells like cat pee.
But among this there is one employee I have a friendly jousting match every week with.
Wade is a great guy, good at his job and is a huge DC fan.
He also seems to think I have it out for DC…and looking at it I can hardly blame him.
I do tend to talk about other companies quite a bit and there is no regular DC book on my current buying roster. Partially because nothing has really grabbed my attention and partially because of Blackest Night.
“Well have you tried Booster Gold?”
I had been a fan of the character especially during the 80’s run on Justice League but hadn’t really read anything with him as a character since the Death of Superman.
So a deal was hatched. He would bring me some Booster Gold to read, I would read and do an honest review of the series.
I figured he’d bring in a few issues or two trades.
Nope, Wade brought me nearly two and a half years worth of Booster Gold.
And I had a week to plow through them before my column had to be up.
To be completely honest, it wasn’t that hard as I found Booster Gold an enjoyable read.
For those of you who haven’t been following it, Booster Gold is a man from the future who stole a Legion flight ring and a bunch of other gadgets, came back to the past to make his fame and fortune but ended up becoming a superhero instead. This particular series spun out of the events in Infinite Crisis and 52. Booster’s best friend, The Blue Beetle is dead and Rip Hunter has come to get Booster to help him set straight a myriad of time problems that have come up.
Geoff Johns wrote the first batch of issues and if you like Geoff Johns style, you will love the first few issues. We hit a lot of big DC events such as Barbra Gordon being paralyzedly, etc. And the series is okay but when I think it really starts to take shape is when it falls into the hands of Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens.
You can tell Dan loves Booster and that it’s really a character he should write. Dan also moves Booster from going through big cataclysmic DC events to smaller butterfly effect stories which I love a lot more. I love seeing how one small incident in the 1950’s ends up creating the Rocket Reds years later. This is the way you mine old stories and characters. I love the fact that he even worked in Enemy Ace in such a way it wasn’t insulting to the realities of armed conflict.
Through out the series we get the mystery of who is the Black Beetle. There are a few writers out there who should be taking notes because I actually am curious who the Black Beetle is. It’s a small mystery that’s been building up over two years (which is quite a bit of time when you think about it) that I’m very curious to the conclusion.
The Booster Gold crew has also built a good supporting cast in Rip Hunter, Skeets (as a note, ever since that one episode of JLU, I only read Skeets as sounding like Billy West), Booster’s distant past relatives and the new Blue Beetle.
Speaking of which the one thing that stands out in the series in terms of writing more then anything else is how the new Blue Beetle and Booster are handled. Booster is really mourning his friend Ted but whenever they end up working together, you can tell he likes the new kid but is having a hard time not comparing him to his buddy. It’s an interesting balance all of the writers have managed to maintain. You don’t want Booster to be incredibly friendly but you don’t want him being a jerk to the new Beetle either and that is done well.
So final verdict time.
Booster Gold is probably one of the better mainstream books I’ve read from DC in a while. It well written and Dan Jurgens has done a great job penciling most of the run so far. The fact that Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis are taking the reigns soon is a great sign that it’s going to stay a solid book.
But I will admit it’s not enough to bring to buying the floppys. While being well written and well drawn there wasn’t quiet enough “umph” to it for it to knock out any of my current floppy choices (I’ve got a limited budget). That being said I will definitely have a look at the next trade.
I hope this doesn’t cost me a date with Blair Butler.
Brent Chittenden is the co-host, co-producer of the TATANS podcast. He is also on twitter under BCNerdhole and has a facebook group Brent Chittenden: The Writer. He’s working on a Brother Eye satellite of his own to help coordinate it all… and have his own OMACS. You’ve been warned.