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Blue and Gold

“Fist of the Empire”

Volume 1, Issue 5, March 2022
Released January 18, 2022

Cover Price: $3.99 Rating
  • Currently 5.0/5 Stars.

Blue and Gold, Vol. 1, #5. Image © DC Comics



Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Ryan Sook
Colorist: Steve Buccellato
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Chris Rosa
Editors: Brittany Holzherr, Paul Kaminski
Cover Artist: Ryan Sook

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Cover Description: Rip Hunter stands between Booster Gold and Blue Beetle... and their corpses! (This issue has an alternate, $4.99 cardstock cover promoting the Peacemaker television show that has nothing to do with the contents of this issue and does not depict either Booster Gold or Blue Beetle.)

Brief Synopsis: Omnizon attacks the grand opening of Blue and Gold Restoration.

Issue Summary: Reveal Potential Spoilers

Booster Gold's role in this story:
Featured (Booster Gold plays a prominent role)

Costume Worn: MARK I.v2 power-suit

This story has been reprinted in:
Blue and Gold (2022)

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Page 1, panel 1
Rip Hunter is in Liverpool, England's Cavern Club in the year 1962, and although he doesn't explicitly say so, the band he is watching is The Beatles. The band started playing there in February 1961, so why is Rip in 1962? Probably because The Beatles didn't become the band recognized worldwide until August 19, 1962, when Ringo Starr replaced previous drummer Pete Best for the first time. (Incidentally, the club was strictly nonalcoholic in 1962. Is Rip drinking pints of Coca-Cola?)

Page 2, panel 1
In the present day, Booster Gold (and Skeets) and Blue Beetle (and Buggles) are fighting Omnizon to protect the crowd outside Blue and Gold Restoration. The old man behind Beetle invokes "the Hairy Hounds of Heggra." Heggra was the villainous Darkseid's mother.

Page 4, panel 3
Among the spectators are Booster's social media followers she kat and t-grrl. Watching remotely (as revealed in future panels) are dubba, bill, radiojoe, b-bo, gawd, outliar, jdj, and zblah.

Page 5, panel 1
An energy blast from Omnizon's sword takes Buggles out of commission, preventing a repeat of the strategy used to defeat her in Blue and Gold #3. (No one tell the Royal Flush Gang that it is possible to learn from your mistakes.) This is evocative of the energy attack that "killed" Skeets in Booster Gold volume 1 #2.

Page 6, panel 4
Beetle is not wrong. Imperialism has existed in one form or another for as long as humanity has formed governments, so it should come as no surprise to any student of history that the same impulse at domination exists in an alien empire like Omnizon's.

Page 7, panel 1
In a flashback, we see the events occurring between the end of Blue and Gold #4 and the start of this issue as Theresa "Terri not Trixie" Collins tells Booster and Beetle about the crowd that had assembled outside the Blue and Gold Restoration offices in response to their interview with Josina Gage.

Page 7, panel 3
Blue and Gold Restorations' business model of providing service to needy clients for services rendered is different than its DC Universe "superheroes for hire" competition, Heroes 4 U (in One-Star Squadron). While Blue and Gold Restoration functions essentially as a charity, providing services pre-funded by potential and satisfied clients, Heroes 4 U uses the gig economy model of connecting working-class heroes with registered customers who place bounties to have specific tasks performed.

Page 8, panel 1
Among the people who have come in search of help are the man who needs the Brain of Quazzo implanted into his head (a wink to the infamous "Spock's Brain" episode of Star Trek), a cowboy named Clem who wants to go back in time to 1842 (and dresses like Woody from Toy Story), a treasure-seeking pirate (whose parrot and "shiver me timbers" slogan echoes Long John Silver from Treasure Island), an overweight cheerleader in a "C" sweater, a football player wearing "88", and many, many more, including...

Page 8, panel 3
...the same old man who will invoke the name of Heggra implores Blue and Gold to return someone to Dimension X. Booster visited Dimension X in Booster Gold #21. The trip went poorly. Booster isn't going to want to go back.

Page 8, panel 4
Get a cat out of a tree? That sounds like a job for Superman. Seriously. Booster doesn't even seem to like cats. In all his adventures, Booster Gold has never once been seen getting a cat out of a tree. In fact, although he owned two cats, Jack and Jill, he was never seen so much as petting one of them. Booster might be even less inclined to help this cat if he knew it was named after the vampiric villain in the movie Frankenweenie.

Page 8, panel 5
Other would-be clients make allusions to other popular media, like the female barbarian (perhaps an alien Khund referenced on page 10) fleeing Agent 37. "Agent 37" was the code name designated to Dick Grayson during his time with the covert agency Spyral. (Is Spyral the "Sorcerers of Hell"?)

Page 8, panel 6
This robot with a rectangular head (and vaguely Mister Miracle-inspired face) looks similar to L-Ron, unofficial manager of the Justice League International. Before joining the JLI, L-Ron was the assistant of intersteller decorator Lord Manga Khan beginning in Justice League International #14.

Page 8, panel 9
The two creepy children in this panel reference three different classic horror videos: First, the blond psychic children of the Village of the Damned (1960), the rural cult of children in Children of the Corn (1984), and the reality bending child of Peakville, New York in the "It's a Good Life" episode of The Twilight Zone (1961).

Page 8, panel 10
This man, who is dressed in mummy wrappings like the Doom Patrol's Negative Man, appears to think he is the Freedom Force's Human Bomb. Although, come to think of it, the Human Bomb (Roy Lincoln) always wears a mask. Maybe this guy is the Human Bomb.

Page 8, panel 11
Speaking of Star Trek continuity, the warp drive that makes faster-than-light travel possible was invented by Zefram Cochrane in the 21st century. However, this is probably not him. Zefram Cochrane will not be born for another eight years (2030).

Page 8, panel 12
t-grrl may not know that Beetle has a bad history with "deserted islands." For more details, see Blue and Gold's Club JLI misadventure on KooeyKooeyKooey in Justice League America #34.

Page 8, panel 13
Wait a second, that's not a client. It's Omnizon! What's she doing in this group of 1960s/70s science-fiction and fantasy fans?

Page 8, panel 14
The two alien children's dialog is rendered in the Comicraft Gobbledygook font. (This is the same font used for the alien invader Peraxxus in Justice League International volume 3 #4.) Translated to English, their balloon reads, "xfgh dhki sgh bnfhnnxdgs dt hjy?"

Page 8, panel 15
Originally based on Mego action figures and published by DC's rival starting in the late 1970s, Marvel Comics, The Micronauts were inhabitants of a microscopic world.

Page 8, panel 16
Is this a hoax, a dream, or an imaginary story? Lois Lane's many attempts to trick Superman into marrying her were a regular feature of Superman's Girlfriend Lois Lane in 1950s/60s Silver Age continuity.

Page 8, panel 17
Mankind has frequently ventured into space in the DC Universe, so maybe this astronaut lost his wallet yesterday. But this astronaut is dressed like a member of the Apollo moon landing missions, the last of which, Apollo 17, left the lunar surface on December 14, 1972. That's a long time to go without a wallet!

Page 8, panel 18
This woman is dressed in Burt Ward's Robin costume from the 1966 Batman television show. At last count, Batman has had five Robins in the mainstream DC Universe continuity. Only one was a woman (Stephanie Brown, aka The Spoiler), although Carrie Kelley of Earth-31 is perhaps the most famous alternate continuity Robin due to the enduring popularity of The Dark Knight Returns.

Page 8, panel 19
So far as I can tell, "murkaffinakkerschtadt" is a made-up word. But then, so is "abracadabra."

Image Copyright DC Comics

Page 10, panel 7
Off panel, potential clients identify themselves as aliens from Khund (an alien race who crashed a Justice League embassy party in Justice League International #24), a backwards-speaking Bizzaro (who Booster recently met for the first time during a party in Dark Nights: Death Metal #7), and Ultra the Multi-Alien (who attended a different Justice League party on the JLA Watchtower in JLA: Welcome to the Working Week #1).

Page 13, panel 2
HIS STORY: Despite what Skeets says, Booster has not always been 100% transparent with his public. In his earliest appearances, he hid his origin from even his closest associates, including Trixie Collins!

Page 16, panel 3
The various timelines presented in earlier pages come together as Rip Hunter, summoned by Skeets, arrives to save his father.

Page 17, panel 5
Omnizon has heard of the Time Master, but she doesn't respect him enough not to hypnotize him into leaving the fight. "These are not the men you're looking for," is a paraphrase of a similar line spoken by mind-controlling Jedi in the original Star Wars (1977). Perhaps Omnizon *is* a sci-fi fan.

Page 18, panel 3
Rip Hunter and Theresa Collins are reunited for the first time since Booster Gold volume 1 #16 (1987)!

Page 19, panel 1

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Boosterrific Review: I love everything about this issue, from the characters to the art, from the pop culture references to the philosophical consideration of the impacts of imperialism. More like this, please.

Boosterrific Rating:

  • Currently 5.0/5 Stars.

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