- Booster Gold
“52 Pick-Up, Chapter 1: Secret Origins”
Volume 2, Issue 1, October 2007
Released August 15, 2007
Cover Price: $3.50
Guide Price: $4.00 (as of 2011)
Estimated Issue Sales: 53,685
Writers: Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz
Penciller: Dan Jurgens
Inker: Norm Rapmund
Colorist: Hi-Fi Designs
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Harvey Richards
Editor: Michael Siglain
Cover Artists: Art Adams, Dan Jurgens, Brian (Hi-Fi) Miller, Norm Rapmund
Heroes: Batman, Black Canary II, Black Lightning, Booster Gold, Flash IV, Geo-Force, Green Lantern II, Hawkgirl II, Red Arrow, Red Tornado, Rip Hunter, Superman, Vixen, Wonder Woman
Villain: Royal Flush Gang
Supporting: Daniel Jon Carter, Rose Levin, Skeets II
Settings: Atlantic City, NJ, USA, 21st-century ; Pittsburgh, PA, USA , 21st-century ; Rip Hunter's AZ Lab, DCU, USA , 21st-century ; Tokyo, Japan, 21st-century ; Washington, DC, USA, 21st-century
Cover Description: There are alternate covers to this issue: on the common cover drawn by Dan Jurgens, Booster Gold and Skeets fly forwards towards the viewer. Pictured in the background are playing cards representing many characters in the DC Universe with a relationship to Booster Gold. Pictured are Robin of Earth II (2 of Clubs), Batman (2 of Hearts), Monarch (3 of Clubs), Flash (4 of Hearts), The Question (4 of Spades), Superman (5 of Clubs), Sinestro (7 of Diamonds), Wonder Woman (7 of Hearts), Goldstar (8 of Diamonds), Guy Gardner (8 of Spades), and Supernova (9 of Diamonds). Also pictured but without discernible card numbers are Brainiac 5, Maxwell Lord, Mr. Mind, and Rip Hunter and his Time Sphere. On the variant cover by Art Adams (a 1:10 ratio compared to the Dan Jurgens cover), Booster Gold falls backward into a odd assortment of items, including dinosaurs and playing cards. A second variant cover is a available on the second printing of this issue, although this cover is merely the primary cover (Booster leaping head of playing cards) with the background tinted red instead of blue.
Brief Synopsis: Following the conclusion to the events of 52, Booster Gold finds his life and career pursuing a different path than he had expected.
Costume Worn: MARK I.v2 power-suit
Issue Notes: This is the first issue of Booster Gold's second series, canceled nearly 20 years prior. This issue also has a variant cover by Art Adams that was published at a 1:10 ratio with the standard cover
This story has been reprinted in:
Booster Gold: 52 Pick-Up (2008)
Page 1, panel 1
FASHION ALERT: "Week 60, Day 1." The date is established as eight weeks after the conclusion to the events in 52 Week Fifty-Two. The sleeves of Booster's Mark I v.2 power-suit no longer have golden stripes.
Page 1, panel 2
It is fitting that Booster should open his new solo series with a battle against the Royal Flush Gang, the same team of villains (even if the roster has changed somewhat over the intervening years) that Booster defeated to earn admission to Maxwell Lord's Justice League and essentially mark the end of his first solo run (see Justice League, Vol. 1, #4).
Page 1, panel 3
FASHION ALERT: Skeets II debuts a new look: squished. When last seen at the conclusion to 52, Skeets II appeared as the familiar football shaped orb. Now, for the first time, Skeets appears much thinner, with two horizontal fins and a glowing rear, presumably providing propellant. Despite the physical changes, the snarky personality of Skeets II is clearly intact.
Page 2, panel 1
The credits box at the bottom of the page gives "special thanks" to Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid, three of the four writers (along with this issue's scribe Geoff Johns) who restored Booster Gold to glory in the pages of 52. Mentioned and intentionally snubbed is writer Keith Giffen, who made Booster Gold the butt of many a joke during his time penning Justice League International. Including Dan Jurgens (who is mentioned as Booster Gold's Creator and Layout and Cover Artist for this issue), the architects of well over 50% of Booster Gold's published adventures are given credit in this box.
Page 4, panel 2
HIS STORY: In a series of flash back panels narrated by Booster, he retells his origin, effectively summarizing his origin and the high points of his previous 20 years of history.
Page 7, panel 1
PESL SIGHTING: As Booster defends his use of the JLA Emergency Signal to the current members of the Justice League (Batman, Black Canary II, Black Lightning, Flash IV, Green Lantern II, Red Arrow, Superman, Vixen, and Wonder Woman), the location of the Royal Flush Gang's attack is revealed to be Atlantic City, New Jersey. While Atlantic City is known for its casinos (an ideal backdrop for the Royal Flush Gang's deck of cards and gambling theme), it is also the setting for the popular board game Monopoly. Note that one of the billboards in the background reads "Pesl," a trademark of issue inker Norm Rapmund. "Pesl" will turn up frequently later in this series.
Page 7, panel 4
Wonder Woman's evident irritation at Booster's offhand reference to Maxwell Lord's scheming and malevolence is because it was she who killed Lord to save Superman in Wonder Woman, Vol.2, #219
Page 7, panel 5
Recalling Booster's past with the Justice League, to Black Canary accuses Booster for his role in Club JLI, as seen in Justice League America #34. Superman defends Booster by recalling the battle with Doomsday, as seen in Justice League America #69.
Page 8, panel 3
Batman is the sole Leaguer willing to give Booster Gold another chance to prove himself worthy of League membership. It was Batman who first gave his approval of Booster's worthiness to Booster to join Maxwell Lord's Justice League.
Page 9, panel 1
EXTRA, EXTRA: Booster holds a copy of Metropolis' The Daily Star newspaper. The headline proclaims "Booster - The Gold Standard." The last headlines that Booster presumably received were regarding his apparent death in the skies above Metropolis following 52 Week Fifteen. This is the first of many, many newspapers presented throughout this issue that proclaim Booster's return to celebrity.
Page 9, panel 2
BUSTER GOLD: Booster produces several more papers, including the City Courier-Post ("Booster Gold Stops Presidential Assassination Plot"), the Chronicle ("Booster Gold Stops Nuclear Metahuman Explosion"), the Star City Sentinel ("Booster Gold Goes Altruistic"), and the Free Press ("'Buster' Gold No More..."). The headline of the Courier-Post is a reference to Booster Gold's first chronological adventure in Booster Gold, Vol. 1, #8.
Page 10, panel 1
Daniel Jon Carter, Booster's distant ancestor and roommate, is playing EA's very popular Madden NFL football video game online, apparently via Microsoft's Xbox Live, when Booster arrives at their Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania dwelling. (The latest version of the game, Madden NFL '08, was released nationwide the same week as the publication of this issue.) When Daniel was introduced in 52 Week Eighteen, he lived in a home in Covington, Ohio and had visited Booster's funeral in nearby Cincinnati, Ohio during his lunch break from work. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh are approximately 250 miles apart. Daniel's commutes to and from work appear to be getting much, much longer.
Page 16, panel 1
As Rip Hunter and Booster Gold travel through time, various critical persons and events in the DC Universe are visible. From left to right, images include the Spectre and his previous human host Jim Corrigan, the freak accident that gave Wally West the powers of the Flash, Martin Stein and Firestorm I, the Justice League Europe, the betrayal of the Teen Titans by Terra I, the Joker paralyzing Barbara Gordon, and the Legion of Super-Heroes first meeting with Clark Kent.
Page 16, panel 3
POWER UP: Using "future tech," Rip Hunter modifies both Booster and Skeets to be able to travel through time as a tandem.
Page 17, panel 5
Pictured on the monitor before Booster are Sgt. Rock and Easy Company, the Blackhawks, and the Challengers of the Unknown. All three teams are heroes who were widely active in the DC Universe long before the modern age of super humans.
Page 18, panel 2
Booster hopes that he does not "lose an arm again." Booster lost his right arm to Devastator in Justice League America #89. His arm was later replaced by the second Monarch.
Page 19, panel 2
POWER DOWN: Booster's Legion Flight Ring includes a universal translation function. Shouldn't it recognize Japanese?
Page 19, panel 4
MEET THE PRESS: After traveling back in time courtesy of Rip Hunter's new suit upgrades, Booster Gold meets with investigative reporter Rose Levin for the first time in Tokyo. This is the first appearance of Rose, one of Booster's ancestors. This meeting occurs during the events of World War Three and 52 Week Fifty.
Page 20, panel 7
New people and events that Hunter and Gold observe while continuing through the timestream are, from left to right, an early battle between Aquaman and Black Manta before the death of Aqua Baby, Darkseid, Billy Batson and Captain Marvel, Hawkman's Egyptian ancestors, the destruction of Extant by the Justice Society, Kamandi ("The Last Boy on Earth"), and Supermen from multiple worlds battling Doomsday.
Page 22, panel 2
One week after their previous meeting with the Justice League of America, Booster and Skeets II travel through the trophy room of the Justice League's new headquarters on their way to a meeting with the League. Trophy's shown include a model of Starro the Conqueror and the helmets of Orion, Flash I, Red Tornado, and Deathstroke. Not pictured is the remains of a previous model of Skeets that was shown in the trophy room when it was first revealed in Justice League of America, Vol. 2, #7.
Page 23, panel 1
SPOILER WARNING!: Reveal
Page 25, panel 1
SPOILER WARNING!: Reveal
Page 29, panel 1
SCHOOL'S IN: Rip Hunter stands before his chalkboard, which as usual, contains hints for future events.
Page 32, panel 1
These final panels are teasers for future events in the life of Booster Gold. The events teased in panels 1 (Booster Gold struggling with Brainiac 5 above a Tyrannosaurus Rex) and 2 (Booster refusing membership in the Justice League, again) remain unrevealed. The events of panel 3 are depicted in Booster Gold, Vol. 2, #10 (on page 15, panel 2). The events of panel 4 are depicted in Booster Gold, Vol. 2, #6 (between panels on page 14).
Boosterrific Review: Booster Gold returns to his own series in an issue that could not be any better. Geoff Johns, the man most responsible for Booster's recent return to prominence in the pages of 52, continues his run with the character. Johns is joined in writing the series by relative newcomer Jeff Katz. Between Johns’ affection for and knowledge of DC Universe history and Katz's experience as a movie producer, the two manage to craft a spectacularly fun and epic tale about an outcast hero who is secretly among the most important people in the universe. The most impressive aspect of this character redesign is that they manage to pull it off without ignoring or rewriting the years of history that came before, making the character accessible to our hero's loyal fans and newcomers alike.
This certainly wouldn’t be an issue of Booster Gold without creator Dan Jurgens providing the art. Printing and coloring techniques have advanced a great deal over the two decades since Booster’s last series, but Jurgens' storytelling ability has only gotten better with time as he is able to convey more with less effort. As every good inker should, Jurgens' new partner Norm Rapmund accents Jurgens' work by providing the illusion of physical weight to Booster's new world without overpowering Jurgens' forms with excessive lines or shading.
Rapmund's economical use of black fill is the perfect opportunity for a talented colorist. However, if there is a misstep in the return of Booster Gold, it would be the inclusion of the muddled coloring of Brian Miller's Hi-Fi Designs. Maybe with the return of our 1980s hero to prominence we're just nostalgic for the old Ben-Day dots process printing, but Hi-Fi's color theory of excessive highlights and carelessly placed shadows, not to mention their insistence of using every color in their box of digital crayons on every page, does not serve the issue well. Instead of a bright beacon of altruistic heroics, the world that Booster now inhabits is a dark, finger-painted mess. Certainly, the coloring could be worse, but it is not quite up to the standard set by the performance of the issue's other artists.
It is always easy to praise the first issue of a series or a storyline for the exciting promise of each new beginning that it represents. Only time will tell if this new series will live up to the joyful excitement of its first issue.
Boosterrific Rating: Boosterrific!
Average Fan Rating: (4 votes)
Including a review of his past highlights and obligatory (but well told) origin, this story sets the stage and ground rules for all future Booster Gold adventures. Overall, a very satisfying first issue rebirth for a long neglected hero.
Outside of his limited role in "Countdown to Infinite Crisis," this was my first introduction to Booster Gold, and I felt a real good start for me.
A fun issue and one that starts the series off with a bang.
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