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Blue and Gold

“Unmasked at Last”

Volume 1, Issue 8, June 2022
Released April 19, 2022

Cover Price: $3.99 Rating
  • Currently 4.0/5 Stars.

Blue and Gold, Vol. 1, #8. Image © DC Comics



Writer: Dan Jurgens
Penciller: Ryan Sook
Inker: Wade von Grawbadger
Colorist: Ryan Sook
Letterer: Rob Leigh
Assistant Editor: Chris Rosa
Editors: Brittany Holzherr, Paul Kaminski
Cover Artist: Ryan Sook

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Cover Description: Blue Beetle and Buggles and Booster Gold and Skeets charge forward in a parody of an action-movie poster, complete with endorsing pull quotes.

Brief Synopsis: Booster Gold and Blue Beetle are ambushed by Black Beetle, who finally gives up the secret of his real identity.

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

Issue Notes: This is the final issue of the 8-issue Blue and Gold mini-series.

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

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Page 1, panel 1
Booster Gold and Blue Beetle live stream their latest success -- the capture of the Rainbow Raider and the recovery of stolen paintings -- to their usual gang of fans (radiojoe, bill, she kat, t-grrl, outliar, jdj, zlah, gawd, b-bo, dubba) on sites including Chatterbox and Vistapost. Booster Gold first foiled one of Rainbow Raider's art-themed crimes in Booster Gold Volume 1 #20.

Page 2, panel 1
Art in the Rainbow Raider's secret stash include works in the styles of Leonardo da Vinci, Salvador Dali, Keith Haring, Wassily Kandinsky, Gustav Klimt, Roy Lichtenstein, Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keefe, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollack, Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Andy Warhol, and James McNeill Whistler (among others). Interestingly, the pieces appear to have come from many different museums across the globe, and, fittingly for the Rainbow Raider, many of them have colors in their titles (Cow's Skull: Red, White, and Blue, Blue and Green Music, Blue Nude, Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun). Considering that the art includes such famous pieces as Guernica, The Persistence of Memory, and Mona Lisa, $860 million may be a conservative estimate.

Page 4, panel 1
Terri Collins breaks the bad news that Blue & Gold Restoration continues to be badly in need of new funding despite such successes as...

Page 4, panel 3
...finding and revealing Bigfoot to the world. Perhaps the reason that the public was indifferent to the revelation of a captured Bigfoot is because they are common enough in the DC Universe that there is already a public Sasquatch Detective (see 2018's Sasquatch Detective #1 for more details).

Page 4, panel 4
They also proved the Loch Ness Monster was an alien species. Alien animals were a very common sight in the DCU's Silver Age.

Page 5, panel 1
Booster calls Skeets "dude" for the first time. Skeets doesn't like it, so this may also be the last time.

Page 6, panel 4
Buggles unexpectedly teleports Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, and Skeets (and the Blue Buggy) to the Badlands of western South Dakota. This is Booster's first trip to the region.

Page 7, panel 4
POWER UP: A single Booster Shot ("set to stun") incapacitates Buggles, who had been corrupted by...

Page 8, panel 1
..the Black Beetle! This is the first time that Black Beetle has come face-to-face with Ted Kord since Booster Gold Volume 2 #10 (2008).

Page 9, panel 1
After Ted suggests that Black Beetle is a future version of Jaime Reyes (Blue Beetle III) because they have similar scarab armor (as first revealed in Booster Gold #6), the Black Beetle denies it. The Black Beetle had previously admitted to being a future version of Jaime Reyes in Booster Gold #25. Whoever the Black Beetle is, he cannot be trusted.

Image Copyright DC Comics

Page 11, panel 6
Black Beetle reveals that his master plan was 1) kidnap Jaime Reyes and infect his armor with malware, 2) release Nullifex in New York City to draw the attention of Booster Gold and Ted Kord, 3) allow Reyes to escape and aid Blue and Gold, spreading the malware to Buggles, 4) have Buggles teleport Booster and Ted into an ambush, and 5) steal Skeets to have access to the secrets of history. The first four steps of that plan are unnecessary, since Blue and Gold regularly broadcast their location to the general public, and Black Beetle already had the technology available to disable Buggles at any time. Not to mention that as a time traveler who already had access to Rip Hunter's lab (as seen in Booster Gold #5) and Vanishing Point (Time Masters: Vanishing Point #2) could ambush Skeets unguarded at any time he desired. So why bring the heroes to the Badlands? What was gained in the sacrifice of Nullifex (Blue and Gold #7)?

Page 12, panel 4
Booster summons Rip Hunter's Time Sphere to teleport everyone into prehistoric South Dakota, when the Badlands were a lush landscape teeming with life.

Page 13, panel 5
Blue Beetle's sonic BB Gun breaks Black Beetle's helmet, revealing him to be none other than...

Page 14, panel 1

Page 15, panel 3
Beetle shouldn't be too worried. He and Booster previously defeated an alternate reality "evil" version of Booster in JLA Classified #8 (2005).

Page 15, panel 4
HIS STORY: Just as Michael Jon Carter of 25th-century Earth-0 was inspired to return to the 20th century by stories of the Justice League of America, Mike Carter of 25th-century Earth-3 was inspired by stories of the Crime Syndicate of America. The concept of an evil alternate Earth-3 was first revealed in Justice League of America #29 (1964). Though that universe was destroyed in the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Booster Gold met inhabitants of the post-Crisis incarnation of Earth-3 in Justice League Quarterly #8 (1992). The contemporary Earth-3 debuted in JLA: Earth-2 (2000) and crossover events between the Earths have brought them more and more often into conflict with the heroes of Earth-0.

Page 16, panel 1
Ted Kord brings a triceratops to a knife fight. Fossil records indicate that Triceratops were common in the Badlands region in the Late Cretaceous period.

Page 17, panel 7
Ted Kord suggests that Black Beetle should have been called "Booster Black" or "Dark Booster," but there's no indication that Mike Carter ever had the nickname "Booster" in the 25th-century he came from. In Booster Gold #7, Supernova calls Black Beetle "Joshua" as they discuss Booster Gold; it remains unclear whether that is Mike's actual middle name or whether Supernova was even aware of Black Beetle's real identity. (Coincidentally, while we're on the subject, it's worth remembering that after receiving a "Batmanish" makeover from Bat-Mite (in Bat-Mite #4), Booster temporarily adopted the moniker of "Black Gold," which would also work as a name for Black Beetle.)

Page 18, panel 4
The original quote that Blue Beetle paraphrases here is "Uneasy is the head that wears the crown," from William Shakespeare's Henry VI, Part 2.

Page 18, panel 5
The tyrannosaurus dinosaur that Ted wants to see (but is never pictured on panel) has become something of a recurring joke ever since one was first seen in the tease of future Booster Gold adventures at the conclusion of Booster Gold Volume 2 #1 (2007). Booster finally came face-to-face with a living T. Rex in Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1 (2010).

Page 19, panel 3
Back in present day New York City, Booster Gold mentions that Blue and Gold Restoration did successfully "transplant the brain of Quazzo into that guy from Dimension X," a request first made of them in issue #5.

Page 19, panel 4
Blue and Gold decide that in the face of their financial woes, Blue and Gold Restoration will have to be shut down...

Page 21, panel 4

Page 21, panel 6
Batman expresses support for Blue and Gold Restoration's mission and regrets the Justice League's vote to exclude Booster Gold from membership in Blue and Gold #1.

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Boosterrific Review: This book isn't perfect -- previous issues haven't quite prepared for this ending, the plot has some large question marks, and some of the art especially towards the end appears rushed -- but it makes a very happy ending for a series that certainly deserved more issues.

Boosterrific Rating:

  • Currently 4.0/5 Stars.
Worth Its Weight In Gold.

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