DC Comics’ favorite egomaniac is back this week as Booster Gold and Blue Beetle kick off their own eight-issue series. Dan Jurgens, Booster Gold’s creator, leads the charge with artist Ryan Sook on art. It’s a series that instantly captures the manic energy of Booster Gold’s constant need for attention and the unique dynamic between the two heroes. Opening with a rescue mission, it’s a hopeful start to the series.
Something you’ll notice right away when reading this issue is how manic the energy is due to the constant replies and comments Booster Gold gets on Booster Gold’s Instaslam Live stream. Interspersed throughout Booster Gold’s heroic exploits is the chatter of fans who are mostly negative and obnoxious. Booster Gold loves the attention though, even if they are wishing for his death. Booster is actively attempting to save the Justice League over New York as they’ve been kidnapped inside a giant and mysterious spaceship. Soon though, Booster is way out of his league and Blue Beetle is called in to help. You can read that entire exchange in the preview.
This issue sets up the dynamic between the two characters well as well as Booster Gold’s rather obnoxious personality. He’s so focused on the attention he’s getting he doesn’t notice the danger Blue Beetle is in, for instance, and his arrogance is nearly intolerable. Meanwhile, Blue Beetle is easy-going, self-reflective, and endures Booster’s personality. You can see how this dynamic will easily work over eight issues.
The Instaslam Live stream chatter is rather distracting, though. About midway through the comic Booster turns off the stream and it’s actually a relief for the reader. That’s the effect Jurgens is going for I’m sure, but it makes the reading experience chaotic and hard to follow. You’ll read Booster Gold’s dialogue as he fights before switching to the stream chatter, taking you out of the action. Then you move to the next panel and it starts over again. It doesn’t help each person commenting has a different colored caption box and there’s three to four per panel. It slows the reading experience way down when the point being made is quite clear very early on. Maybe if the chatter was reduced to two or three pages it wouldn’t be as obnoxious, but seven pages of it over the first nine pages of the book is too much.
Art by Sook is great with his customary clean and detailed style. Well placed close-ups of Booster Gold totally being over his head but playing it cool work because of Sook’s facial expressions. When things get hairy inside the ship, Sook keeps the action understandable even in tight spaces. There are also cool tractor beam effects holding the Justice League. Later on a roof, the various characters are well designed and easily told apart. The cliffhanger is quite good too, due to the gloomy dramatic lighting and character design.
The letters by Rob Leigh are great, and while it’s unclear if he created the caption design for the Instaslam comments the unique caption boxes add to the chaotic energy. Even though that didn’t work for me, it’s impressive how much detail went into each caption box.
Blue & Gold is a good start to a new series that has its own vibe and will satisfy Booster Gold and Blue Beetle fans. Dan Jurgens immediately captures the personalities of both characters impeccably well, and the book has a uniqueness that sets it apart from anything else DC Comics is doing right now.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!