Beautie and the Boost


Astro City: Beautie

One of my very rare complaints about Kurt Busiek’s brilliant “Astro City” series? He comes up with all these wonderful, interesting characters, and then they only appear in a single issue, or in the background of several issues. We’ve only ever learned a bit of trivia here and there about MPH or the Gentleman or the N-Forcer. And one of the characters that has attracted the most interest is Beautie, a life-sized Barbie doll with superpowers.

So finally, Busiek has put together an entire double-sized comic focused on Beautie. Distant and aloof, she’s obsessed with learning her origins, looking at dolls in toy stores, and collecting fashionable clothing. She’s irritated by many men after years of having to deal with clumsy attempts to pick her up — after all, she’s not anatomically correct — and she actually feels more comfortable hanging out in gay bars, where the guys don’t try to pick her up and where she feels that she’s met a community of fellow outsiders. But as she gets closer and closer to discovering her origin, she begins developing mysterious memory troubles. What’s happening to her, and will she ever be able to make the right connections to learn who created her?

Verdict: Thumbs up. This one was big, big fun, and I hope Busiek does some more of these character specials to clue us in on some of Astro City’s other interesting characters.


Booster Gold #0

Holy moley, how long has it been since we’ve seen an honest-to-Graud Zero issue? And one of the coolest story ideas we’ve seen in ages — this is an actual crossover with the old “Zero Hour” miniseries from way back in 1994. Booster and the various Blue Beetles, including the resurrected Ted Kord, Jaime Reyes, and Dan Garrett, meet up with the Zero Hour villains, Extant and Parallax, while traveling through time. There’s a brief battle before Booster and the Beetles end up with a wrecked Time Sphere in the 25th century — Booster’s home time, actually. Booster briefly considers trying to keep his younger self from throwing the game that got him banned from football, and talks about the loss of his sister who followed him to the past and tried to be a superhero like her big brother.

Eventually, everyone steals another Time Sphere from a museum (and we meet a younger version of Skeets, too) before escaping back to their proper time periods. So everything’s okay, right? Ted Kord is alive again and is gonna help Booster safeguard the timestream, right? Well, maybe not. Max Lord’s OMACs may have something to say about all that…

Verdict: Thumbs up. How many times can I say that this series is surprisingly awesome? Every time I read a new issue, I end up underestimating how much I’ll enjoy it. The Zero Hour twist to this issue is also awfully fun. If you’re not reading this, please start. It’s an excellent comic, and I hope it lasts for years.

Comments are closed.