Booster Gold #21
Rip Hunter is acting mysterious, Booster meets Nightwing/Batman, and the Black Beetle makes an appearance.
Okay, that’s enough of that. It’s an alright story — and it’s a lot better than most recent “Booster Gold” stories — but no one cares about Booster. What’s important is the backup story.
The backup story stars Jaime Reyes, the Blue Beetle.
Good gravy, how much have I missed this guy?
We get Jaime, Paco, and Brenda hanging around a burger joint wondering why superheroes don’t get their own henchmen when the city is attacked by a giant yellow robot bellowing “THINKO! IS UNSTOPPABLE!” and “DESTROY ALL HUMANS!”After Jaime (eventually) destroys THINKO!, the gang learns that it originally attacked El Paso during World War II. They disguise themselves as reporters and head off to question the son of the robot’s creator, who is in jail for building his own evil robot called Unimate. He has no idea who’d rebuild his dad’s machine and crows fiendishly about the superiority of Unimate. Suspicious? Maybe a bit — especially when a horde of Unimate robots appear and try to destroy El Paso…
Verdict: Thumbs up. Again, the Booster Gold story was okay, but holy guacamole, did I ever enjoy the Blue Beetle story. I picked up this comic not expecting a whole lot from it, but the very first page of the backup was a colossal reminder of how awesome the “Blue Beetle” comic was, and of how much we’ve lost as comic readers now that it’s been cancelled. Everything from the great dialogue and chemistry between Jaime and his friends to the outstandingly mad THINKO! robot was just picture-perfect classic “Blue Beetle.” Not to wish anything bad on “Booster Gold,” ’cause I still get enjoyment out of the series, but really, “Blue Beetle” should be the lead feature. That’s all there is to it.
Astro City: The Dark Age, Book Three #2
Royal Williams is trying to lay low and avoid Pyramid Agents, the local criminal syndicates, and his brother Charles, who, as a member of E.A.G.L.E., is becoming more obsessed with the high-ranking Pyramid Agent who killed the brothers’ parents. And all around them, the world is becoming a bleaker, more brutal place, right down to the formerly noble and merciful superheroes. The Williams brothers are wedged in the middle of this powderkeg — will they be able to survive when the sparks start flying?
Verdict: Thumbs up. I love the way the tension here is slowly ratcheting upwards. Royal Williams really is a very interesting character — but the way things are going, who knows what the future holds for him or anyone else in this story?