This week, in Batman #46, it’s more time traveling high jinks with that lovable goofball Booster Gold. If you thought he made a mess of things in The Gift part one, just wait till you see what he does this time out…
Before getting onto Batman #46, I wanted to take a moment to revisit my opinion from issue #45. Two weeks ago, after posting my review, I noticed in the comment section that several people were discussing the fact that King’s depiction of Booster Gold was severely off from who the character actually is. I was curious to see if this sampling from our comment section was indicative of the overall feeling coming from the rest of the comic community, or just that of our readership. So, I took the time to go read several other reviews and peak at the message boards from various sites. Turns out, there were quite a few people out there who were displeased with Booster Gold’s portrayal.
If you’re at all familiar with my reviews, you know that I’m a stickler for proper character portrayal. So I’m sure it may have come as somewhat of a shock to some of you that I gave last issue higher than average marks. 95% of the comic reading I do is focused on Batman related titles. So my expertise in things outside of that particular wheelhouse is extremely limited. A couple months ago when King tackled Wonder Woman, I knew something was off about her portrayal from my limited experience with the character, but I didn’t know enough specifics about her to really tackle the intricacies of what was off. With Booster, it’s a somewhat similar situation.
However, the very few Booster Gold stories I have read did indeed depict him in a similar light to the way King presented him. So, from my experience, there wasn’t anything King was doing that should have raised any red flags. But my ignorance to that fact does not excuse me from atonement. That’s right. I apologize to all the hardcore Booster Gold fans out there. I know that when I criticize a writer for something they have done in regards to Batman, and people push back against me, I tend to find it somewhat annoying since I almost always back up my opinions with indisputable facts. In this particular situation, I realize that I’m one of those people, applauding something because I don’t know any better. And that genuinely makes me feel a little complicit. So, once again, I sincerely apologize to all the hardcore Booster Gold fans out there. It was not my intention to disrespect something you hold so dear.
Having said all that, I’m probably still going to enjoy this, so don’t hate me too much for being an uneducated heathen when it comes to Booster Gold.
As the story starts off, the first thing we are greeted with is a “One Year Later” plaque. That’s a seriously scary thought, the idea of being trapped in a place and time that isn’t real for an extended period of time. It’s enough to drive one insane. And to be honest, I’m not entirely sure Booster hasn’t succumbed to a little bit of insanity. Or, at least, he seems quite shaken and unsure of himself.
One of my favorite elements from the last issue was the interactions between Booster and Skeets. Seeing as how Skeets was destroyed last time out, I was concerned that this wouldn’t be anywhere near as funny. I’m happy to report that isn’t the case. Booster does acquire a new sounding board in the form of Catwoman, but seeing as how she never really says anything, it’s not a true replacement for Skeets. That comes in the form of himself. That’s right, Booster ends up bouncing ideas off himself. When he breaks down the details of his plan, it’s admittedly kind of hard to follow, but it’s hilarious how insane it is. I mean, his train of thought is immensely bizarre. And that’s where the humor from this issue comes from. It’s an exploration of the insanity swirling around beneath those perfectly coifed golden locks.
As I said, Catwoman never really says anything. And that’s no exaggeration. The only thing she utters throughout the entire book is, “Meeow”. At first I didn’t think anything of it, but then as it went on and on, I started to understand that this Selina Kyle was completely insane. Which is why I’d have to assume that this reality is making Booster a little bonkers, because if not, it’s pretty weird that he wouldn’t pick up on the fact that she was clearly coo coo for cocoa puffs.
I’d be completely remiss in my duties if I didn’t point out the fact that in this reality Selina Kyle dons the Batman Returns Michelle Pfeiffer Catwoman costume. Say what you will about the film, but I always thought that was a visually striking design, and it’s no less here.
One of the things that I did find slightly peculiar, and it may be strange that I picked this out because there is a bunch of peculiar stuff in this issue, but it has to do with Booster making Catwoman her costume. Early in the issue, Selina is referred to as Catwoman. Meaning, she obviously already has a Catwoman suit of her own, if not, why was she called Catwoman. So, to me, it seems odd that Booster would need to make her a suit. Now, perhaps it was still in lockup or something and since they couldn’t get at it he made her a new one. But the way it felt to me was that he was making her a Catwoman suit, not because her costume wasn’t available, but because she simply never had one. Just the way I interpreted it. Not a big problem or anything like that. Just thought it was odd.
I won’t give the specific details of the finale of this particular issue away, but I will say it was a total blood bath. The action in the scene is frenetic and fast, making things very confusing to follow unless you really pause to break things down. But I actually really liked that about it. The panel layout and composition of the shots really helped to highlight the hectic nature of the combat.
- It’s the inclusion of that last “air conditioner exhaust” comment that had me rolling.
Odds and Ends:
- This joke seems a little forced. It’s in response to something Bruce says that isn’t necessarily well thought out. The kind of customary punchline to one of these types of jokes when a character says something stupid is, “It’s a good thing you’re pretty”. So, while what Martha says still applies to Bruce not being all that smart, it’s hardly the most common way to express such a thought. Furthermore, it’s only funny because of what we know Bruce to be in another reality. So really, why Martha would use such an uncommon colloquialism, that’s really only a recognizable phrase when used in conjunction with Batman, is beyond me.
- The Justice League of this reality all got killed because the intellect and tactical chops of a Bruce Wayne Batman weren’t around to save them. While this is nice for us Batman fans because it’s yet again another instance of showing how awesome Batman is, it’s kind of unfair to the rest of the heroes of the DC Universe. I mean, it’s not like they don’t survive all kinds of menaces on their own in their own titles every single week without Batman having to intervene on their behalf to stop them all from getting killed.
- You want to laugh. And, remember, this is coming from someone that doesn’t laugh easily. Then again, maybe I have a weird sense of humor and this isn’t funny at all. Haha.
I’m now aware of the fact that King’s take on Booster Gold apparently doesn’t really hold true to the purest form of the character. However, that didn’t stop me from enjoying this issue for what it is. I know it’s weird for me to be saying that, since I’m always such a stickler for things to be done “correctly”, but I’m really having a blast with this storyline and I’m finding myself yucking it up far too frequently to say it’s not an entertaining and enjoyable read. If you just want to sit back, unplug from reality, and give your mind a kooky little diversion…this is probably the comic for you.
SCORE: 8.5 / 10