Booster Gold's latest mission is to ensure that Hank Henshaw becomes the Cyborg Superman so the destruction of Coast City can proceed. This mission is a little different, however, as Booster has direct competition in the opposite direction: Sondra Crain, another time traveler whose assignment comes from the enigmatic Project Slipshift. Crain's mission is to prevent the creation of the Cyborg Superman. Last issue, she failed in her primary mission leading her to phase two: evacuate Coast City. To make things even more dramatic, Michelle Carter -- Booster's sister -- is hiding in the timestream from Rip and Booster. She just so happens to be in Coast City.
It's good to see Rapmund on board for the entire issue. Last issue featured a split in finished art between Norm Rapmund and John Stanisci. Both artists are quite capable, but each has a very distinct style that just didn't blend well on to the other over the course of an issue. This issue is more consistent from start to finish, as Rapmund and Jurgens tell the tale we all know, but from a different perspective altogether.
This issue is setting up something big, or so it seems. We all know what happens to Coast City and we've seen quite a bit of Hank Henshaw since, but Jurgens and crew are still making this adventure a multi-part story with some subplots and potential new storylines. Skeets alerts Booster to the presence of another anomalous person, but does he mean Michelle, or someone else, like the enigmatic figure carrying the sign that warns of Coast City's doom? This could all be cut and dry, but Jurgens has taken some time to revisit and add depth to a critical tale from his days as a main contributor to the adventures of Superman.
Also in this issue is the final installment of the Blue Beetle backup. While I enjoyed getting Blue Beetle and Booster Gold in one issue each month, I'm looking forward to this book being Booster-centric for a while. After all, Booster would want it that way.
That's not to say I didn't enjoy the Blue Beetle story, but this issue and the last, it felt incomplete to me. I enjoyed Sturges' style, his use of the characters, and the situation unique to Jaime Reyes, but it felt as though this story could have been more than two installments, as I was left puzzled by what exactly happened to Jaime and his relationship with the scarab. That's another story for another time and place, I'm sure, but where and when? I hope that wherever Blue Beetle goes to continue his tale that Mike Norton draws it. Norton seems like a natural choice to continue the adventures of Jaime and crew as he delivers one of the most classically comic book renditions of the character since Cully Hamner.
I feel the need to reiterate what I've said before: this comic is a throwback to the comics of yesteryear, when comics could be found everywhere, and stories were approachable regardless of the installment of the story arc you happened to pick up. Jurgens does a great job of making "Booster Gold" a story I can hand my kids without worrying about dicey language or questionable situations. It's good to have a title like this around to act as a palette cleanser when those Dark Final Crisis Reign Sieges weigh too heavily. Even with the impending destruction of a city of seven million people, Jurgens avoids the gore, horror and psychodrama, playing up the heroic and not-so-heroic side of time travel.
Next issue brings "Booster Gold" back to $2.99, with the continuation of the Coast City crisis. Hank Henshaw became the Cyborg Superman, he brought the destruction to Coast City, and Booster Gold let it happen. Booster's not going to let this go easily, and I wouldn't have it any other way.