This issue starts out really thick before finding its way to some action. The start of the issue is a retelling of Booster’s origins from the point of view of one of Doctor Nishtikeit’s underlings. Nishtikeit is the Nazi whose secret lair was destroyed by Booster Gold and General Glory a few issues back. Of course in comic book time, especially a comic that uses time travel as its main thrust, Nishtikeit finds himself in the present – his future – tracking down Booster Gold so he may exact his revenge upon Booster.
Nishtikeit’s obsession with Gold enables the retelling of Booster’s origin. Giffen and DeMatteis have placed this origin revisitation in the right spot, as Booster’s past (our future) comes back to haunt him. Giffen and DeMatteis balance Booster’s trials out nicely by having him battle Hit Point, a lame-o villain out to settle a score against Booster. Overall, the story is a nice synthesis of Booster’s entire heroic career: lame-o villains, a smidge of time travel, a celebration of his celebrity (he scores free coffee), and some good old-fashioned bad luck.
The story is clear with Olliffe, who is a strong storyteller, but the art loses some “oomph” without Batista crafting the adventures of Booster. Olliffe’s figures have a slighter build to them, his faces less expressive and less discernible. Olliffe brings a very clear story, but doesn’t bring enough razzmatazz for Booster Gold.
This issue, like all of the issues in the Giffen and DeMatteis run, manages to offer up some humor, both in the story and around the story. Sal Cipriano has a little rant near the credit box which provides a chuckle. Throughout the rest of the issue, Booster offers a funny one-liner or two, Skeets provides some relief, and of course the foes Booster faces find ways to elicit a chuckle or two.
All the same, this issue of “Booster Gold” packs a surprise ending, especially for anyone who’s read this book at any point following its emergence from “52.” Advance solicits have spoiled what’s coming up – to a point – but they sure didn’t latch on to how we’re getting to what’s coming up. I, for one, never saw it coming. It makes sense, sure, but I didn’t expect it. Where Giffen and DeMatteis take it all from here remains to be seen, but I’ll certainly be there to see it.