Booster Gold #46 with Dan Jurgens
With only two issues left, you can bet it's got to be hard for Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund to leave much of the remaining artwork up to newcomers—and yet the second half of this week's Booster Gold #46 features art by Ig Guara and Ruy Jose, who pitched in to help Dan and Norm depict Booster's battle royale with Doomsday.
Guara's characters have the kind of fluidity of movement that makes Doomsday seem more feral and brutal, and infuses the fight scene with a kind of dynamic action you rarely get from mainstream superhero sock-'em-ups...but for my money I still kind of wish Dan and Norm had been able to tell the tale themselves. Guara's Booster Gold looks like a cranky surfer or something, and as pretty as the rest of the pages looked, I couldn't take my eyes off the unruly mop of hair that seemed to outsize the rest of our hero's head.
At least, though, Jurgens got to script the tale, and our guys drew half of it—introducing us to the "super" side of Alexis, the new (and anomalous) woman in Booster's life as of the last issue and leaving us on the kind of teaser that suggests Dan and Norm's final outing as the Booster Gold creative team will be something pretty epic...!
Dan Jurgens: I had hoped to draw the entire issue. Unfortunately, in this case, the deadline realities of the September launch books meant I could only draw the first ten pages. We had hoped to work our way around it but it simply wasn't possible.
In my own defense, I would mention that I was one of the few guys trying to work all the way through the end of a title that would ship in July and August, while also trying to launch two of the "New 52" books.
GX: The grunts--and then later Nathaniel Adam--really push the "he's helpless without the helmet!" angle here, demonstrating their total lack of understanding of Doomsday. Even once control is regained, does this bode ill for them?
DJ: Perhaps! I do think we made it pretty clear that they dug up Doomsday and found a way to activate him without ever really having an understanding of who-- or what-- he was.
GX: Was there a reason that Booster didn't think of "put the helmet back on him" earlier in the fight? Or just that he didn't think it would/could work?
DJ: The fight was moving quite fast. The entire issue really didn't involve that much time, overall.
GX: So--based on Alexandra's description of herself--along with the pink shirt--is she the Flashpoint version of Parasite (the Superman villain)? He used to be a lot more pinkish-purple than he is nowadays.
DJ: Not necessarily. She's her own person, with any of the strengths or liabilities her power might have.
GX: The other side of that, of course, is that she's different from The Parasite (and, for that matter, Rogue) in that she doesn't seem to harm the people from whom she takes the power, right?
DJ: You're right-- she's different from the Parasite. But I think it's important to note that there's a great deal we don't know about her-- and she may not know about herself.
DJ: Yes. It doesn't have to be a biologically based super power.
GX: ...like, maybe, a semiconscious, grey-skinned engine of living death?
DJ: Maybe! Maybe not! But if so, there again... is there any liability to doing so?
GX: If Alex is copying Booster's powers, why are her blasts green? Much has been made of the green-ness of it among fans who are speculating who or what she might represent in the Flashpoint Universe.
DJ: Once again, there is a lot about her that has not been revealed, as well as the notion that she, herself, doesn't have a complete understanding of what she is, what she can do and what actually happens as part of the process.
GX: I actually like the "death rays" comment; it really says a lot about the perception of the metahuman community in Flashpoint. Was that intentional? I mean, obviously there was something behind it since Booster corrected her language.
DJ: That was 100% intentional. It describes a society that is less familiar with the notion of superheroes, their powers, etc. Just trying to say that these things aren't as much a part of the national dialogue as in the normal DCU.
GX: Obviously, in spite of what it means for him to have Adam in control of Doomsday and in spite of the fact that it later looks like a last-ditch move, Booster BROUGHT the helmet with him, so he had to be strategizing that as a Hail Mary pass, right?
DJ: Exactly right. Booster certainly knows what he's up against here.
GX: So, are we to assume that Doomsday got "Metropolis" from that bus, this time around? I always thought he got it off the TV set at the LexMart, but here it seems more like he's a Kal-El-seeking missile!
DJ: Yes. More of which will be detailed in BG #47.
GX: Manoman, the Flashpoint version of the Federal government isn't much saner than the real-world version of it, are they? Even faced with mounting evidence against what they blindly assume to be true, they just keep saying, "No! It has to be the way I pictured it in my head!" when it comes to Booster being the bad guy and Doomsday being a delicate flower.
DJ: We have ample evidence over time that whenever this country feels at threat, that it is more than capable of believing the worst about anyone's intentions.
And, given what's happened to Europe, it isn't entirely unreasonable.
People have asked about that but, given the level of danger and paranoia, I think we're on very solid ground here.
GX: As an aside--when you were told to call him Project Six or whatever, were you made aware what the other five were? As readers, I think we only know three or four of them.
I do, but that isn't for me to tell!
GX: It's funny--I had always wondered why Booster didn't use his forcefield in creative ways, a la Sue Storm. I guess you were just waiting for the right moment to trot that trick out?
DJ: Yes. You know, Booster has always been more the type to hit first and think later. Given the odds he's up against, along with not having Rip or Skeets around, I think it's important for him to show that he can think beyond the usual stuff.
GX: Another weird irony of life: One of the readers on Boosterrific (Harry) had asked a question I promised I'd put to you--and then Booster brings it up right there in the narrative! Why expend so much energy fighting Doomsday, when he knows that ultimately the plan is to make this whole world disappear? Is it basically like making sure that Kyle Rayner and Zatanna are equipped to fight Trigon before abandoning THAT reality to its fate?
DJ: In this instance, Booster has no immediate guarantee that he can fix time. He tried to go back to his own timeline, but it's gone. Rip isn't around.
There's no time lab in Arizona.
With all that in mind, it's pretty tough for him to turn his back on what's happening right in front of him. Especially when it's Doomsday.
GX: Is there an inherent conflict here between Booster the man and Booster the mission? Putting himself--possibly the only one who can "fix" Flashpoint--in harm's way in order to save a person who shouldn't even exist is a little bit insane--but at the same time, sacrificing himself to save her on a world where nobody knows him and there's zero chance of him getting any credit is kind of the perfect resolution in terms of his character arc.
DJ: That's a fair point, but again, I'll point out what I did earlier. Booster has no guarantee, no sense of certainty that he'll be able to actually fix this timeline. It might be a goal, but that doesn't mean it's easily accomplished.
For me, this fits in very well with the dilemma he faces, as well as the person he's becoming.
GX: Going back to my initial observation about how underestimating Doomsday might still come back to bite the military; now that he's woken up and had a chance to "evolve past" his previous defeat, what are the odds that the psi-helmet is now a two-way street and that General Adam "feeling his rage" is going to end very, very badly for the people in the room with the General?
DJ: Interesting idea! Stay tuned!
GX: I can't help but notice, by the way, that Booster has been shedding clothing like wildfire; here, he loses his force field on loan to Doomsday and then on the cover of Justice League International #1, he's got no Skeets and no Legion of Super-Heroes flight ring. Will he be fighting crime in his well-fortified underoos by the time we first see the Time Stealers attack the August General in Iron?
DJ: Time Stealers? Attack the August General? Hmm...
Russell Burlingame is a journalist and columnist living and working in New York City. In high school, Russell interviewed Elliot S. Maggin for a review of the Kingdom Come novelization, and since then has worked consistently in and around the comics industry. He interned for Wizard magazine, and has freelanced for Wizard and Newsarama, in addition to a number of non-comics publications, Russell is currently working on a graphic novel based on Cap'n Internet, the comic strip that ran in his college newspaper.
Currently, in addition to his freelance work and his comics projects, Russell writes a number of columns for ComicRelated, including Conscientious Sequentials, The Gold Exchange, What's Perhappenin', Closing Statements, Reflecting 'Pool and To See or Not To See.
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