Well...it's finally out. The expectations that I had leading up to this first issue, were quite high of course, and I'm pleased to say that I think that Mr. Johns, Mr. Katz and Mr. Jurgens hit it right out of the ballpark. Yes, I'm pleased as punch, happy as a clam, and thrilled to pieces. TO PIECES!
For a minute or two there, it is like picking up an old copy of JLU, because Booster is fighting none other than the Royal Flush Gang! Be still my heart. A bit of history follows, who Booster is, what has happened to him, and a quick summing up of "52", which makes a nice nod to the novice reader.
Then the Justice League shows up.
Booster needs to do SOMEthing, and joining the Justice League seems like the right thing to do. He WAS in it for quite a while after all. Something that some of the newer, younger members don't seem to realize. In fact, Vixen and Roy are a bit on the snarky side. Booster explains that he took out the Royal Flush Gang, while Wally comments that he thought they had deactivated his communicator. Black Lightning replies, that no, that was Guy Gardner's. Haw! Then Roy says that at least Guy has balls, which will make me love him forever.
Black Canary and Hal are being a little on the suspicious side as well, Dinah points out that defeating the Royal Flush Gang is exactly the way that Booster joined the League in the FIRST place. Booster does point out that in all fairness, Max Lord was the one pulling strings in that case, and "we ALL know what a "good guy" he turned out to be. Just ask Wonder Woman."
Oh Michael, you didn't REALLY say that? He does have the good grace to look abashed and mumble a "sorry" as Wonder Woman does a slow burn behind him.
Meanwhile, Canary is still giving him some attitude, and even brings up the whole Kooey Kooey Kooey fiasco, which really isn't very sporting of her. Superman does point out that Booster threw himself between Superman and Doomsday, which is nice of him. This goes on for a little while, with everyone discussing Booster's strengths and weaknesses, when wonder of wonder, Batman actually stands up for him, which made my jaw drop in sheer awe. Batman says that he has a week to prove himself. If he does well...then they'll flip a coin.
So, filled with determination, Booster flies off to Daniel's house. Daniel as you will all recall from "52" is Booster's idiot ancestor. He just hangs out playing video games and won't take off the Supernova suit for some reason. Even Booster thinks he's an idiot, and that' saying something.
And who should show up put Rip Hunter. Poor Booster, he thought that all the saving time stuff was over and done with, but no such luck. Booster just wants to join the Justice League,and garner a little respect, but Rip points out that although they DID save the Multiverse, there are still...problems. Anomalies. TEMPORAL anomalies. And in one of my favorite moments, he says this...
..."Everything in History predating the re-creation of the Multiverse has gone malleable. Thanks mostly to Mr. Mind and that Kryptonian boy's tantrums, which I still find RIDICULOUS to believe. punching history. PLEASE."
Heh. In fact, that actually calls for a hearty Bwhahahahaha! Geoff Johns, I love you.
So, off they go, Rip and Booster, out to fix time. Booster ends up back in time saving a jetliner that was about to crash due to Black Adam having blasted through a wing. Coincidentally there is an attractive young woman investigative reporter who is saved...who turns out to be his great great great great...whatever grandmother. Now Rip lays it out for Booster. He can go back and join the League, or he can fulfill his destiny and go down in history as "an ineffectual and incompetent fraud, when in reality you'll be the greatest hero, History has ever known".
Booster of course is pissed because he really doens't want to be known forever as a joke, and what good is it being a great hero if nobody knows about it? Rip points out that Booster will know, but he's not sure that's enough. So, Rip acceeds to Booster's wishes, and drops him off one week later, at the headquarters for the Justice League.
To Booster's delight, they've decided to vote him in, and hand him a nice plaque all framed up and every thing. The Justice League really goes all out. Too bad they don't have a secret handshake. Everyone seems pretty happy with the decision, although Roy still has a sour look on his face. As Booster looks at his nice new certificate however, there is a flash of light, and it changes right in front of him, into a death certificate for Hal Jordan. Booster is understandably bemused by this, but Skeets points out that he sees it too, although nobody else seems to be picking up on it. There is a lovely moment as Booster just looks at the certificate, before letting it fall and break on the floor. He then pretends that it was all just a joke on his part, that he'll have to pass, and he REALLY just wanted to say that he'd turned them down. Batman isn't buying Booster's act and asks him what is really going on, as Booster replies slightly bitterly that he's just living down to expectations, as he and Skeets take off.
So, Booster flies off to join Rip, although he does take time out to save a kid along the way. There is another one of those cool blackboards in Rip's lair, with all the clues written on it, a la "52". Naturally the one that caught my eye was "beware the Red Lanterns". Whaaaaa????
So Booster agrees to help Rip Hunter. On one condition however, with all the time travel, he's going to go and save the best friend he ever had...Blue Beetle!
And finally, as a teaser for the next issue, we leave with a flashback to Sinestro as a Green Lantern on Korugar, and none other than a very (very) young Katma Tui.
The final bonus is a last page that has four teasers for upcoming issues, one with Booster wrestling Braniac over the open jaws of a Tyrannosaurus, Booster back with the old JLI, and a couple of odd members, Booster getting swarmed by the most adorable bunch of evil little worms you ever saw, and finally, Dan Garrett, Ted Kord, Jaime Reyes and Booster, punching out Max Lord! I am in. I am SOOOOO in.
It was fun, it was fast paced, and although there was a lot of exposition, and a lot of plot lines to set up, it was done well and made sense. Booster's motivation is handled beautifully, and there are all kinds of other ideas that are set up at the same time. The art is nice, Booster is pretty as can be, and there are even several very worthy butt shots. If I can't have Green Lanterns this week, this was a worthy substitute. Pick it up and read it, you won't be sorry.