Tarnishing the Gold Standard (Action Comics #995 Comic Review)

Written by Dan Jurgens

Pencils by Brett Booth

Inks by Norm Rapmund

Colors by Andrew Dalhouse

Cover by Dan Jurgens, Trevor Scott and Hi-Fi

Previously: On the search for answers surrounding his father’s possible escape from the death of Krypton, Superman used the Cosmic Treadmill to travel to the moment of his homeworld’s destruction, but he wound up on a Krypton from a different timeline. Booster Gold pursued and retrieved Superman, but they accidentally crash-landed in the 25th century!

 

What happened: Before addressing the issue of landing around 450 years later than they planned, Superman land and Booster Gold have to deal with a more urgent matter: the Eradicator robot that followed them to Booster Gold’s native time-period. Now that he’s back under a yellow sun, Superman is feeling a lot better, and he’s pissed off. He takes his anger out on the robot while the GCPD of the future take notice that Booster Gold (a wanted criminal in this year) has returned. The heroes dispatch with the Eradicator robot, which explodes and knocks out Booster Gold. Skeets notifies Superman that the authorities will soon be on their way, and the two take the time sphere and escape, leaving Booster to be taken by the police.

Meanwhile, in the present and on Earth, Lois Lane is breaking into an Air Force base. Her father was captured in Logomba while in deep cover, and she intends to save him. She successfully steps away on a flight going to the region, but is unaware that her son Jon has followed her, and is also on the plane!

Booster Gold wakes up in a prison cell and is surprised to find that he is sharing it with his father. The two are taunted by the agent who has been pursuing them while Skeets brings Superman and the audience up to speed on Booster’s father and the history of the Carter family. Booster’s dad gets the drop on the agent, but before he can begin any sort of breakout he’s stopped by Superman. Superman breaks Booster out, and the two pay a sweet visit to Booster’s mother before heading back home. They’re trip is once again derailed by a piece of the Eradicator robot that was still in the Time Sphere, and the two heroes crash land on a strange planet with two suns and a giant statue of General Zod!

 

Thoughts on the issue: the latest destination in this haphazard cross-time caper turns this issue into a Booster Gold comic featuring Superman, rather than the other way around. The real purpose of the issue seems to be telling a revised version of Booster’s origin, one in which his criminal activity is no longer a product of his own flaws, but those of his father. This takes a character whose defining characteristic has become growth, and undercut the journey he’s been on. Unfortunately, the art also distracts from the story. This issue welcomes Brett Booth to the book, and his style doesn’t mesh that well with Superman. Something about his faces make his characters look evil, they have sinister sneers when they shouldn’t be sinister. The outcome of this effect is a Superman that doesn’t look or feel comforting, which significantly detracts from what Superman is and should be.

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Scott Shuken

Scott Shuken

Scott Shuken is comic book writer and Podcaster living in Bellingham, WA
Summary
Booster Gold and Superman are in the 25th century, and the GCPD aren’t far behind!
Good
  • Well-contained story within larger arc
  • Sweet moment with Booster Gold’s Mom
Bad
  • Booster’s newer, more cliche origin
  • Creepy Booth faces
5
Average
Writing - 6
Artwork - 4
Written by
Scott Shuken is comic book writer and Podcaster living in Bellingham, WA

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