Posted by: Graeme McMillan on January 22, 2008
BOOSTER GOLD #6 is a surprisingly depressing book, considering that the good guys end up winning. It’s so heavy with foreshadowing that there’s no way to actually enjoy the fact that it achieves what was set out as a goal way back in the first issue of the series, and so oddly paced that it doesn’t really feel as if it has achieved anything at all.
Okay, that last part first; what’s with the end of this book? It just kind of… stops. There’s no real sense of climax, and the last scene isn’t even a cliffhanger (Why someone didn’t suggest that they push the two-page interlude with Daniel and Rip to the end of the book to at least give some kind of dun dun DUN to the finish, I have no idea), it just… stops. Underplayed scenes, I’m happy with, but this was slightly too underplayed; it feels like the book just ran out of room and finished a scene or two before it was meant to. Coming, as it did, immediately after the big battle, I felt cheated of some sense of the good guys having won, even if that was fleeting. I’m not saying that I wanted a full end of Star Wars moment or anything, but still.
That kind of gets back to the foreshadowing. It’s not enough that we had an entire issue last issue to tell us that what appears to be done this issue is impossible, we also had a character tell us that again this time around (Rip’s “The future is open, but the past can’t be changed.” In fact, he’s the voice of foreshadowing for the start of the issue in almost everything he says: “Use your head. It’s entirely too convenient. Three Blue Beetles from across time just suddenly show up like this?”), we also have the one person who leads this mission impossible being a mysterious masked man that we know nothing about. Give it three issues and he’ll be revealed to be some kind of equally mysteriously bad guy: “Evil Beetle” or “Dark Beetle” or something (We’ve already got Supernova as “Booster Dark” after all, so why not “Dark Beetle” to match the Blue and Gold team?).
It’s an odd switch for this book, to move away from the light-heartedness in favor of something so clearly pointing towards gloom, and doing so in such an obvious mannner. On the one hand, good for planning, but on the other hand, knowing that something is just going to end up depressing you makes for a pretty Eh reading experience.