Despite being presented with tons of evidence, Superman cannot entirely accept that the villain Mr. Oz was actually his biological father, Jor-El. He decides to search out the facts first hand by taking a run on the Flash’s Cosmic Treadmill and going back in time to witness Krypton’s destruction. That was where and when Oz claimed to have been snatched out of the timestream. Booster Gold arrives moments too late and has to catch up to the Man of Steel to stop him from messing up the timeline.
I’m going to get this out of the way up front. Booster Gold is one of my all-time favorite DC characters. Dan Jurgens’ run on the title spinning out of 52 solidified my love for the “greatest hero you’ve never heard of” and it continues here. Jurgens created Booster Gold so it’s no surprise that he brings out the best in the character, even handling both the story and artwork for Action Comics #993.
Although Booster Gold may look like a total joke, he’s actually a solid hero working to protect time itself. We’ll forget for a moment that despite his best efforts there have been a few major failures on his part between Flashpoint and whatever happened with Rebirth. This is why the Flash reacts in such an antagonistic way when he arrives at the Watch Tower and finds Booster sniffing around the Cosmic Treadmill. The poor guy tries to explain what’s going on, but just can’t get through to the Scarlet Speedster.
The interaction between Booster and his robot companion Skeets is spot on and always brings a smile to my face. They’re great friends that go way back, but that doesn’t stop them from poking fun at one another. These conversations also serve to explain what’s going on to the reader in an organic way.
Jurgens’ artwork has a classic look to it and it is just so fitting for Action Comics. The characters are nothing but heroic, standing tall and confident, regardless of the odds they’re up against. This is the case both for Booster Gold and Superman, with some very dynamic and well-executed scenes showing the Man of Steel falling through time, stealing images of Krypton’s past like panes of a broken mirror.
Superman goes back in time to search for answers, but gets swept up in Krypton itself. There’s a force working to try and prevent him from finding the truth. We know that’s probably Dr. Manhattan thanks to Doomsday Clock. He hasn’t quite figured that out yet. You can imagine how Superman would react as he suddenly finds himself back on his homeworld, a place he only knows from stories. Of course, there is the issue of a red sun.
Meanwhile, at the Daily Planet, Lois gets some news about her father that takes away some of the exciting momentum from the main story. Lois has been getting some great exposure in the latest arc in Superman, especially since it was part of the main storyline. This feels like a B-plot that isn’t adding much just yet. I did like how Lombard is obviously Booster Gold’s biggest fan. That was a really nice touch. Jon’s reaction to this is priceless. He has a hero in his father and no one will ever unseat him from that spot.
I am so happy to see Booster Gold pop up in a post DC Rebirth story. He’s such a fun character and he can add a lot to the current status quo of the universe as Superman searches for answers. The visit to Krypton is a nice touch, although Clark looks completely out of his element and more than a little confused. He went looking for one thing and found something else entirely. Now he has to keep his curiosity in check without losing his life.