Time Masters: Vanishing Point #1(of 6) - 'Passageway' - Jurgens & Rapmund
Story - For the past few years, Booster Gold has been one of my guilty pleasure comics, I mean, I'm the kind of fan who claims to hate continuity and that anything traditional sucks, but while I've been spouting that rhetoric online, all the while I've been surreptitiously reading a book which revels in DC continuity and solid, traditional superhero storytelling. I know, I know, what a terrible shame. But you have to admit, Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund's work on the title was just damn good fun.
Which is why I'm glad Jurgens is getting to continue his story in some way. While Booster's own ongoing has been taken by Giffen and DeMatteis into more bwa-ha-haian Max Lord territory (and that's perfectly fine too), Jurgens is taking his more traditional take into this mini, and it's just as solid as Booster was.
The focus here has shifted however, we're no longer inside Booster Gold's head, but instead we're in that of the mysterious Rip Hunter: Time Master. And of course, Rip is actually Booster's son! Rip has been a great, mysterious character in the DCU all the way since 52, and it's awesome that we're finally getting some glimpses at his own past, and to how he thinks. I certainly hope we begin to get some answers about Rip, it's about time! (Heh, time). Add to this Booster, Skeets, Goldstar, and the return of Supernova and villains Per Degaton and Despero, it's like Jurgens' Booster Gold never went away, and that pleases me. I'm getting to enjoy 2 very different sides of Booster every month, and that's just fine with me, no guilt whatsoever!
Of course, this mini is about more than just Rip Hunter and Booster Gold, it's also a companion piece to Grant Morrison's Return Of Bruce Wayne series, expanding on what Rip, Booster, Green Lantern and Superman get up to in that book. I actually found this aspect to be quite useful in explaining what's going on in Morrison's book. Brilliant though he is, Morrison is often reticent to fully explain just what the hizzle is going on, so it's good that Jurgens is here to cut through the bullshit, if you will. If I did have one complaint it's that Green Lantern and Superman really don't have much to do here, and they seem remarkably ignorant about Time-Travel, but hey, it is Hal Jordan, he's ignorant about age of consent laws!
In the end, this comic is nothing really that special, it's not reinventing the wheel, but it is very enjoyable and well-told. It does what it says on the tin, it's an exploration of cool time-travel conceits, exciting mysteries, and all the odds and sods from DC you never expected to see, such as the last page appearance of Claw, a DC Conan rip-off. I know some reviewers here seem to have a problem with a superhero comic just being a superhero comic, but I see nothing wrong with that, Time Masters is an unassuming gem in DC's roster, I recommend it, and Booster Gold wholeheartedly.
Art - Much like the writing here, Jurgens and Rapmund's art is just strong and dependable superhero art. Strong jaw lines, muscles, good facial expressions. Jurgens isn't very stylish, and his style may not have changed since the Death Of Superman, but I still think it fits the tone of this comic. I think the comics world needs more writer-artists, so it's good to see Jurgens continue to get work.
Best Line - 'So says the man with a ring capable of creating anything from a paper clip to a submarine'