OK, so here's my first shot at the Review Group:
BOOSTER GOLD 39 -- wherein J.M. DeMatteis reminds me why he's been my single favorite comics writer for going on 30 years
So in a book that's been up to this point all about Booster growing up, accepting a new role, a new outlook on life, herodom, and himself, we finally get to the point where he accepts something else as well, and continues his growth into maturity. Looking back, this book could probably have always been subtitled "Chasing Ted"...that's really been as much what it's been about as anything else. From Booster using that as his quid pro quo request to Rip in exchange for working with him in the first arc, through the entirety of the "Blue & Gold" arc, all the way up to now with Giffen & JMD's run showcasing the classic duo, Booster has been refusing to let his friend go. Whether trying to bring him back or just trying to visit him, Booster may have accepted his death, but he's never really accepted his death. And this issue he finally allows himself to find real closure, coming to terms with his grief and the way things are.
And while this is a type of story we've seen in different books with different heroes a thousand times or more, issues like these are still not easy to portray in 4-color comics about guys in spandex who beat the crap out of each other. They just aren't...most writers aren't adept enough at handling emotions and concepts this complex without running headlong into maudlinity or saccharineness or just plain bad writing. JMD, however, is. From his work in Marvel Team-Up and Kraven's Last Hunt through Moonshadow and beyond, he has always shown an ability to convey these types of emotions and really let the reader feel what the character feels, while not falling into the trap of rolleyes elicitation. And while Giffen is of course co-plotter/co-story guy for this stuff, it's JMD as always who handles the actual words (or lack thereof) that makes this issue sing: he knows when to go funny, when to go corny/cliche, and when to just shut up and let the pictures do the talking, all in service to the story he wants to tell. In particular, Booster's final gaze over the city skyline and his moment of grief release at the cemetery are absolute winners. But throughout, we also get supporting cast humor and charcterization, wrap-up of ongoing plots, and introduction/continuation of subplots, reminding us that this is actually an ongoing book with lots of other stuff going on.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention Batista's art: very clean, very classic superhero stuff, but surprisingly good at conveying the heavy emotional moments in the book as well, selling the gut-punches equally as well as the belly-laughs.
It's not a perfect issue by a long shot, but it is perfectly good at being what it is: enjoyable, well-written, and moving.
rdrsfn82 wrote:Chap is right.
john lewis wrote:I got nothing but respect for [Chap]
jsalwen wrote:You're the man, Chap.
DMM wrote:Chap knows what he's talking about.
MoneyMelon wrote:chap is right about pretty much everything
GOSD wrote:chap FTW!
Ntikrst wrote:Chap's right
oogy wrote:All those quotes in your sig ain't lying.