The 52 Book Club: Week Seven

Hello everybody and welcome to a new installment of the 52 Book Club, where in celebration of it’s 15th anniversary, each week we read an issue of the acclaimed weekly series!

This week, as you can see from the top, we’re reading issue seven, which as I recall has the first appearance of a certain fiesty redhead that’s become a hit sensation since…

Starfire, Adam Strange and Animal Man attempt to escape from their planet prison, and Booster Gold’s shady actions finally catch up with him. The action heats up in Week 7 of the real-time series by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid!


Looking forward to hearing your thoughts! :smiley:


Ok, I nominate this club for “easiest club to participate in 2021!” These puppies read FAST! That may be because I ignore the “history” lesson in the back of each come to think of it lol.

This particular “short story” touches more than a few times on one of the essential ingredients that make any piece of fiction (or even non fiction) writing compelling and engaging: the “why”, the motiviations behind the key character’s / protagonists / antagonists actions- why are they who they are?

First up: Booster Gold. I’ve been following this guy since he appeared in Justice League back in the '80s. He was part of the genius of the DeMatteis / Giffen / K Maguire comedic combo. No one read that series for the deep complex plotlines or gripping storylines, but we sure shelled out cash for the high entertainment value of the comedy like when not so bright Booster and Beetle decide to use their fame to start up a holiday resort on a south pacific island.

This Booster Gold isn’t too far removed from that goof He is after all an escaped criminal from the future, and while he’s toned down some of his narcissism a tad, he isn’t going to suddenly be someone else. Like all of us, if suddenly caught in an unexpected tsunami of fame and money, folly often will follow at least for a time, it’s part of the human condition. That’s how I see Booster here.

What’s actually not great is how Booster is portrayed later in his own series. I spent cash on that too, but only followed along because of the plot lines, not by how he was portrayed. He went from self-centered “I get what I reap” goofiness to a straight ahead hero guy.
I have no idea what to say about how he was portrayed recently in that Batman two parter, it was just not my fav for sure.

Anyway, on to the others briefly viewed in this issue; I’m not seeing any great backstory / motivation yet for Kate Kane. I realize there’s some great storylines later in New 52 etc showing a newly-revealed history that add up nicely, but as we see her here, not so much.

Renee is very nicely written, very very believable. The touch of self-awareness that still doesn’t stop her self-destructive ways is all too real, probably most of us have toxic behaviours / habits we know hurt ourself and others but we just can’t quite find the way to stop, or just don’t want to because of deep anger issues etc.

Panel of the day for this one:

So, a brief read, lots to think about, again, congrats on being the “quick stop” book club!!!

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It’s been a while since I read the Johns Booster run but I can maybe see the thought being that the events of 52 forced Booster to grow up a bit, but maybe they stretched it a little far. I remember liking that run if only for the “hero no one knows about” concept and the ways it played with continuity.

I think what wouldn’t help is that around this time Geoff Johns I think was mostly strong at world-building and continuity, but in terms of characterization, his characters in this period were kinda bland at times. Like, people didn’t read Green Lantern because his Hal Jordan was all that compelling, they read it for the mystery of all the different color corps forming. I think Johns saw this and started to work at that around the time the New 52 started, which I think made his runs all the stronger for it.

And it’s interesting to me that you’re not a fan of what King did with Booster in his stories and also not a fan of the Johns run. I find it’s usually the Johns’ fans and the more mature Booster who hate what King did with him the most because they feel like it’s a regression of where the character was.

Yeah, this definitely feels like a prototype to the Kate Kane we’ll grow to love here. In a way, she feels more like a sultry femme fatale than the rockabilly soldier, though that might partly be because Renee is playing the role of the disgraced cop turned gumshoe private eye that’s a popular noir trope.

I will say that Kate came out (no pun intended) a little earlier than the New 52. Her solo series in Detective after Bruce’s “death” shows her more as the Kate we know now, tattoos and vampire skin and all. They even lampshade this issue and her showing up in a fancy dress saying it was by her stepmother’s choice. When she goes to a fancy party again in her Detective run, she wears something more distinctly her:

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