Daily Archives: September 16, 2007

Ray, Ray, Go Away; Come Again Another Day

Countdown Presents the Search for Ray Palmer: Wildstorm #1
“The Search for Ray Palmer: Running Wild”
Writer: Ron Marz
Pencils: Angel Unzueta
Inks: Oliver Nome, Richard Friend, Saleem Crawford & Trevor Scott
Colors: Allen Passalaour
Letters: John J. Hill
Cover artist: Arthur Adams
Editor: Eddie Berganza
Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $2.99 US/$3.65 CAN

DC is offering up several Countdown spinoff books such as this one to introduce readers to some of the parallel earths that make up DC’s resurrected multiverse. It’s not a bad idea, as the high-profile event book is bound to pique the curiosity of readers who have never ventured outside of regular DC continuity. Personally, I was curious to read a story in which the more traditional DC heroes interact with the edgier champions of Jim Lee’s Wildstorm universe. There’s a problem, though: there’s no story here. Ron Marz’s script takes the reader on an uninformative tour of the world of Wildstorm. So there’s no story, next to no information about the Wildstorm characters and no resolution to or advancement of the heroes’ quest. Throw in some loose, distorted artwork and you’ve got the makings of a thoroughly disappointing super-hero comic.

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Quick Critiques – Sept. 16, 2007

Booster Gold #2 (DC Comics)
by Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz, Dan Jurgens & Norm Rapmund

In the past, I’ve often viewed Norm Rapmund as an inker with a gritty, loose style, which works with some stories but not so well with others. With this series, he demonstrates that he can provide clean, crisp inks, leading me to believe the past instances in which I was disappointed with his inking (such as on Jurgens’s pencils for backup features in 52) were the result of rush jobs. Jurgens’s traditional, larger-than-life style shines through here, and Rapmund’s inks don’t darken the storytelling or bring a harsher edge to the visuals. The colors by Hi-Fi further reinforce the sense that this is a straightforward, fun comic book. The writers have happened upon a good use for the title character. Since Booster Gold debuted in the late 1980s, he wasn’t around in early continuity, allowing him to explore it without being “recognized” by better-known characters. Johns and Katz provide a pleasantly accessible script that explains not only early DC history but recent developments such as the “Sinestro Corps War.” There are also minor acknowledgements in the script to lesser-known and less important points of continuity that serve as a payoff for longtime DC readers without alienating new ones. The most entertaining aspect of the book is Booster’s non-violent means to resolve the conflict. The story is undeniably light and fun, and I was entertained. However, I also felt the story was rather inconsequential; that Booster would prevent time from being changed is an unavoidable result. There’s no suspense here. One never feels anything is at risk because the reader knows the writers will end up preserving continuity as it stands. The premise is amusing, but there is that inherent flaw in it as well. 6/10

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