Tuesday, April 30, 2013

All Star Western #19

Booster Gold making the most minimal effort to adopt the look of the current culture and time.

I suppose we'll find out if this is the Booster Gold that disappeared at the end of Justice League International Annual #1 but I'm hoping it's actually Booster Gold before he arrived in the New 52 "present". Maybe he's dressed up Skeets in a raccoon outfit and he's going from town to town solving mysteries. Or maybe he's busy recruiting for a super team made up of heroes from across time. Or else he's desperately trying to graduate from San Dimas High.

What I like about this issue is that the big surprise cover doesn't instantly expect you to ignore it as the story inside gets underway. Unlike some of the other covers that blow their wad on the cover and expect that moment to also be a surprise reveal on the final page (like Katana!), All Star Western begins with Booster Gold confronting Jonah Hex.

I suddenly feel tempted to stick Ted Kord's Blue Beetle face over Jonah Hex's face in every panel.

Hex and Gold! The new comedy super team! I think Booster Gold has finally found the man to replace his forever best friend Ted Kord. Maybe Booster can even convince Jonah Hex to wear the Blue Beetle outfit and they can head back to the present where a bunch of wacky hijinks will ensue. Jonah Hex might kill a lot of people instead of cracking jokes but that's kind of funny if written in the right way! Maybe Booster Gold can time travel Jonah Hex to the moment just before Ted Kord gets his head blown off and Jonah Hex can blow out Maxwell Lord's brains instead! Then Ted Kord and Jonah Hex can both run around in Blue Beetle costumes while Booster Gold designs a new costume that won't clearly show his penis constantly erect from the sheer bliss of having his forever best friend back!

I keep getting lost in my own fantasies of the way I think DC Comics should be. I imagine if I was creative director at DC, the company would go bankrupt in three years. It would take three years because that's how long the company would be able to stay in business supported by all of the Teen Titans, Superboy, and Catwoman fans continuing to buy my crazy stories in the hopes that they'll one day return to the characters they were before I ruined them by turning them into cupcake swilling philosophers that spend most of their time discussing the benefits of rice paper while drinking tea in hip cafes or cheap beer in sleazy bars. Technically before Scott Lobdell and Tom DeFalco and Ann Nocenti ruined them!

Amadeus Arkham would be so jealous right now.

Looks like Booster Gold found a new friend and Jonah Hex found a new pain in the ass. Jonah seems to think it was the Clem Hootkins Gang what shot these poor folks down. Booster Gold will probably need to deputize Jonah Hex since Booster needs somebody willing to shoot a gun to help hunt down these killers.

I wonder where Skeets is? Since the only appearance Skeets has made in The New 52 was one panel of Stormwatch, I'm willing to bet that was a mistake and Skeets doesn't actually exist in The New 52. So I guess it's a good thing that time was rewritten in the Stormwatch comic book so that moment no longer happened. Although fixing an appearance by Skeets that never should have happened by rewriting the entire timeline is like cleaning up spilled milk with a flamethrower. Sure, nobody is going to yell at you for having spilled the milk but now what are you going to do with all the burnt baby corpses? DC loves extravagant fixes to relatively innocuous problems.

Not that I think the Stormwatch Magenta Timeline thing had anything to do with Skeets! But it could have!

The Clem Hootkins Gang looks like an illustration from a 1970s text book trying to be more inclusive with its representation.

Except they forgot the female Asian and nobody is laughing.

On second thought, they look more like the back-up judges for The House of Secrets. This is the crew that deals with the really nasty dirty horrible secrets instead of the uppity white bullshit secrets that the other fancy judges preside over.

While Booster Gold is off palling around with Jonah Hex, the Clem Hootkins Gang kills everyone in Booster's town while robbing the bank. And then they blow the town to hell on the way out because this is the type of gang that has a crazy guy who walks around with dynamite strapped to him. The Fictional Old West was a dangerous place! I think the only thing that kept this kind of thing from happening in the real Old West was the instability of nitroglycerin! Gangs like this would have exploded mere seconds after the first "Giddyup!" or "Let's ride!" was shouted.

That's usually the kind of information Skeets would feed to Booster! I guess Booster doesn't need a Skeets if he can remember this stuff himself. Maybe he has some kind of Skeets implant in the Reboot.

Jonah Hex plans on taking a night off before chasing after the Hootkins Gang and killing them all. Booster wants to tag along and Jonah agrees if Booster tells him how he knows so much about Jonah Hex's history. So Booster Gold tells him his story of time travel and Batmen.

Actually, the story is about the previous sheriff and only includes Booster right at the end when he mysteriously appears from out of time to witness the sheriff's murder. So the story included no actual time travel and no actual Batmen. But I only lied as much as any DC Comic Book cover might have to sell issues!

The part I don't believe is the part where the townsfolk accept this weirdo as their new sheriff.

And so they head off to find the Clem Hootkins Gang, Jonah nicely buzzed and Booster Gold completely hungover. This should go well.

The back-up Stormwatch story is about Cody Barrow, Master Gunfighter! He's apparently DC's version of Blade but he uses pistols instead of, you know, blades. He was bitten by a vampire but didn't turn which is what I basically just said in the previous sentence. Now he hunts down vampires and other hellbeasts which is basically what I said two sentences ago. He's also like the Lone Ranger because he uses silver bullets! Oh my God! The Lone Ranger's main job must have been ridding the Old West of werewolves! That's why Tonto helped him do that since Werewolves were probably just Skin-walkers which were Native American witches! Perhaps Tonto was along to try to help the skin-walkers and then The Lone Ranger was there to put them down if it came to that.

So Cody Barrow saves a group of women pioneers from an attack by outlaws and then from an attack by werewolves. And when he's saved all that he can, Cody is approached by Adam One to join (or rejoin!) Stormwatch.

All Star Western #19 Rating: +1 Ranking. Booster Gold is a fitting replacement for Amadeus Arkham. For now! I hope Amadeus rejoins Jonah after Booster Gold time travels into the Demon Knight comic book.

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