Superman and Booster Gold find themselves back on Earth in Action Comics #995. However, it’s not the time period they intended, as Skeets reveals. They are in the 25th Century, the time period of Booster Gold’s origin.
Despite that, Booster and Superman’s presence could still impact the time stream, so they must behave with caution. This will be difficulty, as John Michael Carter is a fugitive in his native time, and the Eradicator robot is still active.
After what honestly felt like a bit of pointless faffing about in Action Comics #994, it’s good to see this story getting back on track somewhat. We’re still fairly removed from the mystery of Jor-El and Mr. Oz, but this issue brings the characters back to the forefront instead of painting a short-lived hypothetical world wherein Jor-El and General Zod are buddies.
Superman, still apprehensive of Booster Gold and even more so upon learning that he stole his costume and Time Sphere, is made to understand Michael Carter a bit more with the help of Skeets.
Being a fan of Booster Gold, it’s nice to see him validated somewhat in the eyes of the Man of Tomorrow. Superman’s admittedly strict moralism being impacted by the story of Booster Gold, Michael’s own father issues, and what he has done with the equipment he stole is a warm moment in this story.
It becomes a story about fathers and how parentage can affect us. That is far from a new premise in superhero comics; the origin stories of our greatest heroes are often littered with dead or deadbeat parents.
Superman’s isn’t completely, though (dead Kryptonians, but Ma and Pa Kent lived to raise this incarnation of Clark), and that is one of the things that helped set Superman apart. He is made to understand how Michael’s dad sent Booster on a different path.
It’s an uplifting issue for Booster Gold, and it even changes Superman’s perceptions of the world a little. There’s also a bit of heartbreak followed by a heart-warming moment for Michael Carter.
That being said, this comic does have some pacing issues, and the forward motion feels very unfocused. The book wanders onward, not entirely sure where all it wants to go in this issue beyond making Superman respect Booster Gold. Like I said earlier, the mystery of Jor-El and Oz is pretty far off at this point.
Brett Booth’s artwork is a welcome addition to this comic. His distinctive and high-energy style fits Action Comics like a glove. The fight between Superman and the Eradicator drone is all the more awesome for his work. Norm Rapmund’s inking is quite good, too, and Andrew Dalhouse’s color art sets the tone and atmosphere very well.
Action Comics #995 brought this story back into my good graces. While it is a little disappointing that it hasn’t concluded, and the story feels a little meandering at times, its focus on character histories and development makes it a book worth reading. Plus, Booth, Rapmund, and Dalhouse make it a great-looking comic. I recommend this one. Pick it up.
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