Blue and Gold

Blue and Gold
Blue and Gold graphic novel review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: DC - 978-1-7795-1678-7
  • Release date: 2022
  • UPC: 9781779516787
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: no
  • Positive minority portrayal?: no
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

Blue Beetle and Booster Gold have long been established as a partnership at the less intense end of superheroics, never taken entirely seriously, and undergoing some fluctuations over the years, not least Ted Kord’s death. Still, a couple of continuity revamps later his version of Blue Beetle is back again, alongside his replacement, who also features here.

Dan Jurgens begins, though, with his 1980s creation Booster Gold, whose superhero activities have generally been funded by advertising. That may have dried up, but live streaming to crowdfunders enables a whole new income source. It’s not going quite as well for Ted, whose distinctive flying beetle is trashed in the opening chapter, and he lacks the resources to replace it. Or to cover the rent on the Blue and Gold office for their new venture of superheroes for hire helping out ordinary people.

Blue and Gold reads like a curtailed series, the eight chapters only bringing the characters to the point where they can begin running a business on the final page. Before then their primary concern is a visiting alien princess laying claim to Earth and all on it. This is eventually cleverly exploited by Jurgens, but not before her presence has become repetitive, although he’s sussed enough to include guest spots from several heroes associated with the title characters along the way. He keeps things light and funny with misfortune key, the heroes falling into events rather than being in control at any time, and Jurgens addresses at least one matter from earlier continuity.

DC’s cover credit policy for the art is puzzling. Ryan Sook draws most of the content in a busy, attractive superhero style, the pages somewhat hampered by the necessity of incorporating texted comments throughout. Kevin Maguire earns a cover credit for just a few pages, with Jurgens and Paul Pelletier providing much the same, but Phil Hester’s far greater contribution isn’t considered worth noting on the cover.

Both Blue Beetle and Booster Gold have an enthusiastic following, but seemingly not one large enough to sustain an ongoing series, even when combined. Those fans ought to enjoy this sampling, as should anyone who doesn’t take their superheroes too seriously.