It finally happened. Depending on how you count, it's either been months or years since Booster Gold and Blue Beetle have had a team-up on the page, and HEROES IN CRISIS #4 just brought us one in full, glorious color, right here in the main DC Universe. And, boy oh boy, it feels great to see Blue and Gold back in action, dire circumstances notwithstanding.
Okay, sure, maybe Booster being potentially guilty of mass murder is a little more than a dire circumstance, but you know what I mean, right?
And if you couldn't already tell, we're going into spoiler territory for Heroes in Crisis #4 here, so proceed with caution from here on out!
Anyway, Ted and Booster are back in action for the first time in quite some time. Ironically, if you're in the "months" camp, the last time we saw them on the page together was Tom King's other major 2018 work, MISTER MIRACLE, which he created alongside Mitch Gerads. It's hard to know for certain whether or not Mister Miracle actually took place in the "real" DC Universe (if you’ve read it, you know what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t…well, why haven’t you?), but it did feature Ted, Booster and Scott Free all hanging out together to relive the good ol' days of the Justice League International.
For those of you not quite in the know vis-a-vis JLI history, that particular run of stories from the late ’80s into the early ’90s is where much of the Blue and Gold love stems from. Immediately after CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, the Justice League was rebuilt from the ground up featuring a brand-new roster that Ted and Booster found themselves a part of. The team was considerably less…um, epic than teams in the past and featured a whole lot more infighting and bickering between familiar faces like Black Canary, Shazam and Guy Gardner. Ted and Booster helped provide some of that trademark levity by...well, being Ted and Booster.
From there, things were really off to the races and the Blue and Gold dynamic duo became hugely important to both of their characters for the majority of the ’90s into the ’00s, until Ted was brutally killed in the build-up to INFINITE CRISIS. Then, obviously, some reboots happened, some resurrections took place, some timelines got shifted and now, here we are, in the Rebirth era with both Ted and Booster alive and good as new. It's just taken a while, even after DC UNIVERSE: REBIRTH #1, for the two of them to find each other again.
There's your background info, now let's jump back to the issue at hand. Booster took the "lasso" test, and he believes he didn't murder everyone in Sanctuary. But that doesn't actually mean he's innocent, just that he's convinced himself he didn't kill anyone. Luckily, that's enough for Ted to swing in and try to intervene, staging what might be the most overblown (and probably ill-advised) jailbreak from the Hall of Justice ever. I won't sugar coat it. Ted probably just got his friend into way, way more trouble than he was already in, but I can't even begrudge him for it. Jumping into the fray without a plan and little to no concern for the consequence is kind of the Blue and Gold motto.
So, that's one thing to worry about—though, honestly, it'll probably be a while before the Trinity can even get to that particular concern on their to-do list. Lois has officially broken the Sanctuary story as she's been getting tipped off thanks to the mysterious "Puddlers," and now, the whole world has total access to some of our heroes’ most personal dirty laundry.
Talk about a nightmare scenario.
I'm honestly probably less worried about this particular incident than the Trinity is, if only because I have the sneaking suspicion that, ultimately, the public knowing about Sanctuary might actually be for the better. I know it's obviously the worst-case situation in just about everyone's minds right now, and it flagrantly violates everyone's privacy, but at the end of the day, I think a bit of a wake-up call for civilians is kind of in order. After all, it's not very often we see the non-cape-and-cowl crowd really stop to consider just what the emotional and mental cost of the hero business actually might be. Seeing just what's at stake here, in the starkest, most brutally honest way possible, for so many people might be a bit of an eye opener.
Though, obviously, the opposite might be true too, and this whole situation might really just be a top tier disaster for every single person involved.
At the very least, we've got Harley and Babs teaming up on the case, and for as left-of-center a duo as they might be at first glance, I really think they might be the key to getting things done here. Arguably, they're two of the smartest people in Gotham, and while they've obviously got their (major) differences, they could be a deductive force to be reckoned with. Maybe. Hopefully.
Look, I'm clearly excited for Blue and Gold, but let's be realistic. If only one of this issue's new teams is going to make an actual difference, it's probably not going to be them. Sorry, boys. I still love you, but maybe let the girls handle this one.
HEROES IN CRISIS #4 by Tom King, Clay Mann and Tomeu Morey is now available in print and as a digital download.
Meg Downey covers movies, TV and comics for DCComics.com, and writes about Batman each month in her column, "Gotham Gazette." She's also a regular contributor to the Couch Club, our weekly television column. Follow her on Twitter at @rustypolished.