Bored while Rip Hunter carries out time bubble repairs, Booster steps back to the 1950s, gets involved with some old DC characters and tackles a dastardly Soviet plot. Along the way there's clever plotting, snappy dialogue and a wonderful in-joke I really should have seen coming.
Vague enough for you? This fill-in, written by Keith Giffen and illustrated by Pat Olliffe and Norm Rapmund (with Dan Jurgens and Rodney Ramos providing the bookend art), is full of little surprises that add up to a very satisfying one-shot. Giffen eschews the time tinkering and paradox prevention that has been this title's stock in trade for a straightforward sortie into comics' rich past. It's refreshing, and the direction in which I'd like to see DC take this book - give us a break from the Byzantine plots and follow the direct route to adventure.
The Olliffe/Rapmund artwork is unflashy but does the job nicely, the only tweak I'd make would be to flesh out Booster's face - he's a tad thin throughout. The Cold War characters, though, look terrific and I'd rather like to see DC set at least a mini series back then and put this creative team on it.
All in all, this is an intelligent, fun issue showing once more that Keith Giffen is the go-to guy to keep your books on track, in style.