- Booster Gold
“Duel of Duals”
Volume 1, Issue 15, April 1996
Released February 13, 1996
Cover Price: $1.75
Guide Price: $3.00 (as of 2020)
Writer: Robert Washington III
Penciller: Tom Morgan
Inker: Ken Branch
Colorist: Lee Loughridge
Letterer: Kevin Cunningham
Editor: Ruben Diaz
Heroes: Amazing Man II, Blue Beetle II, Booster Gold, Captain Atom, Firestorm V, Maxima, Wonder Twins
Villains: Ruling Council of Exor, Slavelord
Supporting: Skeets I
Setting: Mount Thunder, DCU, USA, 20th-century
Cover Description: Amazing Man, Firestorm, and Maxima rush towards the Slavelord, who holds a helpless Zan and Jayna. (No Booster Gold.)
Brief Synopsis: The Justice League aids Zan and Jayna in a fight for the future of Booster's armor.
Issue Summary: Reveal Potential Spoilers
Booster Gold's role in this story:
Featured (Booster Gold plays a prominent role)
Costume Worn: MARK X armored power-suit
Page 2, panel 1
Booster Gold, Captain Atom, Firestorm V, and Maxima fly toward the Slavelord, who poses above the helpless Zan and Jayna. Though they are not pictured (probably because they cannot fly), Amazing Man II and Blue Beetle II are nearby. Firestorm calls Zan and Jayna the "Wonder Twins," their collective moniker during their appearances on the animated television show Challenge of the Super-Friends and in the spin-off The Super Friends comic book.
Page 4, panel 1
In 9 out of 12 of the dialogue balloons on this page, Zan, Jayna, and the Slavelord speak in Interlac, the language shared by the Legion of Super-Heroes. For whatever reason, they speak in all capital letters in this issue. Translated from Interlac, Jayna says, "Zan, we can't -- fight--"
Page 4, panel 2
Slavelord (in Interlac): "Be silent! You have forfeited your rights as regent!" Zan: "No. Even you cannot deny us the right of -- harin-kataa."
Page 4, panel 3
Slavelord (in Interlac): "What?! You would dare lay claim to that now?!" Zan: "You would dare to refuse it?" Jayna: "Harin-kataa? Zan, how can we?"
Page 4, panel 4
Zan (in Interlac): "It's the only way we can keep them from the flesh-driver. And what if they decide to take this planet too?" Zan: "We have to -- it's our destiny path."
Page 5, panel 1
Slavelord (in Interlac): "Very well. Be at the foot of this for-mation in one zanton. Bring the Flesh-Driver -- I expect to claim it the instant we demolish you.
Page 5, panel 2
Jayna (in Interlac): "Zan, look -- it's the aliens from before - and one of them has the Flesh-Driver!" Obviously, she is talking to Booster Gold, though he shows no sign of understanding her.
Page 5, panel 4
After Firestorm conjures beer, "the international-lactic language," Jayna says in Interlac, "Think it's a peace offering, like our water ceremony."
Page 5, panel 5
No sooner do the Wonder Twins drink Firestorm's brew than they spit it out. Jayna (in Interlac): "Awp" Zan: "It taste -- horrible! Gack"
Page 7, panel 1
After several false starts at communication, Skeets translates Zan and Jayna's language for the rest of the Justice League. Skeets was able to find the basis for their language within the alien technology of Booster's Mark X armor, which Zan and Jayna call the "Jrxian Flesh-Driver." The Flesh-Driver was never shown other than as a blueprint on Beetle's monitor in Extreme Justice #11, so it is unclear how similar it looked to Booster's classic Mark I armor in its natural state. The modifications cannot be too disfiguring, as Zan and Jayne recognized the armor immediately.
Page 8, panel 1
The origin story that Zan and Jayna relate is a significant departure from the origin of the classic Super Friends as revealed in The Super Friends #14. Prior to Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Super Friends were also Interlac-speaking fugitives from the planet Exor, but they were enslaved circus freaks, not royalty.
Page 9, panel 3
As Zan and Jayna explain about their flight from the planet of Exor, they mention that the Flesh-Driver technology functions off the energy of the Exorian physiology. In essence, the suit kills those who wear it.
Page 10, panel 3
POWER UP: Calming Booster's concerns that the Mark X/Flesh-Driver armor is powered by Booster's life energy, Skeets explains that he is using the energy of from the inert implants installed by Monarch II in Extreme Justice #12 to power the armor at no detriment to Booster.
Page 11, panel 2
The Justice League argues whether they should interfere with the government of Exor in order to prevent the involuntary slavery of their people. Booster is in favor of interceding while Maxima is not. This is a role reversal from the last time the two were considering interfering in interplanetary politics in Justice League America #63, though previously the planet in question was Maxima's native Almerac. In the interest of full disclosure, Booster does mention that his primary concern is keeping his brand-new armor which is the property of Exor.
Page 12, panel 3
Captain Atom explains that this team is interested in taking an aggressively pro-active stand for justice. After 14 meandering issues under their belt, the Justice League West finally has a direction four issues before its cancellation. Better late than never, I suppose.
Page 15, panel 3
In order to free the Zan, Jayna, and the Flesh-Driver from the ruling council of Exor, Amazing Man, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Captain Atom, Firestorm, and Maxima join Zan and Jayna in a dangerous game of Red Rover with super powers. Opposing the Justice League is the ruling council of Exor, made up of four pairs of twins.
Page 17, panel 3
Vapor Elemental (in Interlac): "Your babbling is as meaningless as your struggles."
Page 20, panel 3
Skeets initiates the "Midas Protocol" to access and manipulate Monarch's implants for Booster's offensive use. Skeets uses the implants to summon a solid gold suit of armor, save for Booster's iconic blue star, with tentacles and laser canons for Booster's use against the Exorians. King Midas was a character in Greek mythology renowned for turning all he touched into gold.
Boosterrific Review: Action? Aliens? Alcohol? Average.
Boosterrific Rating: Gold Standard.
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