- Booster Gold
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS (PSAs)
In 1992, DC Comics produced a series of public service announcements featuring DC Universe heroes addressing the global AIDS epidemic. In one of these PSAs, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle are upbraided by teammate Fire for their ignorance and insensitivity. Based on Fire's costume, this encounter would presumably take place just prior to Justice League America #67, 1992, (cover dated October 1992). Time-traveler Booster Gold is notably polishing his costume with Shinola, an obsolete brand of shoe-polish, long out of production by the 1990s. This is an allusion to the popular American idiom that someone “doesn't know shit from Shinola,” an insult denouncing the subject's intelligence. Clearly, the artist is indicating that Booster is foolish in his lack of understanding of the spread of AIDS.
These ads were rerun one year later, but with different art. Based on Booster's costume, this encounter would presumably take place immediately prior to Justice League America #86, 1994, (cover dated March 1994). In the time between the two ads, both Booster Gold and Fire had lost their original powers at the hands of Doomsday. While it makes less sense that Fire would shout Booster and Beetle out of their seats than blast them out with heat, the Shinola gag works better, as now Booster is shining a metal costume with his Shinola.
Credit to the now-defunct PoliteDissent.com for originally featuring this psa.
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