- Booster Gold
Friday, November 5, 2021
Up front, let me say that I bought two copies of the first issue of Human Target, one by Greg Smallwood — showing Booster Gold's fist! — and one by Hairsine, Miki and Beredo — showing Booster Gold's leg! (I like to think of them as parts of a "Build-A-Figure" cover.) Having read the issue, I do not regret that decision.
However, that should not mean that I'm ready to endorse the story based on the first issue alone. I am on record as no fan of Tom King's storytelling, especially in reference to the way he handles Booster Gold. It is very clear that King and I have very different interpretations of the character (and most of the other inhabitants of the DC Universe).
Earlier this week, King was interviewed by Jenna Anderson for comicbook.com, and he explained why he chose the Justice League International for his story:
"What Giffen and DeMatteis put into these characters, they all feel very fleshed out," King added. "They all feel very real. When you picture them in your head, you just see that Kevin Maguire face looking up at you. They're very easy and very fun to write. The thing I most love to do in comics is to take silly ideas seriously and find the depths in them, and that concept was all over this — the idea that these little silly flaws that are implanted in these characters actually show real heart and real depth. Like I wrote this thing for Booster, why Booster's good. And the idea is, Human Target expressed my opinion on Booster as 'Booster is a joke. He makes mistakes all the time, but he doesn't hide them. He shows himself. He is himself. Booster is Booster. Yeah, he's a joke, but everyone is. At least Booster's funny.' That kind of stuff is incredibly fun to do. These characters have such potential — each one of them could launch their own series."
Ahem. Almost all of them have launched a series. Or two. Or more.
I have to admit, I can kind of see where King is coming from calling Booster "a joke." Yes, he has some terrible ideas, and yes, he takes advantage of his friends, and he even occasionally misjudges his own abilities. But those traits could just as easily describe Batman.
Maybe it's my incredible dissatisfaction with the way King depicted Booster Gold during his run on Batman or my anger at the horrible handling of the promotion and resolution of Heroes in Crisis that make me suspicious that Booster will be treated badly by Human Target. But at least I can rest assured that this will be the last time King will use Booster in a story, right?
King continued. "Booster Gold [is] my favorite character to write in all of fiction — who is always trying to do good, and always slipping on the banana peel."
Grr. You can't always get what you want. Sometimes, you can't even get what you need.
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