- Booster Gold
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
During my weekly visit to my Local Comic Shop, the store's newest employee waved me over. "You're the Booster Gold guy, aren't you?" she asked. I confirmed that I was. "Tell me," she said, "what did you think about Booster Gold dating Harley Quinn?"
I assume it was this week's Harley Quinn 30th Anniversary Special that prompted her question. (Booster's not in that, by the way. DC doesn't like to put Booster in anniversary issues, presumably because they don't want him stealing the spotlight. They didn't even give him his own anniversary comic when he turned 30, you know. Not that I'm jealous. I'm sure they'll do right by our boy when he turns 40 in 4 years, right? Right?)
Anyway, in answer to the original question, what I said back in 2020 was
On the one hand, if Booster and Harley were real people and not comic book characters, they'd deserve the same chance at happiness as everyone else. Regardless of the fact that she was trying to kill him as recently as a year ago, the pair would still have the right to seek happy, fulfilling romantic relationships regardless of their past history or public opinion. Whatever anyone outside the relationship (read: me) thinks about the suitability of the pairing of a jock from the future and a psychopath's gun moll should be irrelevant to that relationship.
On the other hand, neither Harley nor Booster is a real person. They are comic book characters who have become widely recognized by fans for being in decades-long relationships with other members of their same sex. Booster's relationship with BFF and fellow hero Blue Beetle has always been intimate but canonically platonic, yet the dastardly damsels Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have chosen a more physical relationship. (As is the norm in American popular entertainment, the good guys have to play it straight while the femme fatales enjoy "forbidden" love.) Is it a coincidence that these two standard-bearers of non-traditional relationships were chosen to enter into a gender-conforming heterosexual relationship by publishers, editors, writers, and artists who should be aware of the characters' metatextual associations? I find that hard to believe.
That still pretty much sums up my feelings, especially in the wake of the aforementioned 30th Anniversary Special, which goes way out of its way to lean into the Harley/Ivy romantic/sexual relationship.
That said, my opinion about the issue really isn't that important. But I can think of someone's whose is. (Hint: his initials are "DJ.") I'll have more to say about that in a future post.
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