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Monday, October 31, 2022

Trick or Treat

© DC Comics

Happy Halloween, Booster boosters. Please resist the temptation to eat all your candy at once!

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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

This Day in History: Time Out

Remember that time when the powers-that-be at DC decided to scrap (almost) their entire shared universe for another, new shared universe of unfamiliar characters in familiar costumes?

Yeah, okay. That's a little vague. We *are* talking about DC here.

Specifically, I'm talking about the relaunch 12 years ago, the "New 52." If you'll recall, sales were down, and something had to be done to goose them. That something was determined to be a line-wide reboot. However, before a new universe could be launched, the pre-existing universe had to be canceled. Which is how Booster Gold #47, released on this day in 2011, became the final issue of that series.

Sadly, it's not a very good comic book.

Most of the story deals with Booster's tragic but inconsequential misadventures in the Flashpoint alternate universe with doomed Alexandra Gianopoulos — all drawn by a fill-in artist who seems to be operating under an unforgivingly tight deadline.

But the issue ends with a Dan Jurgens-drawn coda teasing that perhaps Booster had returned to the mainstream DCU in time to continue his story in the incoming New 52 Universe, where all DC characters would be wearing new costumes designed by Jim Lee.

© DC Comics

© DC Comics

It would be four more years before it was clarified that the New 52 Booster Gold (introduced the following month in Dan Jurgens-written Justice League International #1) and the original, post-Crisis on Infinite Earths Booster Gold were not actually the same entity at all. (All was revealed in 2015's Convergence Booster Gold.)

It's that sort of confusion that made the New 52 such a frustrating experience for longtime fans. If the creative teams don't know what the new rules are, how can the readers?

Frankly, over a decade later, I'm still irritated. The less said about Booster Gold #47, the better.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: costumes dan jurgens jim lee new 52

Monday, July 18, 2022

New Release: DC Vs. Vampires: All-Out War 1

If you've bought a physical copy of a DC Comic published in the last two weeks, you've probably seen this:

© DC Comics

If you've been looking forward to it, tomorrow is the day. has the preview.

It should also be noted that DC's latest reprint of 52, the "Omnibus Hardcover 2022 Edition," is also due out this week for a paltry $175. I was going to make fun of that price, but on second thought, maybe I should bite the bullet and buy this. My original comics are getting awfully worn out from repeated readings.

Buy a Booster Gold comic and make Skeets happy.

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Friday, May 20, 2022

I Should Have Mentioned This Sooner

On Monday, I linked to a CBR interview with Dark Crisis writer Joshua Williamson. When I wrote that post, I didn't realize that Williamson had already tweeted Ethan Young's alternate cover for Dark Crisis #3 which features Blue and Gold:

© DC Comics
No front-facing camera, Harley? Is that an iPhone 3?

That group is what CBR called the "Not Really" Justice League that Jon Kent will form in the wake of the Justice League's apparent death in Justice League #75. Williamson's tweet emphasizes "THERE IS NO JUSTICE LEAGUE." Given the League's history, that sounds especially ominous.

Longtime Booster boosters may recall that in the absence of a Justice League following the events of Infinite Crisis, Firehawk organized a new, self-proclaimed Justice League during the year-long 52. It lasted 18 pages before being defeated and disgraced... by Skeets.

© DC Comics
See, a wormhole had opened in present-day Metropolis and a swarm of pirates had just descended on the city streets....
In hindsight, that probably should have been a job for Superman.

(Technically, that new League was thwarted by Skeets' corporeal body but not its consciousness, although that opens a whole 'nother can of unresolved worms about whether or not Skeets is truly sentient. But I digress.)

Of course, Firehawk's team didn't have a Booster Gold, much less two Blue Beetles. (And they presumably won't have to fight Skeets.) So maybe Superman Jr's team will have better luck against the all-consuming evil that effortlessly disintegrated Superman, Wonder Woman, and Martian Manhunter among others.

I wish the Not Really Justice League all the luck when Dark Crisis #3 drops this August. They're going to need it.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: 52 blue beetle dark crisis ethan young firehawk joshua williamson

Friday, February 25, 2022

The Most Important Thing You Will Read Today

I was surfing the web this week (when I should have been working — that's what the web is for, right?), and I happened to see the following in the article about the Golden Age comic character Funnyman:

DC comics featured a cameo of the character in the series "52", as one of the heroes carrying the coffin of Booster Gold.

First, a little background on Funnyman, a very late and even more obscure entry in the Golden Age of heroes. Here he is making his first public appearance in Funnyman #1 from Magazine Enterprises Inc, January 1948:

© Magazine Enterprises Inc

So far as origin stories go, that certain is one.

If you've heard of Funnyman at all, it probably has nothing to do with his heroic takedown of rivals Laffman and Comicman. No, it's probably because of who his parents were: Funnyman was the final comic book collaboration of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the same guys who came up with Superman.

Super heroes were out of vogue by the late 40s, and Funnyman failed to find an audience. He disappeared for decades, only returning in 1977 to make a brief cameo in his civilian identity, Larry Davis, for a celebrity telethon for DC Comics' The Super Friends #5:

© DC Comics
words by E. Nelson Bridwell, art by Ramona Fradon, Bob Smith, Jerry Serpe, Milton Snappin

I see what you did there, Superman.

I recently read that issue of The Super Friends (as reprinted in the Showcase Presents: Super Friends collection), and that's what brought me to look at the Fandom Superfriends wiki.

Which is wrong.

As presented in 52 Week 18 way back in 2006, the scene of Booster Gold's funeral was a sad affair that looked like this:

© DC Comics

As you can see, in addition to mild-mannered newspaper reporter Clark Kent, the only heroes in attendence were his pallbearers, a motley group of fringe players hired by Skeets. Those heroes were, in order by their position on the casket:

  • Mind-Grabber Kid (first appearance Justice League of America #70, 1969)
  • Beefeater (first appearance Justice League Europe #20, 1990)
  • Odd Man (first appearance Detective Comics #487, 1979)
  • Blimp (first appearance Showcase #62, 1966)
  • Yellow Peri (first appearance The New Adventures of Superboy #34, 1982)
  • Honest Abe (making his debut appearance)

Though he certainly fits the theme of an obscure superhero with a silly gimmick and a desire for greater recognition, Funnyman is definitely not among the bunch.

Which is probaby a good thing. Funerals don't have much use for comedians.

© Magazine Enterprises Inc

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