- Booster Gold
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Friday, January 1, 2021
Like my favorite super hero, I'm planning to start the year watching my alma mater play football. In the meantime, I present for your nostalgic enjoyment the 5 most-read Boosterrific.com blog posts of 2020, presented in ascending order of hits:
5. Monday, April 6: This Day in History: Without Great Power
In which we revisited Booster Gold's participation in Justice League Europe #50, his first taste of superheroic action after losing his powersuit to Doomsday. Say what you will about his motivations, but Booster Gold's got guts.
4. Friday, March 13: That Time Booster Gold Defeated a Disease
In which we took at look at the events of Booster Gold Volume 1 #17 in light of the pandemic that was sweeping the globe. Conclusion: an impenetrable force field is better than a vaccine.
3. Monday, October 26: The Strong and Silent Type
In which I improved Superman & Batman Magazine #8 by cutting out most panels that don't include Booster Gold. Sorry, I couldn't do anything about that bulky 1990s power suit.
2. Monday, November 9: Two of a Kind: Shattered and Forged
In which we clear up the confusion surrounding DC's announcements of Generations: Shattered and Generations: Future State comic books. Hint: they're the same book. Or, at least we think they are. We'll be more certain when we finally have the book in our hands next week.
1. Friday, December 18: The Best of Booster Gold: Action Comics 995
In which we conclude our year-long series of the 12 best Booster Gold comics. (Maybe those clickbait comic book listicle sites are onto something.)
Let's make 2021 another Boosterrific year!
Friday, December 18, 2020
December brings us to end of our list of the twelve best Booster Gold comics. We've come full circle.
In the second entry on the list, 1986's Booster Gold #6, Skeets reveals Booster Gold's origin story to Superman for the first time. Thirty two years and several continuity reboots later, some things haven't changed. In our final entry, 2016's Action Comics #995, Skeets once again reveals Booster Gold's origin story to Superman.
Booster's creator Dan Jurgens took partial inspiration for Booster's origin from the Silver Age adventures of Superman. In this issue, he expands their connection by exploring the difference between the upbringing of the two characters. How much credit do their parents deserve for setting them on their respective heroic journeys? (Hint: a lot.)
The entire issue is rife with this sort of parallelism.
The story starts with Superman confronted by a Kryptonian policeman, the Eradicator, and it ends with Booster hunted by 25th-century federal agent Broderick (last seen in the excellent Booster Gold #18). Despite the comparable situations, Superman is seen as history's greatest hero while Booster Gold is considered nothing more than a criminal. Perception is reality, even in comic books.
By the way, since we're keeping track of such things, in their first meeting, Superman taught Booster Gold about the responsibility of using his super powers in Booster Gold #7. This time around, it's Booster's turn to explain the rules. I love that.
Perhaps the best thing about this issue is among its least consequential. The first time we visited this story, Booster's mother had died believing her son was a failure. It was long overdue that Ma Carter finally learn her only son would go on to become one of history's greatest heroes.
I think you can see why I include Action Comics #995 on my list of the twelve best Booster Gold comics.
And those twelve are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many more great Booster Gold comics to discover, and hopefully many more to come in the years ahead.
Here's to Booster Gold forever.
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Yesterday, I woke to an email from Booster booster Logan Peterson, who had spotted Booster Gold making a cameo appearance at the end of Batman Beyond #47 in anticipation of his guest-starring role next month!
Well, if Batman doesn't exist, DC will be out of comic books, so you'd better get to work, Booster.
Is it just me, or is it starting to seem that Booster Gold has a new role in the DCnU as the harbinger of series cancellation? He showed up as the new boyfriend of Harley Quinn just in time for that series to be canceled. Before that, he played a key role in Action Comics immediately prior to all the storylines of that series being abandoned to whatever it was that Brian Michael Bendis wanted to do. And now he's guest starring in Batman Beyond, a series already announced to be canceled at issue #50 in December.
The Justice League currently has its hands full with Perpetua and Laughing Batman, but maybe they should be more worried about Booster Gold, who may soon be coming to end an ongoing series near them.
Anyway, thanks for the info, Logan. Everyone buy that issue and make Skeets happy!
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
What makes a hero super? The super powers! From awesome strength to zero-to-sixty speed, great superpowers are the most useful tricks in every famous costumed crime-fighter's tool kit. Michael Jon Carter knew this, and that's why he started his career with energy blasting Booster Shots.
At the outset of his super-heroic career, Booster Gold knew he would need offensive weapons to defeat the forces of evil. That is why, given his choice of many amazing inventions housed in the Space Museum, he selected wrist-mounted Energy Blasters.
In Booster Gold #6 (1986), Skeets tells Superman that they stole "gloves and control bands that were once worn by an alien menace." The true identity of this "alien menace" has never been clarified in any of Booster's published adventures, but Superman may have a clue. The technology may be alien, but it was crafted into powerful gauntlets by none other than Superman's oldest foe, Lex Luthor!
Lex has been wearing specially tailored suits to fight Superman since Superman #282 (1974). His purple and green suits soon became his trademark. Super genius that he is, Lex kept his suit's tool belt stocked with to whatever inventions he would need for the specific crime he was committing. Those tools included such classics as jet boots, robot controls, finger-mounted gravity casters, age-regressing omega barriers, age-restoring pills, and, of course, enough pockets for forty cakes.
However, none of that was enough to defeat The Man of Steel, so in Action Comics #544 (1983), Luthor fled Earth for the planet Lexor, named in his honor. (For an explanation of how an entire planet could consider a creep like Lex Luthor a hero, see "The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman!" in 1963's Superman #164.) Lexor had once been home to a race of advanced scientists, and Luthor adapted their technology into a "warsuit" that would allow him to defeat Superman once and for all. Or so he hoped.
The new power suit was indeed a considerable upgrade over what came before. Its energy gauntlets were so strong, they could destroy space-going vessels with a single blast. Alas, it was not powerful enough to make Luthor Superman's equal. It was, however, powerful enough to accidentally destroy Lexor (and Luthor's wife and child along with it). With great power can come great regrets.
Superman vowed to destroy the warsuit once and for all in Superman Annual #12 (published in 1986 but set in pre-Crisis, Silver Age continuity). How it survived to make its way from the 20th century to the 25th-century Space Museum will likely always remain a mystery, but we don't have to wonder whether they were the one and the same thanks to the original pencils from Booster Gold #6 included in the superb collection Booster Gold: the Big Fall.
Since returning to the 20th century, Booster Gold has integrated the power gauntlets into his crime-fighting arsenal. Renaming them "Booster Shots," he has used them as his primary weapon in his eternal quest to rid the multiverse of those who would destroy it. If there were any left, the citizens of Lexor would be proud.
Friday, November 15, 2019
What makes a hero super? The super powers! From awesome strength to zero-to-sixty speed, great superpowers are the most useful tricks in every famous costumed crime-fighter's tool kit. Michael Jon Carter knew this, and that's why he started his career with an impenetrable force field.
When he looted his equipment from the Space Museum, Booster Gold literally had his pick of powers, and he chose only the best from Superman's history. Perhaps none of his impressive array of powers are more notable or powerful than his force field belt.
First encountered in Action Comics #242 (1958), the original belt was the creation of Brainiac, a brilliant alien who claimed mastery of super-scientific forces. His "Ultra-Force Barrier," controlled via his belt remote, was strong enough to frustrate any attempt Superman made against him. The Ultra-Force Barrier was expandable enough to envelope entire space ships and whole planets. No matter the size, at full power it resisted anything used against it, from energy beams to projectiles to Men of Steel.
Brainiac would go on to become one of Earth's greatest foes, but his descendant, Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes, would become one of Earth's greatest allies. From his first appearance in Action Comics #276 (1961), Braniac 5 was using his own variation on his ancestor's technology to help make Supergirl even more powerful than her cousin, Superman. Like it's predecessor, Brainiac 5's Force-Shield Belt was resizable and could stop all radiation and matter alike, although its smaller, more portable size limited the duration it could be used.
Brainiac 5 would recreate his signature belt many times over the years, and he would occasionally lend them out to protect the lives of others. Once he even gave a copy to United States President Ronald Reagan (as seen in Booster Gold #9, 1986). Centuries later, that belt would be put on display in the Space Museum for a disgraced ex-football player to find. That thief would put it good use.
Booster Gold integrated the Force Field into his costume, relocating the controls from the belt to his gauntlets where he could more easily adjust its size, strength, and area of focus. The field proved its worth almost immediately, saving the young hero from an army of gunfire (in Booster Gold #3), massive bombs (Booster Gold #5), and Superman himself (Booster Gold #7). In addition to protecting himself, Booster has put the field to more creative uses destroying a incredibly toxic poison (in Booster Gold #17) and containing a rogue Green Lantern (Justice League International #19).
In many ways, the Force Field has become Booster Gold's signature power. And that's Boosterrific!
Justice League International #9 (1988)
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