- Booster Gold
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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)
Wednesday, November 6, 2019
I'm not going to lie and tell you I understand what was happening between Booster Gold and Harley Quinn in last month's Harley Quinn #66. I have even less idea what's going on in today's Harley Quinn #67.
What I do know is that with art by Dan Jurgens, Norm Rapmund, and Hi-Fi, it's going to look great.
Harley's right. Martian Manhunter's funeral was in second issue.
If you want to see more, Batman-News.com has the preview.
Thanks to Rob Snow for that news.
By the way, since you're already on your way to your LCS, consider looking on the back issue racks for the most recent issue of Action Comics. The variant "DCeased" cover to issue #1016 included a zombiefied Booster Gold. I missed that when the issue was released 2 weeks ago. Thankfully, Logan Peterson didn't. Good spot, Logan.
Buy these issues and make Skeets happy.
Monday, September 30, 2019
Booster booster Curtiss Schofield was reading comics over the weekend, and he noticed this "tweet" from the great Metropolitan newspaper, Daily Planet, on the first page of Action Comics #1014:
Who wrote that? Was it Action writer Brian Michael Bendis? You've got some pull with Warner, Bendis. Stop trolling us Blue and Gold fans and use your influence to get that movie made!
Thanks for the spot, Curtiss.
Monday, July 29, 2019
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every comic book heroes will inevitably get in a fist fight with every other hero. Such was the case with Booster Gold and Superman early in Booster's career.
Not coincidentally, Dan Jurgens took the opportunity of a visit from the established star — in his very first appearance in the newly-merged post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Universe continuity — to reveal Booster's less-than-stellar origin tale. The image on the cover correlated well with the shock and disgust that audiences felt discovering that they had been reading the tale of a gambler and a thief. Superman was giving our hero nothing less than what many of us felt he deserved.
But the story doesn't end there.
Because Dan Jurgens was kind enough to accommodate John Byrne's post-Crisis revamp of Superman in the aforementioned issues, Byrne let Booster guest in Action Comics #594. The cover to that might look familiar; turnabout is fair play.
Pencils by John Byrne, Inks by Keith Williams
Once again, the cover was figuratively true. Booster had been growing into the role of a true hero, and history had been proven to be on his side. The story inside plays on Booster's bad reputation following the earlier story, making the cover reversal doubly sweet.
Aren't these some great covers? As a fan of traditional fine art, I love that the extremely foreshortened poses turn the heroes into grotesques personifying the ugly, violent acts that they are engaged in. As a fan of comic book artists, it's particularly interesting to compare young Jurgens' early take on Superman to Byrne's more iconic character (and also to Jurgens' future interpretation).
As a fan of comic book super heroes, it's just great to see two heroes going head-to-head.
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