- Booster Gold
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Friday, March 4, 2022
Whether or not I'm a fan of CW's programming, I have to admit that Donald Faison's portrayal of Booster Gold on DC's Legends of Tomorrow season 7 finale has certainly raised the profile of the character and introduced him to a whole bunch of people who have never actually set their hands on a DC comic. That's an objectively good thing.
So it is a worthwhile experience to read how the show's executive producer Phil Klemmer finally got around to adding Booster to his long-running show.
Here he speaks to Chancellor Agard for ew.com:
EW: Arrowverse boss Greg Berlanti has reportedly been working on a Booster Gold movie for years. How did the character wind up on Legends?
Klemmer: As you might expect, through the side door you'd least expect it [to]. I just remember [co-showrunner Keto Shimizu] and I were on a call with Kim Roberto at DC, and we were just talking about fun characters. I think somebody threw it out there, of course never [imagining] in a million years would we get Booster Gold. And then it felt like 15 minutes later, DC called us back and was just like, "Hey, Booster's yours." And just you have a moment of being like, "Okay, this is clearly a prank of some sort, because..." We were all giddy and in disbelief and then it just became a quest of finding an actor who was worthy of the character.
EW: Why was Booster Gold on your mind to begin with? Were you just looking for a DC character to bring in at the end of the season? How did Booster end up fitting the needs of the story?
Klemmer: It's always the tonal fit and just knowing, I don't know, there's just something so lovable and unexpected. You just knew that he was going to work as kind of a bit of the merry prankster, a bit of a BS artist.
Klemmer was also quizzed by Joshua Lapin-Bertone at DCComics.com:
DC: How familiar were you with Booster before this?
Klemmer: I just knew about him from the early days of Legends, when I would hear of various projects, whether they were TV shows or movies, in the same halls where I was working. And obviously dealing with Rip Hunter in early seasons as well. I just assumed that he was going to have his own project. I never imagined that he would come into our world.
DC: For building this version of Booster, did you draw upon any particular stories? Or did you build him from the ground up?
Klemmer: The creation of a character really takes place over the course of that first season, and then seasons to come. It's going to really be a correspondence between us as writers and Donald as a performer. We definitely wanted someone who is a little off center, and like, a little bit mischievous. But we also just wanted a charisma bomb.
And we round out our media tour with Klemmer's conversation with Damian Holbrook of TVInsider.com:
TV: Is the plan to keep Donald on the board?
Klemmer: For sure. We’re not gonna let Booster get away. I’m really excited to write him—he’s the kind of character you wish you could be. You could get away with murder and be so charming that you never really have to suffer the consequences. He’s the antithesis of a writer. Writers are deeply neurotic and self-loathing self-doubting, etcetera. I think that’s why we writers are drawn to those characters—because those are our secret alter egos.
Season 8 has not yet been announced. Will there be another season of Legends of Tomorrow? If I were a betting man, I'd bet yes (especially if Michael "Booster" Carter is on the field). Legends of Tomorrow is one of the few CW shows that has improved its ratings season-over-season, so I think we should prepare to see more of Klemmer and Faison's Gold come fall.
Friday, March 12, 2021
You may recall that this time last week, I asked whether the "Linearverse" introduced in Generations Shattered and Generations Forged should count as continuity. That question got answered (in a roundabout way) when earlier this week Russ Burlingame took a break from writing books about movies to interview Generations writers Dan Jurgens, Robert Venditti, and Andy Schmidt in a spiritual successor to his old "Gold Exchange" column for ComicBook.com.
ComicBook: The idea that realities have always been there, just out of sight, rather than actually being destroyed, is a revelation to the characters here -- but is that how you view the worlds that are destroyed in each subsequent Crisis event? Certainly it's how The CW explicitly dealt with their post-Crisis multiverse.
Dan Jurgens: I hadn't thought about it that way, but I certainly see your point!
For me, on a personal level, I find it harder to accept the notion of entire planes of reality being destroyed, only to be recreated again. “Hiding” them or making them inaccessible actually seems much more believable. The amount of energy required to destroy and recreate universes is tremendous, after all.
Plus, we weren't going to change anything. The Linearverse was meant to stay much the way it had been, which is a place that is belt around DC's published history.
Robert Venditti: To steal from Dan a bit, I hadn't really thought of that. I don't know if it's important to me that definitive explanations are made. Mostly, I want to leave toys in the sandbox for other creative teams to play with. I think we've done that.
Andy Schmidt: One of the things that I generally want to shy away from as a creator is writing over someone else's work or saying that it never happened. Because it happened for the reader and for the creators who put those stories together. They're real and they're important to someone.
Most of the comics I grew up reading that got me into comics in the first place have been retconned so they never happened, but they're still what made me fans of those characters in the first place. So, for me, it's just kind of a respect thing for fans and creators both. If it's real to you — I should treat it as such. Generations Shattered and Forged gave us a platform to re-validate those "hidden" stories as you called them. To let readers and creators know we remember, and we still love those stories, while also crafting something new to introduce those takes on characters to new fans. It's challenging and it's fun and I think it's upbeat in the approach and hopefully in its execution.
I like the "it is what you want it to be" approach to the DC Universe — which in the past has made such titles as Formerly Known As The Justice League possible — so I'll choose to consider the story canon. Thanks, guys! I think I'm going to like this Linearverse.
Elsewhere in the interview, the creators also talk about why they chose the characters they chose to include in the story, as well as the long shadow Zero Hour cast on Generations. I recommend you read the whole article yourself at ComicBook.com.
Friday, July 10, 2020
Today I present to you my single favorite Booster Gold panel.
As much as I love the work of Kevin Maguire and Adam Hughes, it's not from Booster's Justice League tryout or KooeyKooeyKooey any other Justice League International comic. It's not by Aaron Lopresti, who drew many truly inspirational moments for our hero in 52 and Generation Lost, including his triumphs over Mister Mind and Max Lord. Nor is it a page from the pen of Booster's prolific creator, Dan Jurgens, though he has crafted so many other memorable Boosterrific moments in the past three-and-a-half decades.
It doesn't even have Blue Beetle or Skeets in it.
No, my favorite Booster Gold panel comes from a most unlikely source, a comic that few people have read since it was released in the middle of the Chromium Age of the 1990s. It was a time after Doomsday had killed destroyed Booster's original technology and our hero had lost much of his previous power and personal identity. (Clothes, after all, do make the man.)
Here's the panel, from the eleventh page of Extreme Justice #12, released November 14, 1995:
Oh, how that gets me every time.
The artists for this piece are Tom Morgan, Ken Branch, and Lee Loughridge, with a lettering assist by Kevin Cunningham. I've always had a soft spot for profiles, and I have notebooks filled with doodles of similar poses. I can't tell you how many gnashed teeth I've drawn in my life. I think it's exceptional how tight the close-up is while still including everything you need to know about the person whose personal space we have violated. Considering that the previous panel is a full body shot, Morgan could have been lazy, but he doesn't skimp the details. The character's iconic blue star seen relegated to the shoulder pad — a literal chip on his shoulder — may be the best part!
But the real reason I love that panel is the writing by the late Robert Washington III and its literary allusion to Tik-Tok, the Clockwork Man of Oz, a mechanical servant/warrior incapable of independent thought or action without the mechanical assistance of its friends. The comparison to Tik-Tok reveals Booster at his most human: a wounded warrior who struggles under the weight of his own heroic expectations and biological frailties. Doubt personified.
Probably because I first encountered it at just the right time in my life, but it has become embedded in my consciousness. I think of this panel often, probably several times a year when I'm feeling worn down by my responsibilities or illness or just life in general. (I probably don't need to tell you, 2020 has been a real test so far.) Somehow, knowing that Booster Gold has experienced the same feelings brightens my outlook. If he found a way to keep going, there's still hope for the rest of us. (I have to believe that won't require entrusting my body to an alternate-universe would-be world conqueror, but a man's got to do what a man's got to do.)
So anyway, maybe it's not the best drawn or the most illuminating or aggrandizing Booster Gold panel, but it's my personal favorite.
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
The article was written by Robert Greenberger, a former DC editor who worked on the Who's Who series. Greenberger spoke with Booster's creator, Dan Jurgens, for a first-person take on the occasion. Most of what was said will be familiar to long-time Booster boosters (much of it is corroborated by what Jurgens had previously told me in my Secret Origin interview) but it's always interesting to hear Jurgens speak of the old days at DC.
Jurgens pitched the idea to Giordano and was surprised at how quickly the series was picked up. "At the time, DC was a remarkably fun place to work," Jurgens recounted. "They were very, very open to new ideas and concepts. The company was committed to trying new things.
"I was at a convention in Dallas that Dick Giordano and Pat Bastienne were also attending. Dick was always highly encouraging and always said if I had anything in terms of a project idea, to bring it to him.
"We had breakfast before the Con started and I pitched him the basic concept of Booster—where he came from, what motivated him and what would make him different. At that point, I didn’t even have the pitch written out. I believe I had a preliminary sketch.
Booster Gold being born in Dallas makes perfect sense. There are few times/places more associated with American capitalism than Dallas, Texas in the mid-80s. (Booster Gold versus J.R. Ewing!)
Speaking of villains, Jurgens also admits to a lingering affinity for Dirk Davis. Maybe one day Booster's selfish agent will get a shot at redemption. Until then, you can relive his glory days in Booster Gold: The Big Fall when it is released this September.
Monday, December 31, 2018
As usual, I'll be taking New Years Eve off to watch football. In the meantime, consider revisiting these, the top 5 most read Boosterrific.com posts from the past year.
5. Friday, May 4: More Fung at C2E2
In which Herbert Fung shared his Booster Gold commission from Tom Grummett.
2. Wednesday, September 19: A Streaming Pile
In which I explain my reasons for not subscribing to the DC Universe streaming service.
See you in 2019.
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