- 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.
Friday, November 27, 2020
In 2011, before DC Comics decided that all of their comics had to take place in the darkest possible timeline, they ironically published two surprisingly optimistic series under the "Brightest Day" banner. One of those, Justice League: Generation Lost, should rightly be considered among the best Booster Gold adventures ever told, in no small part because it builds towards an inevitable (and incredibly satisfying) confrontation between Booster and Maxwell Lord, his former employer and the murderer of his best friend.
The dirty little secret about my list is that Justice League: Generation Lost #23 is *not* better than Justice League: Generation Lost #24. Number 24 just happens to be the final issue of the series, and I don't think anyone should begin reading a good story at the final page.
The entire series, all written by Judd Winick, reads like a water slide: once you enter the tube, you only pick up speed as you head to the big splash ending. (There are a few bumps along the way, such as Ice's entirely unnecessary origin retcon, but what's a water slide that doesn't give you a few bruises?)
So do yourself a favor and go read all twenty-four issues of Justice League: Generation Lost and enjoy the challenge of picking the one issue *you* think is most deserving of being included among the twelve best Booster Gold comics.
Friday, October 16, 2020
In Booster Gold Volume 2, our hero became a time travelling policeman, someone whose job was to travel through time and ensure that history unfolds correctly. Given that the DC Universe has a propensity for frequent, reality-shifting Crises, the obvious question becomes "what is correct"? What history can be changed, and what can't?
To teach Booster Gold (and his audience) about the limits of interfering with history, the original Time Master, Rip Hunter, sends Booster back to one of the most known and respected stories in DC Comics history: The Killing Joke. Booster soon learns there is nothing funny about it.
What follows are about a dozen pages of Booster Gold (and Skeets!) having his shiny butt handed to him by the Joker and his goons. Over and over again, Booster tries to prevent the Joker from brutalizing Barbara Gordon. Over and over again he fails.
It's not always an easy read, but it is a worthwhile one — especially when you realize the gambit Hunter is playing and at what personal cost. It is also a valiant definition of true heroism courtesy of writer Geoff Johns. No matter how many times Booster Gold gets knocked down, he always gets back up again. What a guy!
It should be noted that a large part of what makes this light-on-dialogue book such a great read is the art, which Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund intentionally based on the original material drawn by Brian Bolland.
While legendary writer Alan Moore always gets most of the credit, Bolland's detailed and disturbing art is no small part of what has made The Killing Joke an enduring classic, and he deserves some recognition for making Booster Gold #5 one of The Best Booster Gold Stories Ever.
Friday, September 18, 2020
If you've been keeping track of my list of the twelve best Booster Gold comics, you know that we've reached number 9. More importantly, we've reached a turning point in the history of Booster Gold.
By 2007, Booster Gold was widely recognized as a laughingstock, has-been as a former member of the long-derided Justice League International. Booster Gold Volume 2, Number 1 begins the story of how Booster started his second act as The Greatest Hero The World Has Never Known!
As it happens all too often, the real trouble starts when Booster finally gets what he has sought since his earliest appearances in Booster Gold Volume 1: the acceptance of his peers.
As you can see, this issue is a great jumping on point for new Booster Gold fans. Never read a comic with Booster Gold before? No problem. Writers Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz make the issue accessible to casual Justice League fans and longtime Booster Gold fans alike.
It's not an exaggeration to say that without the changes to Booster's status quo that were begun in this story, significantly fewer readers would even care which comics should be considered The Best Booster Gold Stories Ever!
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