- Booster Gold
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Wednesday, March 9, 2022
Back in 2020, I created the following list of what I consider to be the best Booster Gold stories of all time. In the wake of Booster's introduction on Legends of Tomorrow, I'd like to dust that list off for new fans who are discovering our hero for the very first time.
Presented in reading order:
1. Justice League #4 (1987)
Booster Gold's introduction to the Justice League is the best place to for new readers to meet our hero. He's truly at his best here, showcasing his powers, fighting spirit, quick mind, and dedication to team. The best of the best. (Read more about it here.)
3. Booster Gold #18 (1987)
There are two sides to every story, and this is the flip side of Booster Gold's. The issue follows a federal agent, Broderick, determined to make Booster pay for his crimes. What price is justice? (Read more about it here.)
4. Justice League International #34 (1989)
If you've only heard one thing about Booster Gold, it's probably that he's best friends with Blue Beetle. This is the height (nadir?) of their misadventures as they turn an island paradise into a Justice League-themed casino. (Read more about it here.)
5. Justice League Quarterly #1 (1990)
Whatever his many flaws, Booster Gold has always been a born leader. His first real chance to show it was as leader of the Conglomerate. Booster was a perfect fit for this international super-team fighting not for truth and justice but the interests of Big Business. (Read more about it here.)
6. Superman #74 (1992)
The 1990s were mostly lost years for Booster Gold, and much of that can be blamed on the rampaging monster Doomsday. The fateful collision between the two can be seen here, and like many train wrecks, it's impossible to look away. Old-fashioned super hero slugfests at their best. (Read more about it here.)
7. Formerly Known as the Justice League #4 (2003)
With Countdown to Infinite Crisis in the near future, this mini-series represents the last gasp of both the Justice League International family and the Blue and Gold team. Their last adventure was among the best. (Read more about it here.)
8. 52 Week 15 (2006)
It's hard to single out any single issue of 52 as better than any other, but if one has to be the best, start at the end: Booster's end. That's right, he dies in this issue. It's powerful stuff. (Read more about it here.)
9. Booster Gold Volume 2, #1 (2007)
Spoiler alert: Booster survived 52 (*cough* time-travel *cough*), and the experience molded him into a better hero than ever. His new adventures as champion of established history begin here. (Read more about it here.)
10. Booster Gold Volume 2, #5 (2008)
What are the rules of time travel? What would it take to break them? What kind of hero would try? A groundbreaking issue justly remembered as one of the best of its generation. (Read more about it here.)
11. Justice League: Generation Lost #23 (2011)
Like 52, it's hard to choose just one Justice League: Generation Lost issue as the best, and readers should start at the beginning and read the whole thing as the old JLI reunites to clean up their own legacy. But the payoff come at the end, starting with this penultimate issue. (Read more about it here.)
12. Action Comics #995 (2018)
Everything that Booster ever was or ever will be is in this multi-part Superman epic written by Dan Jurgens. It's the best Booster Gold story of the New 52/Rebirth era. (Read more about it here.)
Keep in mind that this is a completely subjective list; it's *my* list. I strongly encourage to read all the Booster Gold comics you can find and form your own opinion.
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.
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