- Booster Gold
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Friday, May 18, 2018
I'd like to stop talking about the recent Batman story "The Gift", really I would. I'd like to file the three issues away in my longboxes and forget it was ever published. But it seems Tom King doesn't want to let me do that.
#BEGIN RANT (Warning: rant may contain spoilers)
I'm not intimately familiar with King's entire body of work, but I find it unlikely he's grown as popular as he is if all of his stories are as carelessly crafted as "The Gift."
The premise is laughably bad, an idea that should have been left on the back of whatever cocktail napkin King first jotted it on. How, exactly, is changing time to prevent the wedding of Batman and Catwoman supposed to be a gift? What kind of person would choose a vague dream over the lives of two loving parents? What kind of person would expect someone else to? Booster Gold was a former member of the Justice League, not a super villain. The excuse of immaturity can only be stretched so far.
The conclusion is no better. It's the worst kind of time travel plot device, where the resolution invalidates everything that came before. The Booster Gold who has been tortured by Bruce Wayne for the previous year can no longer exist. How can any Booster remember an event which never happened? (By the way, what happened to the corpse of the impossible Bruce Wayne? Or Skeets? Or the "other" Booster Gold? Damn this rabbit hole!) The resolution of "The Gift," as nonsensical as it is, makes it clear that its events can only affect one character (at most), and that character wasn't even the guy whose name is on the cover. If King hadn't tweeted otherwise, I would have assumed this story was filler so the wedding could take place in an issue with a nice, round number.
Speaking of Batman, he comes off just as poorly as Booster Gold does. As I wrote back in April, King ostensibly set out to recreate Alan Moore's "For The Man Who Has Everything..." by showing that the world was a worse place without Batman. However, instead of affirming the heroic value of one of the most popular fictional characters of all time, King instead successfully invalidates another of Moore's stories, The Killing Joke. In the end, all it takes is "one bad day" for Bruce Wayne to become a gun-toting murderer. Was that the goal, to demonstrate not that the world is better with Batman in it but that *Batman* is a better person because his parents died young? Unlike Booster, who King treats as a brain-dead court jester, Batman should be deserving of some respect. But no, his character is dragged through just as much mud.
If this story is any indication, King clearly cares nothing for characterization. Any excuse to write a feral Catwoman who kills for no apparent reason or a Batman who shoots first and asks questions never. (Or worse, Green Lanterns who shoot themselves in the head on a dare.) Judging by the quote above, I'm guessing that King intentionally ignored years of character development so that Booster Gold would be in position for that other story he wants to tell. Otherwise he certainly went out of his way to mangle some beloved characters for no obvious reason.
Maybe you were one of those people who who read "The Gift" and liked it. More power to you. In that case, perhaps you'd like to hear what BleedingCool.com has to speculate about this announcement.
Personally, I found the ridiculous premise, careless resolution, and misguided characterization insulting to some characters and artists I'm actually quite fond of. If "The Gift" is any indication of the kind of story that King likes to write, I'd prefer that he left Booster Gold on the sidelines instead.
I'm guessing... lobotomy? (As I said above, "the excuse of immaturity can only be stretched so far.")
Monday, April 9, 2018
I gave you the new cover to Batman #46 Friday, and the DC Batman Panel at C2E2 this past weekend gave us some exciting news about what you might find behind that cover.
Fair warning: the following post has light spoilers for next week's Batman #45, so cover your eyes if you don't want to know too much before you have the issue in your hands.
Still here? Ok. One additional warning! The preview images DC has released for this issue that can be found at any of the following links are uncommonly violent. (I might be getting prudish in my advancing age, but golly gee, maybe the Comics Code wasn't such a bad thing.)
Now, as I was saying, according to Newsarama's coverage of C2E2, quote
DC Comics has confirmed during their Batman panel panel at Chicago's C2E2 convention that the Booster Gold team up arc starting in April 18's Batman #45 will take place in an alternate world where Booster Gold has gone back in time to save Thomas and Martha Wayne - and inadvertently prevents Bruce Wayne's birth.
The rest of us will find out what the big deal is next week when Batman #45 will be in our Local Comic Shops. I advise reading it on an empty stomach.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
We learned at New York Comic Con that DC had big plans for the landmark one thousandth issue of Action Comics due in spring 2018.
To celebrate the event, DC will release a hardback collection of past stories plus "all 1000 ACTION covers collected in a new poster." That poster will include Booster Gold, who was featured prominently on John Byrne's cover for Action Comics #594.
So we knew Booster Gold would appear in the celebratory hardcover, but what about appearing in Action Comics #1000 itself? We now know the answer is yes. Kind of.
Bleeding Cool reported yesterday that the hardcover will be titled Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman, meaning that the $6 "oversized edition" comic and the $30 companion hardcover book will both be Action Comics #1000!
That might be confusing for fans, but it's good news for those of us looking for Booster to crash Superman's party. We can now definitively say that our hero will be in Action Comics #1000! Just be sure you pick up the right one when they hit your Local Comic Shop early next year.
Monday, October 9, 2017
The closest thing to Booster Gold news coming out of New York Comic Con this past weekend was included in this report of the "Sunday Conversation" panel with Dan DiDio and Keith Giffen (among others) as reported by Joe Glass for BleedingCool.com:
A fan says he'd love to see Seven Soldiers of Victory book, another says Booster Gold, another with Secret Six. Someone says Ambush Bug (Giffen: "No.")
So Booster was a no-show at NYCC, but he's not so underrepresented at all conventions.
This is George Pooley (with his "best mate") at the MCM Manchester Comic Con in the UK back in July:
See? Blue and Gold were in the house!
Thanks to George for sharing. Keep up the good cosplaying, men.
Wednesday, August 23, 2017
DC Comics released solicitations for November 2017 earlier this week. If you don't already have it in digital or floppy form, you'll soon have a third chance to see Booster's final, one-panel cameo appearance in Smallville continuity courtesy of the aptly-titled Smallville Season Eleven Volume 9: Continuity. That looks like about our only chance to see our hero in November. My question is "Why?"
Let's look at the bigger picture. Based on available numbers assembled by ComcisBeat.com and ComicChron.com, DC Universe titles have seen hard copy periodical sales fall by more than 21% over the past decade (and more than 42% since Rebirth's initial bump). Trade collections prop those numbers up slightly (adding 2% in either case), but not nearly enough to cover the full difference. Do digital sales make up that shortfall, or it simply a case that fewer people care to read DCnU titles these days? I certainly don't, and the primary reason is the continued absence of one particular character. (Hint, hint.)
DC doesn't exactly look to be taking that bad news lying down. Looking at solicitations, you'll see several new DCnU comics coming in November featuring lesser-known heroes. Black Lightning shines again in Black Lightning: Cold Dead Hands. The Demon is back in The Demon:Hell on Earth. Zatanna reappears in Mystik U. Even Batman's latest (and most lazily-named) protege, The Signal, is getting some love with Batman and the Signal.
While it is a good idea to inject new characters into the publishing line up, all of those are mini-series. You'd almost think DC was afraid of commitment. (Why wouldn't they be? Even death is impermanent in the DCU.) However, the company seems equally unwilling to drop the hammer on underperforming ongoing titles to make room for new ones.
In June (the most recent month for which numbers are available) the company had 3 ongoing titles that undersold the lowest selling issue of Booster Gold volume 2 (Booster Gold #43 in 2011). New Superman and Blue Beetle had June issues very near DC's pre-Flashpoint cancellation threshold. The worst performing of the three, Cyborg, is doing worse than its pre-Rebirth numbers, and it was trending below the old threshold then! Judging by November solicitations, all of these will continue into November with no cancellation, taking up valuable opportunities for titles with a chance to spark interest in new readers.
I don't mean to suggest that returning Booster Gold to action would reverse any of those negative sales trends for the company, but I do suggest it couldn't hurt. At worst, Booster Gold can outsell Cyborg! I can name at least one reader who would be picking up more DCnU books if Booster Gold was around.
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