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Friday, August 28, 2020
If I write "Deathmetal" and "Bloodspot," you'd be forgiven for thinking I was just a bad typist.
One of the biggest talking points to emerge from last week's FanDome has been the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. Because its central tenant — belied by its title — requires the eradication of its members, the Suicide Squad has always been populated by lesser known villains from the fringe of the DC Universe. As Booster boosters have known for nearly a year, one of the characters in the upcoming film will be Blackguard, the villain Booster Gold fights on the cover of his very first appearance. Blackguard will be played by comedian Pete Davidson.
Another barely known Suicide Squad character who has been creating ripples in the fan press is Bloodsport. That's probably because Bloodsport is being played by Idris Elba. Like Blackguard, Bloodsport made his first appearance on the cover of a comic (Superman volume 2 #4, 1987). Also like Blackguard, he hasn't had a very illustrious career. Think of him as a deranged version of Rambo First Blood Part II who kills innocent people to protest how the American government treated Vietnam vets. It's not creator John Bryne's best work, and there's really not a lot of reason you should remember him.
Unless you have a head for Booster Gold trivia and remember the extremely Boosterrific JLA Incarnations #6, in which Booster Gold parodied the excessively violent, heavily muscled, tank-top and bandanna wearing Bloodsport. About the biggest change Booster made to Bloodsport's shtick was dropping the "r."
Blue Beetle and Booster Gold will always be the real Deathmetal and Bloodspot to me.
Friday, August 21, 2020
Earlier this week, Kat Calamia interviewed Aquaman fill-in writer Jordan Clark for GamesRadar or Newsarama or whatever they call themselves these days. Of particular interest to Booster boosters is the following exchange:
Nrama: You've only gotten your feet wet at DC, what other books would you like to work on in the future?
Clark: Oh wow, well anyone who knows me knows my undying love for Booster Gold, the greatest superhero of all time.
That is absolutely the right answer. Good luck with that, Jordan.
And while we're on the subject of things I crashed into while surfing the Internet, here's something I found on reddit.com under the heading "[Artwork] BLUE BEETLE & BOOSTER GOLD in the style of Dark Nights: Death Metal, by Fico Ossio":
Now *that* is some extreme justice!
Hey, DC, how about teaming up Jordan Clark and Fico Ossio on a Blue and Gold book? Pretty please? I'm already setting aside a $10 bill for that sucker. It's yours for the taking, DC. Come and get it.
Friday, August 7, 2020
In the wake of DC Cybernetic Summer, the past week has become all about Blue and Gold, so now would seem to be the appropriate time for me to make my argument in defense of their canonical, platonic relationship. In a nutshell, I say not everything has to be about sex.
In published canon, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle have been inseparable since the very first year of Justice League International stories. Their intimate platonic love, better known as "friendship," has been the basis for a lot of stories in the decades since in no small part because everyone enjoys spending time with people who so very much enjoy spending time with one other. We like Blue and Gold because they like Blue and Gold, and that's great.
Romantic love is also great. Who doesn't enjoy a good love story where two people find that they each complement the other and form a lasting paired set? Everyone wants to live happily ever after.
But not every great relationship has to be a romantic one. The difference between platonic and romantic love is physical. It's natural for a human to seek out romantic love; we're biologically programmed to want to reproduce. However, a sexual relationship isn't a prerequisite for lifelong happiness, and an intimate emotional connection needn't be merely a stepping stone to a consummated marriage. Perhaps I've read too many chivalric fantasies, but I happen to think that sort of chaste, close relationship is just as worthy of celebration as the romantic kind.
So let Booster Gold date Harley Quinn. (Or not.) But the real love of his life is and always should be Blue Beetle. No romantic feelings or sloppy kisses are necessary to cement that bond.
Wednesday, August 5, 2020
DC has been doing their part in COVID-19 pandemic messaging by including "social distancing" PSAs in their comics and shipping posters to comic shops. It's an admirable incentive to get important information to superhero fans, but I think their choice of spokespersons could use some improvement.
One poster features Superman and Wonder Woman playing tug o' war. As much as I admire their wisdom, they aren't the pair I would pick to pose for an anti-virus PSA. He's invulnerable and she's immortal. Their unique talents are better used preventing authoritarian armies from trampling peaceful protesters than preaching to the public about the dangers of airborne pestilence particles.
Another poster tries again with Batman and Robin. Two of the things that Batman is most famous for are 1) not being much of a hugger, and 2) never wearing a mask over his mouth. He might the world's greatest detective, but a reclusive man who dresses like a mouth-breathing flying rat is probably not the guy we need leading the charge of a public education campaign.
While I applaud all those heroes' good intentions, I think if you want to sell people on the importance of maintaining a six-foot halo to impair the spread of communicable disease, the spokespersons you need should be both vulnerable and relatable. And a healthy sense of humor would certainly help their delivery.
Hmm. Do we know any heroes who fit that bill? You bet we do!
Art by Kevin Maguire via Antonio Perianes at comicartfans.com, template by DC Comics
Fixed it for you, DC.
Do what Booster and Beetle say. They've only got your best interest at heart.
Friday, July 17, 2020
Frankly, the entire mini-series is worth a read. It's a great call back to the best of the humorous yet heroic "Bwah-Ha-Ha" era of the Justice League International by the very creators who made that series such a hit.
Ultimately I've chosen to highlight issue #4 in part because it does such a good job of making the badly threadbare plot of a hero-vs-hero fistfight into a truly delightful read.
The issue sees the newly formed "Superbuddies" super team abducted by the villanous Roulette and forced to fight one another to the death. The joke is that no one takes the Superbuddies seriously or expects them to win. This is in keeping with the reputation of the JLI itself, which was at something of a nadir when the issue was published. Of course, fans — and team creators Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis — knew that the JLI was far more competent than their reputation (even if the team itself didn't).
In addition to the ton of jokes and familiar characterization of a bunch of friends who also happen to be teammates, this issue really highlights the strengths of original Justice League International artist Kevin Maguire's storytelling ability. His expressions, body language, pacing... it's all perfect.
(And the cover's not bad either!)
If there's any complaint to be made about this series, it's that the comedic roles of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle have been swapped. Back in the day, Booster was the straight man. Here he's the fool. Some might find that offputting, but Booster boosters know it's only an act. Booster will do anything to be the center of attention.
Besides, you know it's only a comic book.
As far as comic books go, it's a pretty good one. It easily deserves to be counted among the The Best Booster Gold Stories Ever.
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