- Booster Gold
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Monday, November 11, 2019
Happy Veterans Day!
If you were a veteran, Booster, they should say thanks for your service.
Veteran comic readers may recognize that panel as coming from Booster Gold, Volume 2, #26. That's the same issue that saw Blue Beetle Ted Kord rise from the dead as part of the Blackest Night crossover.
That book was released ten years ago today. That's more than twice the time between this issue and Ted Kord's death in 2005's Countdown to Infinite Crisis. My how time flies.
Friday, November 1, 2019
Booster Gold makes good clickbait. At least, that's what I deduce based on his inclusion in several recent lists at CBR.com.
First, Scoot Allan has compiled his "10 Of The Most 90s Costumes In Comic Book History." Booster gets a brief shout out in this list under item 5: Power Armor.
Armor was also really big in the 90s, with all kinds of heroes modifying their outfits into bulkier robotic Iron Man knock-offs. ... DC's Booster Gold also received a bulky version of his old superhero suit when he joined the equally 90s Justice League spin-off, Extreme Justice. The reasons for his bulkier suit made a bit more sense, as the materials needed to properly fix his futuristic suit didn't exist yet.
This isn't exactly wrong, though it does makes it sound as if two years didn't pass between Superman #74 and Extreme Justice #0. But I won't quibble with anyone showing Extreme Justice-era Booster some love.
Our hero comes in at 6 on J. Richland Anderson's list of "DC: 10 Characters Fans Hated At First (& Grew to Love)."
For a while, it seemed as though DC didn't know which direction to take Booster Gold in. While some were fans of his unique approach to crime fighting, some weren't too keen on his personality. It wasn't until Booster's backstory was developed in his second solo series where his character really began to take off.
After his motivations and relationship with his father were established, Booster suddenly became a much more interesting character. Though he still had some loyal fans from the time of his debut, more people began to warm up to him after he was more fleshed out. Today, Booster is a welcome experience in many books. Though he still makes his fair share of irresponsible mistakes, Booster's fun, lovable personality help brighten any book.
"Booster suddenly became a much more interesting character"? As one of Booster's "loyal fans," let me say only that I found Booster's "fun, lovable personality" clearly evident even in his early series. (That doesn't count as a quibble, does it?)
And finally, Booster appears in Brian Cronin's list of "2019 Top DC Characters", where he placed 31 out of 100 in a fan vote. In addition to pointing out that Booster was created to be different than other DC characters of his era, Cronin also explicitly reminds that the Bwah-Ha-Ha Era of the Justice League International was incredibly successful.
He eventually joined Justice League International, where he became good friends with Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle. The two men had a number of money-making schemes, including their infamous casino plot. ... "Blue and Gold" was very popular with the fans and at one point, they were one of the most in-demand pairings at DC Comics.
That's a lot of lists! No matter which you prefer, know that the one thing you can always count on is that there are some great Booster Gold comic books from every era out there for you to enjoy.
UPDATE November 2: CBR keeps on rolling. Paul DiSalvo adds Booster Gold at number 7 on his list of "The 10 Best Comedy Relief Superheroes in Comics". Indeed.
UPDATE November 5: And now Shawn S. Lealos uses Booster Gold as his example of ENFP in "DC: MBTI Of The Justice League." What do those acronyms mean? Shawn doesn't explain them, so let's just assume they're good things.
UPDATE November 12: Booster is number 10 in J. Richland Anderson's "10 DC Characters Who Are Way Smarter Than They Let On." Shazam is weirdly #2. I never thought Captain Marvel played stupid — he's a bit naive, not dumb — but then I didn't make the list, either.
Friday, October 18, 2019
The DC Comics reading world of 1986 was not ready for the debut of Booster Gold. Who could blame them? Gambler-turned-thief-turned-celebrity sounds more like a traditional DC villain than a hero. Anti-heroes wouldn't become all the rage for a few more years yet. Creator Dan Jurgens was ahead of his time.
The letter columns of early Booster Gold books were filled with complaints that the hero was inherently unlikable. A typical letter, from Booster Gold #5 called him "egotistical, self-absorbed, conceited, self-hyping, and immodest," which even Booster boosters have to admit was a pretty accurate assessment. This situation was only made worse once Booster's origin was revealed in issue #6. No less a moral authority than Superman thought Booster was "nothing more than a 25th-century crook!"
Souring fan reaction to the character was a major factor in the cancellation of the original Booster Gold series. Jurgens resisted polishing Booster's rougher edges, and the Powers That Were decided to move Booster in a new direction with Justice League International where Booster's less palatable character traits were often exploited for comic effect. This worked out in Booster's favor. It was with the JLI that Booster really became a star.
As such things go, public demand for the Justice League led to the JLI team being featured in three consecutive issues of Secret Origins, giving Jurgens another opportunity to sell Booster's origin to the comics reading public. This time he did what he had previously been unwilling to do: he made Booster Gold sympathetic.
In Secret Origins #35, released on this day in 1988, it is revealed that Michael "Booster" Carter only started gambling on his own football games in order to afford an expensive operation for his sick mother. No longer was he a selfish lout. Now Booster was a good son!
"Child with a heart of gold breaking the law to help his family" may not be the most original origin, but it did the job burnishing Booster's tarnished reputation with readers. Booster's worst mistakes could now be chalked up to good intentions. I'm sure Superman would agree that even 25th-century crooks deserve a second chance.
Monday, September 30, 2019
Booster booster Curtiss Schofield was reading comics over the weekend, and he noticed this "tweet" from the great Metropolitan newspaper, Daily Planet, on the first page of Action Comics #1014:
Who wrote that? Was it Action writer Brian Michael Bendis? You've got some pull with Warner, Bendis. Stop trolling us Blue and Gold fans and use your influence to get that movie made!
Thanks for the spot, Curtiss.
Friday, August 30, 2019
Labor Day weekend is all about celebrating the hard work you've put in all year, and no one knows how to kick back better than Blue Beetle and Booster Gold!
Enjoy this fine fan art by Patricio Oliver (@patricioolvier on Twitter.com) as you prepare for your long weekend of barbecue and brews.
Happy Labor Day, everybody.
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