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Friday, March 19, 2021

Summer of Love

DC Comics has announced (via press release) that the company's June 2021 anthology book, DC Pride will focus on a theme of "LGBTQIA+ characters from across the DC Universe."

The press release fails to define "LGBTQIA+". I'm familiar with shorter acronyms, but rather than assume that it meant what I thought it meant, I looked it up. Wikipedia directed me to the University of Illinois Springfield who explained the term as "a common abbreviation for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Genderqueer, Queer, Intersex, Agender, Asexual and other queer-identifying community." So more or less everyone who isn't a square.

I assume from the inclusive acronym that DC is trying to reach the largest possible audience with this book. That's commendable (and a pretty good tactic for a large for-profit publishing company). I love DC's anthologies with their focus on the less famous, oft-neglected characters of the DCU, and I will be buying this one, too.

As a straight white guy, I fully admit that I am not in a position of authority to talk about what should or should not be in a book celebrating a community that defines itself with an acronym I didn't know, and I will refrain from doing so.

What I do want to point out is that the press release specifically identifies many familiar characters in the DCU who qualify as LGBTQIA+, including Batwoman, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, Midnighter, Earth-11 Flash, Alan Scott, Obsidian, Aqualad, Dreamer, Renee Montoya, and Pied Piper. Since you are reading this on a Booster Gold fansite, you may notice a couple of key omissions from that list.

Even in the new, inclusive Infinite Frontier DC Universe, DC Comics doesn't Boostle.

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Friday, August 7, 2020

Let's Just Be Friends

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.

© DC Comics

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Monday, July 13, 2020

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants

By now you've got your hands on last week's Harley Quinn #74, right? So you've seen this:

© DC Comics

I have mixed feelings about this.

On the one hand, if Booster and Harley were real people and not comic book characters, they'd deserve the same chance at happiness as everyone else. Regardless of the fact that she was trying to kill him as recently as a year ago, the pair would still have the right to seek happy, fulfilling romantic relationships regardless of their past history or public opinion. Whatever anyone outside the relationship (read: me) thinks about the suitability of the pairing of a jock from the future and a psychopath's gun moll should be irrelevant to that relationship.

On the other hand, neither Harley nor Booster is a real person. They are comic book characters who have become widely recognized by fans for being in decades-long relationships with other members of their same sex. Booster's relationship with BFF and fellow hero Blue Beetle has always been intimate but canonically platonic, yet the dastardly damsels Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy have chosen a more physical relationship. (As is the norm in American popular entertainment, the good guys have to play it straight while the femme fatales enjoy "forbidden" love.) Is it a coincidence that these two standard-bearers of non-traditional relationships were chosen to enter into a gender-conforming heterosexual relationship by publishers, editors, writers, and artists who should be aware of the characters' metatextual associations? I find that hard to believe.

As I said, mixed feelings.

Am I reading too much into it? Maybe. That might be the fault of my liberal arts education: looking for meaning where none exists. Maybe I'm grasping at external reasons to justify my own irrational expectations of my hero's choice of girlfriend. Who knows? Since I strongly believe that one should never ascribe to malice that which is adequately explained by incompetence, I think I will choose to look on the bright side and give love a chance.

Good luck, you crazy kids.

Comments (4) | Add a Comment | Tags: boostle harley quinn romance sami basri sexual politics

Monday, March 25, 2019

Was DC Looking to Boostle?

In a recent interview with SyFy Wire, Ngozi Ukazu revealed she almost had a job at DC writing for Blue and Gold.

SyFy: There's a rumor that one of the Big Two came knocking after your second huge Kickstarter. What happened with that?

Ukazu: It was actually DC Comics that came knocking and it just didn't work out. And that was fine. I think one reason it didn't work out is because I made a lot of demands. My attitude was like, “I don't have to work for you guys."

SyFy: Because you had a Kickstarter that just made $350,000.

Ukuzu: I'd love to write a Blue Beetle/Booster Gold epic. But if y'all don't want to collaborate, then we don't have to. I really like those comics but it just didn't work out.

Ukuzu has made quite a name for herself with her creator-owned, character-driven, award-winning Check Please! webcomic that follows the misadventures of a young gay man finding his way in the world of collegiate hockey. Given her oeuvre and her success at building a devoted audience, it would have been interesting to see what she might have created if DC had given her the green light. Could we have had an official, DC-sponsored Boostle?

Whatever her plans, we'll never know exactly how close DC came to signing on, nor should we read too much into the fact that DC was holding talks about a new Booster Gold comic. It happens all the time. For example, last year, writer Tony Lee, perhaps most strongly associated with Doctor Who comics, revealed via Twitter that he also had talks with DC sometime in the past decade about rebooting Booster. That obviously never happened either.

The takeaway is that DC is always exploring new avenues to merchandise their characters. Sooner or later, when the company feels that the idea and artists are right, Booster Gold will be back making monthly appearance on the racks of your Local Comic Shop.

You can read the whole Ukazu interview by Kamara Horne at

UPDATE 2019-03-25: Ukazu confirmed the meeting and her plans via Twitter.

YUP! It's true. DC Comics and I could've collaborated. Editors are well aware of (a) Boostle and (b) how much I wanted to write Boostle. -- @ngoziu 2019-03-25

Who knows? Maybe she'll get a chance eventually.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Booster Gold Comics Coming. Kind Of

DC's latest round of solicitations have been revealed, and believe it or not, we'll be getting two comics with Booster Gold in them! The catch is that they're both reprints.

Written by DAN VADO
In these 1990s tales, Wonder Woman takes over as leader of the Justice League of America, whether members like Green Lantern Guy Gardner, Booster Gold or Blue Beetle like it or not. After a final battle with her brother, Ice decides that her destiny lies with the Justice League! Plus, a cult that worships an alien intelligence must stop the team from discovering their dark aims—at any cost! And then, it’s judgment day as the Overmaster returns…and the U.N. sanctioned Leaguebusters are taking Overmaster's side in this battle! Collects JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #65-66, JUSTICE LEAGUE AMERICA #86-91 and JUSTICE LEAGUE TASK FORCE #13-14.
On sale OCTOBER 4 • $24.99 US

Heads up, those of you who came on board during the Geoff Johns years. In the Justice League International collected here, Booster Gold dies! (No, I'm not exaggerating.)

Written by TOM TAYLOR
Tom Taylor continues his hit series Injustice: Gods Among Us story as Superman is imprisoned, and it's up to Batman to put the world back together. But with Superman's iron-fisted regime eliminated, other forces rise up to fill the void. And Batman doesn't have a lot of allies left to help stop them. But when Harley Quinn has an encounter with Amanda Waller, the new Suicide Squad ends up breaking into the Pentagon. Featuring appearances by Harley Quinn, Superman, Damian and many more. Collects INJUSTICE 2 #1-6.
On sale OCTOBER 25 • $24.99 US

As you can see, this hardcover will collect Booster's appearance in Injustice 2 #5, which hasn't even been released yet! How much longer until comics go straight from digital releases to hardcover collections with no floppies in between?

(By the way, this is probably an opportune time for me to comment on the rumor that seems to be winding its way across the internet — starting at — that Booster and Beetle have a romantic relationship in Injustice 2. If they do, that's fine, but there's nothing in the text that explicitly indicates it. To my eye, the pair appear to just be good friends, but others seem to believe that two grown men can't care deeply for one another unless they are kissing. Your interpretation of their relationship is up to you.)

In addition to these reprint collections, Blue Beetle #13 looks to be returning to the Justice League 3000 universe. Perhaps we'll be getting new Booster Gold adventures there soon, too. We'll see how that turns out in November.

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