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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold

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Showing posts 0-5 of 9 matching: brian cronin

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

25 Years of Mindless Behavior

For years and years, artists believed that the best way to show what a comic strip character was thinking was to put their internal dialog in fluffy, bubbly word balloons. According to comics historian Brian Cronin, credit for that innovation belongs to Rudolph Dirks' Katzenjammer Kids newspaper comic strip in the early years of the 20th century.

However, at the dawn of the 21st century, this method began to fall out of favor in mainstream American superhero comics. Old-fashioned, abstract thought balloons were gradually replaced by the more "realistic" approach of putting the same internal dialog in square boxes, as though characters are narrating their behaviors after the fact.

Since this transition happened incrementally over time, it passed largely without comment. Which made me wonder, "When was the last time that Booster Gold used a thought balloon?"

The answer to this question is Superman #124, cover-dated June 1997.

© DC Comics

© DC Comics

So far as I've been able to tell, Booster Gold never thought again.

It just so happens that this issue also marks the last appearance of Booster's clunky late-90s armor, so it also represents something of bookend to his 1990s adventures. If loosing thought balloons is the price we had to pay to get Booster Gold back in tights, I think I can live with that.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: balloons brian cronin cbr.com superman

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Look It Up

This will come as no surprise to most Booster boosters, but Booster Gold has long had a name recognition problem. Or, as Brian Cronin puts it at CBR.com: "'Look! Up in the Sky! It's a Bird! No, It's a Plane! No, It's Buster Gold!'"

Calling Booster "Buster" has been around since the fourth page of Booster's very first appearance (Booster Gold #1). That was 1985. The most recent appearance of that long-running gag was in Bat-Mite #4 in 2015. Thirty years is a long time to keep a joke running!

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th Edition) defines the direct address "Buster" as

Fellow. Used in addressing a man or boy, especially out of annoyance.

Booster's aggressively brash and cocky personality naturally rubs some people the wrong way, making shouts of "Buster" Gold a fitting commentary from his many detractors.

While we're on the subject, the same dictionary defines "Booster" as

One that boosts, as: An enthusiastic promoter, as of a sports team or school;
or
One who steals goods on display in a store.

You've got to give creator Dan Jurgens credit for squeezing his hero's entire origin into one name.

Booster Gold insiders will note that, as Cronin points out, the "Buster" joke succeeds on an even deeper level:

The whole idea of people mixing up Booster Gold's name is funny, because the very name BOOSTER GOLD is, itself, a mistake.

He's so right. "Booster," "Buster,"... both are a far cry from "Goldstar." (See Booster Gold #9 for more details on how that came to be.)

Cronin only lists 5 "Buster Gold" examples in his CBR.com article, but you can find the whole list of Booster Busters here at Boosterrific.com

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: brian cronin buster cbr.com lists

Friday, November 1, 2019

King of Lists

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.

UPDATE December 9: Why am I still tracking these? Booster is in Karlton Jahmal's list of "5 DC Heroes Wolverine Would Team Up With (& 5 He Would Hate)." Frankly, Booster has far more to worry about than whether or not Wolverine would like him. Doesn't everyone?

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle brian cronin cbr.com extreme justice j. richland anderson justice league international lists paul disilvo scoot allen shawn s lealos

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Blue and Gold Together for the First Time

"Blue and Gold." It's a simple phrase that means silly good times and brotherhood.

Blue Beetle and Booster Gold have been best friends since their earliest days together in the Justice League International, and fans soon took to the shorthand way to reference their unique brand of bromantic hijinks as "Blue and Gold" in letter columns and on issue covers. But when did the phrase first appear within the DC Universe itself?

That's the question that Brian Cronin, long the best part of the website now known as CBR.com, recently answered in his "When We First Met" series.

The answer: Justice League America #53, as spoken by Blue Beetle himself.

© DC Comics
words by J. M. DeMatteis and Keith Giffen
art by Chris Wozniak, Bruce D. Patterson, Gene D'Angelo, and Willie Schubert

Actually, the article says it first appears in Justice League America #52, but I just looked into my own long boxes, and I'm certain it was #53. To be fair, the image accompanying the text is for #53, and #53 was indeed the first issue of the "Breakdowns" story as indicated. So we're going to chalk it up to an accidental typo.

Forgiveness is very "Blue and Gold."

UPDATE: Cronin has corrected his typo. Making up for your past mistakes is also very "Blue and Gold."

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle brian cronin cbr.com justice league international

Monday, August 27, 2018

Get Rich or Die Trying

This weekend, Brian Cronin assembled an impressive article detailing five business schemes perpetrated by Blue Beetle and Booster Gold with the intent of supplementing their JLI income.

The list includes run-ins with vampires, the Joker, enraged pin-up models, the Vatican, and, of course, KooeyKooeyKooey.

I don't have much to add other than to say go read it at CBR.com.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle brian cronin cbr.com


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