- Booster Gold
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 10 matching: broderick
Friday, December 16, 2022
My Favorite Pages: Booster Gold 18
Booster Gold #18 is pure crime noir. The issue protagonist isn't Booster, but dogged policeman-out-of-time Broderick, who discovers almost too late that his concept of Justice may not be absolute. It's genuinely heartbreaking.
It helps that Jurgens the Artist masterfully supplements Jurgens the Writer with cinematic chiaroscuro shadows and and smooth panel transitions accompanying the world-weary narrative voiceover. It's almost a shame that the comic is printed in color! (Although Gene D'Angelo's midnight blue alleys, florescent green store interiors, and emergency-vehicle reds really are all perfectly executed.)
All of which makes it really hard to pick just one page to be my favorite.
I sure like the acrobatic routine on page 1. And if I didn't care to spoil the ending, I might say the best page is the last one. But better than those is this slow-burn close up establishing shot on page 6:
Most Booster boosters would say that Booster Gold #18 is the single best issue of Booster Gold volume 1. And I'm not going to argue with them. That's why I chose it as one of my Twelve Best Booster Gold Stories Ever.
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Friday, December 18, 2020
The Best of Booster Gold: Action Comics 995
December brings us to end of our list of the twelve best Booster Gold comics. We've come full circle.
In the second entry on the list, 1986's Booster Gold #6, Skeets reveals Booster Gold's origin story to Superman for the first time. Thirty two years and several continuity reboots later, some things haven't changed. In our final entry, 2016's Action Comics #995, Skeets once again reveals Booster Gold's origin story to Superman.
Booster's creator Dan Jurgens took partial inspiration for Booster's origin from the Silver Age adventures of Superman. In this issue, he expands their connection by exploring the difference between the upbringing of the two characters. How much credit do their parents deserve for setting them on their respective heroic journeys? (Hint: a lot.)
The entire issue is rife with this sort of parallelism.
The story starts with Superman confronted by a Kryptonian policeman, the Eradicator, and it ends with Booster hunted by 25th-century federal agent Broderick (last seen in the excellent Booster Gold #18). Despite the comparable situations, Superman is seen as history's greatest hero while Booster Gold is considered nothing more than a criminal. Perception is reality, even in comic books.
By the way, since we're keeping track of such things, in their first meeting, Superman taught Booster Gold about the responsibility of using his super powers in Booster Gold #7. This time around, it's Booster's turn to explain the rules. I love that.
Perhaps the best thing about this issue is among its least consequential. The first time we visited this story, Booster's mother had died believing her son was a failure. It was long overdue that Ma Carter finally learn her only son would go on to become one of history's greatest heroes.
I think you can see why I include Action Comics #995 on my list of the twelve best Booster Gold comics.
And those twelve are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many more great Booster Gold comics to discover, and hopefully many more to come in the years ahead.
Here's to Booster Gold forever.
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Monday, March 23, 2020
The Best of Booster Gold: Booster Gold 18
The contrast between justice, vengeance, and redemption. Fate versus free will. Heroic self-sacrifice. All of those themes are factors in why I consider Booster Gold #18 among the twelve best Booster Gold comics.
The story, "Showdown," written and illustrated by Dan Jurgens, opens with a montage of Booster Gold in training. Though this is just a prologue to the main story, it sets the stage for what's coming. It lets us, the readers, see that Booster Gold is willing to put in some effort to be the best super hero that he can be. In other words, he's working at being good. If you've never read a Booster Gold story before, you now know where our hero stands.
Booster Gold is the hero in this story, but not the protagonist. That role belongs to Broderick, a federal agent who always gets his man. While Booster walks the path of the hero, Broderick's road has become considerably darker ever since he let his self-righteous hatred be his guide.
Broderick's obsession with Booster Gold is born from familiar circumstances. He had once been among Michael "Booster" Carter's biggest fans when the youngster was playing quarterback for Gotham University. As is so often the case, when Booster was caught cheating in a gambling scandal, Broderick took the news of his hero's transgression as a personal slight.
After "Booster" Carter stole a time machine, Broderick swore he would bring him to justice, no matter how far he had to go to do it. The former object of Broderick's affection became an object of disgust and hatred.
He chases Booster to the past, where he is driven to break the law to survive. He soon confirms that Booster has become a hero to the masses, a revelation that only stokes his hatred. How backwards this 20th century where thieves are the heroes and policemen are driven to steal!
Broderick's determination finally pays off when he ambushes Booster Gold outside of his own mansion. Booster is accompanied by a date, but Broderick doesn't care. It's a sign of how far he's let his obession drive him from the path of the righteous that his prey cares more about the lives of bystanders than the dutiful "officer of the law" does.
Booster leads Broderick on an excting chase through the back alleys of downtown Metropolis before the confrontation plays out exactly as the brilliant cover promised.
The law man has Booster dead to rights and is about to pull the trigger — becoming judge, jury, and executioner in one — when something unexpected happens. A second tragedy is unfolding nearby. Someone is robbing a liquor store. Booster uses the opportunity to remind Broderick just how far he's fallen.
The pair put aside their differences long enough to stop the robbery and save innocent lives, allowing Booster to demonstrate by action that he's not the the villain of Broderick's warped imagination.
Afterwards, Broderick is faced with a harsh choice: punish "Booster" Carter for crimes he admits he has committed and take a hero off the streets, or allow a guilty man to walk away from justice for the sake of the greater good.
His world shattered, Broderick fades into the shadows. Did he ever find a way out? I sure hope so.
This issue touches on a lot of great questions about what a hero is. Can someone steal for the right reasons? What is the boundaries between vengeance and justice? It's the asking of those questions that makes this, without a doubt, one of The Best Booster Gold Stories Ever.
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Friday, June 21, 2019
Love the Ones You're With
Not so long ago, someone asked me if I could make a list of the best Booster Gold stories that weren't in Booster Gold or Justice League series. That was on my mind as I was compiling the Boosterrific list of "featured" stories I mentioned in Monday's post. The answer is: it's a short list.
3. Action Comics #933-998 (2018)
2. Countdown to Infinite Crisis #1 (2005)
1. 52 #1-52 (2006)
Almost every other great Booster Gold story takes place in his self-titled series or alongside his Justice League super friends. Which, let me emphasize, is not a bad thing.
My favorite Booster Gold comic is his first featured JLI appearance, Justice League #4. I always get a kick out of his misadventures on KooeyKooeyKooey with Blue Beetle in Justice League America #34 and as the field general of the Conglomerate in Justice League Quarterly #1. And what Booster booster doesn't love the work creator Dan Jurgens has done filling Michael Jon Carter's life with supporting characters like as Broderick, as seen in Booster Gold Volume 1, #18?
If you're looking for the best Booster Gold adventures outside the usual places, read the books I listed above. They're good, I promise. But please remember to enjoy Booster Gold wherever you find him. He rarely disappoints.
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Friday, December 14, 2018
The Booster Gold Revenge Squad
Continuing Monday's discussion of who I would put in Booster Gold's rogues gallery: Booster Gold is unique among DC's heroes because his "secret" identity is also heroic. Booster hides his job as multiverse-spanning Time Master behind his public persona of glory-hogging Justice Leaguer. That means that he needs two sets of rogues, one to oppose each role.
When considering who I would include in either set of Booster's foes, I focused on characters who thematically matched Booster's personality, history, skills, and ideals. I generally gave extra weight to characters Booster has some experience with in the past, but I didn't let that get in the way of two who have never appeared in the same comic as our hero but make great foils to contrast Booster's greatest flaws.
Presented in alphabetical order, these are my top six suggestions to comprise the Rogues Gallery of Booster Gold, time-traveling member of the Justice League.
Broderick, Duela Dent, Maxwell Lord, Royal Flush Gang, Sportsmaster, T.O. Morrow
Broderick. Most super villains are obsessed with their heroes, and who has more cause to hate Bootser Gold than a federal agent from the future who pursed criminal Michael Jon "Booster" Carter into the present and got stuck here? Watching Booster rise to fame and fortune while he was locked away from friends and family... that sounds to me like a good reason to hold a grudge.
Duela Dent, aka The Joker's Daughter. In many ways, Duela is the anti-Micheal Jon Carter. Just as Booster models himself after the 20th-century heroes he idolized, she is obsessed with villains and has gone out of her way to associate herself with them in a desperate need for acceptance and validation. I think she would be ideal for an ongoing character study of Booster's more questionable psychological and ethical motivations. (While the New 52 has made Duela darker, I don't see why Rebirth couldn't mover her closer to her multiverse-spanning pre-Flashpoint origins.)
Maxwell Lord. Corporate raider, employer, rival, murderer, manipulator: for so many reasons, Max should be Booster's arch nemesis in any timeline.
Royal Flush Gang. Booster's first Justice League foes are a visual symbol of Booster's greatest mistake: the gamble that nearly ruined his life. They'll always be associated with Booster Gold, and they always should be.
Sportsmaster: Stop me if this sounds familiar: Lawrence "Crusher" Crock was a brilliant athlete who cheated at football and turned to theft. Just as Duela darkly reflects Booster's psychology, Sportsmaster is a cautionary tale about his actual life choices. What do you do when confronted with someone who has made all the same choices as you did but turned out wrong? Sportsmaster could be Booster's own reclamation project.
T.O. Morrow. Best known as the father of the Red Tornado, T.O. Morrow invented a television that allowed him to see into the future and use its technology to lead a life of crime and triumph over the Justice League itself. Not only has Morrow tangentially crossed paths with Booster on many occasions over the years, he is capable of understanding Booster's "past" and using it against him to gain leverage in his criminal enterprises going forward.
Those are my top picks. Who have I missed? Who would you have chosen instead?
We'll discuss my choices for villains to battle Booster Gold in his more important (and far less public) role as a Time Master next week.
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