- Booster Gold
Showing posts 0-4 of 4 matching: chris sprouse
Saturday, September 11, 2021
Justice League America #56 was released on September 17, 1991, thirty years ago next week. Its mawkish story takes place in the middle of the too-long "Breakdowns" event marking the denouement of the United Nations-sponsored Justice League International era.
This chapter focuses on the forsaken Leaguers struggling to adapt to life without a league. Among them, Fire and Ice struggle to join a modeling agency, and Blue Beetle finds that his poor physical health will prevent him from joining the Booster Gold-led Conglomerate. There aren't a lot of "bwah-ha-ha" moments here.
No matter how you look at it, "Breakdowns" was not a particularly good story, and this wasn't a particularly good issue. As much as we want them to be, not all comics can be masterpieces.
But this comic book is worth a look back today if for no other reason than for its cover by Chris Sprouse and Bruce D. Patterson. As pretty as it was at the time, it was made more poignant by events that transpired almost exactly ten years after the issue's publication.
Friday, May 15, 2020
Let me go ahead and say this up front: While Justice League #4 is my personal favorite comic book of all time, Justice League Quarterly #1 is a very close second. That makes it an obvious choice to be in my list of the twelve best Booster Gold comics.
What makes Justice League Quarterly #1 so great? I'll let Claire Montgomery explain.
In hindsight, a corporate-sponsored super team seems like such an obvious idea. In the late 1980s, corporate America was ascendant. When the Justice League went international with the backing of the United Nations, it was inevitable that private industry would want to strike back with super heroes they could control. Who better to lead such an endeavor than Booster Gold, the DCU's original Corporate Crusader?
In a Justice League issue, it would be easy to treat the Conglomerate as either a bunch of bumbling boobs (like the Injustice League) or as a souless gang of misguided thugs (like the Rocket Red Brigade). Instead, writers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis present the new team — including a couple of faces and names that will be familiar to "Justice League Detroit" fans — as a group worthy of respect, trying to do good inside the structure of an imperfect system.
The villains in this story aren't the corporate super team but their big-money bosses. With names like Mr. Whiteman and Mrs. Karpedeim, it's perfectly clear what we're supposed to think about a Capitalistic culture that values heroism as useful only so long as it sells another gallon of gas.
What happens when a group of well-intentioned heroes are confronted with the very difficult reality that saving money is more important that saving lives? Read on to find out.
If you think a story of super hero ethics isn't interesting enough to hold your interest for 70 pages, this issue has a few surprises for you. In addition to a very cynical look at American business culture, there are several character-driven subplots playing out around around that core, most importantly including the relationship between Booster Gold and his former BFF, Blue Beetle.
I love this book. I love the art by Chris Sprouse and Bruce Patterson. I love the Conglomerate's team uniform is a leather jacket covered with corporate patches. I love that team manager Claire Montgomery is Max Lord's ex-wife. I love that Booster Gold is forced to appear in a publicity photo with former business rival Lex Luthor. I love that Green Lantern foe Hector Hammond thinks he's not evil enough for corporate America.
And most importantly, I love that Booster and Beetle are making an effort to work through their differences.
In other words, I love Justice League Quarterly #1, and that's all the reason I need to include it among the The Best Booster Gold Stories Ever.
(Just so you know, this issue has very recently been reprinted — for the first time! — in the Justice League: Corporate Maneuvers collection. Next time you visit your Local Comic Shop, consider picking up a copy. I love mine!)
Monday, November 6, 2017
While I like most Booster Gold comics, I love some more than others. Among my favorites is Justice League Quarterly #1, the first appearance of the Conglomerate, released on this date in 1990.
The issue's story, "Corporate Maneuvers (and leveraged buyouts)," was a logical counterpoint to the Justice League International era. Unwilling to sit back and let the nations of the world monopolize influence on the activities of formerly independent super heroes, the major international corporations of the DC Universe developed their own team: the Conglomerate. It was only natural that the original Corporate Crusader himself would lead them into battle.
The Conglomerate went on to much early success which created tension with Booster's friends in the JLI, especially Blue Beetle. I probably don't need to tell you that the two teams have to overcome their jealousy of one another to save the day, but it's very satisfying when the inevitable finally happens.
You probably won't see this issue on any "must read" list for new Booster Gold fans. I admit that it's mainly a Justice League International story. However, Booster Gold does have a starring role, and the story does directly address the dichotomy of Michael Jon Carter's "shallow" public persona versus his more noble self-identification. For that reason alone, I think it's worth a look for people interested in the evolution of my favorite character.
Besides, who doesn't love that leather jacket?
In honor of the issue's anniversary, here's Adam Hughes' original pencil work for the cover — an homage to Kevin Maguire much duplicated "crowded elevator" cover for Justice League #1 — as published in Back Issue #2 (February 2004). As you can see, an uninvited guest crashed this party! Click the image to embiggen.
Here's to the good old days!
Monday, July 30, 2012
Without Chris Sprouse, we might still have had Booster Gold in his black leather jacket as the leader of the Conglomerate, but he wouldn't have looked nearly as cool.
Justice League Quarterly #1 in 1990 was among Sprouse's earliest works for DC Comics, but by no means was it the last. While it may seem that Sprouse has gone underutilized since the DC reboot, his legion of fans will be pleased to know that he recently hinted on his website, SprouseNet, that he will soon be returning to a Tom Strong mini-series. That's good birthday news, indeed.
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