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Showing posts 0-5 of 40 matching: death

Monday, March 21, 2022

You Can Never Have Enough Beetles

Longtime Booster booster Morgenstern recently asked me a very good question:

Did you ever write an article about this dropped idea of making Tim Drake Blue Beetle and the Death of Booster Gold by Scott Beatty & Chuck Dixon?

The answer is "no." And I'll correct that oversight right now.

Before I can explain, let me set the stage. The early 2000s were a lean time for Booster Gold. He made exactly two in-continuity, non-flashback appearances in 2001, both in very small parts (just a few panels) as set dressing for the "Our Worlds at War" and "Joker's Last Laugh" crossover events. Although Booster was still friends with Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle was finding much greater success as an associate of Oracle's Birds of Prey. That's where this story begins.

In Birds of Prey #39 (released in January 2002), Ted Kord is diagnosed with a heart condition that forces him to hang up his tights. However,Birds of Prey and Robin writer Chuck Dixon and his "Joker: Last Laugh" co-collaborator Scott Beatty didn't intend this to be the end of the Blue Beetle, just an opportunity for a passing of the mantle.

The plan, as Beatty revealed on his blog in a 2019 post titled "THE CLIP FILE: How Scott Beatty & Chuck Dixon *ALMOST* Turned Robin Into BLUE BEETLE!," was that "a gravely injured Ted Kord would find a replacement Blue Beetle while he convalesced... assuming that he would survive at all. It would be a *paid* position occupied by a cash-strapped Tim Drake (a.k.a. Robin III)." Christopher Irving's 2007 encyclopedic The Blue Beetle Companion confirms the plan, quoting Dixon as elaborating that eventually "an invalid Ted Kord would direct a half dozen Blue Beetles (all with different talents) to battle international crime."

What makes all of this relevant to Booster Gold fans is exactly how Beatty and Dixon intended to launch this enterprise in the pages of a proposed mini-series they called Blue Beetles. Quoting from the mini-series pitch proposal on Beatty's blog:

We throw down the gauntlet with the death of Booster Gold.

Really.

With ground-support from Ted, Danny and Star begin an investigation into the events surrounding Booster Gold's demise, a mystery which provides the backbone to the first few issues. Their trial-by-fire begins as Ted launches an ambitious campaign to reel in any Beetle foes still at-large, sending his apprentice Beetles to capture a string of rogues and offer them clemency if they swear to renounce villainy; otherwise it's a one-way ticket to the Slab. And now that it's tucked away in polar isolation at the bottom of the world, NOBODY wants to go to the Slab.

Meanwhile, Booster is celebrated on the evening news, showered in fifteen minutes of celebrity as unofficial biographies are published, how-to videos are hawked, and the promotional machine grinds dollars out of heroic sacrifice.

The kicker is this: Booster's death was faked by Maxwell Lord in order to capitalize on the cult of celebrity surrounding young stars dying young and leaving beautiful corpses. Lord plans on marketing the Booster Gold bio and telepic, then engineering a ballyhooed superhero resurrection.

Booster and Max are in cahoots, hoping to spike interest in the hero's eventual resurrection and subsequent product endorsement deals. What's worse, both Booster and Max were willing to silence Ted Kord in order to maintain the ruse.

That's... just.... Wow.

Although this particular pitch was denied by the Powers-That-Be at DC at the time for unspecified reasons — and I can't say I'm too saddened by that particular decision — it's amazing to see how many of these ideas presage what would actually unfold in the hands of other writers. Remember, this was 2002. Max's villain turn in Countdown to Infinite Crisis was still three years away, and Booster's death would be a key component of Infinite Crisis-follow up 52!

For more information on this particular footnote of DC history, I encourage you to read Beatty's full proposal for Blue Beetles on his blog, scottbeatty.blogspot.com.

Thanks for helping me correct my oversight, M.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: blogspot.com blue beetle blue beetles chuck dixon death max lord morgenstern robin scott beatty ted kord tim drake

Monday, December 27, 2021

New Release: Human Target 3

If you're like me, you've eaten enough food in the past month to survive into 2023 without taking another bite. So it's good to have motivation to get a little exercise tomorrow... by walking to my car and driving to my Local Comic Shop to pick up the newest issue of Human Target, specifically because it has this delicious cover:

© DC Comics

Hmm. That image reminds me of something. What could it be? Ah, yes.

© DC Comics

For the record, Dan Jurgens' splash page from Booster Gold Volume 1 #10 was metaphorical. The evil Director was not really a giant holding the employees of Goldstar, Inc.

I assume that Human Target #3 will be something similar. However, even if Human Target #3 is all about Booster Gold eating bagels, I'll still buy it. Maybe I'll buy two. Bagels are good eating.

To see more of what Smallwood's actual interior art will be, check out the 3-page issue preview at AIPTcomics.com. Once you've done that, buy this issue and make Skeets (and your mouth) happy.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: dan jurgens director of death greg smallwood human target new releases

Monday, November 8, 2021

Looking for Something to Read

Blue and Gold #4 was originally solicited for October 19, but when issue 3 slid to October 12, it was easy to see that that issue 4 would be significantly off target, too. Expect to see it next week.

In the meantime, may I suggest that you read a book. Maybe the kind without pictures. Perhaps a book like The Death and Life of Superman (1993, ISBN 0-553-09582-X) by Action Comics writer Roger Stern?

You'll find this historic passage early in Chapter 8:

© DC Comics

Now that's what I call literature!

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: books death and life of superman roger stern

Monday, October 25, 2021

Trixie Collins, Landlord

Readers of Blue and Gold #3 may be unaware that Booster's old secretary, Theresa Collins, has previous history of providing office space to superheroes.

It didn't go well.

Teen Titans #17 (1998), written and drawn by Dan Jurgens, saw the Teen Titans reforming under the leadership of former Justice Leaguer Atom who had been de-aged to a teenager by Extant in Zero Hour.

To attract attention, the team chose the "hottest hangout in Metropolis" for its new headquarters:

© DC Comics
Teen Titans #17 additional art by Phil Jimenez, Gregory Wright, Comicraft

The Stain was a combination nightclub/arcade. In Teen Titans #18, its manager was — you guessed it — Trixie Collins.

© DC Comics
© DC Comics
Teen Titans #18 additional art by Phil Jimenez, Gregory Wright, Comicraft, Digital Chameleon

"Lazer Booster 2000"? A Booster Gold Easter egg!

Mercifully, this dysfunctional incarnation of the Titans was canceled eight issues after it started, but the Stain didn't last even that long. It was blown up by longtime team nemesis Deathstroke The Terminator in issue #22.

© DC Comics
© DC Comics

It's been two decades since the Stain was removed. I sure hope Trixie learned her lesson and has supervillain insurance for her new building.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: deathstroke teen titans trixie collins

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

New Release: Superman Red and Blue 3

Great news, Booster boosters! Booster Gold is in this week's Superman: Red and Blue #3.

You can read a preview of the first few pages at aiptcomics.com, but we've already seen what we needed to see via Twitter.com:

© DC Comics

And while you're in your Local Comic Shop, know that Booster reprises his cover-only appearance from Dark Nights: Death Metal: The Last 52: War of the Multiverses on the reprint collection Dark Nights: Death Metal: War of the Multiverses, where he once again appears only on the cover. If nothing else, you've got to give him credit for consistency.

Buy these comics and make Skeets happy!

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: death metal new releases red and blue superman


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