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Wednesday, June 5, 2019

For Your Consideration

Westfield Comics has posted an article detailing the origins of Booster Gold Volume 1 in advance of the reprinting of those issues for the upcoming Booster Gold: The Big Fall hardcover.

The article was written by Robert Greenberger, a former DC editor who worked on the Who's Who series. Greenberger spoke with Booster's creator, Dan Jurgens, for a first-person take on the occasion. Most of what was said will be familiar to long-time Booster boosters (much of it is corroborated by what Jurgens had previously told me in my Secret Origin interview) but it's always interesting to hear Jurgens speak of the old days at DC.

Writes Greenberger:

Jurgens pitched the idea to Giordano and was surprised at how quickly the series was picked up. "At the time, DC was a remarkably fun place to work," Jurgens recounted. "They were very, very open to new ideas and concepts. The company was committed to trying new things.

"I was at a convention in Dallas that Dick Giordano and Pat Bastienne were also attending. Dick was always highly encouraging and always said if I had anything in terms of a project idea, to bring it to him.

"We had breakfast before the Con started and I pitched him the basic concept of Booster—where he came from, what motivated him and what would make him different. At that point, I didn’t even have the pitch written out. I believe I had a preliminary sketch.

Booster Gold being born in Dallas makes perfect sense. There are few times/places more associated with American capitalism than Dallas, Texas in the mid-80s. (Booster Gold versus J.R. Ewing!)

Speaking of villains, Jurgens also admits to a lingering affinity for Dirk Davis. Maybe one day Booster's selfish agent will get a shot at redemption. Until then, you can relive his glory days in Booster Gold: The Big Fall when it is released this September.

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Monday, April 22, 2019

Speaking of Dirk Davis

Great minds think alike. No sooner had I finished writing Friday's bio on Dirk Davis than I clicked over to Ross Pearsall's delightful Super-Team Family Presents... blog and found that he's also got Booster Gold's agent on his creative mind.

Super-Team Family Presents #2561

Mojo is an X-Men villain from another universe who, like Booster Gold, debuted in the mid-1980s as a commentary on American celebrity culture. In Mojo's case, he's a parody of a television network executive whose only desire is to get great ratings at any cost. In other words, he's a natural foe for popularity-obsessed a Booster Gold!

Great job, Ross.

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Friday, April 19, 2019

Character Spotlight on Dirk Davis

The life of any comic book hero would be a lonely one if not for the many characters who have made up their supporting cast. Just as Superman has Lois Lane and Batman has Alfred, Booster Gold has also shared his adventures with quite a few people over the years. Today we look at one of those, Dirk Davis.

The People in His Neighborhood: spotlighting the characters who have made Booster Gold such a star

As seen in Booster Gold Volume 1, #9 (1986), Dirk Davis was covering a presidential visit to Metropolis as a member of the press when he got his first glimpse of Booster Gold in action. Davis knew then and there that Booster could be worth a fortune.

© DC Comics

According to Davis in Booster Gold #2, Booster would seek him out to be his agent, presumably because of Davis' experience managing the careers of larger-than-life professional wrestlers. Within just a few months, Davis had made Booster's Goldstar, Incorporated a marketing empire, with lucrative contracts promoting Flakies breakfast cereal, Brysler Motors, Blaze Comics, and Dusk Cologne. He took steps to create a super suit for a sidekick for Booster Gold. He even attempted to get Booster his own Hollywood movie.

Unfortunately for Dirk, not all press is good press. His close association with a genuine super hero led to some unwanted attention when the 1000 kidnapped his daughter, Sarah, in an attempt to lure Booster Gold into a trap (Booster Gold #7). Things got worse when the 1000 also kidnapped Goldstar, Inc. secretary, Trixie Collins (Booster Gold #10), and forced him to turn over the access codes to the Goldstar computer mainframe (Booster Gold #11).

© DC Comics

Booster eventually managed to defeat the 1000, but at great personal cost. The only way to repair his power suit and his health was to travel back to the future. Davis used the time while Booster was away to reorganize Goldstar, Inc. into Booster Gold International (B.G.I.) with the intention of building a multi-national corporate conglomeration the likes of LexCorp (Booster Gold #16). Booster gave Dirk a promotion from agent to C.E.O. This would prove to be a mistake.

When Earth became ground zero in the war between the Oans and Manhunters during the "Millennium" event, a Manhunter agent stole all B.G.I. assets in an effort to force Booster to joining their side (Booster Gold #24). That Manhunter agent was Dirk Davis.

The Manhunters lost "Millennium," and it would be years before Booster eventually confronted Davis over his betrayal in Extreme Justice #6 (1995). By then, Davis had lost the entire fortune on a series of terrible investments. So Booster seized control of Davis' corporation, Lightspeed Entertainment, and had Davis thrown out of the building.

© DC Comics

Davis swore that Booster hadn't "seen the last of" him, but like so many of Davis' promises, it proved to be so much hot air.

To read creator Dan Jurgens' take on Dirk's journey from confidant to villain, click here to read my post from May 29, 2015.

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Friday, May 29, 2015

30 Years of Character Development

So Convergence is now over, and it represents a paradigm shift for our hero. We shouldn't be surprised; the first time DC tried a weekly, eight-issue event series, it, too, rewrote the book for Booster Gold.

By the conclusion to 1988's Millennium, Booster Gold was penniless and disgraced thanks to the machinations of his manager, Dirk Davis. It was revealed that Davis had all along been a sleeper agent for the evil Manhunters, and he had manipulated our hero into a corner. As a result, Booster lost his solo series and very nearly quit adventuring altogether.

Davis' personality was hard to nail down throughout Booster Gold volume 1. Some issues he was Booster's friend, and some issues he was in league with Booster's enemy or trying to steal Booster's girl. That might make readers wonder what creator Dan Jurgens might have intended for Davis if Millennium hadn't resulted in the series' cancellation.

© DC Comics

Naturally, I put the question to Jurgens himself.

I was merely trying to write Dirk as a more complicated individual-- multifaceted, as so many people are. So, yes, he was a huckster. The MILLENNIUM crossover came somewhat out of nowhere and we were encouraged to use important characters as Manhunters. I plugged Dirk into that role as part of the story, but was never really thrilled with the concept of doing so.

In this case, it was more about the general notion that we use fairly important characters as the Manhunters. It was also thought that it would be more effective that we use someone who'd been there from issue #1, and I wasn't about to use Trixie.

When I would have started the series, there was no plan for Davis or anyone else to be a Manhunter because MILLENNIUM didn't even exist. All of it came later and in a situation like that, you do what you can do make things work.

Nearly 30 years later, Convergence reveals that DC is still flying by the seat of its pants. Would we want our comics any other way?

The True Story of Booster Gold

As always, thanks to Dan Jurgens.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bully for Booster Gold

Extreme Justice #6

Believe it or not, there are several comics websites I enjoy that have nothing to do with Booster Gold. (Hard to believe, I know, but they do exist.) When those sites veer into Booster territory, no matter how tangentially, I'd be remiss not to promote them here. Today's link falls into that category.

Bully the Little Stuffed Bull spends a great deal of time entertaining the web on his website, Bully Says: Comics Oughta Be Fun. One of his regular weekly features is "Ten of a Kind," in which he posts 10 comic book covers sharing a common theme. This week, the theme is anger, and -- guess who? -- Booster Gold is included from the cover of Extreme Justice #6.

This issue, you'll recall, is the one in which Booster reclaims what was left of the fortune stolen from him by the Manhunters in Millennium. This comic is also the last recorded appearance of Dirk Davis, Booster's former manager and among the first character casualties of DC's emerging, line-wide annual crossovers strategy. DC editorial mandated turning established supporting characters into sleeper-agent villains for Millennium, resulting in some very confusing continuity and permanently truncated story lines. Good to see that DC has learned their lesson on that front (he says, sarcastically).

So go, enjoy Bully's gentle, loving mockery of comic books. I know I do.

Comments (3) | Add a Comment | Tags: anger bully the little stuffed bull covers dirk davis extreme justice millennium

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