- Booster Gold
Showing posts 0-5 of 23 matching: extreme justice
Friday, September 10, 2021
Earlier this month, Timothy Donohoo recapped the Extreme Justice team for the CBR.com article "Booster Gold, Blue Beetle & Captain Atom Formed the Most Extreme Justice League."
I'm not sure from the article whether Donohoo ever actually read any of the Extreme Justice issues (half of his history is based on the not very accurate 2001 JLA: Incarnations mini-series produced five years after Extreme Justice got the axe) , but at the very least it's nice to see someone saying nice things about one of my personal favorite (but widely forgotten) comic series:
Also fitting the team name was the art, which redesigned many classic characters to fit in with the growing popularity of books at Image Comics. It was one of the few DC books that attempted to ride this wave, and it was rather obvious in its methods. Scowls and gritted teeth are a constant sight, with muscles and breasts being more emphasized. Booster Gold got a ridiculous-looking armor that made him look like Valiant's X-O Manowar crossed with a football player, while Blue Beetle was rather blatantly drawn to resemble Todd McFarlane's take on Spider-Man.
No, really, that's about as nice a thing as anyone ever says about Extreme Justice.
And he's not wrong:
Ah, the good, old nineteen-nineties. Some days, I really do miss you.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Booster Gold doesn't show up in any of DC's books this week, so let's talk about next week, where we should expect our hero to make a cameo appearance in Underworld Unleashed: The 25th Anniversary Edition.
For those of you who weren't reading comics in 1995, Underworld Unleashed was that year's universe-wide "crisis" crossover event. The demon Neron engaged in a campaign tempting the inhabitants of the DCU to sell their souls for a taste of greater power and influence
For obvious reasons, many villains were quick to agree to the bargain, and even some heroes found the temptation impossible to resist. Those who accepted were warped into XTREME versions of their former selves. (The influence of Underworld Unleashed is painfully evident in the current, never-ending Death Metal series, which probably plays a role in DC's decision to reprint it now.)
Eventually, the remaining heroes rallied their fractured teams (divided at the time into the Justice League America, Justice League Task Force, and Extreme Justice) to confront the growing evil.
Despite being far from a moral paragon, Booster Gold was never approached by Neron, leaving our hero at the fringes of the story. He made cameo appearances in only two panels in the three issues in the mini-series (issues #2 and #3). And while the crossover event spilled over into two issues of the ongoing Extreme Justice series, Booster was mired in a sub-plot about Firestorm's immaturity and missed out on events when Star Sapphire made life difficult for his teammates in issue #10.
(Ironically, Booster would succumb to the temptations of a different evil manipulator just two months later in Extreme Justice #12 as culmination of a long-running subplot. One imagines that Extreme Justice editor Ruben Diaz, knowing what he had planned for future issues of his series, used his influence as assistant editor of Underworld Unleashed to keep Booster out of the event. That's the sort of role that editors used to play behind the scenes before DC Comics' parent company Warner Bros decided they were an unnecessary expense.)
If you like the 1990s DCU, especially if you like the villains, then you'll get a kick out of the 25th anniversary collection. Personally, I'm still saving up for the inevitable Extreme Justice omnibus. I mean, if DC is reprinting the 90s, they might as well go straight for the top (or bottom, depending on your point of view).
Friday, July 10, 2020
Today I present to you my single favorite Booster Gold panel.
As much as I love the work of Kevin Maguire and Adam Hughes, it's not from Booster's Justice League tryout or KooeyKooeyKooey any other Justice League International comic. It's not by Aaron Lopresti, who drew many truly inspirational moments for our hero in 52 and Generation Lost, including his triumphs over Mister Mind and Max Lord. Nor is it a page from the pen of Booster's prolific creator, Dan Jurgens, though he has crafted so many other memorable Boosterrific moments in the past three-and-a-half decades.
It doesn't even have Blue Beetle or Skeets in it.
No, my favorite Booster Gold panel comes from a most unlikely source, a comic that few people have read since it was released in the middle of the Chromium Age of the 1990s. It was a time after Doomsday had killed destroyed Booster's original technology and our hero had lost much of his previous power and personal identity. (Clothes, after all, do make the man.)
Here's the panel, from the eleventh page of Extreme Justice #12, released November 14, 1995:
Oh, how that gets me every time.
The artists for this piece are Tom Morgan, Ken Branch, and Lee Loughridge, with a lettering assist by Kevin Cunningham. I've always had a soft spot for profiles, and I have notebooks filled with doodles of similar poses. I can't tell you how many gnashed teeth I've drawn in my life. I think it's exceptional how tight the close-up is while still including everything you need to know about the person whose personal space we have violated. Considering that the previous panel is a full body shot, Morgan could have been lazy, but he doesn't skimp the details. The character's iconic blue star seen relegated to the shoulder pad — a literal chip on his shoulder — may be the best part!
But the real reason I love that panel is the writing by the late Robert Washington III and its literary allusion to Tik-Tok, the Clockwork Man of Oz, a mechanical servant/warrior incapable of independent thought or action without the mechanical assistance of its friends. The comparison to Tik-Tok reveals Booster at his most human: a wounded warrior who struggles under the weight of his own heroic expectations and biological frailties. Doubt personified.
Probably because I first encountered it at just the right time in my life, but it has become embedded in my consciousness. I think of this panel often, probably several times a year when I'm feeling worn down by my responsibilities or illness or just life in general. (I probably don't need to tell you, 2020 has been a real test so far.) Somehow, knowing that Booster Gold has experienced the same feelings brightens my outlook. If he found a way to keep going, there's still hope for the rest of us. (I have to believe that won't require entrusting my body to an alternate-universe would-be world conqueror, but a man's got to do what a man's got to do.)
So anyway, maybe it's not the best drawn or the most illuminating or aggrandizing Booster Gold panel, but it's my personal favorite.
Friday, November 1, 2019
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?
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Even before the New 52 came along and rewrote DC history, the days of Extreme Justice were already being largely ignored. And why not? Unlike the so-called Justice League Detroit, which in its quest to be topical had introduced some new characters that struck a chord with their audience that continue to resonate into the present (as evidenced in the recent Dial H for Hero #4), the Extreme Justice squad mostly spent their time looking very mid-90s Xtreme and understandably aged about as poorly as everything else in the oversaturated Chromium Age.
That lack of fan engagement made it xtra unusual that Booster Gold and the Extreme Justice team would make a cameo flashback appearance fighting Brainwave in Green Lantern #152, released on this day in 2002.
Brainwave hadn't been seen much since his Infinity, Inc. series was canceled in the late 80s, so the audience may have needed a recap of his history, even if that history included a "Justice League" team that most would rather forget.
To put the six year gap between Extreme Justice #18 and Green Lantern #152 into a contemporary perspective, consider that six years ago, Booster Gold was appearing as an amnesiac guest star in All-Star Western #19. That feels like centuries ago!
My, how time flies.
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