- Booster Gold
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Monday, July 29, 2019
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every comic book heroes will inevitably get in a fist fight with every other hero. Such was the case with Booster Gold and Superman early in Booster's career.
Not coincidentally, Dan Jurgens took the opportunity of a visit from the established star — in his very first appearance in the newly-merged post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Universe continuity — to reveal Booster's less-than-stellar origin tale. The image on the cover correlated well with the shock and disgust that audiences felt discovering that they had been reading the tale of a gambler and a thief. Superman was giving our hero nothing less than what many of us felt he deserved.
But the story doesn't end there.
Because Dan Jurgens was kind enough to accommodate John Byrne's post-Crisis revamp of Superman in the aforementioned issues, Byrne let Booster guest in Action Comics #594. The cover to that might look familiar; turnabout is fair play.
Pencils by John Byrne, Inks by Keith Williams
Once again, the cover was figuratively true. Booster had been growing into the role of a true hero, and history had been proven to be on his side. The story inside plays on Booster's bad reputation following the earlier story, making the cover reversal doubly sweet.
Aren't these some great covers? As a fan of traditional fine art, I love that the extremely foreshortened poses turn the heroes into grotesques personifying the ugly, violent acts that they are engaged in. As a fan of comic book artists, it's particularly interesting to compare young Jurgens' early take on Superman to Byrne's more iconic character (and also to Jurgens' future interpretation).
As a fan of comic book super heroes, it's just great to see two heroes going head-to-head.
Monday, July 8, 2019
The old adage says never judge a book by its cover, but that's exactly what comic books expect you to do. If you like what you see on the cover, take a look inside!
Some covers do their jobs better than others. Some are truly outstanding in their own right. Among those is Kevin Maguire's composition for Justice League #4 (1987)
Maguire's mastery of body language and facial expressions was as important to the success of the "International" era of the Justice League as Keith Giffen's action-packed plots and J.M. DeMatteis' comedic dialogue. This cover doesn't need extra text to grab the reader's attention!
Look at Booster up there: the surprised underdog caught by a larger, unknown villain strong enough to defeat Green Lanterns, Earth's Mightiest Mortal, and (gulp!) Batman. It's a real David-and-Goliath scenario that will play out on the pages inside. Who wouldn't want to read that?
In addition to the promise of action, Maguire also echos the comedic tone of the writing inside with the "cheek"-y placement of that title logo. (Comics Code Authority approved!) Perhaps Booster is shocked that the solid-blue villain who defeated Martian Manhunter isn't wearing any pants. Watchmen was released concurrently with this title, so could that be Doctor Manhattan "moon"-lighting in the DC Universe? My curiosity is piqued! I guess I'll have to pick it up and look inside.
It happens that Justice League #4 doesn't just have one of my favorite covers. It is also my personal favorite Booster Gold story. It introduced Booster Gold to a whole new audience and did so in a way that demonstrated Booster's humanity and the value his powers could bring to the team. All that is summed-up on the cover. Brilliant!
What are some of your favorite covers?
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