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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold

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Showing posts 0-5 of 6 matching: favorite covers

Friday, March 20, 2020

My Favorite Covers: Booster Gold 18

Last week, Booster booster Ariel complained about Booster's short haircut worn at the end of his run in the 1980s. He doesn't care for it. To each their own.

Personally, I happen to find it fetching, in no small part because that's the style Booster wore on one of my favorite covers: Booster Gold #18 (1987)!

© DC Comics

Maybe I'm just old school, but I love it when the image on the cover of a comic foretells what'll be happening inside its pages. Booster Gold lying defeated in the gutter? An unknown gunman with our hero in his sights? How will our hero ever get out of this? Open the book and find out!

Dan Jurgens and Jerry Ordway really know how to put together a cover, don't they? In Western culture, our eyes are trained to wander to the bottom right of a page. Jurgens is clearly aware of this visual scanning tendency and redirects our eyes back up through the body of the trenchcoated killer, down the barrel of the gun straight to Booster's heart. Powerful stuff!

(Who did that color? Was it issue colorist Gene D'Angelo? The warm red and gold really pop against that receding, cool green background. It's simple but effective use of complementary color theory.)

In addition to the beautiful artwork, I have to admit in the spirit of full disclosure that part of my admiration is likely due to the story within. It's one of my favorites. In fact, I recently declared it one of the 12 Best Booster Gold Stories Ever. I'll explain why on Monday.

See you next week!

Comments (4) | Add a Comment | Tags: dan jurgens favorite covers jerry ordway

Friday, February 28, 2020

The Best of Booster Gold: Booster Gold 6

I may have put Justice League #4 at the top of my list of the twelve best Booster Gold comics, but the second book on my list is considerably more important to the development of the character we all know and love.

The first six issues of Booster's original self-titled series dropped a lot of hints that its protagonist wasn't your father's hero. He was uncommonly brash, obsessed with fame and money, and completely clueless about the world around him. But who was he, really? Readers didn't even know his real name or the source of his powers.

That would change in Booster Gold #6 (1986), as knows anyone who's ever seen the cover (one of my favorites)!

© DC Comics

Fittingly for an issue revealing the origin of a time traveler, the story's title, "To Cross the Rubicon," is a reference to Julius Caesar's marching his army across the Rubicon River north of Rome, an act that precipitated a previously unimaginable change to the world. Colloquially, the phrase has come to mean committing an act from which there can be no return. As you'll see, both of those meaning apply to this story and the characters within.

In addition to the title, "Creator-Writer-Artist" Dan Jurgens does something else clever on the first page, introducing a new character, the child Jason Redfern, who has witnessed the arrival of a genuine UFO in Metropolis' Centennial Park. Redfern was an outsider to the life of celebrity superhero Booster Gold, and thus the perfect vehicle to deliver readers to the unrevealed inner workings of the mysterious new hero.

© DC Comics

Unlike other heroes of his era, the Corporate Crusader&trad; lives in a world of contracts, business managers, and press secretaries. Occasionally, that machinery can be leveraged to more than just profits or loses. In its way, this is another super power, demonstrated when Booster uses it to bring Jason's discovery to the attention of Metropolis' original hero:

© DC Comics

This is the first appearance of DC's oldest hero, the Man of Steel, in the DC Universe established in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Conversely, Booster Gold is the first new character created in that universe. Therefore, this is the first meeting between the "old" DC and the "new" A Rubicon has been crossed, and Booster Gold is as keenly aware of the significance of the meeting as longtime DC readers would have been.

© DC Comics

To appease Superman, Booster's sidekick Skeets finally reveals their origin story in a series of flashbacks. This is another groundbreaking moment, as Skeets makes no attempt to sand the rough edges of Michael Jon "Booster" Carter's criminal past or selfish motivations as a disgraced former athlete looking for a second chance.

© DC Comics

As we now know, Booster is a thief, having stolen a time machine to make a one-way trip to the past. Another Rubicon crossed! (Ironically, you'd think that a time machine would be the perfect vessel for un-crossing Rubicons, but that's not how time travel worked in the early days of the post-Crisis DC Universe.)

Superman reacts as most readers must have, with revulsion that someone who didn't share his own strict moral code would dare to call himself a hero. He has a point. Booster had more in common with the traditional DC Universe villain than any Justice League member. But this was the 1980s, a time for new heroes with feet of clay.

© DC Comics

Who is right? The old timer or the up and comer? Unfortunately for the heroes, their philosophical argument ends abruptly with the arrival of another threat, and the issue ends on a cliffhanger.

© DC Comics

I guess you'll find out next issue, Skeets!

Readers of the next issue will also discover that Jason's tiny alien crossed a Rubicon of his own. That title just keeps going, which is just one small part of why I consider this to be among The Best Booster Gold Stories Ever.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: best of dan jurgens favorite covers history superman

Monday, December 2, 2019

My Favorite Covers: 52 Week Fifteen

Introducing Booster Gold to a whole know audience, 52 transformed our hero from a much-maligned B-list wannabe into The Greatest Hero The World Has Never Known.

Thanks to the talents of J.G. Jones and Alex Sinclair, the series has a bunch of great covers, some of which don't even feature Booster Gold. However, one stands above the others in my lists of favorites: the cover to 52 Week Fifteen (2006).

© DC Comics
Art by J.G. Jones, color by Alex Sinclair

The cover is deceptively simple, conveying a very complex situation with a minimum of content. Too many modern comics eschew character dialog on their covers and as a result look like nothing more than out-of-context pin-up splash pages. However, this issue leans into the photographic trend by emulating the cover of photo-news magazines like Newsweek. The effect adds realism (and thusly viewer engagement and empathy) to the apparent tragedy it shows. What's happening here? Inquiring minds want to know!

Though it makes good use of the modern "no speech balloons" aesthetic, it also calls back to the Silver Age of DC Comics when covers were created first and the writers had to solve the challenges they teased. Booster Gold's broken goggles, blood, Supernova floating above the Metropolis skyline... the cover promises volumes before you ever turn a page. In addition to good art, it's also good storytelling.

And the best part is that the context of this image changes once you've finished the whole series and look back at it.

Now that's Boosterrific!

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: 52 alex sinclair covers favorite covers jg jones

Monday, October 21, 2019

My Favorite Covers: Booster Gold 11

If the 1980s was about anything, that thing was big business. Greed was good, deal making was an art, and Capitalism finally conquered Communism. Corporate interests dominated politics, and commercialism owned everything else. Into that environment came the original superhero salesman: Booster Gold.

No cover of the era exemplifies that aspect of our hero more than Booster Gold #11 (1986).

© DC Comics
Pencils by Dan Jurgens, Inks by Jerry Ordway

This image is a delightful snapshot of time when J.R. deserved to be shot, and Micheal Knight was a lone crusader in a dangerous world. Booster does his best Don Johnson impersonation in his square-shouldered white linen blazer. He winks at us over his Max Headroom shades, reassuring us that he knows what cool is. If this guy is selling, you're buying.

It might look like an ad for the most 1980s car ever, but what Booster is really selling here is comic books. You can't own a Brysler Boostermobile, but you can own this comic. I'd buy that for a dollar. And I did. Because I was cool, too.

Comments (3) | Add a Comment | Tags: covers dan jurgens favorite covers jerry ordway

Monday, July 29, 2019

My Favorite Covers: Action Comics 594

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.

Every new super hero in a shared universe needs guest appearances from more famous characters to drive new readers to their title. Hence Superman's appearance in Booster Gold #6 and #7.

© DC Comics
Pencils by Dan Jurgens, Inks by Mike DeCarlo

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.

© DC Comics
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.

Comments (3) | Add a Comment | Tags: covers dan jurgens favorite covers john byrne keith williams mike decarlo superman


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