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Friday, January 4, 2019

This Week in Panels: Bros Before Heroes

Booster Gold appeared in two comics this week. The one I didn't mention on Wednesday was Old Lady Harley #3. It seems that in the future, Booster will have his own Las Vegas casino.

© DC Comics
art by Inaki Miranda and Eva De La Cruz

(Thanks again to Logan Peterson for the spot.)

The other one was, as you are no doubt aware, was Heroes in Crisis #4. And while I have mentioned it already this week, it deserves a repeat post because of this panel alone.

© DC Comics
art by Clay Mann and Tomeu Morey

Ah, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold. My heroes.

We still don't know what the shared history of these two is in the Rebirth DCnU. (It can't be time spent in the Justice League.) But who cares.

The friendship of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle cannot be destroyed by Maxwell Lord, Superboy punches, Doctor Manhattan ex machina or any other continuity-destroying device that DC throws at them.

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Friday, August 24, 2018

Alternate (History) Covers released some alternate covers for upcoming issues of Heroes in Crisis via , including this J.G. Jones alternate featuring Booster Gold and Harley Quinn.

© DC Comics

It looks like that will be a 1-in-50 "chase" variant, meaning that comic shops will get one for every fifty of the regular covers they order. (For obvious reasons, these are also called "incentive" variants, as they incentivize shops to order more comics than they otherwise would.) Comic shops price these rarer variants according to the purchase threshold, so expect to pay a pretty penny to acquire this cover, probably three or more times the $4 cover price.

There will also be 1-in-100 and 1-in-200 variants, the second of which is by Francesco Mattina and depicts a very bloody Harley wearing Booster's broken visor. Good luck finding that one for less than $50.

In addition to those rare variants, DC also released the Ryan Sook standard alternate covers for the first three Heroes in Crisis issues. Each depicts an "incident report" based on more traumatic moments in the lives of DC heroes. These are purportedly from the files of Sanctuary, "a facility designed to allow superheroes to process the trauma of those not-so-heroic moments." These traumatic moments include the death of Superman, Batman's broken back, Aquaman's lost arm, and Jason Todd's death. Oddly, they also include Wonder Woman's assassination of Maxwell Lord.

That seems to imply that Lord has died at Wonder Woman's hand. Where does this fit in continuity?

When last we saw him in the pages of Justice League vs Suicide Squad (2016), Lord was still alive and continuing his villainous ways. Since the original Justice League International never existed and Ted Kord is still alive in the DCnU, the events kicking off Infinite Crisis that led directly to Lord's death and eventual rebirth must have played out somewhat differently than originally seen in Wonder Woman #219 (2005) and Brightest Day (2010). Does this cover reference that old continuity destroyed by Flashpoint? Or are we being given a glimpse of a as yet unrevealed relationship between Lord and Wonder Woman in the DCnU? (Could Lord be behind the deaths at Sanctuary?)

Maybe we'll find out more when Heroes in Crisis finally sees print.

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Batman and Harley Quinn (Take Two)

When I originally posted this clip from Warner Bros Entertainment's Batman and Harley Quinn in April, it disappeared before many of you got a chance to see it. Since the movie is actually being released tomorrow, let's try this again.

The movie was co-written by Jim Krieg and Bruce Timm (and Timm provides the voice for Booster!).

Given that Krieg is also a producer for Justice League Action, I think he deserves some extra credit for keeping Booster in the public eye during our hero's current absence from the DCnU. Thanks Jim.

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Friday, April 7, 2017

Batman, Harley Quinn and Booster Gold, Oh My!

Steven Palchinski calls my attention to this sneak peak of the upcoming DCE animated movie Batman and Harley Quinn. To see what this has to do with Booster Gold, advance the following clip to about the 8:30 mark.

A Bloodwynd reference? That's a deep cut!

Thanks, Steven.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Good Old Ultra-Violence

Brady Kj recently found a Booster Gold cameo appearance in Harley Quinn #20. Naturally, I rushed out to my LCS to pick up a copy. Sure enough, Booster is on the first page as part of one of Harley Quinn's dreams.

© DC Comics

I should have stopped reading there. Every character in these pages is, to put it lightly, a jerk. None are worse than the protagonist, Harley Quinn.

There are always problems adapting a villain into a story protagonist. Harley Quinn is implied to have a warped morality, but no morality is present in this issue other than her own. She murders a customer service representative in the busy Los Angeles airport, steals a police car as an officer watches, and pushes a company mascot in front of a bus on a crowded street. This isn't "cartoon violence," either; characters are shown clearly suffering from Harley's actions. Yet no one in Harley's world even attempts to stop her from committing these villainous acts. The only "heroes" present are prostitutes in costumes. Do heroes only exist in Harley's dreams?

Issue co-writer Jimmy Palmiotti liberally sprinkled the same sorts of violence throughout All-Star Western, and it worked there. Bounty hunter Jonah Hex lived in an Old West devoid of law and order. More importantly, despite his flaws Hex was an anti-hero devoted to bringing to justice the fiends who committed these types of atrocities.

By comparison, Harley Quinn is set in modern-day Los Angeles starring a mentally damaged villain. L.A. is not a lawless place located sometime in the distant and barbarous past. What good are Batman and Superman if they let a Harley Quinn run free to murder citizens of America's largest city? What's the point of using L.A. as a backdrop if there's no police or other public servant striving to enforce the rule of law?

I guess what I'm saying is that it damages the verisimilitude a shared comic book universe if inhabitants of that universe are allowed to kill, maim, and steal without recourse. I guess I'm also saying that murder isn't a very funny punchline. But what do I know?

Harley Quinn #20 sold more than 56,000 copies, more than any single issue of Booster Gold outside the "Blackest Night" crossover event. So the next time you question one of DC's decisions, remember that sex, violence, and death sell comics, not story or character. The market has spoken.

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