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Friday, April 22, 2022

All Better Now

In comic books, heroes arrive in the nick of time to restore the status quo. That's generally what you want when a crime is being committed. But what if the problem is the status quo itself?

That's why the first Earth Day was organized on April 22, 1970 (as any environmentally conscious time-traveler could tell you).

© DC Comics

Most of us have only one Earth, and all things being equal, it has treated us pretty well so far. The least we can do is try to keep it the kind of planet our heroes would be proud to call home.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Or Your Money Back

On January 9, 1969, during a ceremony in which he received the Miami Touchdown Club's F.A.M.E. (Football Awards Miami Edition) Award for the Most Outstanding Professional Football Player of 1968, quarterback Joe Namath of the New York Jets was confronted by an aggressive Baltimore Colts fan. In response to the taunting, Namath guaranteed a Jets victory in the upcoming Super Bowl III.

It became the guarantee heard around the world.

Smart money at the time was that the Colts, representing the established National Football League (whose teams had won the previous two Super Bowls decisively), would handily beat the Jets of the upstart American Football League. No less than famous oddsmaker Jimmy the Greek had predicted the Colts would win by more than two touchdowns.

Therefore, Namath's guarantee, widely reported by the Miami Herald, was generally ignored or ridiculed.

As you may have heard, when the game was played on January 12, the Jets not only covered the 17-point spread, they won outright, proving that the AFL was legitimate football and paving the way for the Super Bowl to become America's biggest sports spectacle. As Namath left the field that day, "The Guarantee" became legend...

© DC Comics

...the sort of legend that time-traveling, 20th-century hero-worshiping, former-football-players (with problematic gambling histories) probably find irresistible.

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Friday, December 17, 2021

This Day in History: Holiday Office Party

DC released its annual winter holiday anthology this week, 'Tis the Season to be Freezin'. While I liked it fine — I'm especially tickled by the title — I still prefer DC Universe Holiday Special and its JLA Watchtower office Christmas party, released on this date in 2008.

© DC Comics
"Party Animal," words by Alan Burnett, art by Kevin Maguire

Bust a move, Booster.

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Friday, December 10, 2021

This Day in History: Return of the King

It is always worth remembering that if you work hard and don't give up, you will find second chances in life. For example, after a 23-year wait, Dan Jurgens got a second chance to write a series named for the character he created.

Booster Gold had been a peripheral team player ever since his first volume was cancelled following Millennium in 1987. But after the character's star turn in the wake of Infinite Crisis and 52, he got a second chance at stardom in a second Booster Gold series.

The new title was written by the pairing of fan-favorite writer Geoff Johns and movie producer Jeff Katz who quickly established a new paradigm for the "Greatest Hero You've Never Heard Of." When the time came — in the series' second year — for Johns and Katz to move on to greener pastures, the reins were finally turned back over to Booster's original scribe.

Jurgens' first Volume 2 issue was Booster Gold #15, released on this day in 2010. It didn't take him long to re-establish the sibling rivalry he invented decades earlier.

© DC Comics

Just like old times!

Eleven years later, Jurgens is now working on yet another Booster Gold title. Perseverance pays off, kids.

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Wednesday, October 6, 2021

This Day in History: Power Outage

Once upon a time, Guy Gardner was an insufferable jerk who was so insufferable that he was actually kicked out of the Green Lantern Corps. Guy being Guy, that didn't stop him for long. In fact, he took on the entire Corps just to get his hand on Sinestro's yellow power ring, which, being Sinestro's ring, had a few quirks of its own, as Guy discovered in Guy Gardner #2, released on this date 29 years ago today.

But that's not what's important about that issue. What's important about that issue was Booster Gold's 1990s hair!

© DC Comics

I'd sell my soul to Neron for hair like that.

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