- Booster Gold
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Monday, January 13, 2020
Are you old enough to remember what it was like to have Booster Gold regularly appearing in his own comic book series? If so, you probably remember reading Booster Gold #28.
In that issue, the reader is treated to scenes that take place in
- 1990, the unfortunate events leading to the creation of Cyborg Superman;
- 1993, the year Coast City was destroyed;
- 2010, the "present" day; and
- 2083, the future of experimental time travel Project Slipshift.
Not pictured is 2020, where we are now, exactly one decade since the release of that issue.
I didn't include it on my list of great Booster Gold comics, but in many ways, this is an ideal issue for any new fans interested in Booster's adventures and who are not yet indoctrinated into his (and DC's) history.
Everything is in here: Skeets, Rip Hunter, Michelle, Superman, the Justice League, time travel shenanigans, and of course, the Royal Flush Gang.
Booster will be back in the saddle again sooner or later. He could do much worse than the likes of Booster Gold #28.
Monday, November 11, 2019
Happy Veterans Day!
If you were a veteran, Booster, they should say thanks for your service.
Veteran comic readers may recognize that panel as coming from Booster Gold, Volume 2, #26. That's the same issue that saw Blue Beetle Ted Kord rise from the dead as part of the Blackest Night crossover.
That book was released ten years ago today. That's more than twice the time between this issue and Ted Kord's death in 2005's Countdown to Infinite Crisis. My how time flies.
Friday, October 18, 2019
The DC Comics reading world of 1986 was not ready for the debut of Booster Gold. Who could blame them? Gambler-turned-thief-turned-celebrity sounds more like a traditional DC villain than a hero. Anti-heroes wouldn't become all the rage for a few more years yet. Creator Dan Jurgens was ahead of his time.
The letter columns of early Booster Gold books were filled with complaints that the hero was inherently unlikable. A typical letter, from Booster Gold #5 called him "egotistical, self-absorbed, conceited, self-hyping, and immodest," which even Booster boosters have to admit was a pretty accurate assessment. This situation was only made worse once Booster's origin was revealed in issue #6. No less a moral authority than Superman thought Booster was "nothing more than a 25th-century crook!"
Souring fan reaction to the character was a major factor in the cancellation of the original Booster Gold series. Jurgens resisted polishing Booster's rougher edges, and the Powers That Were decided to move Booster in a new direction with Justice League International where Booster's less palatable character traits were often exploited for comic effect. This worked out in Booster's favor. It was with the JLI that Booster really became a star.
As such things go, public demand for the Justice League led to the JLI team being featured in three consecutive issues of Secret Origins, giving Jurgens another opportunity to sell Booster's origin to the comics reading public. This time he did what he had previously been unwilling to do: he made Booster Gold sympathetic.
In Secret Origins #35, released on this day in 1988, it is revealed that Michael "Booster" Carter only started gambling on his own football games in order to afford an expensive operation for his sick mother. No longer was he a selfish lout. Now Booster was a good son!
"Child with a heart of gold breaking the law to help his family" may not be the most original origin, but it did the job burnishing Booster's tarnished reputation with readers. Booster's worst mistakes could now be chalked up to good intentions. I'm sure Superman would agree that even 25th-century crooks deserve a second chance.
Monday, October 7, 2019
Friday afternoon, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that DC finally plans to release their comprehensive Rebirth continuity in 2020. That's a mere 9 years after they threw out decades of character development in a bid to boost sales.
"We're starting to figure out how continuity works," [DC Comics co-publisher Dan] DiDio said about the process, noting that reboots and complicated retcons are what happens when "things stop making sense."
I'm glad that DiDio, who has overseen DC Comics' output since 2004, has finally realized the value of continuity to the types of stories that his company sells. Better late than never, I guess.
Anyway, I'm sure that what you want to know, as a visitor to a Booster Gold fan site, is "how will this affect Booster Gold?" The answer looks to be: Pretty significantly.
DiDio made the announcement at the "DC Nation" panel of this past weekend's New York Comic Convention accompanied with an illustrated graphic. Bleeding Cool spent most of the weekend pouring over the visible bits of that timeline. I can't make out anything, but Rich Johnston seems to think it restores most of the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity as the third generation of DC heroes.
If that is to be believed, it looks like Booster Gold's history once again includes his joining the original "Bwah-ha-ha" Justice League International alongside Blue Beetle. Also restored: Infinite Crisis and Justice League: Generation Lost. Is there time for 52 to have happened in there somewhere? One can only hope.
Will any of this ever make it to print? Will the short-lived New 52 continuity be abandoned? How can Convergence be shoehorned into this new chronology? Who knows. Maybe we'll find out after Doomsday Clock finally ticks down in December.
Monday, August 12, 2019
"My life has changed in so many ways over the past decade" is something I could say every 10 years. In 2009, I was reading new Booster Gold comic books and watching Attack of the Show on G4. None of those things exist anymore.
Fortunately, I don't have to rely on my memory to recall those golden days because I still have my copy of Booster Gold Volume 2, #23, released 10 years ago today.
For those of you too young to remember, Blair Butler reviewed comic books in her "Fresh Ink" segment on Attack of the Show. She had been very positive about Booster's second series, and DC Comics thought she would make the perfect spokesperson for Booster's fan club. I couldn't agree more.
Butler described how she earned this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to Laura Hudson of ComicsAlliance.com shortly after Comic-Con International on July 29, 2009:
ComicsAlliance: So, how did the whole "Booster Gold" cover with DC come about?
Blair Butler: I actually got a call from Dan DiDio who said he had a crazy idea for an upcoming issue of "Booster Gold." Basically – and forgive me, because my memory sucks and I'm still recovering from Comic-Con – I recall that he said DC wanted to do a cover that sort of stood out for #23, and having a photo cover with a Booster fan was the main idea. It seemed oddly appropriate, since Booster is a bit of an attention hog. I think he'd not-so-secretly love the idea of having a lady-fan on the cover of his book. And, honestly, I was incredibly humbled that DC would ask me to don the Blue and Gold fan colors. I've loved comics since I had to stand on a stool to reach the quarter-bins at my local comic shop, so it's pretty awesome to get to be part of a DC comic.
CA: So what exactly makes you Booster Gold's biggest fan?
BB: Well, first, let me just admit that there are some massive Booster fans out there who really dwarf me – the folks who run the Boosterrific site, the guys at Project Fanboy, and the folks in the DC forums. They're all so passionate that it's really awe-inspiring and humbling. But let's settle this now: The real #1 fan would be Skeets or Blue Beetle. And I think Ted wins. However, if this were the mid-80s, Trixie Collins would totally be on the cover, rockin' some awesome 80s shoulder-pads.
I think the people who love Booster really respond to the fact that even though he's a shameless self-promoter, at the end of the day, he's a good, decent, heroic person at the core. Plus, when you live in LA, there's no more fitting superhero than Booster. I mean, the guy saves a crashing plane and does product placement. So Hollywood.
CA: We all know that you're going to be on the cover of "Booster Gold" now, but are you going to make an appearance inside the book as well?
BB: Straight from Dan Jurgens' mouth, I'll play a "slight role." Honestly, having anything to do with the comic is an honor.
That "slight role" was a romantic one. Butler went on a few dates with Booster, joining a list that includes movie star Monica Lake and the super hero Firehawk. An honor indeed!
Butler has since moved from writing for television to writing movies, but I'm sure she's still reading and enjoying Booster Gold comic books.
Meanwhile, Comics Alliance has been defunct since 2017. DC Comics closed their forums in 2016. G4 went off the air in 2014. Project Fanboy dissolved in 2013. Booster Gold Volume 2 was canceled in 2011. But Boosterrific.com is still here (feeling very, very old).
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