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 This Day in History: Booster Gold's Back

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Believe it or not, once upon a time, Booster Gold was such a big star that he could sell comics he wasn't in just by appearing on the cover! Backwards!

Take, for example, Secret Origins #32, released 29 years ago today.

© DC Comics
art by Eric Shanower

This issue presents the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths origin of the Justice League of America (which was differentiated from the original origin by the substitution of Black Canary for Wonder Woman).

The Justice League International was super hot at the time, so although the only links between the two teams were Canary and Martian Manhunter, the JLI was still given prime cover real estate to sell the story to new readers unfamiliar with DCU history.

There's no reason this strategy couldn't be used to sell old stories to a modern audience today. I speak only for myself, but I'd be much happier buying a comic showcasing Damian Wayne (Robin V) if he appeared only on the cover.
Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: black canary blue beetle eric shanower justice league international martian manhunter secret origins

 Rewatching The Greatest Story Never Told

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Before Justice League Action blew my mind this weekend, I was thinking that I should start an occasional series of posts covering some of the higher points of Booster Gold fandom. After all, every day someone is probably encountering Booster Gold for the first time, and they need to know what the good stuff is.

Apparently, The A.V. Club was thinking along similar lines. Monday, the site ran an article by Noel Murray extensively praising the Justice League Unlimited series that ran on Cartoon Network from 2004 to 2006. Most of that praise was thrown at one episode in particular: "The Greatest Story Never Told."

There are few stories in the history of Booster Gold as good as "The Greatest Story Never Told."

Murray's commentary is insightful. He covers why the episode is great as well as why all comic book fans should love Booster Gold. His post's only weakness is that it fails to make it clear to any readers who have never seen the episode just how much fun it is to watch.

© DC Comics

So if you're a Booster Gold fan (or even if you're just Booster Gold curious), you owe it to yourself to track the episode down and spend 23 minutes with the most underappreciated hero in the DC Universe.

And when you're done watching the episode, you can read Murray's whole article at avclub.com.
Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: avclub.com greatest story never told justice league unlimited noel murray

 In Praise of Action

Monday, July 10, 2017

I'm about to do something I never do. I'm going to gush about something I saw on television this past weekend, specifically the Justice League Action episode "Time Out."

"Time Out" gives us possibly the greatest on-screen Booster Gold ever.

Justice League Action episode Time Out

Episode writer Jonathan Callan channeled Booster Gold perfectly. Like our hero, he stole from his past to make a better present. Sci-fi geeks may recognize that the primary antagonists in "Time Out" were lifted from old Doctor Who episodes. (And that doorway at Vanishing Point sure looked like something from Stargate.) I'm not complaining. Using familiar ideas like this allows "Time Out" to squeeze some high concept time travel shenanigans into a brief eleven minutes of action.

[UPDATE: On Twitter, Callan admits that in addition to Who, the time antibodies were also inspired by Stephen King's Langoliers and the chronovore to be a "lift from Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman".]

Callan makes another theft that is much more important. The plot of "Time Out" comes from another television show you've probably heard of, specifically Justice League Unlimited episode "The Greatest Story Never Told." Once again, Booster Gold is initially presented as an incompetent dudebro who only plays at heroism for fame. Once again, Booster Gold is the only hero who can save the world when an unexpected crisis develops, and once again, no one else gets to know about it. It's the small changes to this formula that make this episode greater than its predecessor.

Whereas "Greatest Story" dropped the crisis into the lap of an ill-prepared Booster, here the problem is a job a more mature Booster has accepted, trained for, and completed many times before without any hope of reward. "Time Out" really sells Booster's inherent goodness and loneliness, personality traits commonly obscured by his more obvious desperate need for attention. In this episode, Booster is fully aware of his faults and doesn't care to hide them because how others see him isn't as important as doing the right thing.

That's some good stuff right there.

I probably don't need to mention that the episode is greatly enhanced by voice acting from former Batman Diedrich Bader and current (and all-time best) Batman Kevin Conroy. They manage to convey a lot of humor and pathos in a very short period of time. Great job done by all.

If I have any quibble, it's that Skeets doesn't have any speaking lines. But given how much good stuff we did get ("Booster cave," Vanishing Point, Booster getting the last word over Batman), I'm more than willing to let that go. That Skeets was in here at all is good enough for me.

I hope any Booster boosters who missed the broadcast will have a chance to discover this gem in reruns. I look forward to many repeat viewings myself.
Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: diedrich bader jonathan callan justice league action justice league unlimited kevin conroy time out

 This Day in History: Booster God

Friday, July 7, 2017

Once upon a time, Booster Gold appeared quite regularly in the annual crossover events uniting the DCU. For example, it was just 25 years ago today that Booster Gold appeared in a supporting role in Action Comics Annual #4.

© DC Comics
Words by Dan Vado, Art by Chris Wozniak and a team of inkers

Back then, Booster and other members of the Justice League International were on the scene to try and free Superman from the clutches of Eclipso. These days that job would go exclusively to Batman, because... well, Batman.

It might be interesting to note that Blue Beetle wasn't with the rest of the Justice League for this mission (he had gone missing in the JLA Annual the previous month). That is consistent with the approach to the character taken by the current Blue Beetle series.

According to writer Kieth Giffen in an interview with Vaneta Rogers for Newsarama.com, the modern "rebirth" incarnation of Ted Kord was never a member of any Justice League. But Giffen also says that the events of Justice League 3000 are in Blue Beetle's future. JL3k was openly stated to take place in the same continuity as the original Justice League International stories. So . . . I have no idea what all that means for the current status of Blue and Gold.

Congratulations, DC. I'm not even trying to make sense of your continuity anymore.
Comments (7) | Add a Comment | Tags: action comics batman blue beetle eclipso justice league international keith giffen newsarama.com superman vaneta rogers

 New Release: Injustice 2 Issue 5

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Don't forget that DC Comics is releasing Injustice 2 #5 today. (Although, because of the Independence Day holiday, some shops — including my own Local Comic Shop — won't have new books on the shelves until tomorrow.)

The contents of this issue first appeared digitally last month, so we can be sure that our hero (and Skeets!) will be appearing within.

© DC Comics

Buy this issue and tell DC that we want more Booster Gold!
Comments (6) | Add a Comment | Tags: injustice new releases


 

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