- Booster Gold
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Monday, June 29, 2020
Booster booster Eskana dropped me this note last week:
I don't know if you've seen these yet, but the Comicstorian channel on YouTube has been posting videos that contain some major Booster Gold. The host, Benny, has been holding "Dungeons & Dragons"-style role-playing games for the DC universe, and in each one the two guests are playing as the characters of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle (Ted.) I've never played D&D, but the videos are pretty entertaining as the guests do a pretty good job of acting out their roles as Ted and Booster. The episodes seem to feature the two working with the new Blue Wally West to fix anomalies in time and the multiverse, so you see them acting out storylines such as DCeased.
I'm not a frequent consumer of YouTube videos, but I have played my share of D&D. More than my share, if the truth were known. (Full disclosure, an rpg campaign I ran in 2001 is the basis for a series of novels I wrote in 2016. *plug, plug*)
These guys at Comicstorian seem to know what they're doing, and, more importantly, they're obviously having a pretty good time role-playing as our favorite heroes. Given the current health crisis, a podcasting video might be as close as many of us will get to a real gaming session in the near future.
If you're interested in such things, you can find the video at YouTube.com.
Thanks for the link, Eskana.
Friday, June 26, 2020
Not so long ago, Booster booster Fin called my attention to a comic I had long overlooked. It wasn't a missed Booster Gold appearance. Not quite, anyway.
Just see if this banter doesn't sound familiar:
art by David Williams and Kelsey Shannon
Those panels are from The Authority: The Lost Year, a series in which the Authority bounced from one alternate universe to another. (This was back in 2010, before the New 52 folded the Wildstorm Universe into the mainstream DCnU.)
Issues #8 and #9 were written by Grant Morrison, Keith Giffen, and J.M. DeMatteis and featured an alternate universe in which the local Authority looked and acted a lot like a particular, best-selling DC Comics team of the late 1980s.
The meta-textural take on the Justice League International by the JLI's original writing team is delightful, especially as contrasted with the modern, no-nonsense Authority concept (itself strongly reminiscent of the extreme 1990s love affair with "mature" sex and violence content).
As you can see, that's Blue Beetle in the role of the Authority's Midnighter (a Batman-like vigilante) and Booster Gold as Apollo (whose character is a riff on Superman — so fitting!) In their original continuity, Apollo and Midnighter are a homosexual couple, allowing the issue's writers to directly tackle the longstanding Boostle phenomenon 'shipping Blue and Gold into a romantic relationship.
I'm sorry I hadn't realized this book existed sooner. Thanks, Fin.
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
A recent clickbait listicle at CBR.com written by Brett Hoover has the very pointed title "Justice League: 5 Reasons Why Blue Beetle Is The Most Annoying Member (& 5 Why It's Booster Gold)."
I was initially going to let this obvious bit of fanboy-baiting slide, but then I decided that if I wasn't willing to fight for Booster Gold, who would? So in the interest of giving equal time to Booster bashers, let me directly address those 5 reasons. (I'll leave it to others to defend Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes.)
Reason 5. Booster Gold: Believes Himself To Be More Powerful Than He Really Is
Superheroes have egos. In fact, in most cases that is what makes them super as they are constantly trying to improve themselves to live up to their own and others' expectations of them. That said, in the case of Booster Gold, it is just sad how he tries to portray himself as one of Earth's mightiest heroes when, in fact, he is just a chump in a costume. What is even sadder is that, because of his enormous ego, he doesn't even notice that others see through his facade.
No one can deny that Booster Gold has an over-sized ego, but if the premise is that he's the worst Justice Leaguer, the real question is whether his ego is more over-inflated than other Leaguers. I'd say Booster's sense of self-importance, while impressive, is dwarfed by the runaway delusions of self-important grandeur often displayed by the likes of Batman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, or
Parallax Extant Hal Jordan.
Reason 4. Booster Gold: Not Earth's Mightiest Hero
Certain superheroes seek to earn their place in the top ranks of the Justice League. Many work for years to even get admitted to the A-level superhero squad. While all are heroic in their own way and are confident in their own powers, Booster Gold takes his accomplishments and quadruples the amount of importance his actions really played in any situation. It isn't wrong to be confident but confidence is something that is obtained through surviving the tough battles, not just given like he wants it to be.
This sure sounds like a duplication of the first complaint. No less a talent than Geoff Johns dubbed Booster Gold "The Greatest Hero You've Never Heard Of" explicitly because when a time-cop like Booster Gold does his job correctly and saves a multiverse, you don't see the tough battles he fought on your behalf. If someone has to be a publicly recognized, best-selling A-lister before they join the league, someone might want to break the news gently to Martian Manhunter, Red Tornado, and Firestorm.
Reason 3. Booster Gold: Attention Seeking Superhero
Booster Gold isn't known for his modesty when it comes to the good deeds he has committed. In fact, he oftentimes hopes and prays that there is a camera on each corner taking his picture as he saves the day. This attention-seeking aspect of his persona leaves many superhero allies with a bad taste in their mouth when forced to team up with him. Yet, instead of realizing how pathetic such a demeanor truly is, he instead begins to believe their animosity is because of his true heroism.
Sure, Booster has frequently lamented not receiving the earned respect of his peers, but that final sentence is patently untrue. I think you, like so many others before you, have confused him with Green Lantern, specifically Guy Gardner. Or Obsidian. Or Triumph. (Surely I'm not the only person who remembers Triumph, the founding leaguer who was lost in timeline shenanigans. Speaking of timeline shenanigans....)
Reason 2. Booster Gold: Mentored By His Own Son
Some of the worst things shows or comics about time travel have to deal with are the paradoxes these travelers inflict on time itself. Fans see it often enough by the Flash who has jumped around the past and the future on countless occasions. Booster Gold's attempts at messing with time ultimately resulted in him not only coming in contact with his son, but being mentored by the child he hadn't yet raised, along with having his future self shape his past self.
Time paradoxes make for bad Justice Leaguers? Sure, Triumph was a jerk, but time paradoxes are practically a prerequisite for league membership. Stalwarts like Superman and Supergirl had plenty of time-twisting adventures with the future's Legion of Super-Heroes in their past, Plastic Man's JLA adventures through time would prove him functionally immortal, and Moon Maiden seemed nice enough while she existed. (Can anyone explain why the Flash gets a pass here? Is it because the Cosmic Treadmill is cool? Because it is.)
Reason 1. Booster Gold: Runs From The Present To Live In The Past
There's a common time travel fantasy about going back in time with modern technology in order to impress the denizens of the past. If that weren't the main reason Booster Gold traveled in time, it wouldn't be so sad. Booster Gold was so unimportant in his time that the only way to feed his ego was to time travel to the past and show off his futuristic technology.
Well, you have me there. It's not a very heroic origin, is it? I guess there's a reason the Justice League never let a criminal like Lex Luthor join. Oh, they did? Well, then. Case dismissed.
Friday, June 19, 2020
We've reached the halfway point of my list of the twelve best Booster Gold comics, and number 6 is arguably the darkest story in the list. As you can see from the cover of Superman #74, Doomsday has arrived.
This story is a tragedy. An alien monster has crashed on Earth and is marching his way towards Metropolis, leaving a trail of unimaginable destruction in its wake, including the broken body of Blue Beetle, as we see in the first panel.
Unfortunately for Mitch and his family, Doomsday's path leads straight through their house. Unfortunately for the Justice League, they are Mitch's only hope.
Dan Jurgens is at his best as a writer when he scales his stories down to a human level. That skill is on display here, as several early pages are devoted to the introduction of Mitch and his family. (Angry teenage Mitch is so very 90s, but that's when this comic was created.) They put a face on the danger, giving the audience a reason to care about Doomsday's rampage and creating a dramatic tension often missing from these sorts of super-heroic fisticuffs. We see the stakes driving the heroes to fight and win. If the heroes fail...
Well, heroes can't fail, can they?
The following page contains 8 consecutive panels of Booster Gold taking a beating unlike any he's seen before or since. It's not just brutal --
The issue makes it clear that Booster's sacrifice is a heroic one. Booster Gold is giving his life so that others may live. That's the definition of a real hero.
And that's why I include it among the The Best Booster Gold Stories Ever.
Wednesday, June 17, 2020
If you venture to your Local Comic Shop today, you may find the collected Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen TPB among the new releases. Then again, you may not. Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #3 was so popular, it's already been through three printings, so it's not hard to imagine that the trade collecting the whole series won't also be popular.
If you didn't know by now, Booster Gold can be seen in three of the Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen mini-series' four issues. He doesn't have a single line of dialogue in any of those issues, so it's kind of like a series of glorified cameo appearances.
And since we're on the subject of cameo appearances:
Superman: Man of Tomorrow #7, words by Dave Wielgosz; art by Miguel Menonca, Yasmine Putri, David Baron
On the bottom left you'll see Booster Gold appearing in the digital first Superman: Man of Tomorrow #7, now available at Comixology.com. Those stories will presumably be printed on real-world paper one of these days, though DC has yet to announce a date. I'll try to keep you posted. Thanks to fabri24cr for calling our attention to that.
Booster Gold is on the left side of this panel, too, though which Booster Gold from which corner of the Multiverse, I can't be sure. That image of Greg Capullo art comes from this recent Tweet from Scott Snyder, the writer behind this summer's multiverse-spanning Dark Nights: Death Metal event. The panel doesn't appear in Dark Nights: Death Metal #1, which was released yesterday, but you still might want to pick that comic up so you'll have a chance at deciphering what's happening when Booster does arrive on the scene. (Again, thanks to fabri24cr for deciphering that the panel has to be Death Metal-related.)
DCEASED: Dead Planet #1, words by Tom Taylor; at by Trevor Hairsine, Stefano Gaudinao, Gig Baldissini
Booster Gold appears on the right for a change in the upcoming DCEASED: Dead Planet #1. Why not the left side of the panel? Maybe because he's a ghost. (Well, not a ghost, exactly. Booster didn't die in DCEASED: A Good Day To Die so much as he was erased from history. Therefore, this is really more of an hallucinatory flashback courtesy the tortured memory of Jon Constantine than it is an actual cameo appearance.) Dead Planet #1 is due out
next week in two weeks, and I might have missed it if not for Booster booster Logan Peterson pointing it out. The preview is already available on CBR.com.
It's starting to look like the summer of Booster Gold.
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