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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
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Showing posts 0-5 of 35 matching: j.m. dematteis

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Both Straight Man and Fool

In the comments of my blog post about the single greatest Booster Gold comic ever written (Justice League #4), there was some discussion about when exactly Booster's comic book portrayals turned from fun-loving but competent crime fighter (as portrayed in his own original series) to bumbling moron (as portrayed in 52 and just about everywhere since).

The timing of that change can be narrowed to shortly after the dawn of the 21st-century. No so coincidentally, that's about the same time that Blue Beetle's character also got an overhaul before coming to a very gory end.

Blue Beetle, who during the JLI years always played the fool in the original Blue and Gold dynamic, lost his sense of humor for his inclusion in the 1999 L.A.W. (Living Assault Weapons) mini-series reuniting the former Charlton Comics characters. For a few years following, he appeared much more prominently in DC Comics than his best friend, notably in issues of Birds of Prey, where he was diagnosed with a weak heart and semi-retired from heroics. This allowed his more serious demeanor a chance to take root with readers and editors alike.

I'd always assumed that was why, when Beetle and Booster were reunited in 2003's Formerly Known as the Justice League, the comedy roles of the two super buddies were swapped. However, when I put that question to JLI writer J.M. DeMatteis on Twitter last week, he revealed a different reason.

As I recall, we just wanted to flip things around.  Have Beetle mature some because of business, heart issues, etc.  But, in the end, they both remained idiots, in the best sense of the word! -- @JMDeMatteis on Twitter Feb 11 2020

Whatever you think of the change, you have to admit that "just because" is as good a reason as Beetle and Booster ever had for any of their hijinx.

And now you know the rest of the story. (Thanks to Ariel for inspiring this topic.)

Comments (3) | Add a Comment | Tags: ariel blue beetle interviews j.m. dematteis justice league international twitter.com

Monday, July 8, 2019

My Favorite Covers: Justice League 4

The old adage says never judge a book by its cover, but that's exactly what comic books expect you to do. If you like what you see on the cover, take a look inside!

Some covers do their jobs better than others. Some are truly outstanding in their own right. Among those is Kevin Maguire's composition for Justice League #4 (1987)

© DC Comics
Pencils by Kevin Maguire, Inks by Al Gordon

Maguire's mastery of body language and facial expressions was as important to the success of the "International" era of the Justice League as Keith Giffen's action-packed plots and J.M. DeMatteis' comedic dialogue. This cover doesn't need extra text to grab the reader's attention!

Look at Booster up there: the surprised underdog caught by a larger, unknown villain strong enough to defeat Green Lanterns, Earth's Mightiest Mortal, and (gulp!) Batman. It's a real David-and-Goliath scenario that will play out on the pages inside. Who wouldn't want to read that?

In addition to the promise of action, Maguire also echos the comedic tone of the writing inside with the "cheek"-y placement of that title logo. (Comics Code Authority approved!) Perhaps Booster is shocked that the solid-blue villain who defeated Martian Manhunter isn't wearing any pants. Watchmen was released concurrently with this title, so could that be Doctor Manhattan "moon"-lighting in the DC Universe? My curiosity is piqued! I guess I'll have to pick it up and look inside.

It happens that Justice League #4 doesn't just have one of my favorite covers. It is also my personal favorite Booster Gold story. It introduced Booster Gold to a whole new audience and did so in a way that demonstrated Booster's humanity and the value his powers could bring to the team. All that is summed-up on the cover. Brilliant!

What are some of your favorite covers?

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: covers favorite covers j.m. dematteis justice league keith giffen kevin maguire

Monday, February 19, 2018

Jurgens Plays Godfather

Aaron Young interviewed Dan Jurgens at Ace Comic Con 2017, and that interview has now appeared at ComicsVerse.com. Jurgens is unusually frank about his relationship with his most famous creation.

ComicsVerse: So, moving on, you've created a lot of iconic characters in comics. My favorite is Booster Gold, and you're written Booster Gold quite a few times, and I just wondered if you feel any sort of ownership over that character.

Whether you, you know, kind of have a sort of protective over that character. You know, have you ever had it where you're, like, read an issue written by anybody else and you're like, "Oh no, that's not what Booster Gold would do!" you know, or whatever, or, you know? Just talk about that, I’m just curious.

Dan Jurgens: Yeah, that happens but for the most part, you know, I've done most of the stories that were out there. And when Keith Giffen and Marc DeMatteis, for example, were using him in JUSTICE LEAGUE, Keith always said, "We're borrowing the character."

And I always looked at that as sort of like an Earth JUSTICE LEAGUE thing anyway which was just fine and I, you know, genuinely liked the dimension that Keith brought to the character, but for the most part, it's something I do enjoy doing. I don't know if ownership is quite the right word as much as kind of I suppose it's true that I’m sort of protective of the character 'cause I can kind of know where it can go and what it can do.

While Booster Gold belongs to DC Comics to use (or ignore) at their will, Jurgens can proudly take credit that no writer has had more of a hand in guiding and developing Booster Gold. He's written nearly a fifth of all the stories in which Booster Gold appears. Only Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis come close. (They combine to about an eighth.) There are few comic book characters in history that can boast such creative consistency over so many decades.

Distribution of stories among Booster Gold writers

You can find the whole interview at ComicsVerse.com.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: aaron young comicsverse.com dan jurgens interviews j.m. dematteis keith giffen writers

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

They Created This Team

In case you missed it, the movie Justice League is opening this week. In cross promotion of the event, Entertainment Weekly's Darren Franich interviewed Justice League International co-creator J.M. DeMatteis.

EW: How did the specific tone of Justice League International develop?

JMD: No one ever said to me when we started, "Oh, we're doing Funny Justice League." It just evolved naturally. The more we went along, the more we realized that what we had on our hands was a superhero sitcom. But we never set out to do that. The minute you sit down and think, "I'm going to be funny," you're probably screwed.

Around the same time, I was writing "Kraven’s Last Hunt," which is as dark a Spider-Man story as has ever been written. I wasn’t thinking, "Now I'm doing this in clever contrast, we are answering the grim and gritty stories with our version of light and happy!" We just followed the characters. Keith [Giffen] would write the plots and set up these situations, I would start writing the dialogue, and the characters would start talking to each other. Beetle and Booster really created that team, not us.

Shh! Don't let Booster hear you say that. He'll get a big head!

You can read the whole interview at EW.com. (And you can see Justice League in theaters Friday.)

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle darren franich ew.com interviews j.m. dematteis

Monday, November 6, 2017

This Day in History: Corporate Justice

While I like most Booster Gold comics, I love some more than others. Among my favorites is Justice League Quarterly #1, the first appearance of the Conglomerate, released on this date in 1990.

© DC Comics
Written by J.M. DeMatteis, Keith Giffen; Art by Chris Sprouse, Bruce Patterson, Gene D'Angelo; Cover by Adam Hughes

The issue's story, "Corporate Maneuvers (and leveraged buyouts)," was a logical counterpoint to the Justice League International era. Unwilling to sit back and let the nations of the world monopolize influence on the activities of formerly independent super heroes, the major international corporations of the DC Universe developed their own team: the Conglomerate. It was only natural that the original Corporate Crusader himself would lead them into battle.

Backed by the near-infinite resources and cutting-edge technologies of their sponsor corporations, the Conglomerate will be working for you, the American people to make this planet free and safe. Today. Tomorrow. And into the next century. © DC Comics

The Conglomerate went on to much early success which created tension with Booster's friends in the JLI, especially Blue Beetle. I probably don't need to tell you that the two teams have to overcome their jealousy of one another to save the day, but it's very satisfying when the inevitable finally happens.

You probably won't see this issue on any "must read" list for new Booster Gold fans. I admit that it's mainly a Justice League International story. However, Booster Gold does have a starring role, and the story does directly address the dichotomy of Michael Jon Carter's "shallow" public persona versus his more noble self-identification. For that reason alone, I think it's worth a look for people interested in the evolution of my favorite character.

© DC Comics

Besides, who doesn't love that leather jacket?

In honor of the issue's anniversary, here's Adam Hughes' original pencil work for the cover — an homage to Kevin Maguire much duplicated "crowded elevator" cover for Justice League #1 — as published in Back Issue #2 (February 2004). As you can see, an uninvited guest crashed this party! Click the image to embiggen.

© DC Comics

Here's to the good old days!

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: adam hughes back issue chris sprouse conglomerate costumes j.m. dematteis joker justice justice league international keith giffen


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