- Booster Gold
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Friday, August 28, 2020
If I write "Deathmetal" and "Bloodspot," you'd be forgiven for thinking I was just a bad typist.
One of the biggest talking points to emerge from last week's FanDome has been the upcoming Suicide Squad movie. Because its central tenant — belied by its title — requires the eradication of its members, the Suicide Squad has always been populated by lesser known villains from the fringe of the DC Universe. As Booster boosters have known for nearly a year, one of the characters in the upcoming film will be Blackguard, the villain Booster Gold fights on the cover of his very first appearance. Blackguard will be played by comedian Pete Davidson.
Another barely known Suicide Squad character who has been creating ripples in the fan press is Bloodsport. That's probably because Bloodsport is being played by Idris Elba. Like Blackguard, Bloodsport made his first appearance on the cover of a comic (Superman volume 2 #4, 1987). Also like Blackguard, he hasn't had a very illustrious career. Think of him as a deranged version of Rambo First Blood Part II who kills innocent people to protest how the American government treated Vietnam vets. It's not creator John Bryne's best work, and there's really not a lot of reason you should remember him.
Unless you have a head for Booster Gold trivia and remember the extremely Boosterrific JLA Incarnations #6, in which Booster Gold parodied the excessively violent, heavily muscled, tank-top and bandanna wearing Bloodsport. About the biggest change Booster made to Bloodsport's shtick was dropping the "r."
Blue Beetle and Booster Gold will always be the real Deathmetal and Bloodspot to me.
Monday, July 29, 2019
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every comic book heroes will inevitably get in a fist fight with every other hero. Such was the case with Booster Gold and Superman early in Booster's career.
Not coincidentally, Dan Jurgens took the opportunity of a visit from the established star — in his very first appearance in the newly-merged post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC Universe continuity — to reveal Booster's less-than-stellar origin tale. The image on the cover correlated well with the shock and disgust that audiences felt discovering that they had been reading the tale of a gambler and a thief. Superman was giving our hero nothing less than what many of us felt he deserved.
But the story doesn't end there.
Because Dan Jurgens was kind enough to accommodate John Byrne's post-Crisis revamp of Superman in the aforementioned issues, Byrne let Booster guest in Action Comics #594. The cover to that might look familiar; turnabout is fair play.
Pencils by John Byrne, Inks by Keith Williams
Once again, the cover was figuratively true. Booster had been growing into the role of a true hero, and history had been proven to be on his side. The story inside plays on Booster's bad reputation following the earlier story, making the cover reversal doubly sweet.
Aren't these some great covers? As a fan of traditional fine art, I love that the extremely foreshortened poses turn the heroes into grotesques personifying the ugly, violent acts that they are engaged in. As a fan of comic book artists, it's particularly interesting to compare young Jurgens' early take on Superman to Byrne's more iconic character (and also to Jurgens' future interpretation).
As a fan of comic book super heroes, it's just great to see two heroes going head-to-head.
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
We learned at New York Comic Con that DC had big plans for the landmark one thousandth issue of Action Comics due in spring 2018.
To celebrate the event, DC will release a hardback collection of past stories plus "all 1000 ACTION covers collected in a new poster." That poster will include Booster Gold, who was featured prominently on John Byrne's cover for Action Comics #594.
So we knew Booster Gold would appear in the celebratory hardcover, but what about appearing in Action Comics #1000 itself? We now know the answer is yes. Kind of.
Bleeding Cool reported yesterday that the hardcover will be titled Action Comics #1000: 80 Years of Superman, meaning that the $6 "oversized edition" comic and the $30 companion hardcover book will both be Action Comics #1000!
That might be confusing for fans, but it's good news for those of us looking for Booster to crash Superman's party. We can now definitively say that our hero will be in Action Comics #1000! Just be sure you pick up the right one when they hit your Local Comic Shop early next year.
Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Over the weekend, I listened to Dan Jurgens' interview with Keith Callbeck on Comicosity.com. (You did too, right?) A lot of great things were discussed, but it is incumbant on me, as the unofficial chronicler of all things Booster Gold to correct one error in the interview.
When asked who was his favorite Booster Gold artist (other than himself), Dan Jurgens said Kevin Maguire. That's not the error. Everyone loves Kevin Maguire's expressive work. But Jurgens also said he believed that Maguire was the first person (after himself) to draw Booster Gold. That's the error.
Booster Gold #1 debuted in November 1985. For the better part of a year, every appearance of the new character, including advertisements, was drawn by a young up-and-coming artist named Dan Jurgens. It wouldn't be until August of the following year that Booster would appear under someone else's pencil. That person wasn't Kevin Maguire, but legendary artist Carmine Infantino!
As you can see, Infantino included Booster (and Skeets!) in his entry for the Space Museum in Who's Who #21 released August 14, 1986. Even if you want to pick nits and say that Infantino was drawing Micheal Carter and not Booster Gold, Maguire still wasn't second. Several other amazing DC artists also got there before him.
It wasn't until March 5, 1987, that Kevin Maguire would finally get his hands on Booster for Justice League #2. (The famous Action Comics #594, in which John Byrne drew Booster Gold beating Superman, wasn't released until August 25 of that year.)
So while Maguire wasn't second to the drafting table, he was in great company. And Maguire has since overcome his late start to become the artist who has draw Booster Gold in more comics than any other artist (except for Dan Jurgens). He clearly has an affinity for the character. Check out his Twitter header:
Jurgens may have had the timing wrong, but he had the artist right. That Kevin Maguire is pretty good.
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