- Booster Gold
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Friday, November 15, 2019
What makes a hero super? The super powers! From awesome strength to zero-to-sixty speed, great superpowers are the most useful tricks in every famous costumed crime-fighter's tool kit. Michael Jon Carter knew this, and that's why he started his career with an impenetrable force field.
When he looted his equipment from the Space Museum, Booster Gold literally had his pick of powers, and he chose only the best from Superman's history. Perhaps none of his impressive array of powers are more notable or powerful than his force field belt.
First encountered in Action Comics #242 (1958), the original belt was the creation of Brainiac, a brilliant alien who claimed mastery of super-scientific forces. His "Ultra-Force Barrier," controlled via his belt remote, was strong enough to frustrate any attempt Superman made against him. The Ultra-Force Barrier was expandable enough to envelope entire space ships and whole planets. No matter the size, at full power it resisted anything used against it, from energy beams to projectiles to Men of Steel.
Brainiac would go on to become one of Earth's greatest foes, but his descendant, Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes, would become one of Earth's greatest allies. From his first appearance in Action Comics #276 (1961), Braniac 5 was using his own variation on his ancestor's technology to help make Supergirl even more powerful than her cousin, Superman. Like it's predecessor, Brainiac 5's Force-Shield Belt was resizable and could stop all radiation and matter alike, although its smaller, more portable size limited the duration it could be used.
Brainiac 5 would recreate his signature belt many times over the years, and he would occasionally lend them out to protect the lives of others. Once he even gave a copy to United States President Ronald Reagan (as seen in Booster Gold #9, 1986). Centuries later, that belt would be put on display in the Space Museum for a disgraced ex-football player to find. That thief would put it good use.
Booster Gold integrated the Force Field into his costume, relocating the controls from the belt to his gauntlets where he could more easily adjust its size, strength, and area of focus. The field proved its worth almost immediately, saving the young hero from an army of gunfire (in Booster Gold #3), massive bombs (Booster Gold #5), and Superman himself (Booster Gold #7). In addition to protecting himself, Booster has put the field to more creative uses destroying a incredibly toxic poison (in Booster Gold #17) and containing a rogue Green Lantern (Justice League International #19).
In many ways, the Force Field has become Booster Gold's signature power. And that's Boosterrific!
Justice League International #9 (1988)
Monday, November 4, 2019
I've been so wrapped up in video games lately that I've been remiss in updating you on upcoming Booster Gold appearances. So grab a pen and paper (or however you keep track of what you'll be buying from your Local Comic Shop in the weeks ahead) and make note of these fine DC Comics publications:
written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS
art by KEVIN MAGUIRE and SEAN PARSONS
Superman’s new Fortress of Solitude sits in the most remote corner of the Bermuda Triangle. Constructed using Kryptonian technology far beyond anything our world knows, filled with intergalactic, pan-dimensional secrets from all over the Multiverse...how could it possibly be missing?
ON SALE November 13, 2019
I know that one doesn't sound like Booster Gold will be in it, but Brian Michael Bendis has already shared a page of Kevin Maguire's art from the issue that very clearly shows Booster Gold in at least a cameo appearance.
TALES FROM THE DARK MULTIVERSE: INFINITE CRISIS #1
written by JAMES TYNION IV
art by AARON LOPRESTI and MATT RYAN
DC's mega-event "Infinite Crisis" saw the destruction of the Trinity, the rise of Alexander Luthor and Superboy-Prime, and the rebirth of the Multiverse...but it all started with Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle, who saw it all coming and died with secrets that could've saved the world. But...things happened differently in the Dark Multiverse! Not only does Blue Beetle survive— he thrives! And after killing Maxwell Lord himself, Ted sets off a chain of events that irreversibly alters the lives of the Justice League and his best friend, Booster Gold. In trying to prevent a crisis, Blue Beetle becomes the Crisis...and the Dark Multiverse will never be the same.
ON SALE November 27, 2019
I think it's awfully nice of DC to let James Tynion rewrite Booster Gold Volume 2 #6. (Golly. That issue came out 11 years ago. There is probably a whole generation of readers who haven't read it. Go read the classics, kids!)
SUPERMAN: HEROES #1
written by BRIAN MICHAEL BENDIS, MATT FRACTION, JODY HOUSER, and GREG RUCKA
art by KEVIN MAGUIRE, STEVE LIEBER, MIKE PERKINS and others
cover by BRYAN HITCH
Lois Lane, Jimmy Olsen, the staff of the Daily Planet, even the Justice League—their lives all changed when Superman revealed his secret identity to the world! This unique Superman experience explores what the identity of Clark Kent meant to those close to him—and what their relationship to Superman will be in the future. All the rules are about to change—and it all starts here.
ON SALE January 29, 2020
Again, that text doesn't sound like Booster plays much of a role, but he is included (barely) in the solicited cover art. That's not nothing.
In addition to those new appearances (and Harley Quinn #67 — more on that on Wednesday), don't forget that Booster will also be appearing in several previously announced reprint collections.
- Booster Gold: The Big Fall (collecting the first story of Booster Gold series one), November 27
- Justice League International: Born Again (collecting early issues of the JLI), January 15
- Justice League: Corporate Maneuvers (collecting Justice League Quarterly #1 through #4), February 2
That's a lot of Booster. Everything is coming up Gold!
Friday, November 1, 2019
Booster Gold makes good clickbait. At least, that's what I deduce based on his inclusion in several recent lists at CBR.com.
First, Scoot Allan has compiled his "10 Of The Most 90s Costumes In Comic Book History." Booster gets a brief shout out in this list under item 5: Power Armor.
Armor was also really big in the 90s, with all kinds of heroes modifying their outfits into bulkier robotic Iron Man knock-offs. ... DC's Booster Gold also received a bulky version of his old superhero suit when he joined the equally 90s Justice League spin-off, Extreme Justice. The reasons for his bulkier suit made a bit more sense, as the materials needed to properly fix his futuristic suit didn't exist yet.
This isn't exactly wrong, though it does makes it sound as if two years didn't pass between Superman #74 and Extreme Justice #0. But I won't quibble with anyone showing Extreme Justice-era Booster some love.
Our hero comes in at 6 on J. Richland Anderson's list of "DC: 10 Characters Fans Hated At First (& Grew to Love)."
For a while, it seemed as though DC didn't know which direction to take Booster Gold in. While some were fans of his unique approach to crime fighting, some weren't too keen on his personality. It wasn't until Booster's backstory was developed in his second solo series where his character really began to take off.
After his motivations and relationship with his father were established, Booster suddenly became a much more interesting character. Though he still had some loyal fans from the time of his debut, more people began to warm up to him after he was more fleshed out. Today, Booster is a welcome experience in many books. Though he still makes his fair share of irresponsible mistakes, Booster's fun, lovable personality help brighten any book.
"Booster suddenly became a much more interesting character"? As one of Booster's "loyal fans," let me say only that I found Booster's "fun, lovable personality" clearly evident even in his early series. (That doesn't count as a quibble, does it?)
And finally, Booster appears in Brian Cronin's list of "2019 Top DC Characters", where he placed 31 out of 100 in a fan vote. In addition to pointing out that Booster was created to be different than other DC characters of his era, Cronin also explicitly reminds that the Bwah-Ha-Ha Era of the Justice League International was incredibly successful.
He eventually joined Justice League International, where he became good friends with Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle. The two men had a number of money-making schemes, including their infamous casino plot. ... "Blue and Gold" was very popular with the fans and at one point, they were one of the most in-demand pairings at DC Comics.
That's a lot of lists! No matter which you prefer, know that the one thing you can always count on is that there are some great Booster Gold comic books from every era out there for you to enjoy.
UPDATE November 2: CBR keeps on rolling. Paul DiSalvo adds Booster Gold at number 7 on his list of "The 10 Best Comedy Relief Superheroes in Comics". Indeed.
UPDATE November 5: And now Shawn S. Lealos uses Booster Gold as his example of ENFP in "DC: MBTI Of The Justice League." What do those acronyms mean? Shawn doesn't explain them, so let's just assume they're good things.
UPDATE November 12: Booster is number 10 in J. Richland Anderson's "10 DC Characters Who Are Way Smarter Than They Let On." Shazam is weirdly #2. I never thought Captain Marvel played stupid — he's a bit naive, not dumb — but then I didn't make the list, either.
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
It doesn't look like Booster Gold will be appearing in any new books today, but Shawn Baston has caught this Booster appearance in Justice League #34 that slipped past me two weeks ago:
art by Bruno Redondo, color by Hi-Fi
As you can see, Kamandi, the so-called "Last Boy on Earth," has summoned help from across the Multiverse. You'll spot heroes from Earths 4, 5, 12, 22, and 30, just to name a few. Which of these Earths is this Booster Gold from?
Personally, I'd say that looks like the Booster from the Injustice universe, though it's possible that's because the artist of this piece, Bruno Redondo, was also the artist on Injustice 2.
Whoever he is, he looks darn good. I'm sure the Multiverse is now safe.
Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Newsarama.com has DC Comics' December solicitations, and I'm sorry to report that Booster Gold continues to be the one character from Heroes in Crisis who hasn't gotten his own title. What's up with that, DC?
It's not all bad news, however. DC has confirmed a new reprint of the early Justice League International issues.
JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL BOOK ONE: BORN AGAIN TP
written by KEITH GIFFEN, J.M. DeMATTEIS, and JOHN OSTRANDER
art by KEVIN MaGUIRE, KEITH GIFFEN, LUKE McDONNELL and others
cover by KEVIN MAGUIRE and TERRY AUSTIN
In these 1980s tales, find out what happens when Batman, Superman, and the Justice League face a galactic invasion fleet known as the Cluster, exchange harsh words with Lobo, track Mister Miracle back to Apokolips, and then battle yet another invasion fleet! Collects Justice League #1-6, Justice League International #7-17, Justice League Annual #1, Justice League International Annual #2, and Suicide Squad #13.
ON SALE January 15, $39.99 US, 552 PAGES
Those are a lot of great comics. If you haven't read these issues — and even if you have — you should consider picking up this collection using modern printing techniques. Despite what Dan DiDio says, those early Justice League International stories are great comics.
Speaking of Heroes in Crisis spin-offs, Booster booster Logan alerts us to an appearance in today's releases.
Always good to know Booster's coming. Thanks, Logan.
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