- Booster Gold
Showing posts 0-5 of 134 matching: justice league international
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.
Friday, May 8, 2020
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 a telepathically-controlled flight ring.
As a student of history, Michael "Booster" Carter modeled his superhero persona on Superman. In addition to strength, invulnerability, and long-range energy beams, he'd also need to be able to fly. To that end, he stole a Legion of Super-Heroes Flight Ring, created by Brainiac 5 in the pages of Adventure Comics #329 (1965).
In its original design, the ring was a simple metal band that provided a telepathically-controlled anti-gravity effect for those Legionnaires who could not fly under their own power. They soon became standard issue equipment for all Legionnaires. Even Superboy had one, though he rarely had need of it except in those few cases where he lost his powers, such as the time he visited Earth's past and found it lit by a red sun.
(If you squint at the panel above, you can see a flight ring there on Superboy's hand in this panel from Adventure Comics #133, also in 1965. This is the first time Superboy wore a Flight Ring.)
Brainiac 5 wasn't content with having a ring that only allowed flight. He eventually gave the ring other abilities, including sending emergency distress signals. He also improved its appeal by converting it to a gold signet-style ring showing a raised letter "L" in the center (first appearance in Adventure Comics #347). That's how the ring looked when it found its way into Booster Gold's arsenal in Booster Gold #1 (1985), and that's more or less how it looked when Booster Gold joined the Justice League in Justice League #4 (1987) and escaped from a Bialyan prison in Justice League International #17 (1988).
Booster's ring was originally depicted with a letter from the Roman alphabet. However, it sometimes was seen showing Interlac, the "inter-galactic universal language of the 30th century" which first appeared in Adventure Comics #379 (1969). By Booster Gold volume 2 #1 (2007), Booster's ring had changed to the stylized "L" on a black background that had been in use since Legion of Super-Heroes #41 (1993).
How could one ring alter its appearance so much? Well, the Legion of Super-Heroes have a tendency for getting involved in reality-warping time travel shenanigans. In fact, that's how a Legion of Super-Heroes ring from the 30th century ended up in the 25th-century Space Museum in the first place.
When Booster's debut in the 20th century drew the attention of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Brainiac 5 realized he had to leave his own flight ring in 1985 for Booster to be able to steal it in 2462 (as seen in Booster Gold #6). Therefore, the ring was available for Booster Gold to steal only because he had already stolen it. (It's best not to think too hard about that.)
If it sounds like Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens was making things up as he went along, he was. His original plan, as revealed in Booster Gold: The Big Fall, was that instead of stealing Brainiac 5's ring from the Space Museum, Booster would have stolen Superboy's rarely used original ring from the Superman Museum!
That plan was scuttled by the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, which erased Superboy's adventures from history. Thus the original origin of Booster Gold's flight ring became just one more casualty of the universe-destroying Anti-Monitor. What a jerk.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
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.
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.)
Monday, January 27, 2020
Earlier this month, I laid out what I consider to be the twelve best Booster Gold comics in the character's 35-year history. I start with my personal favorite. If you only read one comic book featuring Booster Gold in your entire life, make it Justice League #4 (1987).
The story, aptly titled "Winning Hand," begins with Batman considering the merits of allowing businessman Maxwell Lord IV to foister new members on the newly-formed league. It's a great twist on established canon. Membership in the Justice League to this point had been limited to those nominated by card-holding members. Just being nominated usually meant a big boost in popularity. Naturally, a glory hound like Booster Gold was itching to be involved, even if it meant being backed by someone so obviously unethical as Mr. Lord.
However, Booster isn't entirely without scruples (or pride). Following the example set by Dr. Light, he walks away from the complicated situation rather than let himself be used. What Booster doesn't realize is that Lord has planned for that, too. While Booster is giving his inevitable post-meeting press interview, lives are threatened. Despite the fact that he has just been emotionally crushed by Lord's con job, Booster selflessly jumps into action to save threatened innocents.
Inside the Justice Cave, Batman takes advantage of the chaotic situation. He orders his colleagues to observe Booster in action so that they judge what the newest hero on the scene is really made of. Thus, Booster Gold finds himself in solo conflict with longtime league foes the Royal Flush Gang.
Booster Gold is more than up to the challenge. Using a full array of his impressive technology-based powers and more than a little of his innate intelligence and verve, Booster defeats the four human members of the gang in as many pages.
The victory earns Booster a round of applause from observing leaguers. He even gets a smile from an approving Batman. Many people would have been irritated by Batman's refusal to aid them, but not Booster. The former quarterback is actually pleased to have an audience. He does love the limelight.
The afterparty is short-lived. The fifth and final member of the gang, the Amazo-like android Ace, crashes the scene to make quick work of the league's most powerful members. This leaves Booster Gold to save the day. Well, Booster Gold and his soon-to-be best friend, Blue Beetle. Having known one another for only a few minutes, the pair teams up to destroy the rampaging robot once and for all.
What began as a job interview leads results in Booster's dream coming true (and a dawning new friendship). Batman offers Booster full membership in the league in a show of appreciation and respect, giving the young hero the credibility he so desired (and earned).
How can you not love that?
The issue's script by Keith Giffen is as perfectly paced as the best action movies, and the dialogue by J.M. DeMatteis positively crackles with authenticity, wit, and enthusiasm. Booster Gold comes off as the hero the league needs, and the league itself is clearly a family in the making. Add in Kevin Maguire's unparalleled ability to express both action and emotion (not to mention his brilliantly "cheeky" cover), and you have a guaranteed recipe for success.
Did I say this is my favorite Booster Gold comic? Make it my favorite comic, period.
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Booster Gold hasn't been in a new release in weeks, so I hope you've been saving your money. Because he's in three titles today!
Logan Peterson, a longtime friend of this site, dropped me a line to say
I just finished skimming through the new comics coming out tomorrow as I was sorting through them at my store, and I made some exciting discoveries! Booster appears in not one, but two of tomorrow's releases: Superman #19 and Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2. I won’t say anything to spoil them, but I wanted to give you the heads up!
I had suspected that Booster might show up in Superman (in response to some recent, high-profile events in the life of the Man of Tomorrow), but the appearance in Hell Arisen is a total surprise. (The way Logan words that leads me to believe that it might not be an entirely welcome one. But then, the book is titled Hell Arisen.)
This is the solicitation text for Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2:
Apex predator Lex Luthor is on the hunt for the Batman Who Laughs. To catch his prey, he must follow a trail of broken heroes... leading him to Jim Gordon, one of the victims of the Batman Who Laughs' deadly virus that turned the heroic police commissioner into the worst version of himself. The trail leads Lex to a lonely cell in the Hall of Justice - but it's not the good guys who come to stop him. It's more of the Batman Who Laughs' dangerous operatives! And if they couldn't resist the influence of the Dark Multiverse, then how can Lex?
And while we're at it, this is for Superman #19:
One day later! What happens the day after Superman reveals his secret identity to the world? And what repercussions will his decision have across the entire DC Universe? Plus, Superman: president of Earth?
Wait a second. "President of Earth"? Is that a thing? I don't remember voting for that.
Anyway, what Logan failed to mention in his note is that Booster will also be featured in the new collection Justice League International Book One: Born Again, which reprints Justice League #1-6, Justice League International #7-17, Justice League Annual #1, Justice League International Annual #2, and Suicide Squad #13. That's a whole bunch of great 1980s Booster Gold adventures reprinted on good paper for the very reasonable (modern) price of $2 per comic.
Buy one of those and make Skeets happy! (Thanks, Logan.)
UPDATE: As you can see in the comments, Booster has also been spotted in Batman/Superman #6. He's everywhere!
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