- Booster Gold
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Monday, September 14, 2020
DC took advantage of Fandome to release their 2020 December solicitations. These are the places we should expect to see Booster Gold in coming months:
DEATH METAL: THE LAST 52: WAR OF THE MULTIVERSES #1
written by SCOTT SNYDER, JOSHUA WILLIAMSON, MAGDALENE VISAGGIO, JAMES TYNION IV, KYLE HIGGINS, MARGUERITE BENNETT, MATT ROSENBERG, JUSTIN JORDAN, REGINE SAWYER, and CHE GRAYSON
art by DANIEL SAMPERE and others
cover by DAN MORA
variant cover by GARY FRANK
What would it take to get every being left in the Multiverse to side together in the ultimate, final showdown? Total decimation and the complete undoing of all existence? The Batman Who Laughs has made his final move, bringing the most horrifying opposition to the battleground, and now every hero and villain left alive will stand and fight together. This epic battle book details every side of the last war across the Multiverse—Wonder Woman leading the heroes, Superman leading the villains, and Batman leading the dead—everyone has to play their part. Everyone and everything is at stake…so join here for the last of the DCU as we know it! $8.99 PRESTIGE FORMAT ONE SHOT, ON SALE December 29, 2020
I know the text doesn't explicitly mention Booster Gold, but he appears on *both* covers seen above. Am I willing to shell out $17.98 for the pair? I'll see how I feel about that decision when I complete my Christmas shopping.
UPDATE 2020-09-14: BleedingCool.com reports that the second cover by Gary Frank was original intended for the abandoned 5G event, so it doesn't have anything to do with the book's contents. I wish that made my math easier, but it is a beautiful, cheerful cover.
(By the way, there are four other Dark Nights: Death Metal books and three new Tales of the Dark Multiverse being solicited — because Eddie of Iron Maiden makes all of DC Comics' publishing decisions in 2020. Booster Gold could conceivably cameo in any of these books, so if anyone notices our boy, please pass word along. Thank you.)
Next up is the book DC teased last week:
GENERATIONS SHATTERED #1
written by DAN JURGENS, ANDY SCHMIDT, and ROBERT VENDITTI
art by IVAN REIS, BRYAN HITCH, KEVIN NOWLAN, AARON LOPRESTI, FERNANDO PASARIN, PAUL PELLETIER, and others
cover by IVAN REIS and JOE PRADO
A threat of cosmic proportion to DC's newest (and oldest) universe compels one of the most unusual groups of heroes ever assembled to take on the most mysterious foe they have ever encountered. What started in Detective Comics #1027 explodes out of Dark Nights: Death Metal to tell the story of the generations-spanning history of the DC Universe! Join the original Batman, Kamandi, Starfire, Sinestro, Booster Gold, Dr. Light, Steel, and Sinestro in their quest to save the universe before time runs out… $9.99 PRESTIGE FORMAT ONE SHOT, ON SALE January 15, 2021
There are two covers for this one, too, but so far we've only seen the one I showed on Generations Shattered on Friday. Will the second one have Booster Gold on it also? That'd be useful information, DC, as my Local Comic Shop only orders for me exactly what I tell them to, and I don't need to buy two copies of the interior pages.
Note that the solicitation above text name checks Detective Comics #1027, which is due in my store tomorrow with a $9.99 cover price. What is up with all these $9-$10 comics, DC? Haven't you heard that there's a pandemic-inspired economic crisis on? Why are you making me choose between skipping meals or comic books? I feel I should warn you that food is pretty darn important to me.
Also in the solicitations is the news that Booster Gold will also be appearing in the JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL BOOK TWO: AROUND THE WORLD TP reprint collection coming in January. I recommend it highly for fans of Blue and Gold, though I have to admit that I won't be buying it on release. Its cover price is a very reasonable $29.99 for 20 comics, but it'll be March before I recover from buying all those other Booster Gold books.
You can find all of DC's December 2020 solicitations at GamesRadar.com.
Friday, July 17, 2020
Frankly, the entire mini-series is worth a read. It's a great call back to the best of the humorous yet heroic "Bwah-Ha-Ha" era of the Justice League International by the very creators who made that series such a hit.
Ultimately I've chosen to highlight issue #4 in part because it does such a good job of making the badly threadbare plot of a hero-vs-hero fistfight into a truly delightful read.
The issue sees the newly formed "Superbuddies" super team abducted by the villanous Roulette and forced to fight one another to the death. The joke is that no one takes the Superbuddies seriously or expects them to win. This is in keeping with the reputation of the JLI itself, which was at something of a nadir when the issue was published. Of course, fans — and team creators Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis — knew that the JLI was far more competent than their reputation (even if the team itself didn't).
In addition to the ton of jokes and familiar characterization of a bunch of friends who also happen to be teammates, this issue really highlights the strengths of original Justice League International artist Kevin Maguire's storytelling ability. His expressions, body language, pacing... it's all perfect.
(And the cover's not bad either!)
If there's any complaint to be made about this series, it's that the comedic roles of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle have been swapped. Back in the day, Booster was the straight man. Here he's the fool. Some might find that offputting, but Booster boosters know it's only an act. Booster will do anything to be the center of attention.
Besides, you know it's only a comic book.
As far as comic books go, it's a pretty good one. It easily deserves to be counted among the The Best Booster Gold Stories Ever.
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.
Monday, April 6, 2020
For decades, the biggest knock against Booster Gold has been that he's only a hero because he stole his powers. His fans know that's not true.
With or without powers, Booster's always been a hero, as he proved on this day in 1993 in the pages of Justice League Europe #50, when he quite literally jumped into action with nothing but his wits and a sharp-looking pair of tights to protect him.
Justice League Europe #50, art by Ron Randall, Randy Elliott, and Gene D'angelo
This 54-page spectacular is the sixth and final chapter of the "Red Winter" storyline in which Green Lantern's old foe Sonar used his upgraded sound powers to disable the Justice League Europe and stage a successful coup of the former Soviet Bloc counties.
With their comrades down, the remaining active members of the Justice League International spring to the rescue. This includes Booster Gold — despite the fact that the same Doomsday that had recently befallen Superman had also destroyed Booster's 25th-century power suit and gauntlets, leaving him functionally no more powerful than a blind doctor.
Full credit to Booster for having the courage to campaign against a mind-controlling dictator with only his fists. However, it does leave him severely disadvantaged whenever a super-powered melee breaks out, as they often do in these sorts of situations. That means Booster spends most of the story on the sidelines, pointing out the obvious.
A real hero helps out however he can.
Another bit of trivia about this issue: it's the first story in which Booster Gold and his future teammate Godiva appear together. They don't share any dialogue, but they do get some great sound effects.
Ouch. Take care of yourself, Booster. Courage is great, but a man's got to know his limitations.
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