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Monday, March 22, 2021

The One With Beetle's Blind Date

What happens when Booster Gold, Fire, and Flash go for dinner together? I'm glad you asked....

© DC Comics

© DC Comics

© DC Comics

© DC Comics

© DC Comics

Yes, Wally, that is the Tattooed Man.

"When Titans Date" was created by Mark Waid, Ty Templeton, and Karl Kesel for the fourth story in the Justice League Quarterly #10 anthology.

I loved it when it was first published in 1993, and I love it even more now. It works on so many levels. On its surface, it's a situation comedy. Dig a little deeper, and it's an exploration of its characters' insecurities. Will Ted ever find love? Is Booster losing his best friend to a *gulp* girl? Can Wally relax long enough to enjoy a meal? How does Bea deal with constant sexual harassment from jerks like that bald guy in the red jacket?

Track down a copy of Justice League Quarterly #10 — the one with an angry Booster Gold on its cover! — and find out how this story ends.

Comments (4) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle fire flash justice league quarterly karl kesel mark waid tattooed man ty templeton

Friday, May 15, 2020

The Best of Booster Gold: JL Quarterly 1

Let me go ahead and say this up front: While Justice League #4 is my personal favorite comic book of all time, Justice League Quarterly #1 is a very close second. That makes it an obvious choice to be in my list of the twelve best Booster Gold comics.

What makes Justice League Quarterly #1 so great? I'll let Claire Montgomery explain.

© DC Comics
© DC Comics
© DC Comics

In hindsight, a corporate-sponsored super team seems like such an obvious idea. In the late 1980s, corporate America was ascendant. When the Justice League went international with the backing of the United Nations, it was inevitable that private industry would want to strike back with super heroes they could control. Who better to lead such an endeavor than Booster Gold, the DCU's original Corporate Crusader?

© DC Comics

In a Justice League issue, it would be easy to treat the Conglomerate as either a bunch of bumbling boobs (like the Injustice League) or as a souless gang of misguided thugs (like the Rocket Red Brigade). Instead, writers Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis present the new team — including a couple of faces and names that will be familiar to "Justice League Detroit" fans — as a group worthy of respect, trying to do good inside the structure of an imperfect system.

The villains in this story aren't the corporate super team but their big-money bosses. With names like Mr. Whiteman and Mrs. Karpedeim, it's perfectly clear what we're supposed to think about a Capitalistic culture that values heroism as useful only so long as it sells another gallon of gas.

What happens when a group of well-intentioned heroes are confronted with the very difficult reality that saving money is more important that saving lives? Read on to find out.

© DC Comics

If you think a story of super hero ethics isn't interesting enough to hold your interest for 70 pages, this issue has a few surprises for you. In addition to a very cynical look at American business culture, there are several character-driven subplots playing out around around that core, most importantly including the relationship between Booster Gold and his former BFF, Blue Beetle.

© DC Comics

I love this book. I love the art by Chris Sprouse and Bruce Patterson. I love the Conglomerate's team uniform is a leather jacket covered with corporate patches. I love that team manager Claire Montgomery is Max Lord's ex-wife. I love that Booster Gold is forced to appear in a publicity photo with former business rival Lex Luthor. I love that Green Lantern foe Hector Hammond thinks he's not evil enough for corporate America.

And most importantly, I love that Booster and Beetle are making an effort to work through their differences.

In other words, I love Justice League Quarterly #1, and that's all the reason I need to include it among the The Best Booster Gold Stories Ever.

(Just so you know, this issue has very recently been reprinted — for the first time! — in the Justice League: Corporate Maneuvers collection. Next time you visit your Local Comic Shop, consider picking up a copy. I love mine!)

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: best of bruce patterson chris sprouse claire montgomery conglomerate j.m. dematteis justice league quarterly keith giffen

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

This Day in History: Bad Booster

Twenty-three years ago today, Booster Gold was still appearing in DC Comics comic books. Specifically, Justice League Quarterly #12.

© DC Comics

As you can see, Booster wasn't on his best behavior in this cameo appearance. He and Blue Beetle treated poor Ice quite rudely, laughing at her desire for a companion for her planned road trip through the American southwest. That's not cool, guys. Not cool. (Is that how you'd treat Wonder Woman?)

Ice, if you're still looking, I'm always up for a good road trip.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle ice justice league quarterly

Friday, February 8, 2013

We've All Gotta Go Sometime

My high school reunion is tomorrow. I'm not going, and it's all Booster Gold's fault.

© DC Comics

That's Booster Gold at Ted Kord's 15th high school reunion, as detailed in Justice League Quarterly #7. Unlike Booster Gold, I don't know any foreign supermodel/superheroes who would go as my dates. I also doubt that my reunion would be crashed by alien warlords. The only aspect that my reunion would share with this one is that there will definitely be dentists, car salesmen, and drunks in attendance.

Therefore, I'm going to stay at home and read comic books, just as I did on weekends in high school. That's gotten me where I am today, and I'm not complaining.

Comments (4) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle fire ice justice league quarterly reunions

Monday, July 30, 2012

Happy Birthday to Chris Sprouse

Without Chris Sprouse, we might still have had Booster Gold in his black leather jacket as the leader of the Conglomerate, but he wouldn't have looked nearly as cool.

© DC Comics

Justice League Quarterly #1 in 1990 was among Sprouse's earliest works for DC Comics, but by no means was it the last. While it may seem that Sprouse has gone underutilized since the DC reboot, his legion of fans will be pleased to know that he recently hinted on his website, SprouseNet, that he will soon be returning to a Tom Strong mini-series. That's good birthday news, indeed.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: artists chris sprouse justice league international justice league quarterly tom strong

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