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 Rewatching The Greatest Story Never Told

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Before Justice League Action blew my mind this weekend, I was thinking that I should start an occasional series of posts covering some of the higher points of Booster Gold fandom. After all, every day someone is probably encountering Booster Gold for the first time, and they need to know what the good stuff is.

Apparently, The A.V. Club was thinking along similar lines. Monday, the site ran an article by Noel Murray extensively praising the Justice League Unlimited series that ran on Cartoon Network from 2004 to 2006. Most of that praise was thrown at one episode in particular: "The Greatest Story Never Told."

There are few stories in the history of Booster Gold as good as "The Greatest Story Never Told."

Murray's commentary is insightful. He covers why the episode is great as well as why all comic book fans should love Booster Gold. His post's only weakness is that it fails to make it clear to any readers who have never seen the episode just how much fun it is to watch.

© DC Comics

So if you're a Booster Gold fan (or even if you're just Booster Gold curious), you owe it to yourself to track the episode down and spend 23 minutes with the most underappreciated hero in the DC Universe.

And when you're done watching the episode, you can read Murray's whole article at avclub.com.
Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: avclub.com greatest story never told justice league unlimited noel murray

 In Praise of Action

Monday, July 10, 2017

I'm about to do something I never do. I'm going to gush about something I saw on television this past weekend, specifically the Justice League Action episode "Time Out."

"Time Out" gives us possibly the greatest on-screen Booster Gold ever.

Justice League Action episode Time Out

Episode writer Jonathan Callan channeled Booster Gold perfectly. Like our hero, he stole from his past to make a better present. Sci-fi geeks may recognize that the primary antagonists in "Time Out" were lifted from old Doctor Who episodes. (And that doorway at Vanishing Point sure looked like something from Stargate.) I'm not complaining. Using familiar ideas like this allows "Time Out" to squeeze some high concept time travel shenanigans into a brief eleven minutes of action.

[UPDATE: On Twitter, Callan admits that in addition to Who, the time antibodies were also inspired by Stephen King's Langoliers and the chronovore to be a "lift from Grant Morrison's All-Star Superman".]

Callan makes another theft that is much more important. The plot of "Time Out" comes from another television show you've probably heard of, specifically Justice League Unlimited episode "The Greatest Story Never Told." Once again, Booster Gold is initially presented as an incompetent dudebro who only plays at heroism for fame. Once again, Booster Gold is the only hero who can save the world when an unexpected crisis develops, and once again, no one else gets to know about it. It's the small changes to this formula that make this episode greater than its predecessor.

Whereas "Greatest Story" dropped the crisis into the lap of an ill-prepared Booster, here the problem is a job a more mature Booster has accepted, trained for, and completed many times before without any hope of reward. "Time Out" really sells Booster's inherent goodness and loneliness, personality traits commonly obscured by his more obvious desperate need for attention. In this episode, Booster is fully aware of his faults and doesn't care to hide them because how others see him isn't as important as doing the right thing.

That's some good stuff right there.

I probably don't need to mention that the episode is greatly enhanced by voice acting from former Batman Diedrich Bader and current (and all-time best) Batman Kevin Conroy. They manage to convey a lot of humor and pathos in a very short period of time. Great job done by all.

If I have any quibble, it's that Skeets doesn't have any speaking lines. But given how much good stuff we did get ("Booster cave," Vanishing Point, Booster getting the last word over Batman), I'm more than willing to let that go. That Skeets was in here at all is good enough for me.

I hope any Booster boosters who missed the broadcast will have a chance to discover this gem in reruns. I look forward to many repeat viewings myself.
Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: diedrich bader jonathan callan justice league action justice league unlimited kevin conroy time out

 Greatest Story Never Told Is Better Than Most

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Cdn dropped by the Boosterrific Forum yesterday to tell us that the Booster Gold episode of Justice League Unlimited cracked the top 5 in CBR.com's list of "15 Unforgettable Justice League Unlimited Episodes."

Well, of course it did. It's "The Greatest Story Never Told."

Says list compiler Colby Lanham:

It’s a touching moment for Booster Gold, one that makes the audience feel for the character and his plight while adding layers of depth to the hero who doesn’t get many opportunities to do good.

I think it's nice that people remember the episode favorably. But I think it's even nicer that people remember the episode at all.

"The Greatest Story Never Told" first aired in 2004. Twelve years before that, people couldn't watch what had been on television twelve hours earlier if they hadn't had the foresight to record it on a magnetic tape!

It's comforting to know that people will still be discovering both the adventures of Booster Gold long after comics are no longer printed on trees. (Maybe even into the 25th century.)

Long live Booster Gold!
Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: cbr.com cdn colby lanham justice league unlimited lists television

 Twelve Years a Green Lantern

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

SF Debris started the week with a pointed but loving critique of the greatest episode ever animated of Justice League Unlimited. (Can you believe it's been almost 12 years since it first aired?)

Despite including the interesting footnote that the episode was originally intended as a Firestorm story, SF Debris somehow failed to credit the episode's writer, Andrew Kreisberg, or director, Dan Riba. Oversight corrected.

You can see the whole video yourself by visiting sfdebris.com. Thanks to Morgenstern for the link.
Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: justice league unlimited moregenstern sfdebris.com

 Thank You, Green Lantern

Friday, February 5, 2016

Last week's announcement of Justice League Action reminds us that it's been ten years since Justice League Unlimited went off the air. To celebrate this sad anniversary, Darren Bonthuys at lazygamer.net has listed his ten episodes that exemplify why JLU is the model that all future superhero cartoons should emulate. Included in his list is what is arguably Booster Gold's finest hour: "The Greatest Story Never Told."

Choosing to be a superhero, is an inherently noble act. Donning a mask, risking your life and fighting a neverending battle is a thankless task which doesn't exactly pay the bills. And then there's Booster Gold. Unlike heroes who are motivated solely by grief or a better nature, Booster Gold is in it for the fame.

I don't agree with Bonthuys entire list (frankly, I consider "Clash" to be a terrible episode), but I can't deny that "The Greatest Story Never Told" is my favorite of the series. In showcasing the story of a side-lined b-list hero, the episode demonstrates that every character can be interesting and worthwhile. Knowing Booster Gold is on crowd control makes the entire DC Universe more interesting.

Of course, we can't discuss this show without offering a special thank you to episode writer Andrew Kreisberg. That the person responsible for Booster's best television moment is the same man partially responsible for shepherding the live-action DC Universe remains encouraging. At the very least, Kreisberg "gets" Booster Gold, and it seems likely that whenever Booster Gold does return to the small screen, he'll be exactly the character we expect him to be.

Meanwhile, how will Booster Gold's appearances on Justice League Action stand up against "The Greatest Story Never Told"? Let's hope for the best.
Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: andrew kreisberg darren bonthuys justice league action justice league unlimited lazygamer.net television


 

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