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Friday, August 11, 2023


I've sliced my thumb rather badly on a food processor — while putting it away, no less; it wasn't even running! So posting might be a little light for the next week. Sorry about that.

© DC Comics
Justice League Task Force #13, 1994

I'll try to be more careful next time.

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Friday, June 9, 2023

My Favorite Pages: Millennium 3

My Favorite Pages

Somehow, Booster Gold doesn't appear anywhere in Millennium #2, but Millennium #3 makes up for that by dedicating several pages to our hero.

Of those, my favorite is this one, page 11, written by Steve Englehart and drawn by Joe Staton:

© DC Comics

Somehow, Steve Englehart's characterizations of the JLI here feel much more "correct" than Len Wein's JLA we saw last week in Blue Beetle #20. Both writers had worked on Justice League comics before, in the early (Wein) and late (Englehart) 70s. It's probably worth noting that according to Englehart's own website,, he was brought on to the book in 1977 to "give the characters personalities." That tradition clearly continued into Giffen/DeMatteis's International era, where personalities were often more important than plots.

And while I'm talking Englehart, I should probably also add that although he didn't introduce the "Manhunter" characters — that credit technically belongs to Joe Simon and Jack Kirby — Englehart did introduce the concept of the Manhunters as Oan robot constructs in Justice League of America #140. So there's a direct line from Englehart's 1970s JLA to Millennium a decade later.

That concludes your comics history lesson for this week, kids. Your assignment: read more comics!

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Friday, June 2, 2023

My Favorite Pages: Blue Beetle 20

My Favorite Pages

As I've been compiling this list of my favorite pages, I have avoided including books that contain less than a full page of Booster Gold. But today I'm going to make my first (and probably not last) exception to that rule for Blue Beetle #20, where Booster is visible in only three panels on page 6:

© DC Comics

The JLI presented here feels a little... wrong. (J'onn J'onzz has his feet on the desk? Booster says "Wowzer"?) A lot of that is writer Len Wein's over-written script, but some blame has to be shared by penciller Ross Andru's Bronze Age-throwback vibe. (I admit that Andru did many things right in his long, celebrated career, but 1980s Blue Beetle belonged to Paris Cullins.)

At this point you may be asking why I am including this page of minimal, off-model Booster in my list of favorites? Because it is Booster's first appearance in a Blue Beetle comic, and that's a good enough reason for me.

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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Taking It to the Max

I recently got an email from Travis Bickle, and although he was clearly "talkin' to me," I think it's best if I just pass along exactly what he said:

We certainly are in a heavy Booster dry spell right now, which is why I was pathetically exuberant upon finding the news I'm about to share. HBO just updated its streaming service to be called simply "Max" instead of "HBO Max" (really clever change), and with this came some slight adjustments to other aspects of the experience as well, including allowing HBO's userbase to more options for their avatars in-app. Now, a user's profile can be represented by none other than Booster Gold, utilizing his look from the JLU animated series. Previously the options were a lot more limited.

© DC Comics

Just last week, Warner Bros. Discovery put out a press release announcing new avatars were coming to their retooled app. Booster was nowhere to be seen. I'm very glad to see that oversight has been corrected.

Thanks for the news, Travis, but don't stay up all night watching movies. Lack of sleep is bad for your mental health.

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Friday, May 26, 2023

My Favorite Pages: Justice League Intl 9

My Favorite Pages

The third Booster Gold comic released on September 15, 1987 was Justice League International #9, which contained events explicitly taking place immediately after Millennium #1 (also released on September 15).

As it happens, for several reasons, not the least of which was limited funding, I didn't buy every Justice League International comic the week it was released. But it happens that I did buy this one because it tied into Millennium #1. (So I'm living proof that major crossover events sell books, I guess.)

I mention that because at the time, page 3 was my favorite page simply for the reason that I always thought it was cool that Blue Beetle was able to put out a cry for help with his breath on a window.

© DC Comics

But my tastes have changed. These days, I have a different favorite page... for two specific reasons. One of those reasons will be immediately self-evident to all Booster boosters who lay eyes on it:

© DC Comics

See? Booster Gold is just the coolest. (Golly, I love those panels 3-6 of reaction shots zooming in closer and closer to the eyes before the big reveal that it was Booster Gold who saved the day.... just in time for Blue Beetle to bring our arrogant hero back down to Earth! What a wonderful sequence.)

The second — and considerably nerdier — reason I love this page is how wrong it is.

What you see above is the page as it appeared in more modern reprints on higher quality paper. You can see that the re-colorist (presumably using the original color master?) maintained the coloring mistakes that the late, great Gene D'Angelo unintentionally made in the original newsprint publication, such as Booster's flesh-colored star and Martian Manhunter wearing Booster's pants.

When the same issue was republished just a few years ago in Justice League International: Born Again, the page coloring was corrected, but washing out the existing color from scans of the original resulted in thinner blacks. The overall effect is a page that actually looks worse despite the "correction." (Leave D'Angelo's work alone!)

And both of those reprints have eliminated one of my favorite details: the page number! In the original publication, this is clearly marked "14" in the lower left corner. Why did it go away when other pages have maintained their in-art numbering?

(Side note: As a chronicler, I love page numbers! Please, please, please, bring back page numbers, DC!)

All of these little idiosyncrasies plus a badass Booster Gold moment add up to make page 14 (numbered or not) my favorite page of the issue.

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