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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

This Day in History: Piling On

Martian Manhunter is getting a new mini-series in December that will rewrite the character as something a little more... alien than what longtime DC readers are used to. (DC's solicitation reads: "Back on Mars, J’onn was about as corrupt as a law officer can be, and when a reckoning comes for his entire society, he’ll get a second chance he doesn’t want or deserve!")

I can't say as I'm very eager about that. I happened to like J'onn J'onzz just the way he was.

Take, for example, the Martian Manhunter who appeared in "The Ghosts of Mars," a story running through JLA Classified #42-#46. Written by Justin Gray, the story focused entirely on J'onzz's internal struggle against his own inner demons. Demons that sometimes took the appearance of Booster Gold, as seen in JLA Classified #44, released on this date in 2007.

© DC Comics
JLA Classified #44 by Justin Gray, Rick Leonardi, Sean Philips, I.L.L., John Hill

Each of the first four issues of "The Ghosts of Mars" shined a spotlight on a member of the Justice League who inspired Martian Manhunter to new heights of heroism. Ironically in light of recent events in the DCU, the hero of JLA Classified #44 is Wally West, aka The Flash.

Eleven years later, West is dead, Booster Gold is the suspect, and Manhunter is a corrupt cop. Is it any wonder I prefer to read back issues?

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: flash i.l.l. jla classfified john hill justin gray martian manhunter rick leonardi sean philips solicitations

Friday, July 12, 2013

Gold Exchange: All-Star Western #21

Russ Burlingame doesn't let us down. Even though Booster's appearance in All-Star Western #21 lasted only a few pages in a book published a few weeks ago, Burlingame persevered in grilling writer Justin Gray about Booster for the latest "Gold Exchange" column: The five-page preview that went live a couple of days ago pretty much captures Booster Gold's involvement in this issue. Will we be seeing more of him sooner or later?

Justin Gray: We're discussing Booster's potential involvement in a future issue.

More Booster Gold to come in the Old West? Let's hope that Booster has recovered his memory by then. There's a villain out there named Romeo Booster owes a little comeuppance!

As always, you can read the rest of the interview at

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: gold exchange justin gray russ burlingame

Friday, May 31, 2013

Gold Exchange: All-Star Western #20

Russ Burlingame questions All-Star Western #20 co-writer Justin Gray in his latest "Gold Exchange" column at Is a real explanation for what the heck is up with Booster forthcoming? It seems weird to me that he remembers Blazing Saddles and yoga pants, but not how his force field and flight ring work. Almost like the missing information was strategic...

Gray: I'd imagine based on his return that there will be an explanation, however that's not our story to tell. For me on a creative level and as a fan it is fun to me that there exists a universe where there can be random or seemingly random events contained within the very clear machinations of larger storytelling. With All-Star there's this sense of, I guess the random insanity of the first Hangover movie. Instead of a bunch of guys getting sucked into the world of Las Vegas, they get sucked into the world of Jonah Hex's and the ride is often more important and exciting than the destination.

... Since you guys have made it no secret Booster is going to take Jonah to the present/Jonah's future, setting these guys up as a threat in the third part of the story kind of begs the question: What implications does that have?

Gray: In an attempt to channel Matt Smith's Doctor Who I give you the following and playfully snarky response: I see you're anticipating possible plot courses. I'd advise against that. That's the funny thing about time travel. Nothing ever truly happens in a straight line. Straight lines are boring. I'll take a nice wavy line or some loopty loops any day.

Gray sounds like someone who is enjoying playing with the sandbox of the DC Universe. As always, you'll find more in the full interview at

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: gold exchange justin gray russ burlingame

Monday, April 29, 2013

Gold Exchange Doubletalk with Justin Gray

Justin Gray must feel pretty loved right now. He was interviewed by both Russ Burlingame at and last week about All-Star Western #19.

Vanetta Rogers interviewed both Gray and his co-writer, Jimmy Palmiotti, for The focus of the interview is very much on Palmiotti and Gray's plans for the future of the series (which has been losing more than 500 readers each month for some time now, currently down to under 17,000 per month and fast approaching cancellation). But there was still some room for some Booster news.

Newsarama: How did All-Star Western end up being the spot where Booster Gold would return to DC Comics?

Justin Gray: We needed to shake things up. Booster is the only time traveler operating currently in the New 52, and his story is that of a man hurtling through time for reasons unknown. He's not fully aware of the reasons behind this and so it felt like a great opportunity to pair him with Jonah Hex in a way that would get people talking about All-Star Western.

Palmiotti: We constantly like to keep All-Star Western on the cutting edge story-wise and loaded with ideas that we think really challenge the characters. Getting to be the book that reintroduces Booster again was even cooler for us. Once again we get a chance to turn more people onto the book, and that is a win-win situation for us on all counts. The crew at DC and our editors have been working long and hard on making this happen for us and we think we have a story that lives up to any hype we might have out there.

Meanwhile, at the New Look Russ Burlingame resurrected his "Gold Exchange" column to put some questions to Gray, who genuinely appears to be a big Booster Gold fan. There are few characters more entwined with the DC Universe than Booster, at least as he's been depicted in the recent past. His future is totally dependent on the "history" that unfolds in our titles every month. Hex is at the other end of the spectrum; his life would be only minimally impacted if Superman never had his coming-out party. Do you think that makes an exploration through time with these two particular characters even more interesting than the average mismatched duo?

Gray: Hex takes everything as it comes with an angry scowl and hand on his gun approach. I think any time you put characters together that are dissimilar, with very pronounced view points, methods and ideologies that you're going to have a good time.

A lot of times you have such similarities in characters that they become swappable costumes. I believe Booster being around Hex actually makes him more heroic in ways that would be overlooked and sometimes overshadowed by standing in a crowd with other heroes. He is essentially the only pure hero in the book at this time.

In both interviews, Gray sidesteps questions of how Booster got to the past and where he will be going next. It looks like readers will have to pick up All-Star Western #20 next month for more answers!

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: gold exchange jimmy palmiotti justin gray russ burlingame vaneta rogers

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