- Booster Gold
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Wednesday, June 24, 2020
A recent clickbait listicle at CBR.com written by Brett Hoover has the very pointed title "Justice League: 5 Reasons Why Blue Beetle Is The Most Annoying Member (& 5 Why It's Booster Gold)."
I was initially going to let this obvious bit of fanboy-baiting slide, but then I decided that if I wasn't willing to fight for Booster Gold, who would? So in the interest of giving equal time to Booster bashers, let me directly address those 5 reasons. (I'll leave it to others to defend Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes.)
Reason 5. Booster Gold: Believes Himself To Be More Powerful Than He Really Is
Superheroes have egos. In fact, in most cases that is what makes them super as they are constantly trying to improve themselves to live up to their own and others' expectations of them. That said, in the case of Booster Gold, it is just sad how he tries to portray himself as one of Earth's mightiest heroes when, in fact, he is just a chump in a costume. What is even sadder is that, because of his enormous ego, he doesn't even notice that others see through his facade.
No one can deny that Booster Gold has an over-sized ego, but if the premise is that he's the worst Justice Leaguer, the real question is whether his ego is more over-inflated than other Leaguers. I'd say Booster's sense of self-importance, while impressive, is dwarfed by the runaway delusions of self-important grandeur often displayed by the likes of Batman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, or
Parallax Extant Hal Jordan.
Reason 4. Booster Gold: Not Earth's Mightiest Hero
Certain superheroes seek to earn their place in the top ranks of the Justice League. Many work for years to even get admitted to the A-level superhero squad. While all are heroic in their own way and are confident in their own powers, Booster Gold takes his accomplishments and quadruples the amount of importance his actions really played in any situation. It isn't wrong to be confident but confidence is something that is obtained through surviving the tough battles, not just given like he wants it to be.
This sure sounds like a duplication of the first complaint. No less a talent than Geoff Johns dubbed Booster Gold "The Greatest Hero You've Never Heard Of" explicitly because when a time-cop like Booster Gold does his job correctly and saves a multiverse, you don't see the tough battles he fought on your behalf. If someone has to be a publicly recognized, best-selling A-lister before they join the league, someone might want to break the news gently to Martian Manhunter, Red Tornado, and Firestorm.
Reason 3. Booster Gold: Attention Seeking Superhero
Booster Gold isn't known for his modesty when it comes to the good deeds he has committed. In fact, he oftentimes hopes and prays that there is a camera on each corner taking his picture as he saves the day. This attention-seeking aspect of his persona leaves many superhero allies with a bad taste in their mouth when forced to team up with him. Yet, instead of realizing how pathetic such a demeanor truly is, he instead begins to believe their animosity is because of his true heroism.
Sure, Booster has frequently lamented not receiving the earned respect of his peers, but that final sentence is patently untrue. I think you, like so many others before you, have confused him with Green Lantern, specifically Guy Gardner. Or Obsidian. Or Triumph. (Surely I'm not the only person who remembers Triumph, the founding leaguer who was lost in timeline shenanigans. Speaking of timeline shenanigans....)
Reason 2. Booster Gold: Mentored By His Own Son
Some of the worst things shows or comics about time travel have to deal with are the paradoxes these travelers inflict on time itself. Fans see it often enough by the Flash who has jumped around the past and the future on countless occasions. Booster Gold's attempts at messing with time ultimately resulted in him not only coming in contact with his son, but being mentored by the child he hadn't yet raised, along with having his future self shape his past self.
Time paradoxes make for bad Justice Leaguers? Sure, Triumph was a jerk, but time paradoxes are practically a prerequisite for league membership. Stalwarts like Superman and Supergirl had plenty of time-twisting adventures with the future's Legion of Super-Heroes in their past, Plastic Man's JLA adventures through time would prove him functionally immortal, and Moon Maiden seemed nice enough while she existed. (Can anyone explain why the Flash gets a pass here? Is it because the Cosmic Treadmill is cool? Because it is.)
Reason 1. Booster Gold: Runs From The Present To Live In The Past
There's a common time travel fantasy about going back in time with modern technology in order to impress the denizens of the past. If that weren't the main reason Booster Gold traveled in time, it wouldn't be so sad. Booster Gold was so unimportant in his time that the only way to feed his ego was to time travel to the past and show off his futuristic technology.
Well, you have me there. It's not a very heroic origin, is it? I guess there's a reason the Justice League never let a criminal like Lex Luthor join. Oh, they did? Well, then. Case dismissed.
Friday, May 1, 2020
In ancient times, May Day was a celebration of the dawning of a new season from the old, a rebirth. In the 20th century, "mayday" became a distress call for pilots.
Both of those etymologies are reflected in CRB.com's latest Booster Gold-centric clickbait, "Every Terrible DC Timeline Booster Gold Has Prevented (or Caused)" by Brandon Zachary.
As one of DC's resident time-travelers, it makes sense that Booster Gold has left an outsized impact on the DC Universe timeline over the years. While he's done some of this to protect the timeline from the influence of others, he's also sometimes done this to try and suit his own goals.
That's a fair point. Booster Gold isn't perfect, and that's a key part of why we like him.
Before you click on over to CBR, know that the article title isn't entirely accurate (surprise!). Zachary covers some of the larger (and worst) changes that Booster has made to history, but there are plenty of other terrible timelines that Booster prevented but didn't cause (like saving the multiverse from the likes of Mister Mind in 52 and Starro in Booster Gold #13, just to name a few).
And, of course, no list of the worst timelines that Booster both caused and prevented would be complete without the time he killed a little girl's dog, as seen in Booster Gold #31.
In a multiverse with an infinite number of terrible timelines, a time cop's job is never done.
Friday, April 10, 2020
I walked outside late last night and heard... nothing. Usually, I can hear the hustle and bustle of traffic as trucks come and go from the nearby industrial warehouses throughout the wee hours of the morning. But now, with everything shut down due to shelter-in-place orders, not so much.
What's that got to do with Booster Gold? Not a thing.
The point is that nothing much new is happening these days, so there's not a lot of "news" to write about, especially in regards to the serialized adventures of a comic book hero. That leaves a content void here at the Boosterrific Blog that needs to be filled with something.
I could post more about me, your obsessive neighborhood Booster Gold blogger, but I know no one wants more of that in their life. (No, really. I've been running a personal blog at wriphe.com for 18 years, and it's read by a whopping 12 people a week. I get it. My life is boring.)
So I thought I'd try something new. I thought I'd ask you, the Booster Gold fan reading this text right now, why you've chosen to spend your valuable time visiting Boosterrific.com. What makes you a super Booster Gold fan, the kind who goes above and beyond and visits websites about your favorite hero? How did you find Booster Gold in the first place? What attracts you to the character? What brings you here?
Send me an email, either through the Boosterrific.com Contact Portal, or directly to walter(at)boosterrific.com, and tell me about your fandom. I'll share them with other fans in future posts. (If you'd like to take the opportunity to promote your own projects, go ahead. Booster Gold sure would.)
Let's take this opportunity to see how Booster Gold fans are alike across our super-specific community. Maybe we'll learn a thing or three.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
This will come as no surprise to most Booster boosters, but Booster Gold has long had a name recognition problem. Or, as Brian Cronin puts it at CBR.com: "'Look! Up in the Sky! It's a Bird! No, It's a Plane! No, It's Buster Gold!'"
Calling Booster "Buster" has been around since the fourth page of Booster's very first appearance (Booster Gold #1). That was 1985. The most recent appearance of that long-running gag was in Bat-Mite #4 in 2015. Thirty years is a long time to keep a joke running!
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th Edition) defines the direct address "Buster" as
Fellow. Used in addressing a man or boy, especially out of annoyance.
Booster's aggressively brash and cocky personality naturally rubs some people the wrong way, making shouts of "Buster" Gold a fitting commentary from his many detractors.
While we're on the subject, the same dictionary defines "Booster" as
One that boosts, as: An enthusiastic promoter, as of a sports team or school;
One who steals goods on display in a store.
You've got to give creator Dan Jurgens credit for squeezing his hero's entire origin into one name.
Booster Gold insiders will note that, as Cronin points out, the "Buster" joke succeeds on an even deeper level:
The whole idea of people mixing up Booster Gold's name is funny, because the very name BOOSTER GOLD is, itself, a mistake.
He's so right. "Booster," "Buster,"... both are a far cry from "Goldstar." (See Booster Gold #9 for more details on how that came to be.)
Cronin only lists 5 "Buster Gold" examples in his CBR.com article, but you can find the whole list of Booster Busters here at Boosterrific.com
Monday, January 6, 2020
While researching which 2019 Boosterrific.com posts were the most read (for the 2019 Year In Review), I noticed a trend of people apparently looking for a Booster Gold reading list.
Booster Gold's newest fans are always conserned about the best places to start familiarizing themselves with Booster's adventures, and older fans are always keen for entry points to entice their friends into Booster fandom. I can help.
This is my completely subjective list of the best Booster Gold comic book stories in reading order:
1. Justice League #4 (1987)
Booster Gold's introduction to the Justice League is the best place to for new readers to meet our hero. He's truly at his best here, showcasing his powers, fighting spirit, quick mind, and dedication to team. The best of the best. (Read more about it here.)
3. Booster Gold #18 (1987)
There are two sides to every story, and this is the flip side of Booster Gold's. The issue follows a federal agent, Broderick, determined to make Booster pay for his crimes. What price is justice? (Read more about it here.)
4. Justice League International #34 (1989)
If you've only heard one thing about Booster Gold, it's probably that he's best friends with Blue Beetle. This is the height (nadir?) of their misadventures as they turn an island paradise into a Justice League-themed casino. (Read more about it here.)
5. Justice League Quarterly #1 (1990)
Whatever his many flaws, Booster Gold has always been a born leader. His first real chance to show it was as leader of the Conglomerate. Booster was a perfect fit for this international super-team fighting not for truth and justice but the interests of Big Business. (Read more about it here.)
6. Superman #74 (1992)
The 1990s were mostly lost years for Booster Gold, and much of that can be blamed on the rampaging monster Doomsday. The fateful collision between the two can be seen here, and like many train wrecks, it's impossible to look away. Old-fashioned super hero slugfests at their best.
7. Formerly Known as the Justice League #3 (2003)
With Countdown to Infinite Crisis in the near future, this mini-series represents the last gasp of both the Justice League International family and the Blue and Gold team. Their last adventure was among the best.
8. 52 Week 15 (2006)
It's hard to single out any single issue of 52 as better than any other, but if one has to be the best, start at the end: Booster's end. That's right, he dies in this issue. It's powerful stuff.
9. Booster Gold Volume 2, #1 (2007)
Spoiler alert: Booster survived 52 (*cough* time-travel *cough*), and the experience molded him into a better hero than ever. His new adventures as champion of established history begin here.
10. Booster Gold Volume 2, #5 (2008)
What are the rules of time travel? What would it take to break them? What kind of hero would try? A groundbreaking issue justly remembered as one of the best of its generation.
11. Justice League: Generation Lost #23 (2011)
Like 52, it's hard to choose just one Justice League: Generation Lost issue as the best, and readers should start at the beginning and read the whole thing as the old JLI reunites to clean up their own legacy. But the payoff come at the end, starting with this penultimate issue.
12. Action Comics #995 (2018)
Everything that Booster ever was or ever will be is in this multi-part Superman epic written by Dan Jurgens. It's the best Booster Gold story of the New 52/Rebirth era.
Stay tuned to this blog, as I'll be spotlighting each issue in months to come. In the meantime, if you have other, better suggestions, let us know in the comments below.
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