- Booster Gold
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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?
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.
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.
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.
Friday, December 27, 2019
I noted some weeks ago that it seemed that Booster Gold was appearing in a lot of lists at the website that used to be ComicBookResources.com. I was trying to keep that list of lists up to date. But the latest CBR clickbait, "10 DC Heroes Who Are Unfairly Underestimated" by Richard Keller, deserves a new post.
The Greatest Hero The World Has Never Known is number two on the countdown. Writes Keller:
Even when introduced after Crisis on Infinite Earths, Booster Gold was considered somewhat of a joke by DC's other superheroes. It didn't matter if he saved the timeline or defeated the Royal Flush Gang by himself. They chalked it up to the stolen gadgets he used.
However, think about it. He put a costume together from stolen material and knew what all the parts did. Furthermore, being a time traveler, Booster knows a thing or two about physics and math along with the consequences of changing history. He may seem like a doofus, but, when in situations like those of Heroes in Crisis, he knows what needs to be done, even when everyone else looks at him like he's crazy.
That's not the worst argument in favor of our hero. (If you're dissatisfied that Booster is only number two, know that his BFF is the hero taking up space at number one.)
Despite any personal lingering resentment I feel at the newfangled CBR's listicle content strategy, I do have to appreciate that they at least keep the torch burning for Booster Gold fans in the face of DC's ongoing disinterest in returning the original Corporate Crusader to the limelight where he belongs. Thanks, Richard. (Although, seriously, anyone who underestimates Captain Marvel — no matter what he's being called these days — has it coming.)
Friday, November 1, 2019
Booster Gold makes good clickbait. At least, that's what I deduce based on his inclusion in several recent lists at CBR.com.
First, Scoot Allan has compiled his "10 Of The Most 90s Costumes In Comic Book History." Booster gets a brief shout out in this list under item 5: Power Armor.
Armor was also really big in the 90s, with all kinds of heroes modifying their outfits into bulkier robotic Iron Man knock-offs. ... DC's Booster Gold also received a bulky version of his old superhero suit when he joined the equally 90s Justice League spin-off, Extreme Justice. The reasons for his bulkier suit made a bit more sense, as the materials needed to properly fix his futuristic suit didn't exist yet.
This isn't exactly wrong, though it does makes it sound as if two years didn't pass between Superman #74 and Extreme Justice #0. But I won't quibble with anyone showing Extreme Justice-era Booster some love.
Our hero comes in at 6 on J. Richland Anderson's list of "DC: 10 Characters Fans Hated At First (& Grew to Love)."
For a while, it seemed as though DC didn't know which direction to take Booster Gold in. While some were fans of his unique approach to crime fighting, some weren't too keen on his personality. It wasn't until Booster's backstory was developed in his second solo series where his character really began to take off.
After his motivations and relationship with his father were established, Booster suddenly became a much more interesting character. Though he still had some loyal fans from the time of his debut, more people began to warm up to him after he was more fleshed out. Today, Booster is a welcome experience in many books. Though he still makes his fair share of irresponsible mistakes, Booster's fun, lovable personality help brighten any book.
"Booster suddenly became a much more interesting character"? As one of Booster's "loyal fans," let me say only that I found Booster's "fun, lovable personality" clearly evident even in his early series. (That doesn't count as a quibble, does it?)
And finally, Booster appears in Brian Cronin's list of "2019 Top DC Characters", where he placed 31 out of 100 in a fan vote. In addition to pointing out that Booster was created to be different than other DC characters of his era, Cronin also explicitly reminds that the Bwah-Ha-Ha Era of the Justice League International was incredibly successful.
He eventually joined Justice League International, where he became good friends with Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle. The two men had a number of money-making schemes, including their infamous casino plot. ... "Blue and Gold" was very popular with the fans and at one point, they were one of the most in-demand pairings at DC Comics.
That's a lot of lists! No matter which you prefer, know that the one thing you can always count on is that there are some great Booster Gold comic books from every era out there for you to enjoy.
UPDATE November 2: CBR keeps on rolling. Paul DiSalvo adds Booster Gold at number 7 on his list of "The 10 Best Comedy Relief Superheroes in Comics". Indeed.
UPDATE November 5: And now Shawn S. Lealos uses Booster Gold as his example of ENFP in "DC: MBTI Of The Justice League." What do those acronyms mean? Shawn doesn't explain them, so let's just assume they're good things.
UPDATE November 12: Booster is number 10 in J. Richland Anderson's "10 DC Characters Who Are Way Smarter Than They Let On." Shazam is weirdly #2. I never thought Captain Marvel played stupid — he's a bit naive, not dumb — but then I didn't make the list, either.
UPDATE December 9: Why am I still tracking these? Booster is in Karlton Jahmal's list of "5 DC Heroes Wolverine Would Team Up With (& 5 He Would Hate)." Frankly, Booster has far more to worry about than whether or not Wolverine would like him. Doesn't everyone?
Friday, October 4, 2019
If you're the sort of person who enjoys Internet listicles, you may have noticed a recent trend. To the delight of Booster boosters everywhere, our hero may finally be getting the respect he deserves.
First we present CBR.com's list of "5 DC Heroes Deadpool Could Defeat (& 5 He Couldn't)" by Chris White. Number 3 on the tougher-than-Deadpool side of the equation is Booster Gold.
He can harness super strength and fire powerful force blasts thanks to his gauntlets, and not only that, his force field belt would stop Deadpool's physical attacks in their tracks and launch him into the air with great force. Booster Gold withstood an attack from Doomsday, so he'd easily repel DP's advances.
Elsewhere, ScreenRant.com offers "The 10 Most Powerful Heroes on Justice League Unlimited, Ranked" by Scoot Allan. Booster makes that list, too! At number 10:
Booster Gold appeared in a number of team fight scenes and missions, he really displayed both his heroism and dedication to the team in "The Greatest Story Never Told." While Booster is working crowd control for the League, he manages to save the world from a separate catastrophe, although he receives none of the credit.
That's a pretty good showing for The Greatest Hero You're Never Heard Of.
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