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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold

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Friday, July 17, 2020

The Best of Booster Gold: Formerly the JL 4

When I first made my list of the twelve best Booster Gold comics, I decided that the Formerly Known as the Justice League mini-series belonged at number 7. But I wasn't sure which issue to spotlight.

Frankly, the entire mini-series is worth a read. It's a great call back to the best of the humorous yet heroic "Bwah-Ha-Ha" era of the Justice League International by the very creators who made that series such a hit.

Ultimately I've chosen to highlight issue #4 in part because it does such a good job of making the badly threadbare plot of a hero-vs-hero fistfight into a truly delightful read.

© DC Comics

The issue sees the newly formed "Superbuddies" super team abducted by the villanous Roulette and forced to fight one another to the death. The joke is that no one takes the Superbuddies seriously or expects them to win. This is in keeping with the reputation of the JLI itself, which was at something of a nadir when the issue was published. Of course, fans — and team creators Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis — knew that the JLI was far more competent than their reputation (even if the team itself didn't).

© DC Comics

In addition to the ton of jokes and familiar characterization of a bunch of friends who also happen to be teammates, this issue really highlights the strengths of original Justice League International artist Kevin Maguire's storytelling ability. His expressions, body language, pacing... it's all perfect.

© DC Comics

(And the cover's not bad either!)

If there's any complaint to be made about this series, it's that the comedic roles of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle have been swapped. Back in the day, Booster was the straight man. Here he's the fool. Some might find that offputting, but Booster boosters know it's only an act. Booster will do anything to be the center of attention.

Besides, you know it's only a comic book.

© DC Comics

As far as comic books go, it's a pretty good one. It easily deserves to be counted among the The Best Booster Gold Stories Ever.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: best of blue beetle captain atom elongated man fire j.m. dematteis justice league international keith giffen kevin maguire mary marvel superbuddies

Friday, April 5, 2019

This Day in History: A JLA by Any Other Name

I mentioned on Wednesday that I was going to be picking up a copy of Young Justice #4. I've actually been buying all the Wonder Comics titles, and I like most of them. (Wonder Twins is my favorite.) A great deal of what I like is the lighter tone of the books.

I have a tendency to complain about the "grim and gritty" nature of the contemporary DC universe. That makes me part of the problem. DC has, in fact, published plenty of "lighter" fare in recent years featuring the characters that I know and love, and I've done a poor job of spotlighting those. The best was unquestionably Justice League Unlimited, based on the Cartoon Network cartoon of the same name.

The series ran for 46 issues from 2004 through 2008. Booster Gold appeared in many of those, including issue 20, released on this day in 2006, in which he helped welcome Mary Marvel to the Justice League.

© DC Comics
Art by Rick Burchett

The issue is a great example of the series' traditional, family friendly super hero hijinx that got me into reading comic books in the first place. The story, "Just Us Girls" by Paul D. Storrie, borrows notes from Booster's mainstream DC universe history while introducing readers to Mary Marvel and "girl power" fisticuffs. It's a delightful read.

Advance reviews of the movie Shazam!, opening today and focused on Mary's big brother Billy, indicate that it aims to be in the same vein. I wish it was based on the original Fawcett Whiz Comics characters and not Geoff John's New 52 re-invention of them, but I applaud DC and Warner Bros for at least trying to reach an audience other than fans of the black-as-night Zack Snyder film universe. Beggars can't be choosers.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: captain marvel justice league unlimited mary marvel paul storrie rick burchett


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