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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
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Showing posts 0-3 of 3 matching: max lord

Monday, March 21, 2022

You Can Never Have Enough Beetles

Longtime Booster booster Morgenstern recently asked me a very good question:

Did you ever write an article about this dropped idea of making Tim Drake Blue Beetle and the Death of Booster Gold by Scott Beatty & Chuck Dixon?

The answer is "no." And I'll correct that oversight right now.

Before I can explain, let me set the stage. The early 2000s were a lean time for Booster Gold. He made exactly two in-continuity, non-flashback appearances in 2001, both in very small parts (just a few panels) as set dressing for the "Our Worlds at War" and "Joker's Last Laugh" crossover events. Although Booster was still friends with Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle was finding much greater success as an associate of Oracle's Birds of Prey. That's where this story begins.

In Birds of Prey #39 (released in January 2002), Ted Kord is diagnosed with a heart condition that forces him to hang up his tights. However,Birds of Prey and Robin writer Chuck Dixon and his "Joker: Last Laugh" co-collaborator Scott Beatty didn't intend this to be the end of the Blue Beetle, just an opportunity for a passing of the mantle.

The plan, as Beatty revealed on his blog in a 2019 post titled "THE CLIP FILE: How Scott Beatty & Chuck Dixon *ALMOST* Turned Robin Into BLUE BEETLE!," was that "a gravely injured Ted Kord would find a replacement Blue Beetle while he convalesced... assuming that he would survive at all. It would be a *paid* position occupied by a cash-strapped Tim Drake (a.k.a. Robin III)." Christopher Irving's 2007 encyclopedic The Blue Beetle Companion confirms the plan, quoting Dixon as elaborating that eventually "an invalid Ted Kord would direct a half dozen Blue Beetles (all with different talents) to battle international crime."

What makes all of this relevant to Booster Gold fans is exactly how Beatty and Dixon intended to launch this enterprise in the pages of a proposed mini-series they called Blue Beetles. Quoting from the mini-series pitch proposal on Beatty's blog:

We throw down the gauntlet with the death of Booster Gold.

Really.

With ground-support from Ted, Danny and Star begin an investigation into the events surrounding Booster Gold's demise, a mystery which provides the backbone to the first few issues. Their trial-by-fire begins as Ted launches an ambitious campaign to reel in any Beetle foes still at-large, sending his apprentice Beetles to capture a string of rogues and offer them clemency if they swear to renounce villainy; otherwise it's a one-way ticket to the Slab. And now that it's tucked away in polar isolation at the bottom of the world, NOBODY wants to go to the Slab.

Meanwhile, Booster is celebrated on the evening news, showered in fifteen minutes of celebrity as unofficial biographies are published, how-to videos are hawked, and the promotional machine grinds dollars out of heroic sacrifice.

The kicker is this: Booster's death was faked by Maxwell Lord in order to capitalize on the cult of celebrity surrounding young stars dying young and leaving beautiful corpses. Lord plans on marketing the Booster Gold bio and telepic, then engineering a ballyhooed superhero resurrection.

Booster and Max are in cahoots, hoping to spike interest in the hero's eventual resurrection and subsequent product endorsement deals. What's worse, both Booster and Max were willing to silence Ted Kord in order to maintain the ruse.

That's... just.... Wow.

Although this particular pitch was denied by the Powers-That-Be at DC at the time for unspecified reasons — and I can't say I'm too saddened by that particular decision — it's amazing to see how many of these ideas presage what would actually unfold in the hands of other writers. Remember, this was 2002. Max's villain turn in Countdown to Infinite Crisis was still three years away, and Booster's death would be a key component of Infinite Crisis-follow up 52!

For more information on this particular footnote of DC history, I encourage you to read Beatty's full proposal for Blue Beetles on his blog, scottbeatty.blogspot.com.

Thanks for helping me correct my oversight, M.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: blogspot.com blue beetle blue beetles chuck dixon death max lord morgenstern robin scott beatty ted kord tim drake

Friday, August 24, 2018

Alternate (History) Covers

DCComics.com released some alternate covers for upcoming issues of Heroes in Crisis via , including this J.G. Jones alternate featuring Booster Gold and Harley Quinn.

© DC Comics

It looks like that will be a 1-in-50 "chase" variant, meaning that comic shops will get one for every fifty of the regular covers they order. (For obvious reasons, these are also called "incentive" variants, as they incentivize shops to order more comics than they otherwise would.) Comic shops price these rarer variants according to the purchase threshold, so expect to pay a pretty penny to acquire this cover, probably three or more times the $4 cover price.

There will also be 1-in-100 and 1-in-200 variants, the second of which is by Francesco Mattina and depicts a very bloody Harley wearing Booster's broken visor. Good luck finding that one for less than $50.

In addition to those rare variants, DC also released the Ryan Sook standard alternate covers for the first three Heroes in Crisis issues. Each depicts an "incident report" based on more traumatic moments in the lives of DC heroes. These are purportedly from the files of Sanctuary, "a facility designed to allow superheroes to process the trauma of those not-so-heroic moments." These traumatic moments include the death of Superman, Batman's broken back, Aquaman's lost arm, and Jason Todd's death. Oddly, they also include Wonder Woman's assassination of Maxwell Lord.

That seems to imply that Lord has died at Wonder Woman's hand. Where does this fit in continuity?

When last we saw him in the pages of Justice League vs Suicide Squad (2016), Lord was still alive and continuing his villainous ways. Since the original Justice League International never existed and Ted Kord is still alive in the DCnU, the events kicking off Infinite Crisis that led directly to Lord's death and eventual rebirth must have played out somewhat differently than originally seen in Wonder Woman #219 (2005) and Brightest Day (2010). Does this cover reference that old continuity destroyed by Flashpoint? Or are we being given a glimpse of a as yet unrevealed relationship between Lord and Wonder Woman in the DCnU? (Could Lord be behind the deaths at Sanctuary?)

Maybe we'll find out more when Heroes in Crisis finally sees print.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: continuity covers dccomics.com harley quinn heroes in crisis jg jones max lord rebirth ryan sook wonder woman

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Would Max Lord Put a Bullet in Ernie's Head?

This is not the first time I've posted a pic of Blue and Gold as Bert and Ernie. This is also not the first time I've posted a pic by Bill Walko. However, this is the first time that I've posted a pic of Blue and Gold as Bert and Ernie by Bill Walko.

Ernie and Bert as Beetle and Booster

Walko created this piece for "The Line It Is Drawn" feature of the Comics Should Be Good! blog at ComicBookResources.com, where you can find more amazing mash-ups every week. You can find more work by the insanely talented Walko at his page on DeviantArt.com.

Thanks to Kord Industries (@KordIndustries1 on Twitter) for being the first to call this piece to my attention. (It's funny, but some pieces of art really stir up the fans. This is one of them. After @KordIndustries1 tweeted me, I must have been told about this a half dozen more times. Thanks to everyone who let me know. It's better to have a bunch of tipsters reporting the same thing than to accidentally miss something this awesome.)

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: bert bill walko comicbookresources.com deviantart.com ernie fan art sesame street twitter.com


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