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Friday, February 14, 2020

Character Spotlight on Monica Lake

The life of any comic book hero would be a lonely one if not for the many characters who have made up their supporting cast. Just as Superman has Lois Lane and Batman has Alfred, Booster Gold has also shared his adventures with quite a few people over the years. Today we look at one of those, Monica Lake.

The People in His Neighborhood: spotlighting the characters who have made Booster Gold such a star

It's a common practice for anyone seeking to become a celebrity to attach themselves to other celebrities. When Booster Gold was new on the scene, he was no different.

In order to maximize his client's marketing potential, Booster's manager, Dirk Davis, scheduled a very public dinner date for our hero at The Imperial, "one of the finest restaurants in Metropolis," in Booster Gold #3 (1986). The lucky (or opportunistic, depending on your point of view) starlet is Monica Lake, star of The Love Cruise.

© DC Comics

Due in equal parts to Booster's vanity and Monica's disinterest, the date did not go well.

© DC Comics

Despite the inauspicious start to their relationship, both Booster and Monica recognized the practical public relations value of continuing their association. By the next issue, Booster Gold #4, Monica was already in touch with Davis about staging another encounter. In Booster Gold #9, she revealed explicitly what she hopped to gain by the relationship.

© DC Comics

For a time, the plan seemed to work. The media couldn't get enough of the couple. Rumors of an impending marriage between the couple started immediately ("his first, her fifth"!), and continued for months.

Gradually, this made-for-tabloids romance began to strain Booster's personal relationships, most notably with his secretary, Trixie Collins, who felt that Booster was demeaning himself (as seen in Booster Gold #10). Booster eventually agreed. After a near death experience and a trip to the future, he re-evaluated his life and decided that there was no room in it for Monica Lake, resulting in a blow-up between the two in the pages of Booster Gold #16.

© DC Comics

© DC Comics

It was not the last Booster would see of Lake, however. She may not have gotten what she wanted from their year-long partnership, but Booster sure did. He had successfully elevated himself into the celebrity social echelon, and the former couple would cross paths again at celebrity parties, such as the art gallery opening of painter Paul Morris' latest show (Booster Gold #19).

© DC Comics

Neither Booster nor Monica come off looking very good in hindsight, but that's sadly true of all too many relationships. In all fairness, they were both immature. Booster was barely 20 years old at the time, and Lake couldn't have been too much older despite having already been married four times. Keep that in mind this Valentine's Day: if you want to maintain the magic in your partnership, don't be a childish jerk.

To answer the question of whether creator Dan Jurgens based Monica Lake on any real celebrities, click here to read my post from May 8, 2015.

Interested in meeting other "People in his Neighborhood"? Get to know Trixie Collins, Daniel Carter, Jack Soo, Rani, Dirk Davis, Skeets, Mackenzie Garrison, Rip Hunter, Michelle Carter, and Nurse Devlin.

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Friday, May 8, 2015

30 Years of Womanizing

In the future, Booster Gold might one day marry a blonde, but he's had his share of other love interests in the past. Before Godiva and Gladys, before Firehawk and Blair Butler and Trixie Collins, there was Monica Lake. And she was a real piece of work befitting the Corporate Crusader.

© DC Comics

Monica was a career-driven actress who only loved men who could, ahem, boost her career. She tolerated Booster's bad fashion sense, lame jokes, and camera-hogging tendencies only for the reflected glory it brought her. This did not endear her to anyone, including Booster.

© DC Comics

Their relationship lasted for the first year-and-a-half of Booster Gold's superheroic career before Booster finally showed her the door. (Literally.)

© DC Comics

Of course, the cliche of the "difficult" actress doing whatever was required to get to the top is nothing new. One actress in particular during Hollywood's Golden Age had a similar name and a terrible reputation. I had to know if Booster's Monica might have been based on a real person, so I naturally asked creator Dan Jurgens just that.

Not really, no. I always liked the way the name "Veronica Lake" rolled off the tongue. It had a great sound, so I went with "Monica". But that's where the similarity ended.

It has been said that The Blue Dahlia screenwriter Raymond Chandler disliked Veronica Lake so much, he nicknamed her "Moronica Lake." But if Jurgens says he didn't copy that on purpose, I believe him.

The True Story of Booster Gold

As always, thanks to Dan Jurgens.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: dan jurgens monica lake origins raymond chandler true story veronica lake

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day, Booster Gold Style

A little tip from Booster Gold:

© DC Comics
Booster Gold, Volume 1, #3

If you're taking your significant other out for a romantic dinner, don't spend the whole evening talking about yourself. Oh, Booster!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Lessons from Booster Gold

What do you do if you, like Booster Gold, literally have women beating down your door?

© DC Comics

Booster, you smooth talker, you.

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