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Showing posts 0-5 of 50 matching: morgenstern

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 23, 2019

Open Your Eyes

Back in March, we took a look at the splash title page from Superman #9 and debated whether Booster Gold was in it. To refresh your memory, this is the page:

© DC Comics

And this was where we thought Booster might be:

© DC Comics

It turns out we were right. Morgenstern, who spotted Booster the first time around, has found proof in Joe Prado's text-free original inks of Ivan Reis' pencils on ComicArtFans.com. Taking a second look at where Booster Gold was thought to be hiding:

© DC Comics

Yup, that's our guy (with a beard!).

Now, as it happens, the scene seen in this splash page only occurs in Superman's imagination, so this qualifies as an out-of-continuity appearance (just like Booster's cameo in Batman: Last Knight on Earth #2 discussed earlier this month). No need to rush out and pick up this back issue unless you obsessively buy *all* Booster Gold comics.

Personally, I bought my copy back in March on the suspicion that this *might* be a Booster Gold appearance.

Keep up the good work, Morgenstern.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: ivan reis joe prado morgenstern superman

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Squint Your Eyes

DC released solicitations for June last week, and I'm sorry to say that the only Booster Gold appearance looks to be in the Injustice 2 Volume 6 hardcover collection reprinting Injustice 2 issues 31 through 36. We'll have to hope that Booster is just taking a well earned vacation after the conclusion to Heroes in Crisis and isn't being incarcerated for murder.

It remains possible that Booster will be seen in Brian Michael Bendis' Event Leviathan. Solicitation text describes it as "a mystery thriller that stretches across the DC Universe and touches every character from Batman to Superman to the Question to Talia al Ghul." That's not much to go on, but no one can deny that Booster Gold is certainly a character.

Speaking of Booster ensemble appearances, longtime Booster booster Morgenstern thinks he has spotted our hero in another recent issue of Superman written by Bendis. See this title page from Superman #9:

© DC Comics

That's a pretty crowded picture. Here, let me zoom in.

© DC Comics

Spot him yet? No? Let's get closer still.

© DC Comics

Says Morgenstern: "On the Lower left, hidden by the word "HOUSE", next to Ted Kord, is someone who might be Booster Gold."

Is it? Could be. Maybe. I think we can all agree on one thing: Morgenstern has some great eyes!

Thanks, M. Maybe if you take a look at the rest of those DC Comics solicitations at Newsarama.com you'll have better luck spotting Gold than I did.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: brian michael bendis injustice ivan reis morgenstern superman

Monday, February 13, 2017

Disappointing the Masses

Tuesday, Booster Gold creator and current Action Comics scribe Dan Jurgens posted the following tweet:

Feels good to stretch the drawing muscles again. Won't tell you who. But the character's initials are BG. -- @thedanjurgens 2017-02-07

Later that day, Morgenstern posted a link to the tweet in the Boosterrific Forum. Because it is likely that Jurgens was referring to Booster Gold, I retweeted the message via @boosterrific. That was the last I expected to hear about that, at least until we had some new information. (Does "BG" stand for what we want it to? Why be coy about it? Why is he drawing it?) I was wrong.

Late Thursday night, CBR.com reposted the tweet on their site. I assumed that was because they were more starved for content than usual. The post, by Jim Johnson, adds nothing to the tweet that isn't visible from the original post. However, within hours of that post, multiple people reached out to me to say, "Have you seen this on CBR.com?" Yes, I had.

Before I rant a bit — it's my website, and I'll rant if I want to! — let me say that I don't want to discourage anyone from sending me anything that they think is Boosterrific, I really don't. I want your input, and I will always try to be polite and thankful for anything you send me.

But paying so much attention to a teasing tweet not because Dan Jurgens posted it on Twitter but because CBR reposted it? Really? CBR? A once-great website of comics journalism that lobotomized itself in a bid to become the BuzzFeed of comics/movie/television entertainment? At least when Megan Peters covered the tweet for ComicBook.com, she added some context! But CBR? "Hey, look! A thing!" Grr!

I know that I shouldn't be irritated. It's no one's fault but mine that I underestimated how excited Booster Gold fans would be that Dan Jurgens might actually be drawing the character again no matter what the medium or purpose. I should have immediately posted Jurgens' tweet here in the Boosterrific Blog on Wednesday. And I certainly can't expect anyone else to share my biases against CBR. For all of those oversights and failures, I apologize. I'll try to do better in the future.

TLDR: For some reason, Dan Jurgens told the world he is drawing something that starts with the initials "BG," and I didn't tell you. But don't worry, CBR.com has you covered.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll crawl back into my cave.

Comments (9) | Add a Comment | Tags: cbr.com comicbook.com dan jurgens jim johnson megan peters morgenstern rant twitter.com

Monday, August 8, 2016

Changing of the Gold

At Comic Con, Nerd Repository's Kyle Wilson interviewed Diedrich Bader about his upcoming take on Booster Gold for Justice League Action.

It's nice to hear Bader praising Tom Everett Scott for having fun with our favorite hero on Batman: Brave and the Bold. For many, Scott remains the ideal Booster Gold after his excellent performance in Justice League Unlimited's "The Greatest Story Never Told." Let's see if Bader can change some minds.

You'll find more information about Justice League Action at NerdRepository.com. (Thanks to Morgenstern for reminding me about this post.)

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: diedrich bader interviews kyle wilson morgenstern nerdrepository.com tom everett scott youtube.com


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