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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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Showing posts 0-5 of 33 matching: origins

Friday, October 18, 2019

This Day in History: Clarification or Retcon?

The DC Comics reading world of 1986 was not ready for the debut of Booster Gold. Who could blame them? Gambler-turned-thief-turned-celebrity sounds more like a traditional DC villain than a hero. Anti-heroes wouldn't become all the rage for a few more years yet. Creator Dan Jurgens was ahead of his time.

The letter columns of early Booster Gold books were filled with complaints that the hero was inherently unlikable. A typical letter, from Booster Gold #5 called him "egotistical, self-absorbed, conceited, self-hyping, and immodest," which even Booster boosters have to admit was a pretty accurate assessment. This situation was only made worse once Booster's origin was revealed in issue #6. No less a moral authority than Superman thought Booster was "nothing more than a 25th-century crook!"

Souring fan reaction to the character was a major factor in the cancellation of the original Booster Gold series. Jurgens resisted polishing Booster's rougher edges, and the Powers That Were decided to move Booster in a new direction with Justice League International where Booster's less palatable character traits were often exploited for comic effect. This worked out in Booster's favor. It was with the JLI that Booster really became a star.

As such things go, public demand for the Justice League led to the JLI team being featured in three consecutive issues of Secret Origins, giving Jurgens another opportunity to sell Booster's origin to the comics reading public. This time he did what he had previously been unwilling to do: he made Booster Gold sympathetic.

In Secret Origins #35, released on this day in 1988, it is revealed that Michael "Booster" Carter only started gambling on his own football games in order to afford an expensive operation for his sick mother. No longer was he a selfish lout. Now Booster was a good son!

© DC Comics

"Child with a heart of gold breaking the law to help his family" may not be the most original origin, but it did the job burnishing Booster's tarnished reputation with readers. Booster's worst mistakes could now be chalked up to good intentions. I'm sure Superman would agree that even 25th-century crooks deserve a second chance.

Comments (5) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle dan jurgens origins secret origins

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Hard Cover We Deserve

Last Wednesday, CBR.com ran Jeffrey Renaud's interview with Dan Jurgens about the Booster Gold appearance in Superman's Action Comics #993. The interview included the following tidbit from Jurgens:

It's kind of weird in a way, because if you go all the way back to Booster Gold, Volume One, Superman was a part of Booster's origin story. Right about then, John Byrne came to DC to reboot Superman, and we had to do some surgery to the book so it fit what John was doing.

I still have the unused pages from the book, which are still waiting for the Booster Gold hardcover so they can see print. No. That is not a hint. Uh-uh. Not at all. Nope.

Superman was supposed to be in Booster Gold #1?!

I probably shouldn't be too surprised. For those of you who don't know, Booster's origins, as originally conceived, were tied to the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Silver/Bronze Age Superman mythos. Booster was supposed to have stolen his equipment from the Superman Museum (not the Space Museum). His force field belt would have belonged to the original Braniac, his costume would have been made from Lex Luthor's power armor, and his Legion Flight Ring would have been Superboy's. That would certainly have given an extra edge to the Booster Gold/Superman rivalry.

I have to wonder, did any of that make it into the script or pencils of Booster Gold #1 before Byrne's post-Crisis plans to streamline Superman continuity? Even if Superman only made a cameo appearance in the book, it still would have been his first post-Crisis appearance as well as the first time Jurgens drew Superman. What a treat!

Hey, DC! Give us that book already!

(Thanks to Damian Damex for ensuring I saw this particular bit of news.)

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: cbr.com dan jurgens interviews jeffrey renaud origins superman

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

This Day in History: Booster Gold's Back

Believe it or not, once upon a time, Booster Gold was such a big star that he could sell comics he wasn't in just by appearing on the cover! Backwards!

Take, for example, Secret Origins #32, released 29 years ago today.

© DC Comics
art by Eric Shanower

This issue presents the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths origin of the Justice League of America (which was differentiated from the original origin by the substitution of Black Canary for Wonder Woman).

The Justice League International was super hot at the time, so although the only links between the two teams were Canary and Martian Manhunter, the JLI was still given prime cover real estate to sell the story to new readers unfamiliar with DCU history.

There's no reason this strategy couldn't be used to sell old stories to a modern audience today. I speak only for myself, but I'd be much happier buying a comic showcasing Damian Wayne (Robin V) if he appeared only on the cover.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: black canary blue beetle eric shanower justice league international martian manhunter secret origins

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Happy Birthday, Dick Giordano

Dick Giordano would have turned 84 years old today. If you don't know who he was, you should.

Giordano was the Managing/Executive Editor at DC Comics during the decade that saw Crisis on Infinite Earths, The Killing Joke, and Watchmen. Without him, there wouldn't have been a Booster Gold. Literally.

This is what Booster's creator, Dan Jurgens, had to say when I asked him about Booster's origin in 2010:

Boosterrific: You had not done a lot of work for DC prior to Booster Gold Volume 1. How was it that as a relatively inexperienced writer/artist, you were given such an opportunity as creating a new series for the mainstream DC Universe?

Dan Jurgens: Why was I allowed to do Booster? Well, I didn't make the decision but I do know this: When I first explained it to Dick Giordano and told him the basic idea of what the character could be and who he was, Dick saw him as someone who was entirely different than anyone else in the DCU. I think some of Dick's background as an editor, where he often handled somewhat offbeat characters, may have had something to do with that. But he was attracted to the book and as Managing Editor, gave me the thumbs up and approved the project. Sometimes younger, untested talent, will actually pay off with somewhat different ideas and concepts.

Giordano may have died in 2010, but his legacy lives on. Thank you, sir.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: dan jurgens dick giordano interviews origins

Monday, May 2, 2016

Booster Gold Will Get Your Kitty

Illustrator Dwayne Biddix put together this sample Business card for Booster Gold and uploaded it to DeviantArt.com:

© DC Comics

Note that url: http://www.dccomics.com/characters/booster-gold. That leads to DC's official online description of Booster Gold.

As a time-traveler, Booster Gold understands how delicate our timeline is, and he often finds himself protecting the timestream. But in the ultimate irony for a fame-seeker, no one can ever know it's him. After all, if people find out what he's doing, it could change history and threaten the timestream. It's a responsibility that Booster Gold has come to take seriously, suggesting that there may be more driving this spotlight-loving hero than a simple quest for adoration. Even if he does spend as much time signing autographs as he does saving lives.

I don't think that's really accurate. To say that there "may" be more to Booster than his "quest for adoration" sells even the Nu52 incarnation of the character short. But maybe that's why I think it's such a good idea to make my own Booster Gold introduction video.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: dccomics.com dwayne biddix fan art origins


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