- Booster Gold
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Friday, March 6, 2020
Booster booster Cort dropped by Wednesday's post with a Boosterrific comic appearance that no one noticed last week in Batman/Superman #7.
On the fifth page of that issue, among six panels showcasing Batman and Superman palling around and stopping super-crime, this happened:
The first thing I thought when I saw that was "Magog is still alive?" I'd thought he died, but I temporarily forgot that no one ever dies in the DC Universe, especially since the entire universe has been rebooted at least three times since 2011's Justice League: Generation Lost #13. *sigh*
The second thing I thought was "Maybe Booster Gold should be doing a better job keeping tabs on Skeets." It seems almost every time we see Skeets without Booster, someone is trying to take it apart to get their hands on its knowledge of the future. (For examples, see the Linear Man in Adventure Comics #476 or Mr. Mind in 52 Week 51.) Stranger danger, Skeets!
Although, come to think of it, Doctor Shocker reprogrammed Skeets remotely in Booster Gold #11 while Booster Gold was standing just feet away. I guess that's one lesson Batman could learn from Booster. If you have a robot sidekick, you'll still go through them just as fast, but at least you don't have to keep redesigning their costumes.
Thanks for that spot, Cort.
Friday, February 28, 2020
I may have put Justice League #4 at the top of my list of the twelve best Booster Gold comics, but the second book on my list is considerably more important to the development of the character we all know and love.
The first six issues of Booster's original self-titled series dropped a lot of hints that its protagonist wasn't your father's hero. He was uncommonly brash, obsessed with fame and money, and completely clueless about the world around him. But who was he, really? Readers didn't even know his real name or the source of his powers.
That would change in Booster Gold #6 (1986), as knows anyone who's ever seen the cover (one of my favorites)!
Fittingly for an issue revealing the origin of a time traveler, the story's title, "To Cross the Rubicon," is a reference to Julius Caesar's marching his army across the Rubicon River north of Rome, an act that precipitated a previously unimaginable change to the world. Colloquially, the phrase has come to mean committing an act from which there can be no return. As you'll see, both of those meaning apply to this story and the characters within.
In addition to the title, "Creator-Writer-Artist" Dan Jurgens does something else clever on the first page, introducing a new character, the child Jason Redfern, who has witnessed the arrival of a genuine UFO in Metropolis' Centennial Park. Redfern was an outsider to the life of celebrity superhero Booster Gold, and thus the perfect vehicle to deliver readers to the unrevealed inner workings of the mysterious new hero.
Unlike other heroes of his era, the Corporate Crusader&trad; lives in a world of contracts, business managers, and press secretaries. Occasionally, that machinery can be leveraged to more than just profits or loses. In its way, this is another super power, demonstrated when Booster uses it to bring Jason's discovery to the attention of Metropolis' original hero:
This is the first appearance of DC's oldest hero, the Man of Steel, in the DC Universe established in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Conversely, Booster Gold is the first new character created in that universe. Therefore, this is the first meeting between the "old" DC and the "new" A Rubicon has been crossed, and Booster Gold is as keenly aware of the significance of the meeting as longtime DC readers would have been.
To appease Superman, Booster's sidekick Skeets finally reveals their origin story in a series of flashbacks. This is another groundbreaking moment, as Skeets makes no attempt to sand the rough edges of Michael Jon "Booster" Carter's criminal past or selfish motivations as a disgraced former athlete looking for a second chance.
As we now know, Booster is a thief, having stolen a time machine to make a one-way trip to the past. Another Rubicon crossed! (Ironically, you'd think that a time machine would be the perfect vessel for un-crossing Rubicons, but that's not how time travel worked in the early days of the post-Crisis DC Universe.)
Superman reacts as most readers must have, with revulsion that someone who didn't share his own strict moral code would dare to call himself a hero. He has a point. Booster had more in common with the traditional DC Universe villain than any Justice League member. But this was the 1980s, a time for new heroes with feet of clay.
Who is right? The old timer or the up and comer? Unfortunately for the heroes, their philosophical argument ends abruptly with the arrival of another threat, and the issue ends on a cliffhanger.
I guess you'll find out next issue, Skeets!
Readers of the next issue will also discover that Jason's tiny alien crossed a Rubicon of his own. That title just keeps going, which is just one small part of why I consider this to be among The Best Booster Gold Stories Ever.
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Booster Gold fans will find two "must buy" books in their Local Comic Shop today.
First is Superman: Heroes #1. Originally solicited for January release, the book was postponed for reasons that are not yet clear. In fact, back in January it was announced that the book would be delayed until February 19. So depending on how you look at it, the book is either two weeks late or one week early. *shrug* Maybe we'll know why it changed dates so much when we read it. (BleedingCool.com has the preview.)
Also available today for the first time is Justice League: Corporate Maneuvers trade, reprinting for the first time the first four issues of the Justice League Quarterly anthology. Twenty-five dollars seems a fair price for finally getting Booster Gold's black leather jacket printed on some high-quality paper.
Buy one or both and make Skeets happy.
Wednesday, January 29, 2020
I had been prepared to remind you to buy Superman: Heroes #1 today at your Local Comic Shop, but that will no longer be necessary. According to Newsarama.com, DC has postponed the release until February 19.
Why? "The publisher did not give a reason for the change." Hunh.
This is disappointing news if only because it means I'll have to wait three more weeks to find out the in-universe explanation of why Harley Quinn is sitting at this table, as seen in last week's Superman #19:
At least Wonder Woman has the good sense to look uncomfortable to be sitting across the table from the Joker's former sidekick. Is anyone keeping track of how many people she's killed in her own title? I believe in second chances as much as the next guy, but it's not like she was a serial shoplifter. There has to be some limit to how many people you get to kill before you don't get to sit at the hero's table anymore, right?
Aaaanyway. Whatever reason DC has for postponing the issue, I hope they don't change the solicited cover. There just aren't enough books on the stands featuring Booster Gold's crotch.
Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Booster Gold hasn't been in a new release in weeks, so I hope you've been saving your money. Because he's in three titles today!
Logan Peterson, a longtime friend of this site, dropped me a line to say
I just finished skimming through the new comics coming out tomorrow as I was sorting through them at my store, and I made some exciting discoveries! Booster appears in not one, but two of tomorrow's releases: Superman #19 and Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2. I won’t say anything to spoil them, but I wanted to give you the heads up!
I had suspected that Booster might show up in Superman (in response to some recent, high-profile events in the life of the Man of Tomorrow), but the appearance in Hell Arisen is a total surprise. (The way Logan words that leads me to believe that it might not be an entirely welcome one. But then, the book is titled Hell Arisen.)
This is the solicitation text for Year of the Villain: Hell Arisen #2:
Apex predator Lex Luthor is on the hunt for the Batman Who Laughs. To catch his prey, he must follow a trail of broken heroes... leading him to Jim Gordon, one of the victims of the Batman Who Laughs' deadly virus that turned the heroic police commissioner into the worst version of himself. The trail leads Lex to a lonely cell in the Hall of Justice - but it's not the good guys who come to stop him. It's more of the Batman Who Laughs' dangerous operatives! And if they couldn't resist the influence of the Dark Multiverse, then how can Lex?
And while we're at it, this is for Superman #19:
One day later! What happens the day after Superman reveals his secret identity to the world? And what repercussions will his decision have across the entire DC Universe? Plus, Superman: president of Earth?
Wait a second. "President of Earth"? Is that a thing? I don't remember voting for that.
Anyway, what Logan failed to mention in his note is that Booster will also be featured in the new collection Justice League International Book One: Born Again, which reprints Justice League #1-6, Justice League International #7-17, Justice League Annual #1, Justice League International Annual #2, and Suicide Squad #13. That's a whole bunch of great 1980s Booster Gold adventures reprinted on good paper for the very reasonable (modern) price of $2 per comic.
Buy one of those and make Skeets happy! (Thanks, Logan.)
UPDATE: As you can see in the comments, Booster has also been spotted in Batman/Superman #6. He's everywhere!
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