- Booster Gold
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Friday, July 5, 2019
With the latest Superman event, "Leviathan," now unfolding in your Local Comic Shop, it's interesting to look back at another Superman event story with a curious connection to real history.
The JLA: Our Worlds At War one-shot, released 18 years ago today, was a middle chapter in the 2001 Superman "Out Worlds At War" crossover event. Booster Gold plays only a very brief role in the event as he, Blue Beetle, Guy Gardner, and Rocket Red fight to defend Russia from an alien invasion. This is Booster's only appearance in the entire comic:
(Don't worry, Booster. Guy get's better.)
It isn't the inclusion of the Justice League International that makes this issue a historic curiosity.
As mentioned, the issue's story details a surprise attack by a malignant force that opposes everything Superman stands for. To frame the magnitude and severity of this invasion, writer Jeph Loeb uses the words of United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to draw a direct, overt connection to a real tragedy in American history, specifically the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 60 years earlier.
The irony here is that although this issue, with its focus on surprise attacks against America, was released on July 5, it has a cover date of September 2001.
And now you know the rest of the story.
Monday, July 1, 2019
Booster boosters know that much of Booster's origin was based on elements of Superman's Silver Age continuity (as covered on several pages of this site, including the Boosterrific! Blog post from December 4, 2015. But just because Booster became a successful hero in his own right didn't mean he was done "borrowing" from costumes and powers from Superman 's history.
Yes, I'm talking about Supernova.
Introduced in 52 Week 8 (2006), mysterious Metropolis hero Supernova's secret identity stumped even veteran reporter Clark Kent. Few at the time guessed that underneath his mask, Supernova was really the disgraced hero Booster Gold using the powers of flight and teleportation.
How did he do it? His teleportation was a clever manipulation of the Kryptonian Phantom Zone projector technology invented by Jor-El, Superman's father (first seen in Adventure Comics #283, 1961). And he flew by way of Booster's own 30th-century Legion Flight Ring, which in pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity had originally been Superboy's (first seen in Adventure Comics #329, 1965).
The best part is even the concept of Supernova as one-hero-disguised-as-another was a nod to something Superman once did.
cover art by Neal Adams
First seen in World's Finest Comics #178, 1968, the "Nova" persona was adopted by Superman as a way to continue fighting crime following an unfortunate encounter with an alien invader that left him powerless.
Nova used Batman's utility belt as his inspiration to create a costume with its own powers. Amusingly enough, this included a cape created by Leonardo da Vinci that Superman had picked up during an earlier time-traveling adventure. (In fact, Superman and Leonardo da Vinci had worked together as recently as the previous issue!)
The Nova personality was used only for a few misadventures, including a villainous turn against Batman and the triumphant defeat of a criminal mastermind. The costume was eventually shelved as Superman returned to his former costumed identity.
World's Finest Comics #180, by Cary Bates, Ross Andru, Mike Esposito, Ben Oda
Every Nova adventure took place in one of DC's infamous "imaginary" stories, but that doesn't make them any less influential. Booster Gold may be a thief, but at least he steals from the World's Finest!
Wednesday, May 8, 2019
Dan Jurgens recently spoke to Russ Burlingame about the 25th anniversary of the release of Superman/Doomsday: Hunter/Preay. Booster Gold played no role in that series, yet according to Jurgens, he sort of does.
Burlingame: It feels like, even though this is a very stand-alone book, the Waverider stuff plays into the bigger theme of the Linear Men at that time in the books, which is, "Do something, you jerks."
Jurgens: Right. It's weird, I think I probably didn't realize it at the time, but I look back at this now, and realize that what I was doing, I should say, was assembling a group of characters that I created that would function in that world. I think Jim Starlin did a great job of this. When he was doing Captain Marvel, when he was doing Warlock, he created all these characters. They became very much a part of his writing language, and his visual language. All that stuff existed to the extent that it was Jim Starlin-world. Now we see that times 5,000 on the screen. I think what I was doing was a lot of the same thing, which is I said that I have all these characters that interact and they make sense to me. They don't just have to interact once in November of 1992 and then we never see them again. We can use them to address different ideas and different topics.
They became very much a part of -- this is going to sound real egotistical, and I don't want it to-- it becomes part of like "Jurgensverse," as far as I was approaching Superman a little bit. It made sense to me. Whereas at that time, it might have been [convenience], I look back on it now a little differently. It made sense in a lot of different ways. These are the characters I wanted to continue to explore, and there was no reason they had to interact once and then not interact again.
Burlingame: And a lot of these characters and ideas you would continue to work with all the way up through the mid-2000s with your Booster Gold run.
Jurgens: Also, if you look at Waverider, which was a co-creation with Archie Goodwin, you have all these things that fit together and work. think it's a group of concepts that have been probably under-used by DC. I think there's a lot more than could have been done with it, and fortunately that stuff is still out there, so there's a lot more that can be done with it. I think concepts like the Linear Men, like Vanishing Point, and all that stuff, I think that's the kind of thing that has a place in comics. I think there's some cool things there that can still be exploited, still be used.
There's a lot to unpack in just those few paragraphs, and that's only a tiny snippet of the interview. (By all means, read the whole thing on ComicBook.com.)
The most important thing there, obviously, is that we should be calling Jurgens' oeuvre "The Jurgensverse," and that all the characters in it always were, and always will be, connected. That somewhere in 2019, Trixie Collins could pass Mitchell Anderson in the produce aisle of their local supermarket and give him advice on the best way to pick out a grapefruit, that thought makes me very happy.
It's also worth noting that Jurgens believes that Time Masters and their story-telling conceit of policing history remains an untapped source for future stories in the DCrU. That should be encouraging to fans of Booster (and Jurgens' work), as it means that the possibility still exists to revisit the characters and concepts (and unanswered mysteries) of Booster Gold Volume 2.
Here's to the future!
Friday, May 3, 2019
Here we go again.
Heroes in Crisis isn't even over yet, and Booster Gold is already being included as a possible victim of the next round of DC's version of Russian Roulette.
This is the house ad that ran in this week's DC's Year of the Villain Special advertising for August's upcoming relaunch of Batman/Superman. As you can see, our hero, Booster Gold, is included among the list of possibilities to become the newest threat to the DC Universe in August's relaunch of
The series writer, Joshua Williamson, spoke about the upcoming series with The Hollywood Reporter.
"We discover, through the Batman Who Laughs series that the Batman Who Laughs have been working on this massive plan since Metal. What it is is, he has sleeper agents throughout the [DC Universe]. They’ve been infected, and they’re slowly turning into the worst versions of themselves," Williamson teased. "Some of them know they're changing, some don't. Some aren't aware it's kind of like a Jekyll and Hyde situation where they're not aware of [what] the other side is doing.
I can't say as I'm particularly enthusiastic about this, but I think it's more the timing than the concept. What with Metal, Doomsday Clock, Heroes in Crisis, Leviathan, "Year of the Villain," etc., it's starting to feel like villains having the upper hand is the rule, not the exception, in the modern DCnU. A little sunlight, some *joy*, some *fun* would do everyone some good. Why bother being a hero anymore if it's never anything but murder and sadness? No one likes to always be in crisis.
In other words, why so serious, DC?
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
When I go into my Local Comic Shop today to pick up Wonder Twins #3, there's something else I'll be taking a look at.
For the second week in a row, DC is releasing a reprint of an event story that contains some Booster Gold. In fact, Booster has very important role in The Death and Return of Superman Omnibus. He named Doomsday.
But perhaps you already own one of the previous Death of Superman reprints? Well, DC has given you another reason to buy this one. Says Dan Jurgens on Twitter.com:
It's good to know that these omnibuses are reprinting the comics as they were originally intended to be read. That's cool, DC. Good for you.
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