- Booster Gold
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Friday, June 26, 2020
Not so long ago, Booster booster Fin called my attention to a comic I had long overlooked. It wasn't a missed Booster Gold appearance. Not quite, anyway.
Just see if this banter doesn't sound familiar:
art by David Williams and Kelsey Shannon
Those panels are from The Authority: The Lost Year, a series in which the Authority bounced from one alternate universe to another. (This was back in 2010, before the New 52 folded the Wildstorm Universe into the mainstream DCnU.)
Issues #8 and #9 were written by Grant Morrison, Keith Giffen, and J.M. DeMatteis and featured an alternate universe in which the local Authority looked and acted a lot like a particular, best-selling DC Comics team of the late 1980s.
The meta-textural take on the Justice League International by the JLI's original writing team is delightful, especially as contrasted with the modern, no-nonsense Authority concept (itself strongly reminiscent of the extreme 1990s love affair with "mature" sex and violence content).
As you can see, that's Blue Beetle in the role of the Authority's Midnighter (a Batman-like vigilante) and Booster Gold as Apollo (whose character is a riff on Superman — so fitting!) In their original continuity, Apollo and Midnighter are a homosexual couple, allowing the issue's writers to directly tackle the longstanding Boostle phenomenon 'shipping Blue and Gold into a romantic relationship.
I'm sorry I hadn't realized this book existed sooner. Thanks, Fin.
Friday, January 31, 2020
Thanks to the new, high quality printing of Booster Gold: The Big Fall, it looks like Thor isn't the only Avenger in Booster Gold's friendly neighborhood.
That photographer in Booster Gold #12 sure looks familiar. He doesn't happen to work for the Daily Bugle, does he? Is that you, Peter Parker?
Just how many Avengers did penciller Dan Jurgens hide in the backgrounds and crowd scenes of Booster Gold comics? Let the scavenger hunt begin!
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
What makes a hero super? The super powers! From awesome strength to zero-to-sixty speed, great superpowers are the most useful tricks in every famous costumed crime-fighter's tool kit. Michael Jon Carter knew this, and that's why he started his career with energy blasting Booster Shots.
At the outset of his super-heroic career, Booster Gold knew he would need offensive weapons to defeat the forces of evil. That is why, given his choice of many amazing inventions housed in the Space Museum, he selected wrist-mounted Energy Blasters.
In Booster Gold #6 (1986), Skeets tells Superman that they stole "gloves and control bands that were once worn by an alien menace." The true identity of this "alien menace" has never been clarified in any of Booster's published adventures, but Superman may have a clue. The technology may be alien, but it was crafted into powerful gauntlets by none other than Superman's oldest foe, Lex Luthor!
Lex has been wearing specially tailored suits to fight Superman since Superman #282 (1974). His purple and green suits soon became his trademark. Super genius that he is, Lex kept his suit's tool belt stocked with to whatever inventions he would need for the specific crime he was committing. Those tools included such classics as jet boots, robot controls, finger-mounted gravity casters, age-regressing omega barriers, age-restoring pills, and, of course, enough pockets for forty cakes.
However, none of that was enough to defeat The Man of Steel, so in Action Comics #544 (1983), Luthor fled Earth for the planet Lexor, named in his honor. (For an explanation of how an entire planet could consider a creep like Lex Luthor a hero, see "The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman!" in 1963's Superman #164.) Lexor had once been home to a race of advanced scientists, and Luthor adapted their technology into a "warsuit" that would allow him to defeat Superman once and for all. Or so he hoped.
The new power suit was indeed a considerable upgrade over what came before. Its energy gauntlets were so strong, they could destroy space-going vessels with a single blast. Alas, it was not powerful enough to make Luthor Superman's equal. It was, however, powerful enough to accidentally destroy Lexor (and Luthor's wife and child along with it). With great power can come great regrets.
Superman vowed to destroy the warsuit once and for all in Superman Annual #12 (published in 1986 but set in pre-Crisis, Silver Age continuity). How it survived to make its way from the 20th century to the 25th-century Space Museum will likely always remain a mystery, but we don't have to wonder whether they were the one and the same thanks to the original pencils from Booster Gold #6 included in the superb collection Booster Gold: the Big Fall.
Since returning to the 20th century, Booster Gold has integrated the power gauntlets into his crime-fighting arsenal. Renaming them "Booster Shots," he has used them as his primary weapon in his eternal quest to rid the multiverse of those who would destroy it. If there were any left, the citizens of Lexor would be proud.
Friday, September 6, 2019
SPOILER WARNING: Today's topic could be considered a spoiler for Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #1, so scroll no further if you want to be surprised.
Okay. Let's continue.
Brian Michael Bendis has been very careful to disguise the identity of his series protagonist, a character familiar to longtime DC Comics enthusiasts. However, I don't think I'm giving much away to say that character is the split personality anti-hero(s) Rose and Thorn, who has somehow gained immortality and is left wandering through the "future" timeline of DC mainstream continuity on her way of reintroducing the Legion of Super-Heroes to a new generation of readers.
I think that's a pretty cool way to immerse an audience into the deep-end of continuity, in no small part because Rose/Thorn played the same role for Booster Gold back in 1986.
First of all, I found her to be an amazingly interesting character.
Plus, since [Rose and Thorn] hadn't appeared in such a long time, it was fairly easy to adjust the character a bit. Tweak the costume, etc. Tailor it to Booster a bit more, that kind of thing.
As you can see, Bendis is taking a page from Jurgens' playbook here. We're not mad; Bendis is including Booster Gold in the next issue to re-encounter his old partner. Although Booster will be younger and Rose will be much, much older than their last meeting. Such are the pitfalls of time travel.
You'll find Legion of Super-Heroes: Millennium #2 in your Local Comic Shop on October 2.
Monday, December 24, 2018
One of the responses to my list of my Booster Gold's rogues gallery posts last week came from Boosterfett:
One big glaring omission-- The 100! They were instrumental in fleshing out our hero's early motivations and if they were updated, could be a major contender for that evil organization that could be the Hydra to Michael's Captain America!
Without a doubt, the 1000 was integral to the development of Booster Gold. They were the first criminal organization he fought as a 20th-century hero. It was their planned assassination of Ronald Reagan that introduced Booster Gold to the public. Nearly half of Booster's original run was devoted to the 1000's attempts to destroy our hero.
But no, I didn't include them in my rogues gallery. I didn't include them specifically because Booster isn't the biggest Thorn in their side.
from "Death House Honeymoon," Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #105 (1970)
The 1000 debuted as the 100, "The Centipede of Crime," in Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #105. Star Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent described them as "hoods [who] have a finger in every racket" in Metropolis. In other words, they were too big for even Superman to snuff out.
When Metropolis police detective Phil Forrest was murdered by a 100 assassin, the trauma was too much for his daughter, Rose. Her psyche was split into two personalities. After that, each night Rose became Thorn, a hardened vigilante with only one enemy: The 100.
from "Nightmare Alley", Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #130 (1973)
Thorn's crusade continued through the next three years of Lois Lane comics until the trail of the 100 grew cold in issue #130 (1973). As Thorn moved further into the background of the DCU, Thorn's father remained unavenged. The 100, however, would have a second act.
from "Black Lightning", Black Lightning #1 (1977)
Enter Black Lightning. Four years after Thorn lost their trail, Jefferson Pierce would run afoul of 100 associate Tobias Whale in Black Lightning #1 (1977). Black Lightning locked horns with the Whale for 8 of his 11 issues, and their feud continued in various appearances across the DCU even after the infamous DC Implosion of 1979. The 100 didn't care for the attention that the Whale brought them, and they eventually parted ways with their former associate, paving the way for their rebirth.
from "Death Ransom", World's Finest Comics #257 (1979)
When the 100 reemerged as the high-tech 1000 in Booster Gold Volume 1, #1 in 1985, their oldest foe reappeared with them. Booster Gold was the star of the series, but both Rose Forrest and Thorn joined his early supporting cast. (In this way, even Booster's first enemy "borrowed" heavily from pre-Crisis on Infinite Earth DC continuity.) Together and apart, they opposed the Director's nefarious plans for world domination through almost a full year's worth of comics.
from "Crash", Booster Gold #4 (1986)
Like Tobias Whale before him, the 1000's leader, the Director of Death, would become obsessed with one hero. Unlike Tobias, Director's obsession was largely one-sided. (Booster Gold was largely indifferent to the Director's goals and was content to ignore him until he turned to kidnapping his staff. ) The Director eventually died in the pursuit of his obsession. The 1000 died with him, and Booster Gold hasn't given them a second thought since.
Not so, Thorn.
The 100 survived the Director's death, and they remain Thorn's driving motivation. She has been seen continuing her crusade against them in appearances in the Showcase anthology of the middle 1990s and Birds of Prey issues in the 2000s.
from "Hero Hunters Part 4: She Rides the Eye of a Hurricane", Birds of Prey #79 (2005)
Yes, the 1000 could be updated to bedevil Booster Gold once more, but why should they when they're still locked in a life-and-death struggle with another hero even more deserving of their hatred. For nearly a half century, the 100(0) has been Thorn's Lex Luthor, and she has been their Superman. For that reason, any incarnation of the 100 belongs in her rogues gallery, not Booster Gold's.
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