- Booster Gold
Monday, August 15, 2022
Tales of the Human Target is due to arrive in your Local Comic Shop next week, on August 23. Tales is an anthology book, with stories featuring Guy Gardner, Fire, and Booster Gold. According to Newsarama @ gamesradar.com, Booster Gold was chosen because that's who Kevin Maguire wanted to draw. I'm very much okay with that.
That Newsarama article hyperlinked above is an interview between Grant DeAmitt and Tom King about a whole bunch of Human Target-related stuff. Importantly for Booster boosters, it includes an on-the-record discussion about why King keeps putting a dumbed-down version of Booster Gold in his stories:
Nrama: Okay, moving on, the next character that's in Tales is Booster Gold.
King: My favorite character in comics. I love writing him.
Nrama: Oh yeah?
King: I tell Dan Jurgens all the time, 'thank you for creating this character.' Even if I write him a little differently than Dan would write him, because Dan writes him a little smarter than I write him. I write him a little more goofy. But I love that sort of goofiness of him.
Nrama: Is that what attracts you to the character? The goofiness?
King: There are two things that attract me. Number one, I write these tragic, sad things. I never get to write funny. I love writing funny. I love comedy. It's a chance to get into that. And yeah, there's this like, don't tell anybody this, but I base him kind of on Futurama, on Zapp Brannigan and Kiff. You know how Skeets is his partner who, like, loves him and hates him at the same time? I love that.
I also love – this is the thing I got from Jurgens. What Jurgens understands about this character is, that in the end, Booster does the right thing and doesn't get credit for it. He's the superhero who's like, yes, he first thinks of himself. Yes, he first thinks of money. Yes, he's a goofball. But at the end of the day, he's really a really good person. He really is self-sacrificial. But just because of all that other bravado stuff, nobody gets to see that part of it. He's one of the nicest, best heroes in the DC Universe. Everyone assumes that because he's a goofball, he's not good. And I love that about him.
Nrama: So in the beginning of Tales, when he has that monologue about being just like Superman, he's actually right? He's closer to Superman than we give him credit for.
King: People forget that in 52, the big DC event, he was the Superman for a time. A character called Supernova. So again, you read that and you're laughing at him, but there is something in him that's just a little Superman.
The craziest part about Booster is that he had the stupidest plan in the world. He's like, I'm going to go into the past. I'm going to steal a bunch of tech and go back and be a superhero. And then he actually did it! He executed the stupidest plan, and it worked! There's something Brave and Bold about that.
That said, all jokes — and my personal appreciation for King's ouevre — aside, I don't want to discourage anyone from enjoying Booster Gold for whatever reason they find to enjoy him, even if their reason isn't mine.
Live and let Booster Gold.
Friday, August 12, 2022
The fifth Booster Gold adventure, Booster Gold volume 1, number 5, is the first time in this series that I really struggle to pick just one favorite page.
I love the confrontation on page 4 in which Booster Gold arrives like an angel only to have the Metropolis cops reject him because he "ain't Superman."
I also love the nearly wordless (but imperfectly rendered) emotional sequence with those same cops in the snow after Booster's apparent death on page 11.
And the panels on page 16 perfectly sell Booster's personal regrets about his mysterious past and give us a sweet Back to the Future-inspired emotional transition.
But forced to choose, I have to say that my favorite single page in Booster Gold #5 is Booster Gold driving the Boostermobile for the first time like those two parking attendants in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Drive it like you stole it, Booster!
In a story built to compare and contrast Booster to Superman, this page is all about Booster enjoying himself doing something no responsible hero would (granted that the always responsible Skeets is in a position to take the wheel if necessary), in a for-profit licensed product no less!
He jumps a car over an ocean liner. I'd like to see Superman do that.
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Remember that time when the powers-that-be at DC decided to scrap (almost) their entire shared universe for another, new shared universe of unfamiliar characters in familiar costumes?
Yeah, okay. That's a little vague. We *are* talking about DC here.
Specifically, I'm talking about the relaunch 12 years ago, the "New 52." If you'll recall, sales were down, and something had to be done to goose them. That something was determined to be a line-wide reboot. However, before a new universe could be launched, the pre-existing universe had to be canceled. Which is how Booster Gold #47, released on this day in 2011, became the final issue of that series.
Sadly, it's not a very good comic book.
Most of the story deals with Booster's tragic but inconsequential misadventures in the Flashpoint alternate universe with doomed Alexandra Gianopoulos — all drawn by a fill-in artist who seems to be operating under an unforgivingly tight deadline.
But the issue ends with a Dan Jurgens-drawn coda teasing that perhaps Booster had returned to the mainstream DCU in time to continue his story in the incoming New 52 Universe, where all DC characters would be wearing new costumes designed by Jim Lee.
It would be four more years before it was clarified that the New 52 Booster Gold (introduced the following month in Dan Jurgens-written Justice League International #1) and the original, post-Crisis on Infinite Earths Booster Gold were not actually the same entity at all. (All was revealed in 2015's Convergence Booster Gold.)
It's that sort of confusion that made the New 52 such a frustrating experience for longtime fans. If the creative teams don't know what the new rules are, how can the readers?
Frankly, over a decade later, I'm still irritated. The less said about Booster Gold #47, the better.
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