- Booster Gold
Wednesday, November 29, 2023
A few weeks back, I posted what comics fan magazine Amazing Heroes had to say about the undeveloped Justice League International television project of 1990. You may recall that the reviewer was not impressed.
However, over the weekend, I was reading a different old comics fan magazine, Comics Scene, and found a second opinion.
In Comics Scene Volume 2, #46, 1994, I came across Frank Garcia's interview with one of the creators of that project, screenwriter Jeff Freilich. In this article, Freilich brags, "The guys who do the JLA title asked us to write issues because they thought we wrote the characters so accurately." Sure, I suppose that could have happened.
Freilich also had thoughts about who should play the heroes:
Playing casting director for a moment, [Jeff] Freilich considers who they might have signed aboard theJustice League.
"Very often the case in television, when fantasizing casting, we would way, ‘We want a young Bruce Willis' and then go out and look for those people," says Freilich. Not prone to stunt casting, Freilich prefers unknowns for many of the heroes. However, ifJLA were to be treated as a feature, the game becomes more fun.
"With a cast that large, you can't really afford to use feature film actors," says Freilich. "It's not a question of expense, by the way, it's a question of commitment. If a person is a movie star, they generally don't want to commit to a TV series. They wouldn't be able to work on movies."
When it's suggested that Sam (Jurassic Park) Neill would be a good Maxwell Lord, Freilich lights up and responds positively. "Sam Neill would be a very good Max. When we wrote Justice League, Neill was an unknown. He has done so many things in the last few years. He would be a superb Max Lord."
For Mr. Miracle's boisterous, loudmouthed manager, Oberon, Billy (Willow) Barty (STARLOG #130) snatches the role. "A young version of Billy Barty [would be better]," said Freilich. "He's a bit old. There are quite a few excellent small actors. It's just unfortunate there are very rarely parts for them. Billy Barty is the person you have in mind immediately."
Offering a surprising suggestion for Mr. Miracle, Frielich thinks real-life escape artist David Copperfield would do the job well.
"When they picked Bill Bixby forThe Magician, he was already an amateur magician," the writer explains. "When they cast Burt Lancaster as a trapeze artist [in the 1956 film Trapeze], he was an acrobat and an aerial artist before becoming an actor. It always makes sense with someone and using the stunt double throughout. [Performing magic] is difficult to teach people. You have to have a talent for that kind of stuff."
For the two witty male leads, Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, Freilich envisions a young Woody Allen for Beetle and a young Bruce Willis type for Booster. He says Mark Hamill might do Booster's role well, due to its similarity to his portrayal of the Trickster inThe Flash. "But I don't know if we would have gone with Hamill or someone new," Freilich muses.
Bruce Willis? Yippee-ki-yay, Booster boosters.
Monday, November 27, 2023
While my attention was focused on turkey and apple pie last week, DC sneaked a Booster Gold by me!
As you can see, the Earth-22 version of our hero (and Skeets!) makes a very brief appearance in Batman Superman World's Finest #21, now on sale at Local Comic Shops everywhere:
The events of this issue take place prior to the events of Kingdom Come, so this is chronologically Earth-22 Booster's first appearance!
It seems likely that we'll see Booster again in the next issue, currently scheduled for a December 19 release. You can be sure I'll be paying attention to that.
Friday, November 24, 2023
In Justice League International #16, a crack team goes undercover on a mission of international espionage.
Maybe "crack team" is a bit of an overstatement, especially when Booster Gold and Blue Beetle are involved.
Page 6 is chock full of references to classic movies in television. Peter Lupus was a bodybuilder and actor in the original Mission: Impossible television series. And Beetle has assumed the identity of George Bailey, famous worldwide as the protagonist character from the classic film It's a Wonderful Life.
Interestingly, Beetle looks less like Wonderful Life actor Jimmy Stewart and more like silent film comedy star Harold Lloyd. I don't think this is an accident.
This often-silly issue explicitly namechecks the comedy duo of Bud Abbot and Lou Costello, and unless I am very wrong, that's Oliver Hardy and Stan Laurel (in a fez) watching Booster fumble the luggage in the fifth panel of page 6. Those two were experts in mishandling packages, as hilariously recorded in 1932's The Music Box.
Having Beetle dress as the clock-dangling star of 1923's Safety Last! is a nice nod to the silent era of Hal Roach Studios comedies as much as it is to Clark Kent's famous glasses disguise... which Superman's creators Jerry Siegel and Joel Shuster modeled on Harold Lloyd. That's a full circle disguise!
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
Last weekend, I read online rumors that a director had been hired for the previously-announced Warner Bros Booster Gold television show, and that James Gunn himself would be writing. I did not post about that here because I was waiting for some confirmation from Warner Bros.
I don't like unfounded rumors. Founded rumors are fair game, but those unfounded ones... I can't stand those.
Here it is, nearly a week later, and we still don't know if the rumors are true. But James Gunn may have addressed them when, according to BleedingCool.com, he responded to a question about the rumor on
X.com Threads.net by posting:
"Don't believe the Internet." 
Is that in reference to the announcement of the director? Or that Gunn will be writing any episodes? Or should I not believe what Gunn is saying now because I only read that online?
Or, heck, since I only know that Warner Bros is supposed to be working on a television show because I saw the announcement WB released on the Internet, maybe I shouldn't believe that either.
Or maybe the James Gunn on
X Threads isn't really James Gunn? If that quote was made by an imposter, does that mean I should believe the Internet? Come to think of it, I've only ever seen James Gunn on the Internet; how can I know he really exists at all?
"Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end?" 
Anyway. I think the point here is that we still don't have any concrete news about what to expect from a Booster Gold television series, so don't get too excited — or bent out of shape, whichever your proclivity may be. James Gunn will tell us when he wants to know.
Assuming he's real, that is.
 I'd link to the original post if I could find it, but X.com now requires a login to see its content, and I'm not going to do that. So I'm just going to have to take Bleeding Cool's word that this happened. Does that make me part of the rumor mill? Yes, yes it does. Probably best if you just forget that I posted any of this. As a wise man once (maybe) said, don't believe the Internet. UPDATE: See the comments! It wasn't on X but Threads, which is EXTRA why I couldn't find it.
 This quote comes from a book. Since it was written on paper in the age before digital screens, the source can be trusted as the gospel truth. Which is how I know that all Cheshire cats can grin... and most of 'em do.
Monday, November 20, 2023
This week is Thanksgiving, the American holiday when we count our blessings. Unfortunately, Booster boosters are going to have to look somewhere other than their Local Comic Shops for their bounty this season, as DC has released their February 2024 solicitations with nary a Booster Gold in sight.
But one cover does get oh-so close.
As you can see, the Terry Dodson cover for Fire & Ice: Welcome to Smallville #6 homages the Adam Hughes cover to Justice League America #34 with Fire and Ice lounging for some rest and relaxation in the way that Blue Beetle and Booster Gold did on the original.
But since Fire was in the role of reluctant serving wench on the original cover, it seem the tables should have been fully turned, and Booster (or Beetle) should have had to serve the ladies this time around. Instead, poor alien robot L-Ron gets the chore as
Club JLI Smallville burns behind them.
Is no Booster better than an amusingly subservient butler Booster? I'll let you be the judge.
In the meantime, you can see pictures of all the covers for DC's February 2024 solicitations at ComicsBeat.com.
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