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Friday, March 3, 2023

A Little Spackle Can't Hide All the Cracks

The corpse of Newsarama recently ran an article titled "Booster Gold - The comic history of DC's time-traveling himbo". And while I try very hard to ignore these sort of clickbait-y articles designed to catch-up readers who don't know any better, it does still bother me when they're misleading.

For one thing, Booster isn't "one of the first brand new DC heroes introduced after the major continuity reboot that took place in the 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths," he is THE first. (Dan Jurgens states this explicitly in print for the first time in the letter column of Booster Gold Volume 1 #12).

But that doesn't really bother me as much as this. Quoth the article:

"Alongside Jaime, Booster is finally able to use his time travel technology to go back in time and save Ted's life, bringing his best friend back from the dead."

Yeah, that technically happens at the end of Booster Gold: 52 Pick-Up. If you're only reading recent trades, you might think that's the end of the story. But as the follow-up collection Booster Gold: Blue and Gold — not to be confused with the unrelated Blue and Gold collection — makes clear, that time-displaced Ted must stay dead. (In fact, it's Ted himself who recognizes this fact and makes the ultimate sacrifice in Booster Gold Volume 2 #10.)

The reason that Ted Kord is alive and well in the modern DCU has nothing to do with Booster Gold and everything to do with the constant manipulation of the Multiverse by the likes of Doctor Manhattan, Perpetua, Pariah, and the like. Death is a very temporary condition in an infinite omniverse.

To be fair, maybe these were honest mistakes. The author's bio identifies them as a "Marvel Comics expert," so maybe they don't know any better about the goings on over at the Distinguished Competition. Maybe they were the only writer available when the "write something to fill today's quota of stories about proposed HBO properties" assignment was handed out.

I'm even willing to concede that "comic books news" blog readers who are unfamiliar with DC Comics' greatest superhero, Booster Gold, are probably not ready to understand how decades of publishing mandates have made DC's long-term continuity a nightmare for anyone trying to build a biography of one of their super heroes. So a little simplifying is probably necessary. No one runs before they walk, after all.

But none of that is any excuse for calling Booster a "Himbo."

Someone has been reading too many Tom King comics. Sure, Booster has many problems, but lack of intelligence isn't among them. Give the poor boy a little respect, please.

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