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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
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Showing posts 1 - 5 of 14 matching: captain atom

Friday, March 8, 2024

My Favorite Pages: Captain Atom 26 and 27

My Favorite Pages

Yes, that banner up there says "one page at a time," but today you're getting two!

In 1989, a three-part story written by Cary Bates in Captain Atom #26 , #27, and #28 that more-or-less resolved the messiest parts of the backstory of why Captain Atom lied to the Justice League about his personal history.

(Turns out the adventures of the pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Captain Atom were just a government cover story to disguise how Atom was really blackmailed into participating in the weapons test that gave him his powers by a criminal conspiracy of Vietnam vets in a plot stolen directly from Lethal Weapon. Like I said, it's messy.)

Anyway, the point here is that Booster Gold was one of the three Leaguers who confronted the good Captain with evidence of his mounting lies. Since Booster played a significant role in only the first two chapters of this story, appearing only on the first page of the third, I figured I might as well present my favorite pages from those two issues at the same time.

First is Captain Atom #26. As my favorite page, I could have chosen a sequence earlier in the book in which Booster, Blue Beetle, and Mister Miracle clasp hands then go undercover... by wearing sunglasses. But for full-page goodness, I'm going with page 22, in which a thief from the future living under an assumed name unironically demands "no more secrets"!

© DC Comics

Yeah, the posed figures are stiff, but I'm enamored by the layout. Note how the top of the page is a separate panel presenting an establishing shot of the city skyline, and the tail on Booster's speech balloon acts like a pointer showing where they are, as well as allowing Booster to speak first despite being in the center of the page. I assume the balloons were all created by letterer Carrie Spiegel on top of Pat Broderick's art. Well done.

In the very next issue, Captain Atom #27, my favorite page is also based mostly on what Booster has to say. Despite never having been seen wearing a deerstalker cap or skis, our hero is suddenly an amateur detective and an expert skier!

© DC Comics

And he flies faster than the Blue Beetle's bug? Oh, Booster, is there anything you can't do?

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle captain atom favorite pages justice league international mister miracle

Friday, November 17, 2023

My Favorite Pages: Captain Atom 17

My Favorite Pages

Despite the fact that Captain Atom spends most of the issue running away from the New Gods' Black Racer on the astral plane, somehow Booster Gold and Black Racer never come face to face in Captain Atom #17.

So instead, I have to settle on page 5 as my favorite page of the issue.

© DC Comics

Yes, Booster plays a more important role on page 8 when he identifies a nearby hero who can help the situation (future enemy Brainwave!), but what I like specifically about this page is that it's Booster Gold who carries the wounded Captain Atom to safety.

For one thing, while armored, the good Captain weighs three-quarters of a ton (according to the Captain himself in Justice League: Generation Lost #6), so Booster is the only hero present who could lift him.

More importantly, in years to come, it will be Captain Atom who cradles Booster Gold after the Devastator leaves our hero for dead in Justice League America #89. That's some good symmetry.

Both Booster and Atom joined the DCU at almost the same time following the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and both have always represented different, competing aspects of American culture that are just as relevant today as they were in the 1980s. I always like seeing them on panel together.

Still... one of these days, I really would like to get a showdown between Booster Gold and the Black Racer. I also always enjoy seeing Booster Gold cheat Death.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: black racer captain atom favorite pages

Friday, October 20, 2023

My Favorite Pages: Captain Atom 16

My Favorite Pages

If you've ever read Captain Atom #16, you can probably guess my favorite page, but here, I'll save you the trouble of guessing:

© DC Comics

Booster Gold busting through trees like a super man! Blue Beetle swooping out of the sky to rescue a buxom damsel from drowning like some kind of dark knight! And in place of a Wonder Woman, we get a Mister Miracle! It's like a Justice League International roll-call.

Can't you just imagine this animated and set to the Superfriends theme with Ted Knight calling out their names? I sure can.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle favorite pages mister miracle

Monday, June 13, 2022

This Day in History: Tough on Crime

If you've seen any movie filmed in New York City during the 1970s and 80s, you know that town was an absolute cesspool overflowing with garbage and urban blight. Thankfully, one visionary man bucked the system, seized power, and began cleaning up the city in the mid 1990s.

© DC Comics

© DC Comics

© DC Comics

Yes, Booster. That man was the dictator Monarch. And readers of Extreme Justice #7, released on this date in 1995, would have recognized him as a wolf in sheep's clothing. Therefore, the question at the heart of this story isn't whether or not the familiar Monarch had become a sheep, but just which wolf he was.

First, a bit of backstory. Debuting in Armageddon 2001 #1 (1991), Monarch was a corrupted hero who had grown so frustrated at how bad the world was being run, he was determined to take it over himself. The time-traveling would-be world dictator (co-created by former Marvel Comics editor-in-chief Archie Goodwin with shades of Doctor Doom and Kang the Conqueror) had already had run-ins with almost every super hero on Earth.

What makes Monarch particularly unique in the DC Universe isn't the character's origins or motivations, but his very complicated relationship with Captain Atom. See, as originally planned, Monarch *was* Captain Atom. DC's writers and artists seeded clues to Monarch's true identity for months, but when news of the planned reveal leaked to the general public, editors made a last-minute change to his secret identity.

However, no one liked the change (perhaps because of all the strong clues already in print to the contrary), and thus would begin years of stories revising Monarch's identity and intentions. Stories like this one.

© DC Comics

Those who remember Extreme Justice often remember the "extreme" art, which makes it easy to say that the strength of the series was writer Dan Vado's character-driven melodramas and morality plays. What is the cost of being a hero? What defines a villain? Who are we all, really? This issue doesn't answer those questions, but life is about the journey, not the destination.

Just remember to never, ever trust a tyrant like Monarch.

© DC Comics

Especially not if your name is Booster Gold.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle captain atom dan vado extreme justice monarch

Friday, July 17, 2020

The Best of Booster Gold: Formerly the JL 4

When I first made my list of the twelve best Booster Gold comics, I decided that the Formerly Known as the Justice League mini-series belonged at number 7. But I wasn't sure which issue to spotlight.

Frankly, the entire mini-series is worth a read. It's a great call back to the best of the humorous yet heroic "Bwah-Ha-Ha" era of the Justice League International by the very creators who made that series such a hit.

Ultimately I've chosen to highlight issue #4 in part because it does such a good job of making the badly threadbare plot of a hero-vs-hero fistfight into a truly delightful read.

© DC Comics

The issue sees the newly formed "Superbuddies" super team abducted by the villanous Roulette and forced to fight one another to the death. The joke is that no one takes the Superbuddies seriously or expects them to win. This is in keeping with the reputation of the JLI itself, which was at something of a nadir when the issue was published. Of course, fans — and team creators Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis — knew that the JLI was far more competent than their reputation (even if the team itself didn't).

© DC Comics

In addition to the ton of jokes and familiar characterization of a bunch of friends who also happen to be teammates, this issue really highlights the strengths of original Justice League International artist Kevin Maguire's storytelling ability. His expressions, body language, pacing... it's all perfect.

© DC Comics

(And the cover's not bad either!)

If there's any complaint to be made about this series, it's that the comedic roles of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle have been swapped. Back in the day, Booster was the straight man. Here he's the fool. Some might find that offputting, but Booster boosters know it's only an act. Booster will do anything to be the center of attention.

Besides, you know it's only a comic book.

© DC Comics

As far as comic books go, it's a pretty good one. It easily deserves to be counted among the The Best Booster Gold Stories Ever.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: best of blue beetle captain atom elongated man fire j.m. dematteis justice league international keith giffen kevin maguire mary marvel superbuddies


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