- Booster Gold
Showing posts 1 - 5 of 26 matching: extreme justice
Monday, December 5, 2022
I'm sure I'm not the only one who saw the Mess Hall in the Justice League Hall of Justice in last week's Superman: Kal-El's Return Special #1 and thought, "That looks just like Warriors!"
If you don't remember Warriors, it was a bar filled with memorabilia from Guy Gardner's crime-fighting career. (Warriors is not to be confused with Planet Krypton, the superhero-themed restaurant found on multiple Earths.)
Booster Gold visited Warriors on several occasions, most notably on December 5, 1995, when Guy Gardner threw the DCU's largest Christmas party in the pages of Guy Gardner: Warrior #39.
As you can see, almost everyone who was anyone in 1995 made this party, including Booster in his Extreme Justice-era Mark IV power armor. It's no tuxedo, but it *was* keeping Booster alive at the time, so come as you are, I guess.
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
I am not deluded enough that I would call Extreme Justice a great comic series. But comics don't have to be great to be enjoyable, and I certainly enjoy Extreme Justice.
Which is why I was so pleased to see a recent article in support of the much maligned series last week on ComicBeat.com.
Article author Deidre Freitas points out many of the things wrong with the series (though I think she undersells just how bad the art is), but she specifically (and correctly) singles out Booster Gold as one of the better parts.
One thing about this series is that it seems to be discarded as a byproduct of the '90s, and its certainly of its time, from its Extreme label to the outfits, hairstyles and even mannerisms of the characters. But beneath the lingo and fashion choices, there are some genuinely good storylines in this book.
Booster Gold, who had nearly died at the end of Justice League America, is kept alive by a suit that Blue Beetle made him. He lost an arm, and his vitals are only stable because of the alien technology surrounding his body. For all intents and purposes, Booster is disabled for much of this run. Several times in the series he questions his own usefulness, wondering if all of this is worth it. Booster even goes after his former manager, spiraling into a dark depression and anger because the man embezzled all of his money.
Yeesh. Without a doubt, the "Extreme" era of the 1990s is the longest, darkest period of Booster's long career, though that was probably true for most of the DCU. Is that darkness why Extreme Justice is so derided? Who wants to see heroes at their worst?
On second thought, don't answer that.
Just know that it gets better, Booster.
Monday, June 13, 2022
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.
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.
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.
Especially not if your name is Booster Gold.
Friday, September 10, 2021
Earlier this month, Timothy Donohoo recapped the Extreme Justice team for the CBR.com article "Booster Gold, Blue Beetle & Captain Atom Formed the Most Extreme Justice League."
I'm not sure from the article whether Donohoo ever actually read any of the Extreme Justice issues (half of his history is based on the not very accurate 2001 JLA: Incarnations mini-series produced five years after Extreme Justice got the axe) , but at the very least it's nice to see someone saying nice things about one of my personal favorite (but widely forgotten) comic series:
Also fitting the team name was the art, which redesigned many classic characters to fit in with the growing popularity of books at Image Comics. It was one of the few DC books that attempted to ride this wave, and it was rather obvious in its methods. Scowls and gritted teeth are a constant sight, with muscles and breasts being more emphasized. Booster Gold got a ridiculous-looking armor that made him look like Valiant's X-O Manowar crossed with a football player, while Blue Beetle was rather blatantly drawn to resemble Todd McFarlane's take on Spider-Man.
No, really, that's about as nice a thing as anyone ever says about Extreme Justice.
And he's not wrong:
Ah, the good, old nineteen-nineties. Some days, I really do miss you.
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Booster Gold doesn't show up in any of DC's books this week, so let's talk about next week, where we should expect our hero to make a cameo appearance in Underworld Unleashed: The 25th Anniversary Edition.
For those of you who weren't reading comics in 1995, Underworld Unleashed was that year's universe-wide "crisis" crossover event. The demon Neron engaged in a campaign tempting the inhabitants of the DCU to sell their souls for a taste of greater power and influence
For obvious reasons, many villains were quick to agree to the bargain, and even some heroes found the temptation impossible to resist. Those who accepted were warped into XTREME versions of their former selves. (The influence of Underworld Unleashed is painfully evident in the current, never-ending Death Metal series, which probably plays a role in DC's decision to reprint it now.)
Eventually, the remaining heroes rallied their fractured teams (divided at the time into the Justice League America, Justice League Task Force, and Extreme Justice) to confront the growing evil.
Despite being far from a moral paragon, Booster Gold was never approached by Neron, leaving our hero at the fringes of the story. He made cameo appearances in only two panels in the three issues in the mini-series (issues #2 and #3). And while the crossover event spilled over into two issues of the ongoing Extreme Justice series, Booster was mired in a sub-plot about Firestorm's immaturity and missed out on events when Star Sapphire made life difficult for his teammates in issue #10.
(Ironically, Booster would succumb to the temptations of a different evil manipulator just two months later in Extreme Justice #12 as culmination of a long-running subplot. One imagines that Extreme Justice editor Ruben Diaz, knowing what he had planned for future issues of his series, used his influence as assistant editor of Underworld Unleashed to keep Booster out of the event. That's the sort of role that editors used to play behind the scenes before DC Comics' parent company Warner Bros decided they were an unnecessary expense.)
If you like the 1990s DCU, especially if you like the villains, then you'll get a kick out of the 25th anniversary collection. Personally, I'm still saving up for the inevitable Extreme Justice omnibus. I mean, if DC is reprinting the 90s, they might as well go straight for the top (or bottom, depending on your point of view).
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