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Friday, September 22, 2023

My Favorite Pages: Justice League Intl 14

My Favorite Pages

The art of Justice League International #14 almost feels like it was a rush job, and perhaps it was. Regular series penciller and master of facial expressions Kevin Maguire took (or was given) a vacation, and Steve Leialoha's very loose style is a poor substitute for this issue that heavily features character moments. The layouts, as usual, are by Keith Giffen, so part of the problem here could be that Leialoha wasn't a great match for Giffen's distinctive style of closeups. (It gets a little better in the next issue, as we'll soon see.)

Which is not to say that JLI #14 isn't worth our time. For one thing, this is the issue that sees Green Flame and Ice Maiden officially join the team. (They'll not become Fire and Ice until issue #19.)

For another, there's football!

© DC Comics

If there's anything better than superheroes and football, I don't know what it is.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle favorite pages football mister miracle steve leialoha

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Or Your Money Back

On January 9, 1969, during a ceremony in which he received the Miami Touchdown Club's F.A.M.E. (Football Awards Miami Edition) Award for the Most Outstanding Professional Football Player of 1968, quarterback Joe Namath of the New York Jets was confronted by an aggressive Baltimore Colts fan. In response to the taunting, Namath guaranteed a Jets victory in the upcoming Super Bowl III.

It became the guarantee heard around the world.

Smart money at the time was that the Colts, representing the established National Football League (whose teams had won the previous two Super Bowls decisively), would handily beat the Jets of the upstart American Football League. No less than famous oddsmaker Jimmy the Greek had predicted the Colts would win by more than two touchdowns.

Therefore, Namath's guarantee, widely reported by the Miami Herald, was generally ignored or ridiculed.

As you may have heard, when the game was played on January 12, the Jets not only covered the 17-point spread, they won outright, proving that the AFL was legitimate football and paving the way for the Super Bowl to become America's biggest sports spectacle. As Namath left the field that day, "The Guarantee" became legend...

© DC Comics

...the sort of legend that time-traveling, 20th-century hero-worshiping, former-football-players (with problematic gambling histories) probably find irresistible.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: football joe namath secret history

Monday, August 23, 2021

Footnote of Alternate History

If you happened to pick up Wonder Woman #777 earlier this month, you may have recognized her gender-swapped Earth-11 counterpart, Wonder Man. What you may not have realized is that Wonder Man and Booster Gold have history. Sort of.

Talkin' Booster Gold: non-appearance Booster Gold references in comics dialogue

For the rest of that story, let's turn back the dial to Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman/Batwoman #1, the first appearance of Dane of Elysium, aka Wonder Man.

© DC Comics
written by Justin Gray & Jimmy Palmiotti; art by Kalman Andrasofszky, Kanila Tripp, John J. Hill

Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer: Superwoman/Batwoman was released in 2008 as a tie-in to the year-long Countdown (to Final Crisis) series, and it re-introduced readers to Earth-11, an alternate universe first visited in 2005's Batman/Superman #23 — though it wasn't called "Earth-11" at that time. The reconstitution of the DC Multiverse in the wake of Infinite Crisis wouldn't be revealed until roughly two years later at the conclusion of 52. (And they say the DC Multiverse is too confusing. Pfft!)

As you can see from these panels, Earth-11 shares much of the history of Earth-1, including familiar events of Identity Crisis (2004), Wonder Woman #219 (2005), and Amazons Attack! (2007).

© DC Comics

All Booster Gold fans will remember Maxwell Lord's killing of Blue Beetle in the accurately titled Countdown to Infinite Crisis. Well, on Earth-11, those events played out somewhat differently.

The Maxine Lord executed by Wonder Man didn't kill the female Blue Beetle. She killed Beetle's best friend: Booster Gold.

© DC Comics

Thus, in a way, Wonder Man avenged Booster Gold's death!

A guy like that can't be all bad.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: countdown earth-11 talking booster gold the search for ray palmer wonder man

Friday, May 21, 2021

Growing Up in a New-Fashioned World

Childhood is a time of learning about the world around you and preparing you for the future. But what if your childhood won't happen for another few centuries and your future is in the past? That's the case for time-traveling hero Booster Gold, whose 25th-century upbringing may not have prepared him for 21st-century life.

Nostalgic for the Future: How

SPORTS: The most popular sport in the mid 2400s will be familiar to 21st-century inhabitants. Aside from some minor technological innovations like sensors on the goal line to detect touchdowns, the sport will look and play in ways pretty much exactly as it had 400 years earlier. Someone watching a game in 1982 would have little trouble following the action in 2442.

Even the economics of the sport will be little changed. Just as in the 21st century, 25th-century college athletes will be considered "amateurs" who earn their institutions and commercial partners — and bookmakers — considerable revenue while making no income themselves.

© DC Comics
Booster Gold #18

Though at the time, star quarterback Michael "Booster" Carter wouldn't have cared about such things, mastering the game of football would be a great indoctrination in 21st-century culture.

DIET: Soy dogs might have seemed far-fetched to citizens of 1987, but meat substitutes are all the rage in the 2020s as they will be in the Gotham City of the 25th century. We can only imagine what will make the population of the future turn their back on meat. Is it a commercial necessity following the Great Disaster? Is it an ethical consideration for animal welfare? Or do soy dogs just plain taste better than 20th-century hot dogs?

Whatever the case, by the 25th century, science will have advanced enough that people can have a different relationship with food than 21st-century diners. In Booster Gold's native time, gourmands will be able to eat whatever they like without fear of unhealthy weight gain.

© DC Comics
Justice League Quarterly #6

That system sure beats rice cakes.

ROBOTS: In the 21st century, artificial intelligence really isn't very intelligent. Speech recognition software can decipher what television channel you want to watch and scanning algorithms can unlock your phone, but Siri isn't thinking or feeling in the traditional sense. That will have changed drastically by the year 2462.

Booster Gold will be raised in a world in which self-sufficient robots can be counted on to reliably perform many complicated jobs, including valet and security guard. There's plenty of evidence between the panels of Booster's adventures to suggest the only thing keeping robots from becoming further integrated into society is resistance from biological lifeforms.

© DC Comics
Booster Gold #16

Thinking robots may not exist in the 21st century, but bigotry is eternal.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: diet foot football future nostalgic for the future robots skeets

Monday, February 8, 2021

Football GOAT

Tom Brady won his 7th Super Bowl yesterday in impressive fashion. At the age of 43, he not only becomes the oldest quarterback to win the big game (passing his own record), but also the quarterback who has won the most of them.

Winning Super Bowls is just one metric by which his greatness will be judged. He also holds records for career games won, Pro Bowl selections, seasons as passing leader, total touchdowns thrown (regular, post-season, and Super Bowls), and game-winning drives. In the history of the NFL, he's the only player to throw 5 touchdowns in a single quarter. (The NFL record for touchdown passes in an entire game stands at 7, achieved only 8 times in 100 years!)

I mention all of this not necessarily to praise Brady, who is inarguably the greatest of all NFL quarterbacks, but as a comparison to where the bar is set for future players aspiring to equal or surpass his greatness. Especially one college football player who will take snaps under center for Gotham University in the year 2462. According to Booster Gold #6, the scouts say he could be the best ever.

© DC Comics
Skeets is a robot. He *can't* lie.

In light of what we've seen Tom Brady do in the 21st century, it's all the more impressive to hear how Michael Jon "Booster" Carter will be praised in the 25th, by which time we can imagine that few, if any, of Brady's records will still be standing. (Four hundred years is a lo-o-ong time. Even Brady will have retired by then.)

© DC Comics
Secret Origins #35

Aim high, Booster.

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