- Booster Gold
Showing posts 0-5 of 156 matching: history
Friday, June 25, 2021
OG Booster booster Shawn Baston notified me that Booster makes a very brief, non-continuity appearance in this week's Teen Titans Academy #4 (thanks, Shawn!). Since I was already in the Boosterrific Database, I decided to take the time to (finally!) update data on some other minor reprint collection appearances I'd been putting off. That's when I noticed something odd.
Justice League Unlimited: Time After Time is a collection of time-travel themed Justice League Unlimited stories. The volume was published last November. (Sorry. Like I said, I got a little behind. I'm blaming the pandemic.) This is its cover:
Usually, these trades reuse cover art from one of the issues they collect, but this one clearly needed something a bit more general for the hodgepodge of volumes within. Instead of an existing cover, art was chosen from an existing interior splash page.
The chosen art comes from Justice League Unlimited #9, credited to penciller Carlo Barberi and inker Walden Wong and reprinted in Time After Time. The issue's story sees the JLU travel back in time to help Shining Knight save Camelot from Morgan Le Fey, and the selected art has some of the DCU's biggest names flying into action alongside King Arthur — swinging on a Batrope! That's an image that will sell some comics!
There's just one problem. To make the existing art fit the desired cover layout, it had to be altered. And I don't just mean that the art was recolored to remove the backgrounds. One hero was edited out of the picture entirely.
Care to guess who that hero was?
Here's the splash page as it originally appeared:
Wednesday, June 16, 2021
DC chose not to release any comic featuring Booster Gold appearances this week. I like to think that's because they'd rather you spend some time re-reading classic Booster Gold adventures.
May I suggest Justice League Annual #1, released 34 years ago today?
This 48-page issue, essentially a zombie story titled "Germ Warfare," is Booster's first adventure as an accepted member of the Justice League. (And you don't have to take my word for it. The editor's note on page 4 explicitly places the story immediately after Booster's JL audition in Justice League #4 (which also happens to be the single best Booster Gold story ever).
The action unfolds in the traditional Justice League style. To combat a global menace, the team splits in to pairs. Interestingly, Booster Gold's first Justice League partner isn't Blue Beetle but another legacy character with origins in the Golden Age of comics: Black Canary.
With rapport like that, it's no surprise that the "Black and Gold" team didn't outlast Canary's oft-maligned 1980s aerobics instructor-inspired costume.
As might be expected of such a new member, Booster plays a relatively minor role in the issue's resolution. And though it may come as a surprise to modern audiences, neither does Batman. The honors go to the Martian Manhunter, a true hero who will go on to teach many an up-and-comer a thing or two about the relationship between great power and great responsibility.
As I said, if you're looking for something to read today, you could do much worse than the first Justice League Annual.
Friday, April 30, 2021
As all Booster boosters know by now, DC has announced a new Blue Beetle/Booster Gold mini-series coming in July 2021. What you may not know is just how long it has taken to get to this blessed event. What follows is the third in a series of three posts that originally appeared here on Boosterrific in June 2011:
After reading an interview in 1988's Direct Currents #8 with Dan Jurgens and searching through the letter columns in early-1990s Justice League America comics (part 1 and part 2 of this series, respectively), I decided that it was time to go straight to the original source and ask Dan Jurgens about the fate of The Blue and the Gold series that he was once so excited about.
BOOSTERRIFIC: Looking back, I came across a copy of DC's DIRECT CURRENTS promotional flier which featured an interview with you in it's "People at Work" segment (DIRECT CURRENTS #8, August 1988). In that interview -- interviewer unknown, though Paul Kupperberg gets writing credit -- largely promoting your work on FLASH GORDON), you mentioned an upcoming project:
"And, of course, the one project I'm really excited about is something that DC's still got in the planning stages, called THE BLUE AND THE GOLD, a new series starring Booster Gold with the Blue Beetle. They've gotten real popular as buddies in Justice League International, so I think a book co-starring the two of them is a natural. It's going to have that unique JLI flavor to it."
Clearly that book never materialized. Do you remember anything about this planned series, such as how far into development it might have gotten or what finally prevented its publication?
DAN JURGENS: Yes, that was definitely on the board a couple of different times. There were, I think, three different times when we were just about to start working on it and then something would come up that prevented us from doing so. Generally, I think it was my overall workload, or an idea to hold it off for another event or something like that. I think there were even some points where we were going to try to tie in with a specific JL event, and then I got too busy to do so.
It's odd, because it was everyone's intention-- DC included, to actually get it done.
BOOSTERRIFIC: You state that the delays may have been cause by your workload. Was this book -- presumably an ongoing -- your idea, or did an editor at DC assign you this project? Did DC never consider handing the project off to another writer/artist?
DAN JURGENS: It's impossible for me to answer the question of what DC might have considered, but I don't remember any discussions of another creative team. We did play around with the idea of someone else writing the book-- Mike Carlin-- for awhile, which would have been a lot of fun. We probably thought of it more as a mini-series because that was a good way to introduce a book at the time.
But I was really, really busy with a lot of stuff-- and any window I had to fit it in seemed to open and close in a hurry.
BOOSTERRIFIC: During the several years where there was a possibility this thing would go to market, was any actual work -- scripts or art -- done, or did it never make it out of the planning stages?
DAN JURGENS: No scripts or art were ever done. Lots of conversations and ideas and we got as close as thinking we'd be starting in the next three or four weeks, but something always came up. I couldn't tell you what each of those events might have been, however.
Comics were like that then. In terms of planning, things were a bit more loose than they are now. We'd often have those, "let's do this!" types of conversations that would sometimes become a reality, other times not. There have been several times when I was part of a project that I truly thought would happen, but for whatever reason didn't. Or would kind of morph into something else.
BOOSTERRIFIC: I was surprised to see you mention this project in 1988. For awhile it was promoted in the letter column of the Giffen/DeMatteis JLI. You may not remember, but I would be interested to know at what point you recall this project being finally cancelled (or at least so far on the back burner that no one discussed it anymore)? Was the window of opportunity closed for this project by the time you took over as JLI scribe in 1992 (at which point you wrote/drew Booster and Beetle monthly)?
DAN JURGENS: The project wasn't ever cancelled, so much as it simply didn't happen. If there's no true, official start, you can't cancel it after all. We had the best of intentions but it just didn't materialize.
I do think that by the time I took on JLA that we sort of saw that as a Blue and Gold vehicle, especially since it was such a good opportunity to tie the book into the "Death of Superman" story.
So that's that; the story of The Blue and Gold series that almost was. Boosterrific.com offers a hearty thank you to Dan Jurgens for his time and generosity in indulging us with an interview about a comic book he never worked on... until now. 😉
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
As all Booster boosters know by now, DC has announced a new Blue Beetle/Booster Gold mini-series coming in July 2021. What you may not know is just how long it has taken to get to this blessed event. What follows is the second in a series of three posts that originally appeared here on Boosterrific in June 2011:
Just a few months after Dan Jurgens teased the impending release of The Blue and the Gold in August 1988's Direct Currents #8 (as posted in part 1 of this series), the news was confirmed in the Justice Log letter column of Justice League International #25 (April 1989).
These letter column responses are presumably written by series editor, Andy Helfer, or more likely his assistant, Kevin Dooley. They should be in position to know the accuracy of the following news they printed a few months later in Justice League America #32 (November 1989).
I don't know where the news of the new publication date was was released first, but it doesn't much seem to matter. That "semi-regular" series hint seems to suggest that by this time, DC had decided that the ideas behind The Blue and the Gold series had been rolled into what eventually became Justice League Quarterly at the end of 1990. More news about The Blue and the Gold series wouldn't appear until writer/artist Dan Jurgens and editor Brian Augustyn took over the series in 1992. The news wasn't good, but at least it was honest. From Justice League America #64 (July 1992):
Jurgens was the go-to man for many of DC's major event series in the early- to mid-1990s, and his schedule was always full. Worse, just a few issues later, Booster would be powerless, and Beetle would be in his second coma, both thanks to Doomsday. Months passed before both were back in fighting condition, and this storyline seems to preclude the opportunity for a spin-off mini-series focusing on the pair. The letter column for Justice League America #71 (February 1993) seems to confirm this being the end of the road for the long-planned series. This is the last mention of The Blue and Gold in the series.
Five years after Dan Jurgens called it "the one project I'm really excited about," The Blue and the Gold looked like another missed opportunity.
Next time, we'll revisit my 2011 Q&A with Dan Jurgens about the fate of The Blue and the Gold series.
Monday, April 26, 2021
As all Booster boosters know by now, DC has announced a new Blue Beetle/Booster Gold mini-series coming in July 2021. What you may not know is just how long it has taken to get to this blessed event. On Twitter, Dan Jurgens wrote:
To be clear, this is the third, maybe even fourth time this project has been on my board, the first in '88or '89. Nice to have it become a reality and even better to have the incredible Ryan Sook drawing it. So good! (@thedanjurgens, Twitter.com, Apr 21, 2021)
I can attest that 1988 is the date that fans first learned about it. What follows is the first in a series of three posts that originally appeared here on Boosterrific in June 2011:
In Boosterrific.com's never-ending quest to catalog every Booster Gold appearance in a DC publication, I recently perused several issues of DC's pre-Previews solicitations, Direct Currents. Many of the early issues include interviews with DC artists. The artist interviewed for the "People At Work" column in issue #8 (August, 1988) is Dan Jurgens.
The article -- presumably written by Paul Kupperberg -- includes a brief biography, including the facts that Jurgens was inspired to read comics by the 1966 Batman television show, and that his first work for DC on Warlord resulted from a chance meeting with Mike Grell at a comic book convention. It even contains a bit about the origin of Booster Gold. But the part I found most interesting was this paragraph:
"Then there's next year's ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN ANNUAL, which I'm co-writing with Jerry Ordway and pencilling. And, of course, the one project I'm really excited about is something that DC's still got in the planning stages, called THE BLUE AND THE GOLD, a new series starring Booster Gold with the Blue Beetle. They've gotten real popular as buddies in Justice League International, so I think a book co-starring the two of them is a natural. It's going to have that unique JLI flavor to it."
We know it was never released, but how close did DC come to publishing The Blue and the Gold series teaming Booster Gold and Blue Beetle?
It's worth noting that there was no Adventures of Superman Annual released in 1989, and that no Adventures of Superman Annual shares writing credit between Dan Jurgens and Jerry Ordway (though both contributed to Action Comics Annual in 1989 and several issues of Adventures of Superman). So it seems that DC was being very flexible with their schedule in the late 1980s.
Next time, we'll look for more clues about the series that almost never was in Justice League letter columns from the 1990s.
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