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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

This Day in History: Time Out

Remember that time when the powers-that-be at DC decided to scrap (almost) their entire shared universe for another, new shared universe of unfamiliar characters in familiar costumes?

Yeah, okay. That's a little vague. We *are* talking about DC here.

Specifically, I'm talking about the relaunch 12 years ago, the "New 52." If you'll recall, sales were down, and something had to be done to goose them. That something was determined to be a line-wide reboot. However, before a new universe could be launched, the pre-existing universe had to be canceled. Which is how Booster Gold #47, released on this day in 2011, became the final issue of that series.

Sadly, it's not a very good comic book.

Most of the story deals with Booster's tragic but inconsequential misadventures in the Flashpoint alternate universe with doomed Alexandra Gianopoulos — all drawn by a fill-in artist who seems to be operating under an unforgivingly tight deadline.

But the issue ends with a Dan Jurgens-drawn coda teasing that perhaps Booster had returned to the mainstream DCU in time to continue his story in the incoming New 52 Universe, where all DC characters would be wearing new costumes designed by Jim Lee.

© DC Comics

© DC Comics

It would be four more years before it was clarified that the New 52 Booster Gold (introduced the following month in Dan Jurgens-written Justice League International #1) and the original, post-Crisis on Infinite Earths Booster Gold were not actually the same entity at all. (All was revealed in 2015's Convergence Booster Gold.)

It's that sort of confusion that made the New 52 such a frustrating experience for longtime fans. If the creative teams don't know what the new rules are, how can the readers?

Frankly, over a decade later, I'm still irritated. The less said about Booster Gold #47, the better.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: costumes dan jurgens jim lee new 52

Friday, August 2, 2019

Blue and Gold Make Jim Lee Twitch

DC Comics Co-Publisher and Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee hasn't drawn Booster Gold often — the cover of Infinite Crisis #5 is the only instance I'm aware of — so we should celebrate it when we see it. Therefore, for any Booster booster who isn't following me on Twitter and hasn't seen this yet, check it out:

@jimlee via 2019-07-26

Lee didn't just tweet the finished product. He twitched himself drawing it! It took over three hours beginning to end, and you can watch every minute in these videos on YouTube:

BOOSTER GOLD! BLUE BEETLE! Part 1 of 2--Art Stream with JIM LEE
BLUE BEETLE! BOOSTER GOLD! Part 2 of 2. Final inks! Art by JIM LEE

Thanks to everyone who reminded me to post that.

Comments (5) | Add a Comment | Tags: fan art jim lee

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

This Is How Jim Lee Sees Booster Gold

Russ Burlingame has already seen Justice League: War, the animated movie based on the first story arc of the "New 52" Justice League title. (His first report on that movie is online at

But what should interest Booster Gold fans isn't the movie itself, but the extras. The Blu-Ray includes the bonus documentary Creating Heroes: The Life and Art of Jim Lee. The documentary shows some quick shots of sketches that Jim Lee drew in preparation for the launch of the New 52. And one of those sketches is this:

© DC Comics

This is presumably Jim Lee's vision of Booster Gold's New 52 costume. It's mostly similar to what saw print in Justice League International, with two significant differences.

1: Head. Although Booster projected holographic panels as early as issue #2, they weren't curved. Note also that the helmet looks almost boxy, more Tron Legacy and Iron Man than ski mask. Was that intentional or was it another unintended effect of so much piping, a pervasive aspect of all of Lee's New 52 designs?

2: Stripes. As you can see from the sketch of the back, Lee considered linking the blue stripes on the biceps to the blue "w" on the chest. That little detail did not make it into the final New 52 design, where they are very definitely two separate lines.

If you want a better look at this and Lee's other sketches, get you hands on Justice League: War, out today.

Thanks to Russ for sharing this with us.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: costumes dvd jim lee justice league russ burlingame war

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Maybe It's Not His Fault

Earlier this month, George Pérez was among the featured guests at the annual Superman Celebration in Metropolis, Illinois. His question and answer session was recorded and hosted by Superman Homepage. Rich Johnson at Bleeding Cool transcribed some of the video, including the following quote:

Unfortunately when you are writing major characters, you sometimes have to make a lot of compromises and I was made certain promises, and unfortunately not through any fault of Dan DiDio, he was no longer the last word, lot of people making decisions, going against each other, contradicting, again in mid story. The people who love my Superman arc, I thank you. What you read, I don't know.

I've always been pretty outspoken against Dan DiDio and how I've interpreted DC's output under his direction as Publisher. While it is his job to be the public face of the company's decisions, for good or ill, to hear an industry veteran like Pérez explicitly say that DiDio isn't really the boss at DC should really teach me to temper my venomous tirades against the poor fellow.

It's been obvious for some time that DC's corporate parent, Warner Brothers, has been becoming increasingly intrusive in editorial interference of DC's storytelling. The obvious, continued editorial failures behind the rollout of the DCnU are the smoking gun pointing to a dysfunctional, fractured leadership.

As much as I have blamed DC Comics Co-Publishers DiDio and Jim Lee for the recent poor treatment of Booster Gold, I should give DiDio the benefit of the doubt with his plans for Justice League International. After all, if Booster Gold doesn't reappear in a new title soon, there will be plenty of blame to go around.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: dan didio george perez jim lee reboot rich johnston warner brothers

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Triumph of Design

DC has now released covers for October solicitations, among them Justice League International #2. This gives us a newer look at at Booster Gold's new costume. Triangular golden breastplate? Arrow gauntlets? Pants-less unitard? Why do I feel like I've seen this somewhere before?

These shitty costumes are © DC Comics

Ah, Triumph. Unloved bastard child of 1990s angst and design awkwardly coupled with DC's Silver Age mythology. Triumph was an energy-wielding, time-displaced hero-turned-crybaby who left the Justice League after too many bad decisions. That doesn't sound familiar.

Surely it's just a coincidence that Jim Lee's new unitard design for Booster Gold is strongly evocative of Triumph's costume. Isn't it?

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: costumes jim lee reboot triumph

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