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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold

It has been 69 Days since Booster Gold last appeared in a DCnU comic book.

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Friday, January 29, 2021

Lateral Men

It's been three weeks since Generations: Shattered was released, so you should have your copy by now, yes? Good. Because we're going to talk about it today. Specifically, we're going to talk about this panel:

© DC Comics
art by John Romita, Jr., Danny Miki, Hi-Fi

If you've been reading DC Comics for a long of time, you may recognize most of those people, but Booster boosters in particular should probably have a pretty good idea who the Linear Men are. This is an unusual line-up of that team. It's no coincidence that many of them directly pair up with a Multiversal heroic counterpart, a contrivance that is explained in the story as the nearly omnipotent Dominus bends reality to his will.

But even accepting that, one of those Linear Men stands out. Can you spot which one?

© DC Comics
Hint: It's this guy.

Whoever that guy is, I doubt anyone calls him "Rayak the Ravager."

Quick history lesson: The Linear Men concept was created in Adventures of Superman #476 (by Dan Jurgens) in 1991 with the introduction of The (singular) Linear Man.[1] That Linear Man died, sacrificing himself in the 30th-century to "correct" the history he'd unintentionally broken while trying to bring justice to Booster Gold. (You'll find more information on the interactions between the Linear Man and Booster Gold here.)


art by Dan Jurgens, Art Thiebert, Glenn Whitmore, Todd Klein

Shortly thereafter, in Superman #59 (by Dan Jurgens), we learn that the Linear Man was a rogue member of the mysterious Linear Men of Vanishing Point who are "dedicated to guarding the linear sanctity of the time stream." By the time of Superman #73 (by Dan Jurgens), it is well established that there are three remaining Linear Men: Matthew Ryder, Liri Lee, and Hunter.[2] (The impetuous Waverider is often an ally of the group but isn't really a member.[3])

In our group shot at the top of the post, both Liri Lee[4] and Matthew Ryder are clearly identified by name in our Generations: Shattered confrontation. Naturally, the third Linear Man should be Hunter, especially since he appears earlier in the issue beside both Liri and Ryder.

© DC Comics
art by Fernando Pasarin, Oclair Albert, Hi-Fi

So why in the big team shot is Hunter misidentified as "Rayak the Ravager"?

If I had to take a guess, I'd say that whoever wrote the label was trying to recall the name "Ryak the Rogue" from memory. Ryak is the newest Linear Man — the first not created by Dan Jurgens. Ryak makes his first appearance in The All-New Atom #7 (by Gail Simone) in 2007, and he looks nothing like Hunter. For one thing, he's green.

© DC Comics
art by Mike Norton, Andy Owens, Alex Bleyaert, Pat Brosseau

As his moniker might suggest, Ryak was a solo actor in Atom, but he made a cameo appearance beside the other Linear Men on Vanishing Point in Dark Nights: Death Metal: Rise of the New God in 2020. Look closely at that panel, and alongside Ryak you'll spot Ryder, Liri, Rip Hunter, and Waverider, but Hunter is missing, replaced by none other than the original Linear Man himself![5]

© DC Comics
art by Jesus Merino, Vincente Cifuentes, Ulises Arreola

As you can see, keeping the Linear Men straight takes as much work as the convoluted continuity they are sworn to protect. The DC Multiverse is a big place. Every once in a while, we should probably expect the writers, artists, or editors to confused a name and a face.

On the other hand, the events of both Dark Knights: Death Metal and Generations: Shattered involve realities and timelines altered by gods themselves. In which case, if Dominus wants to call Hunter "Rayak," who are we, mere mortal readers of comic books, to correct him?


1 As for the original Linear Man's real identity: it is commonly assumed to be Travis O'Connell. That name comes from the "Linear Men" entry in the Who's Who in the DC Universe Update 1993 #2 (by Roger Stern) which identifies four Linear Men by name and states that "[Travis] O'Connell eventually sacrificed his own life in the late 30th Century." Unless there were multiple Linear Mans chasing Booster Gold in the 30th century, I think we've solved that mystery. (DK apparently agrees; they identify O'Connell by name in their entry for the Linear Man in their officially-licensed The DC Comics Encyclopedia.)

2 Hunter is, as you might have guessed, Rip Hunter. But he's not the one we know. According to the story "Falling in Line" in Legends of the DC Universe 80-Page Giant #1 (by Dan Jurgens), Hunter is the evolution of the young, mischievous Rip Hunter from an alternate history that appears to closely mirror the original Rip Hunter, Time Master, whose pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Earth-1 adventures were chronicled in a book of the same title.

3 Technically, Waverider, like Rip Hunter, is two Linear Men. See, Waverider and Matthew Ryder are the same person, separated into two timelines by the accidental death of his/their parents. In violation of the Linear Men's prime directive, Waverider himself changed the history that forced the divergence that allowed his alternate self to grow into his role as the Linear Men's Ryder. (For details, see Superman #61 by Dan Jurgens.) And while we're on the subject, I might as well mention that Matthew Ryder and Waverider first appeared in Armaggeddon 2001 #1 by Archie Goodwin... and Dan Jurgens.

4 Liri Lee is the only female member of the Linear Men. I probably don't need to tell you, but she was created by Dan Jurgens for Superman #59. She takes the name Linear Woman in Time Masters: Vanishing Point #6 (by... oh, you know). That may take place in a different reality or at a different point in Liri Lee's future chronology than the events of Generations: Shattered. The biggest problem with hanging out at Vanishing Point is that time and space don't have meaning anymore.

5 This isn't the first time O'Connell has been seen since his "death" in Adventures of Superman #478 (by Dan Jurgens), and there are many well-intentioned websites that appear to confuse O'Connell and Hunter, which is understandable. (Heck, I did it myself when I first listed my annotations for the issue, and I obviously know better.) Both O'Connell and Hunter share a 1990s affinity for shoulder pads, pointless belts, and cybernetic parts. And, of course, they are both Dan Jurgens creations. Rule of thumb: if he has black hair and a holster, it's O'Connell; white hair, Hunter.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: characters dan jurgens fernando passin gail simone generations hunter jesus merino john romita jr linear man linear men liri lee mike norman rayak the ravager rip hunter ryak the scout waverider

Monday, January 25, 2021

Rejected

If you didn't read BleedingCool.com over the weekend, you may have missed the notification that the original art for the cover of Formerly Known as the Justice League #6 (2004), featuring Booster Gold and Blue Beetle, is up for auction today at Heritage Auctions (HA.com).

Unpublished original cover art by Kevin Maguire and Joe Rubenstein for Formerly Known as the Justice League #6; imaged by Heritage Auctions, HA.com

Now, if you're the sort with an attention to detail and a good memory, you might have noticed a few small differences between this unpublished art and the final printed cover which has Booster much more front and center. As much as I love the original piece, I do think that the published cover sells the gag better.

As you can see at the top of the art itself, the piece was drawn by Kevin Maguire, who is responsible for drawing more Booster Gold comics than any artist other than Dan Jurgens, and Joe Rubenstien, who is credited with inking more Booster Gold comics than any artist other than Norm Rapmund. Jurgens and Rapmund, of course, worked on most issues of Booster Gold Volume 2, in case you didn't know.

By the way, this is hardly the only time that Maguire's art would fail to make a final cover on a Booster Gold project. This was the originally solicited art for the cover of Booster Gold Volume 2 #37 (2010) that never made it to press:

© DC Comics

I'm rarely one to complain about Dan Jurgens and Jerry Ordway art, but in that instance, I do think the solicited art is more eye catching than what's actually on the cover. (Though, to be fair, I place most of that blame on the colorist's choice of unsavory yellow tints. Oh, well. To each his own.)

In any event, more Booster Gold art is always better than less, wouldn't you agree? (Thanks to J for making sure I saw this.)

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: art bleedingcool.com covers dan jurgens ha.com jerry ordway joe rubinstein kevin maguire norm rapmund original art

Monday, January 11, 2021

Grinding the Rumor Mill

Over the weekend, Rob Snow wrote in to say

There was an intriguing teaser dropped on Bleeding Cool about Future States Gold Beetle.
Any clue?

Nothing concrete, but I like where your head is, Rob.

The teaser Rob mentions was in the article "91 Rumours, Gossip, Teases About DC Comics Future State for 2021." Number 90 on that list is

Who is… Gold Beetle in Future State?

I wish I knew. DC Comics has had Blue Beetles, Red Beetles, and Black Beetles, so there's no reason to think that Gold Beetle has anything to do with Booster Gold. But it might.

At this point, I should point out that there is no evidence in any of DC's promotional material to date that this Gold Beetle even exists (or will exist), much less that it has anything to do with the future of everyone's favorite comedic crime-fighting team. Adjust your hopes for a previously unannounced Booster Gold appearance in any of the next two months' worth of DC comics accordingly.

Booster's next know appearance is on the cover of Infinite Frontier in March. If anyone spots our hero in any of the Future State comics before then, please let us know.

UPDATE 2021-01-15: Mystery solved! Booster booster Shawn Baston notes that Gold Beetle is on the cover of April's Flash #769. More on that later.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: bleedingcool.com blue beetle future state gold beetle infinite frontier rob snow rumors

Monday, December 7, 2020

Catching Up on Solicitations

I've already covered Booster Gold's appearance in the upcoming Generations Forged (due February 23), but that's not the only BG appearance included in DC's February solicitation as provided by GamesRadar.com.

First up is the collected edition of Booster's recent guest-starring role in Batman Beyond #47, #48, and #49:

BATMAN BEYOND VOL. 8: THE ERADICATION AGENDA TP
written by DAN JURGENS art by SEAN CHEN, SEAN PARSON, PAUL PELLETIER, and NORM RAPMUND
In the final volume of Batman Beyond, Batman and Batman Beyond meet at least, with Booster Gold caught in the middle! But first, Terry McGinnis forges an uneasy alliance with Damian Wayne in order to stop Mr. Zero and his radical faction from turning Gotham City into an ice-covered hellscape. To set things right, Batman, Damian, and Batwoman Beyond must declare war on the League of Assassins! And one more thing: Inque returns, posing as Batman and wreaking havoc in Gotham City! Collects Batman Beyond #43-50.
On sale March 16, 2021

But that's not all!

FLASHPOINT: THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OMNIBUS HC
written by GEOFF JOHNS, SCOTT SNYDER, JEFF LEMIRE, JAMES ROBINSON, BRIAN AZZARELLO, DAN JURGENS, PETER MILLIGAN, JIMMY PALMIOTTI, ADAM GLASS, DAN ABNETT, and others art by ANDY KUBERT, FRANCIS MANAPUL, DAN JURGENS, EDUARDO RISSO, MIKEL JANíN, BEN OLIVER, SCOTT KOLINS, RAGS MORALES, and others The event that reshaped the DC Universe, now collected in its entirety in one massive omnibus edition! Barry Allen works for the Central City Police Department, where he's solved numerous criminal cases. As the Flash, he protects the innocent and battles evil. He is the Fastest Man Alive! Or he was...
Barry Allen wakes up to a world that is not his own. A place where his mother was never killed...and the Flash never existed. This altered universe is on the brink of a cataclysmic war. No human has ever wielded the Green Lantern's light, and no one has ever heard of Superman. Batman has as much blood on his hands as his enemies do, and America's last hope is Cyborg. Powerless and alone, Barry Allen desperately tries to hold on to his memories of the reality that once was. If there is any hope of setting things right, he must convince this world's strange, dangerous heroes to help him fix what was broken.
This omnibus collects
Flashpoint #1-5, Booster Gold #44-47, The Flash #9-12, Flashpoint: Reverse-Flash #1, Flashpoint: Abin Sur the Green Lantern #1-3, Flashpoint: Emperor Aquaman #1-3, Flashpoint: Batman Knight of Vengeance #1-3, Flashpoint: Citizen Cold #1-3, Flashpoint: The World of Flashpoint #1-3, Flashpoint: Deadman and the Flying Graysons #1-3, Flashpoint: Deathstroke and the Curse of the Ravager #1-3, Flashpoint: Lois Lane and the Resistance #1-3, Flashpoint: The Outsider #1-3, Flashpoint: Secret Seven #1-3, Flashpoint: The Canterbury Cricket #1, Flashpoint: Wonder Woman and the Furies #1-3, Flashpoint: Kid Flash Lost #1-3, Flashpoint: Project Superman #1-3, Flashpoint: Frankenstein and the Creatures of the Unknown #1-3, Flashpoint: Green Arrow Industries #1, Flashpoint: Grodd of War #1, Flashpoint: Hal Jordan #1-3, Flashpoint: The Legion of Doom #1-3.
On sale April 20, 2021 | $150.00 | 1,504 PAGES

Whew! That's a lot of comics in one book. I recommend reading it at a table. If you try to read it in your lap, you might lose circulation in your legs.

And, since we were very recently on the subject, I should mention that BleedingCool.com has uncovered that a new edition of Bizarro Comics is coming in the summer:

BIZARRO COMICS THE DELUXE EDITION
Comic icons come together to tell the strange and wonderful tales of BIZARRO! The tales of Superman's twisted doppelganger, BIZARRO, are collected in this brilliant deluxe edition format! Follow along as Bizarro decides to publish his own comics from BIZARRO COMICS HC #1 and through the strange and wonderful tales told in BIZARRO WORLD!
On sale June 22, 2021

(Bleeding Cool also alerts us to an upcoming 10th Anniversary collection for the New 52 relaunch due in August, but so far it looks like it will just be a select few titles and will not include Booster Gold's Justice League International. I'll be sure to let you know if that changes.)

Obviously none of those are new Booster Gold appearances, but I'm sure many of these books will introduce Booster to new audiences, and that's a good thing, too.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: batman beyond bizarro comics bleedingcool.com flashpoint gamesradar.com solicitations

Friday, November 6, 2020

Losing Restored History

On October 7, 2019, I wrote (based on news from HollywoodReporter.com):

"DC finally plans to release their comprehensive Rebirth continuity in 2020. That's a mere 9 years after they threw out decades of character development in a bid to boost sales."

Well, guess what DC's plans are for 2021?

"It now appears as though DC's comic book line could be abandoning the idea of a single, shared continuity in favor of a multiverse / metaverse / omniverse model in which each individual comic will have its own story to tell, without much concern for what's going on in other titles across the publishing line."

So says Russ Burlingame at ComicBook.com. This merry-go-round is starting to make me dizzy.

Burlingame's report is based on a post from BleedingCool.com, which qualifies DC's plan thusly:

But what the DC Omniverse will mean is greater creative freedom, less interference by editors (or publishers), and no one saying "you can't use that character, they died in City of Bane/got lost in a Dark Dimension/went evil and currently approaching Gotham, slowly, with all her plants."

Longtime readers of Boosterrific.com know that I consider "continuity" to be a synonym for "character development." If DC fractures their Universe into an Omniverse, instead of having one dynamically developing Booster Gold character with a single continuity threading through many stories, there will be an infinite number of Booster Golds, each with his own continuity of appearances. That doesn't sound very simple to me. Unless they intend for there to be one static Booster Gold character who never learns anything or does anything new. I can't wait to spend money monthly on that.

But this plan would save DC Comics the cost of paying salaries to all those editors. I wonder how much longer until they can get robots to draw the panels?

Comments (3) | Add a Comment | Tags: bleedingcool.com comicbook.com continuity hollywoodreporter.com rumors russ burlingame


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