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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New-ish Release: The Man of Gold

First of all, today's feature isn't exactly a new release; it was published 3 weeks ago. But given that Booster Gold doesn't seem to exist in the DCnU right now, we'll have to take what we can get. Lucky for us, what we can get is a delightful easy reader for second graders that is at least as entertaining as anything DC Comics has published in the DCnU to date.

The Man of Gold at

The Man of Gold by Paul Weissburg and accomplished Batman: Gotham Adventures artist Tim Levins is not a comic, but a 5-inch by 7-inch book with illustrations. There's a lot to like in the book's simple, direct prose narrative of how Booster Gold's drive for fame and glory soon threatens both Superman and the safety of the Metropolis itself. While Booster's origin herein may not be exactly what Dan Jurgens wrote, this Booster's personality isn't too far afield from what we saw in his earliest comic book appearances. This Booster is a jerk with a heart of gold.

Booster's primary antagonist in this adventure is the Jack Kirby-created Stompa, a member of Granny Goodness' Female Furies of Apokolips. Despite both characters having decades-long careers in comic books, this is the first encounter between the pair. Their refreshing face-off results in a battle which sees Booster's force field creatively used as an offensive weapon.

Because this book was designed to encourage children to read via the Advanced Reader system in the classroom, it ends with Discussion Questions. Question 3 encourages readers to explain which of the book's 10 illustrations is their favorite. Tim Levin's JLU-inspired art deserves the attention. Detail-oriented readers may spot that Booster wears the collar-less version of his classic power suit in the published book, but Tim Levins' original art online at his Deviant Art page has the more familiar collared powersuit that Booster has worn in all of Justice League Unlimited appearances. The book doesn't have any Discussion Questions encouraging thoughts about the motivation for this change.

Original Man of Gold art by Tim Levins

This book is just one in a series of similar books published under the DC Super Heroes license by Capstone Publications (who also re-publish DC Comics with "durable hardcover" bindings for grade school libraries). While your Local Comic Shop may not carry "real" books, you can find a copy of this book at I'd like to see DC publish 81 pages of story for $5.95! Thanks to Eyz for bringing this book to my attention.

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