Booster Gold (1986) #2 cover
This issue’s story is largely about the fact that in issue #1, Booster Gold failed while fighting Mindancer. He failed publicly, and the media is eating him alive. A lot of people who are involved in Booster’s life as it is a commercial product are pretty ticked off at him because of this. Booster does a have a few folk that are sympathetic to him, but overall, he is feeling alone. He tells Skeets: “I went into this thinking about the money and the celebrity. I knew the media was going to make me – but I never realized they’d just as soon break me. We’re a little out of place here, Skeets and we can’t even go home.”
Mindancer was able to take STARs satellite guidance system from Booster without too much trouble. Booster and Skeetz realize this and attempt, in this issue to deal with Mindancer in such a way that they can avoid the same mistakes. However, it seems the villains have developed a new strategy, too, involving Blackguard destroying Skeets. Mindancer is clearly the more formidable opponent of the two, such that even those who have hired Mindancer and Blackguard are exasperated with Blackguard’s own failings.
The question on the cover: Can Booster defeat Mindancer and Blackguard before Skeets is destroyed? — isn’t answered in this issue. You gotta keep on reading to find out.
I continued my DC Universe catch-up reading this afternoon starting with 52 issue #8.
The cover was done by J. G. Jones and is fairly representative of the storyline inside the issue. I don’t dislike the cover, but it certainly won’t go in my favorite covers list anytime soon. The cover reminds me vaguely of vintage industry posters. That’s John Henry holding the sledgehammer, with Lex Luthor on the left. The upper right is, I think, a portrayal of statues found in a Cult of Connor hideout in Star City.
I liked the tension – misunderstanding between John Henry and his niece, Natasha. Natasha is a really cool character – given to the typical teenage impulsive behavior on one hand, but on the other she’s totally dedicated to her goal of being a hero. There aren’t many teenage girls willing to spend long hours in the basement creating their own armor. Its easy for the reader to see her frustration when she discovers a connection between her uncle and Lex Luthor’s new “metagene” program.
I also like the little “mystery” behind the new hero who is quietly rescuing people from danger. Its amusing how its affecting Booster Gold. Also, I was tickled by the one incident where the new hero saves a child at the beach – the child’s mother is wearing a Wonder Woman costume swimsuit. This tickled me and I spent a moment considering what a beach would look like if it was “dress like a superhero” day or something. Of course the cameo of Clark Kent interviewing Booster Gold – and Skeets – is pretty fun, too.
Overall, I liked the issue because it moved the story along – which, really, is the point of the 52 volume.
Booster Gold (1986) #1 cover
I was practically forced to read about Booster Gold because I was reading DC’s famous 52 series. I remembered that I owned this first issue from 1986 and decided to take a look at it. I discovered that its the first appearance of Booster Gold ever. And this issue, at least, was both written and drawn by Dan Jurgens. I was definitely more interested after knowing these facts. It is noteworthy that this series starts in early 1986, when DC was releasing their Crisis on Infinite Earths event. The perfect time to focus on a b-lister, new hero. Also, comic sales (especially for DC) were probably relatively high.
The main thing that you learn about Booster in this issue is that he is a showman. This guy is always muggin’ for the camera, trying to situation himself for media coverage, and willing to saturate the commercial industry with his image and whomever he promotes. Overall, that probably got some of those original 1986 readers a little miffed. Who the heck does this blond, self-absorbed fool think he is? One of the only other things that we learn about Booster is that he has a heck of a time with idioms and slang.
Skeets looks interesting. What is this football-like flying robot that is often admonishing Booster? Alas, future issues will have to hold that secret, because Booster has to fight Blackguard (who actually is more of a green guard). Blackguard is one of those charming villains who tells you that he’s gonna beat you up before he actually does it. And he’s got his knick-knacks, an “energy ring and shield,” which he uses pretty much the same as a regular shield and mace.
In 2010, its almost a novelty to go back and read this issue. But if this were 1986, and I was at a comic book store, would I buy this issue? And would I buy any issues in the series after this one? Its a tough call. Booster is annoying and arrogant. On the other hand, there is this “uniqueness” to him that is necessary for the survival of characters in comics. I suppose I would have probably picked up an issue or two, but not because the storyline in this one was all that fascinating. The character is just obnoxious enough for me to want to learn just a little more. Or… maybe… Skeets is just that cool.