Booster Gold #33
This month's The Gold Exchange is a little late-but there's a good reason that we'll get into later. Co-writer J.M. DeMatteis returns to us this month, discussing Booster Gold #33 and our hero's trip to the past, where he dons the ol' collared shirt and rejoins his pals in the Justice League International. Heading to the recent past, Booster makes a beeline for the JLI embassy, where hopes to find physical evidence of Maxwell Lord's existence that's unaffected by the worldwide (apparently, from this issue, universe-wide) mindwipe Lord performed to make himself disappear from everyone's sight and memory. Before that, though, readers got to see Booster take down a supervillain and dress down a superhero in the person of the Justice League's Cyborg, who ran afoul of Booster by referring to the JLI as "screw-ups."
As a side note, that particular monologue delighted me not only because the JLI deserves protecting, but because the character went so far as to refer to the current Justice League as "the REAL Justice League," a pretty bizarre and terrible reference given that the current JLA book is horrible and full of mediocre characters.
The Gold Exchange: So-The Boppy thing. Rip's father is, as we know, from the 25th Century and the girl who says he looks like her grandfather, she's from the 30th. Any chance we'll find out that those people in #31 were really "supposed" to die and that Rani made it out because she's essential to the Time Master legacy?
J.M. DeMatteis: To be perfectly honest, the only thing I was thinking about when I came up with the "Boppy" gag was just that...a fun joke for Rip and Rani. I wasn't thinking about any deeper connection. That said: Hmmmm...
GX: What's that thing she's playing with? I feel like most of the things in Rip's lab probably shouldn't be played with by small children...!
JMD: It's a Quasi-quantum anti-molecular kirbytronic fantasmagajerick. You can get them at any Toys R Us-and they're perfectly safe. Except for the lead content. And the small pieces you could accidentally swallow. And the little switch that detonates the black matter bomb.
GX: Brigadoom seems pretty ridiculous...but exactly like the kind of villain you'd have met in the Silver Age. Is he new to this issue or something you've dug up and reused a la the Atlas character currently being used in the Super-books?
JMD: We had another villain in there originally and, for reasons known only to The Powers That Be, we were told not to use him. Keith, demented genius that he is, quickly came up with Brigadoom, and I just as quickly came up with his ridiculous dialogue. Which is why Brigadoom will inevitably go on to become one of the greatest villains in DC history (either that or he'll be shot in the head by Maxwell Lord).
GX: Is Booster's "as long as they get my name right" comment a particular nod to the ongoing pattern of people calling him "Buster Gold" during the early parts of the book's run (and the original run by Jurgens, as well)?
JMD: Wasn't the intention, but, hey, if it works, we'll take the credit!
GX: Was Booster's speech just something that needed to happen? It seems like Cyborg talking about the "real" Justice League is bizarre considering that the only incarnation of the League he's been in is the current Justice League of Scabs and Subs. Was there a reason it was Vic chosen for this scene or was it just because he worked well with the "flirting with Skeets" jokes?
JMD: The general attitude among characters in the DCU these days is that the JLI was something of a joke. Which, of course, they weren't. They told jokes, they acted like idiots, goofed around and teased each other mercilessly...but that never stopped them from getting the job done. When push came to shove, they always came through...against some pretty formidable opponents. I guess Booster was just fed up with listening to the put-downs.
JMD: I think we can safely assume that Keith and I agree with Booster on this one. That said, the outburst was very much in character for him, it wasn't inserted just to please us. (Okay, it was inserted just to please Keith, proving, once again, that I'm far more mature and professional than he is.)
GX: If Max's mindwipe didn't work on the JLI because they were out of range of the attack in Lord's building, how did he get to Rip at Vanishing Point?
JMD: Ask Keith, he plots these things. Me, I just put words in those little bubbles.
GX: Obviously next issue it's been solicited that Booster will get confused for himself...will J'Onn be absent or will we just see more suspicion on his part?
GX: Ahh, time-travel. How else would we ever get that hideous Black Canary costume back into circulation?
JMD: Keith still wears his all the time. And, damn, he looks good in it!
GX: I like that Max bought Booster's philosophical take on the JLI-but is that for real, or an indication that "our" Max has gotten his hooks into him?
JMD: As far as I'm concerned, his reaction was sincere. But Max himself might have a different answer.
JMD: A butterfly with a smile under it is ominous to you? I think sleep-deprivation has upset your brain chemistry. You should stop reading comics till your new baby is at least a year old.GX: So, the butterfly-are we going to find out that Rani didn't, in fact, draw that? After confirming with her that she'd drawn the pony on the board, Hunter just kinda assumed that the much more ominous image came from the kid.
And yes, folks, that's why The Gold Exchange was late this month; I've been pretty preoccupied since the birth of my son, Daniel Bruce Burlingame (yes, his first name is influenced by Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens...want to make something of it?), who's pictured here in an outfit I made for him (yeah, my sewing skills could use some work)
Russell Burlingame is a journalist and columnist living and working in New York City. In high school, Russell interviewed Elliot S. Maggin for a review of the Kingdom Come novelization, and since then has worked consistently in and around the comics industry. He interned for Wizard magazine, and has freelanced for Wizard and Newsarama, in addition to a number of non-comics publications, Russell is currently working on a graphic novel based on Cap'n Internet, the comic strip that ran in his college newspaper; and a graphic biography of folk singer Phil Ochs with artist Marion Vitus.
Currently, in addition to his freelance work and his comics projects, Russell writes a number of columns for ComicRelated, including Conscientious Sequentials, The Gold Exchange, What's Perhappenin', Closing Statements, Reflecting 'Pool and To See or Not To See.
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