Brovember Day 29 – Blue Beetle and Booster Gold
Savor the sweet taste of Brovember, for it is fleeting! And like the McRib, it won’t be back for quite some time.
Today’s entry in the Brovember Hall of Fame comes from the greatly underrepresented world of DC Comics! We’ve had a good number of Marvel bromances so far this month, but we’ve as yet failed to touch upon the main continuity of the Distinguished Competition (Preacher was published by the Vertigo imprint). And while this one isn’t exactly Batman and Superman in terms of brand recognition, the depths of the friendship explored today make the Batcave look like an anthill in comparison. Naturally, I’m speaking of that wonderful duo…
BLUE BEETLE AND BOOSTER GOLD
The Justice League of America is DC’s most prestigious superhero organization. In fact, until a few years ago it would more than likely have been the most widely known superhero team to the layman, it features some of the biggest names in the superhero community. We’re talking about an elite collection of the DC Universe’s finest and most iconic figures, here. You’ve got Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, and Green Lantern under the same roof, and that’s just a taste of the lineup. And then came the 1980s. Don’t get too excited, though… the Detroit era of the Justice League were some dark, dark days from which no viable Bromances could be salvaged. No, we’d have to move a few years forward to the Justice League International years to find the League’s most famous pair.
In the wake of the Legends crossover event, severeral of the traditional Justice League characters’ solo series were undergoing revamps, and DC chose to feature a new lineup in the newly launched Justice League series. This series set itself apart from the gritty majority of late 1980s comics in that it set out to be a light-hearted, comedic book. The roster was made up of a few old school Leaguers, several legacy heroes, and a few new additions to the DC Universe. Blue Beetle fell into the last of those three categories, acquired by DC after the collapse of Charlton Comics. Ted Kord, a brilliant inventor, was a powerless hero who relied on gadgets of his own design.
Booster Gold was a relatively new character who joined the League a few issues into this series. Jon Carter was a disgraced athlete-turned-security guard in the 25th Century who, in a Biff Tannen style get rich quick scheme, went back in time to the 20th Century. However, without Gray’s Sports Almanac at his disposal, he was forced to rely on a Legion of Super Heroes flight ring and force field generator. His plan went thusly:
Step 1: Go back in time and establish a brand as a popular super hero.
Step 2: ?
Step 3: Profit!
So, once Booster Gold joined the team, these two became fast friends. Ted Kord was a timid genius and Jon Carter a boorish blowhard, but that didn’t stop them from bonding on and off the job. As was typical of this Justice League series, they’d often find themselves in scenarios more typical of a cheesy sitcom than a superhero comic, but it was just what the doctor ordered. This run of the book, written by Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis and initially illustrated by Kevin Maguire, ranks high among the most popular incarnations of the team.
Sadly, all good things must come to and end. Shortly after the end of their time on the Justice League proper, Ted and Jon were founding members of the awful 1990s team Extreme Justice. While that obviously didn’t last very long, things would only ending getting worse for these BFFs. In the preamble one-shot Countdown to Infinite Crisis, Blue Beetle was shown to uncharacteristically competent. Unfortunately, his expert detective work earned him a bullet in the head from Max Lord, the boys’ old boss from the Justice League days.
Even Booster Gold’s predilection for time travel couldn’t heal the wound that Ted’s death dealt. While he did get a chance to meet his old friend again before the end of DC’s pre-Flashpoint continuity, he couldn’t risk saving his life. However, in the pages of Forever Evil we’ve learned that there is a Ted Kord in the New 52 continuity, so there’s a chance that we’ll see more Blue and Gold adventures in days to come, after all!
Brovember is nearly at a close, please do check in tomorrow (and every day ever for that matter) to see what we have in store!
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