SPOILER WARNING: The following page may contain story spoilers. Read at your own risk.
heroes: Batman, Blue Beetle II, Booster Gold, Captain Atom, Elongated Man, Fire, Green Lantern IV, Ice, Martian Manhunter, Mister Miracle
villaines: Brain, Deadline, Doctor Polaris, Doctor Sivana, Geoffrey Ffoukes, Killer Croc, Lord Havok, Manhunters, Monsieur Mallah, Overthrow, Penguin, Rumaan Harjavti, Weather Wizard
supporting: Maxwell Lord
Settings: 20th-century Bialya, DCU, Middle East; 20th-century New York, NY, USA
Cover Description: Blue Beetle reacts in horror as Captain Atom, Guy Gardner, and Martian Manhunter battle the Extremists. (No Booster Gold.)
Brief Synopsis: Booster Gold and Blue Beetle go undercover in Bialya.
Costume Worn: MARK I power-suit
Story Notes: There are several inconsistencies in the characterization of Booster during this story, which was published over a decade after it supposedly occurred.
Page 1, panel 1
As he makes his sales pitch for Bialya, Col. Ruuman Harjavti stands before a beach featuring several prominent DC Universe villains. Identifiable villains include Dr. Polaris, Dr. Sivana, Monsieur Mallah and the Brain, Mr. Freeze, Penguin, Poison Ivy, and Two-Face.
Page 3, panel 2
Booster Gold stands among fellow Justice Leaguers Blue Beetle II, Captain Atom, Green Flame, Guy Gardner, and Ice Maiden II for Batman's briefing regarding the situation in Bialya.
Page 4, panel 5
When Booster suggests that he and Beetle enter Bialya and steal the ill-gotten gains of the villains vacationing there, he convinces Beetle to join him by stating that successful completion of his plan will make Batman "like us." This characterization of Booster is erroneous in two ways. First, while this accurately depicts Booster's hero worship of Batman, in the early issues of Justice League International, Batman was actually very flattering of Booster. Secondly, it was often Beetle, not Booster, who came up with the duo's hair-brained schemes.
Page 6, panel 1
EXTRA, EXTRA: The front page of the Daily Planet newspaper features a story about Deathmetal and Bloodspot beating up Guy Gardner. Villains Deathmetal and Bloodspot are actually none other than Blue Beetle and Booster Gold, respectively. It is unlikely that this newspaper is an actual edition of the Daily Planet, as the printed story mentions that the pair of villains stole 1.7 million dollars from a bank before beating up Guy Gardner. Though the pair no doubt did beat up a willing Guy Gardner for the picture, the money was taken from Justice League International operating funds, not a bank robbery. (At least not a bank robbery in the traditional super villain sense; certainly the pair did illegally embezzle the money. Chronologically, this is the first time that the pair embezzled from the League.)
Page 11, panel 3
FIRST APPEARANCE: Captured by the Bialyan authorities during their attempted robbery of the First Laundro-Bank of Bialya, Beetle and Booster are told by Col. Harjarvti's security officer, Geoffrey Ffoukes, that they are to be caned. Caning, or beating with a wooden stick, is a traditional punishment in various parts of the world, and is not uncommon in the Middle East.
Page 13, panel 1
POWER DOWN: Booster's escape is thwarted by a Null Energy Box created by longtime Justice League nemesis T.O. Morrow. Like Booster, T.O. Morrow steals future technology, using the technology for personal gain. (Sometimes the line between heroes and villains is very thin.)
Page 17, panel 5
Freed from a Bialyan prison, Booster leaps into battle alongside the Justice League to clean up Bialya. In this panel, Booster and Gardern combat Deadline and the Weather Wizard. Since Deadline does not make his first appearance until Starman #15, released in October 1989, this is likely his first chronological appearance in the DC Universe.
Page 19, panel 1
Justice Leaguers Batman, Blue Beetle, Booster Gold, Captain Atom, Elongated Man, Green Flame, Guy Gardner, Ice Maiden II, Martian Manhunter, and Mister Miracle continue their fight against a myriad assortment of villains, including Dr. Polaris, Dr. Sinava, Killer Croc, Lord Havok, a Manhunter, Monsieur Mallah and the Brain, Overthrow, and Penguin, among unidentified others. The presence of Mister Miracle in this panel is an error. At the time of these events, Miracle was lost in deep space as a prisoner of the Cluster.
Page 22, panel 6
Scrubbing the bathroom floor as punishment for the temporary embezzlement of League funds, Booster suggests that the pair build a resort on the island of KooeyKooeyKooey. This comment is anachronistic, as the pair wouldn't hear of the island until after the alien invasion, which has yet to occur. (The island will be donated to the JLI in 1989's Justice League International Annual #3.) And it will be Beetle, not Booster, who has the brainstorm to create a club on the island.
For more annotations from this issue which occur at a different point in Booster Gold's chronology, click here.
Boosterrific Review: The two stories in this issue take place at two different points in the history of the Justice League. Each story is very entertaining, but each captures its necessary time period as inaccurately as the 1980s television show Happy Days depicts the early 1960s. The first story, "Buddies," successfully captures the characterization of the members of the early days of the Justice League International, but writer John Ostrander fails to strike the same chords as the earlier work of Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, remembered primarily for their unique humor. Not to say that this story isn't funny. It is; it just is not the same sort of funny. (More Seinfeld than Cheers.) "Authority," the second story in the issue and also by Ostrander, also fails to find an authentic vibe in a tale about the last days of Captain Atom's Extreme Justice team. This is less a fault of Ostrander, who again deserves credit for great characterization, than of artist Eric Battle, whose pencils are actually too good for an issue of Extreme Justice. As a whole, this issue is more of a nostalgia-tinged appreciation for the teams and stories of old than any attempt at period storytelling. And in this case, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Boosterrific Rating: Worth Its Weight In Gold.
The Chronological Adventures of Booster Gold
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