Back to the Past: Dan Jurgens On "Booster Gold"

Thu, December 11th, 2008 at 2:46pm PST

Comic Books
Doug Zawisza, Reviewer

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On sale now, "Booster Gold" #15 begins Dan Jurgens' run as writer

With a little help from the future, Dan Jurgens is jumping back to his past and bringing along his old pal Booster Gold. The re-launch of DC Comics’ "Booster Gold" that spun out of "52" under the tandem pen of Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz brought Dan Jurgens back to the drawing table to render one of his most notable creations – Skeets.

Well, "Booster Gold" volume 2 also included Skeets' companion and owner, another Jurgens creation – Michael Jon "Booster Gold" Carter.

Aligned with Rip Hunter, Booster finds himself in the series tasked with fixing the anomalies in the space/time continuum that were caused by a rampaging Mr. Mind (of SHAZAM! Fame) in “52.” The initial year of time-traveling adventures took Booster back to a time when the villain Sinestro was still the greatest Green Lantern, and Booster also got a taste of just how difficult the river of time can be to change when he tried to save Barbara “Batgirl” Gordon from her paralyzing fate, and Ted “Blue Beetle” Kord from his own demise.

Through all of that, Jurgens worked closely with writers Johns and Katz, ably handling the art for a solid run of twelve issues (issues #1-10 with a #0 and a #1,000,000) in twelve months’ time – which is rather unheard of nowadays. When it was announced that Johns & Katz would be leaving the title, Jurgens seemed like a shoe-in to inherit his characters once again. Except Chuck Dixon stepped in to pen a pair of issues. After Dixon, Rick Remender also popped by. Eventually, however, Jurgens was rewarded the mantle of storyteller for "Booster Gold", writing and drawing the series as he did the first time Booster Gold met comic book fans back in 1985.

With Jurgens’ new run as writer beginning with this week’s “Booster Gold” #15, he agreed to share some time and insight with CBR News.

"Booster Gold" #16 on sale in January

Asked to compare his work the current title to the first time he was writing/drawing "Booster Gold," Jurgens told CBR, "I think it's fair to say I have a much stronger skill set now. When I first started 'Booster Gold' I'd only written a handful of stories and was still trying to find my voice."

Having served as both the writer and artist as well as solely tasked with art chores, Jurgens revealed that it isn't necessarily easier being the writer/artist nor the artist alone. "'Easier' isn't the right word. I think it's a little more cohesive,” he explained. “When you do both jobs there is less separation between the two. I don't think of it as two separate jobs."

While it may not be any easier or harder to handle more or fewer chores on a title, Jurgens does have some specific plans in mind for Booster Gold. It was established fairly early on in the title that Booster Gold would be the greatest hero no one’s ever heard of, saving the universe from temporal collapse without anyone knowing the wiser. Nevertheless, Booster does leave an imprint on the DC Universe, and people there know him and know of him.

"You'll see Booster become more involved with the DCU [going forward],” Jurgens confirmed. “For his adventures in the past to resonate, we have to make sure we have a strong connection with present events. He's supposed to be 'the greatest hero no one knows.' Most of the world, JLA included, is supposed to think of him as a buffoon. He's anything but and only Batman is in on the truth."

Having been so integral to the re-launch of the title, Dan Jurgens was notably absent in Remender's brief arc in “Booster Gold” #13-14. As to where Jurgens would be pulling threads from when his stint as writer begins, he said, "We will kick the Elongated Man story off with some elements that we put in place for Chuck [Dixon’s] story. There is a definite connection there."

"Booster Gold" #17 on sale in February

Solicits for this arc, “Reality Lost,” have shown Elongated Man and Enemy Ace on the covers, but Jurgens, careful not to spoil too much, did add, "We want to maintain some sense of surprise here but it's safe to say that you'll see Barry Allen. Part of the trick is making sure we do stories that mean something to Booster as well as the overall tapestry of the DCU. We do not want this to be 'guest of the month' comics."

Jurgens will also undertake a quest to establish a viable set of baddies for the hero from the future. "We are definitely intent on putting together a bit of a Rogues’ Gallery,” he said. “There are some very logical candidates for the position and you'll see them slowly assume that status."

Great characters are defined by their actions and strengthened by their foes, but frequently their supporting cast can be just as important. In the more recent issues of "Booster Gold," we've learned quite a bit about the Carter lineage, including the fact that Rip Hunter is, apparently, Booster Gold's son. Given that, would Jurgens be ready to reveal the rest of the story – who is Rip's mother? "I have a few ideas -- or even one in particular -- that I like,” he teased. “It would be a mistake to reveal that at present as there is so much more to first explore with the Booster/Rip connection."

Placed side by side with the first volume of “Booster Gold,” this current run has a number of differences, much of which has contributed to the title garnering the enormous praise it has. Jurgens gave this a bit of reflection, when pressed for the most important difference between this run and the original. "On the art level, it's nice to have the quality of coloring, seps and paper that we have now. In addition, Norm Rapmund's inks are gorgeous. He's vital to the book. In terms of writing it's to have Booster's history of 20+ years in the DCU. That has changed readers' perceptions for the better as he's not a total unknown."

As Dan Jurgens returned to his drawing board to continue producing issue #17 of "Booster Gold," CBR tried one last time to gain a glimpse into the future of Michael Carter. "Instead of announcing it here I'll tell you to look forward to ‘Booster Gold’ #17. We're going to tease some things there!"

“Booster Gold” #15 is on sale now from DC Comics.

TAGS:  booster gold, dan jurgens, dc comics, elongated man

 
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