Monday, July 30, 2018


Story & Pencils: John Byrne | Inks: John Byrne & Keith Williams
Coloring: Tom Ziuko | Lettering: John Costanza | Editing: Michael Carlin

Story & Pencils: Dan Jurgens | Inks: Roy Richardson
Letters: Steve Haynie | Colors: Gene D’Angelo | Editor: Barbara Randall

The Plot: (ACTION 594) On “Superman Day” in Metropolis, local hero Booster Gold goes on an anti-Superman crusade, demolishing a statue in the Man of Steel’s honor, speaking out against him at a press conference, and even kidnapping the mayor’s daughter to draw Superman out. When Superman finds Booster, they have a brief skirmish which sees the latter triumph over an unusually weak Superman. Then a second Booster Gold arrives, declaring the first to be an imposter.

(BOOSTER 23) Booster fights the imposter, eventually realizing it’s an android, and destroys it to find a small chunk of Kryptonite inside. Superman realizes Lex Luthor must be behind the charade, and a moment later Luthor dispatches an operative called Attack Dog One against Superman and Booster. Attack Dog One retrieves the Kryptonite with a small flying pod which leaves the scene of the fight. But with the Kryptonite gone, Superman finds himself back to full power. He easily defeats Attack Dog One and makes uneasy peace with Booster.

Sub-Plots & Continuity Notes: At the start of the story, Superman visits Batman in Gotham City to ask for his help analyzing the scrapbook which arrived in Clark Kent’s mail in SUPERMAN #9. This is notably the first time John Byrne has carried a sub-plot over from one series to another. (Main plots, like the Superboy and Darkseid sagas, yes — but not sub-plots).

There’s a cute bit during this scene where an awestruck Robin asks for Superman’s autograph, and the Man of Steel complies in his own way. Superman also notices that Batman seems a bit more human since taking on Robin as his sidekick.

Byrne again acknowledges the existence of Marv Wolfman’s ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN, as part of the faux Booster’s beef with the Man of Steel (which we later learn is shared by the real thing) involves the invasion of Qurac some months earlier.

Superman recalls fighting Booster before, but there’s no footnote stating where this happened. Similarly, early in the issue, Batman recalls his last encounter with Superman in ACTION COMICS ANNUAL #1, which is also not footnoted.

There are some sub-plots covered in BOOSTER GOLD 23 as well, which we won’t look at here since they have nothing to do with Superman, though I will note that Booster has apparently just returned from another dimension, is a member of the Justice League, doesn’t get along with the Man of Steel, and is quite wealthy with a publicly known identity. He also has been living in Metropolis for some time, but makes plans to leave as this story concludes.

During a party aboard Luthor’s yacht, the magnate is seen socializing with Bruce Wayne.

My Thoughts: I don’t know much about Booster Gold. I think my only real exposure to him was the JUSTICE LEAGUE UNLIMITED episode “The Greatest Story Never Told”. So I know he’s from the future and is kind of a glory-hog, but that’s about it. I’ve always thought he looked really cool, though. I’m a sucker for super slick/shiny-looking costumes!

This is an odd two-parter. The first chapter, by Byrne, introduces Booster Gold as if we should know who he is. He’s flying around Metropolis like he’s always been there, acting apparently out of character, though there’s not really anyone around to let us know this is the case.

…Well, that’s not entirely true. At one point a redheaded woman sees Booster flying and tries to get his attention, but he ignores her. Clearly she knows him, and is presumably important to him, but Byrne gives no indication of just who the young lady is supposed to be, and she vanishes from the issue after this brief appearance. It’s only in BOOSTER GOLD 23 that we learn her name is Trixie and she is, indeed a friend of Booster’s. Though even then, in Booster’s own book, we don’t get any indication of her relationship with him — or of the importance and roles of any of the other characters with whom he hangs out.

But that’s a problem for Booster’s own title, which we’re not really here to discuss. So instead, let’s take a brief moment to wonder why ACTION COMICS is crossing over with BOOSTER GOLD at all! Previously, the series was about done-in-one team-ups between the Man of Steel and other DC luminaries. The Darkseid story during “Legends” only crossed over with the other two Superman titles, and the Superboy/Pocket Universe saga featured elements from LEGION OF SUPER HEROES, but those issues weren’t required reading.

This, however, is a directly continued cliffhanger moving from ACTION to BOOSTER, totally different from the series’ M.O. up to this point. I’m not complaining; just wondering what caused this unusual quirk. Perhaps BOOSTER GOLD’s sales were floundering and DC wanted to try to, err… boost them with a Superman crossover? That’s about the best I can come up with, because for some reason — and I can’t quite put my finger on why — it’s hard for me to picture superstar John Byrne and young, up-and-coming Dan Jurgens putting their heads together for a crossover without their bosses ordering them to do it.

Mind you, I could be entirely mistaken on this, but the world may never know the truth.

Next Week: Superman meets Lori Lemaris in SUPERMAN #12 and battles Silver Banshee in ACTION COMICS #595.


  1. Super hero crossovers were getting into a new phase at the time: the X-Men were right off the Mutant Massacre and building up to Fall of the Mutants. I think the $ in BOO$TER GOLD title is a hint of the motivation.

    Had there been so many "continues in other book" crossover at the time? SPECTACULAR #42/FF #218; Byrne's own FF/Avengers with Annihilus...?

    1. Good point, Teemu. Now that you mention it, I'm not sure there had been a ton of direct continuations from one series to another yet at this point, though there certainly were some. NEW TEEN TITANS and BATMAN AND THE OUTSIDERS had one a few years earlier that I looked at a while back, and in the seventies, AMAZING SPIDER-MAN and NOVA did one. But it sure wasn't the norm.

    2. There was the Avengers/Defenders cross-over, which I believe was the first time such an inter-connected cross-over ever took place in comic books.

    3. Defenders actually was formed in such a crossover that started in DOCTOR STRANGE, continued in SUB-MARINER and ended in HULK; out of accidental necessity as DOCTOR STRANGE was cancelled in mid-story forcing Roy Thomas to finish the arc in his other books.

  2. The Booster Gold/Superman storyline interconnected by John Byrne and Dan Jurgens I certainly enjoyed reading up on. ^-^

  3. When Booster Gold debuted as the first new DC character after CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS, his origin story originally depended on elements of Superman's mythos that John Byrne planned to remove from continuity (the Superman Museum, Lex Luthor's power suit, Superboy's membership in the Legion of Super Heroes, etc.). The ACTION COMICS/BOOSTER GOLD crossover was Jurgens' reward for accommodating Byrne's revisions.

    1. Thanks for the info! When a guy named Boosterriffic shows up to educate me on Booster Gold, you better believe I listen!