SDCC '08 - Remender & Co: On 'Booster Gold'
[Editor's note - The original version of this article incorrectly stated this creative team as the new regular writer. This team will be doing a two-issue story-arc.]Booster Gold has a long history in the DC Universe, being the first major character debuting after the reboot of the DC Universe in Crisis on Infinite Earths. From his own solo series to becoming a member of the Justice League. The events of 52 and Countdown reinvigorated the character, and in 2007 Booster returned with a new solo series that finds Booster with a new mission in life – time traveler, sorting out the havoc left by 52 and Countdown. Far from the celebrity superhero he originally he's now part of a group that includes Rip Hunter, Skeets and Goldstar.
The series was originally helmed by writers Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz along with artists Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund. After the writing pair announced they were leaving the book with issue #10, Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund stated they would stay on the book which would be written by a series of guest writers. News comes today that writer Rick Remender, penciller Pat Oliffe and inker Jerry Ordway would be making a two-issue stint with Booster Gold #13 & #14. For more, we talked with the trio moments before San Diego Comicon.
NRAMA: Thanks for talking to us, guys. Let's start with you Rick -- When you say Booster Gold, you know there's a bit of comedy in there - he isn't the grim and gritty type. What's in store here, Rick?
Rick Remender: Booster might not be a classically gritty character but I like to think of characters as three-dimensional beings that deal with situations differently depending on the severity of the problems they face. I don’t know one human being who is constantly chipper or aloof in all circumstances. How we deal with the situations we’re placed in certainly dictates our character and I like to think beneath Boosters constant light hearted goofing he takes the hero gig pretty seriously, especially given the weight of his current mission. If he didn’t take the current situation seriously he’d be irresponsible and none-to-heroic in my eyes.
NRAMA: Is the gang all here - Booster, Rip, Goldstar and Skeets?
RR: Yeah, it’s the full cast. They’re a fun family to write. It interesting to Booster, normally the self centered goof-off, playing the role of teacher to Goldstar with Rip as the grand patriarch.
NRAMA: Enough beating around the bush…. what's the story about?
RR: We’re opening up a huge can of worms in this arc. Imagine the trouble Rip Hunter could cause if he was taken over by Starro… a metric ton of bad. Booster is getting tired, his new mission to repair all the damage caused by the numerous Crisis’ is endless and torturously confusing.
He’s in the midst of training a new member of his team when a mistake made by a family member delivers Rip Hunter right into the tentacles of Starro. As Starro-Rip travels through human history spreading face hugging Starro clones Booster does his best to follow and undo the damage.
NRAMA: Starro and Booster Gold - an epic encounter, and oddly matching. How would you describe the two forces, boxing main event style?
RR: We’re giving Starro his ultimate weapon, a time master. Think about it, Starro clones blanketing the Earth before there is anyone to stop him. Humanity taken over before we even developed the wheel. This is a gigantic problem for Booster and one that demands he be on his "A" game. We will eventually see Booster up against the Conqueror himself but not in the way you might expect.
NRAMA: In the solicits for #13, the ending line is "Booster Gold vs. The Entire DCU". That's a battle I'd like to see - can you give us a taste of who he'll lock horns with?
RR: Let’s just say Starro gets his mitts on some heavy hitters. I’m touching on a bit of what was set up in my run on All-New Atom, some heavy hitters are brought into this and it’ll have some long lasting repercussions for the future of the DCU. We see a world seemingly dominated by Starro but there are other time masters in the background manipulating the stage.
NRAMA: Let's talk to Pat now. From what I've heard about these issues, you really get to stretch your art muscles here with a variety of things to draw. If you had to pick one > thing that was the most exciting, what would that be?
Pat Oliffe: Well to be honest, I'm most looking forward to drawing Chronos and Lady Chronos again. I loved drawing those characters in The Atom and was sorry we didn't get more of an opportunity to showcase them, so getting this chance to handle them again is great! Of course Booster was one of my favorite characters from my time on 52 so drawing him should be fun. There are some other characters and scenes I'm very much looking forward to but I can't really say much about them at this point, but trust me there is some great stuff coming up in our arc!
NRAMA: > This a creative continuation with what Rick and Pat did recently on The All-New Atom. Pat, What's it like to stick with Rick for this new assignment?
PO: I'm looking forward to it. I think Rick and I clicked pretty quickly on The Atom, sometimes it takes a while for a penciler and writer to find the same rhythm. Fortunately I haven't found that to be the case with Rick.
Plus, he just writes a great story! Continuing on with the Booster arc just gives us more opportunity to work better as a team.
NRAMA: You're more than just a writer, Rick - you've drawn and inked your fair share of comics in your time. So that makes the fact that Jerry Ordway is joining the team as inker a sweet treat indeed. What's that like?
RR: I’ve got a list of heroes who I dream of working with. This year I’ve been lucky enough to work with a good few of them, Jerry being the cherry on top. Jerry is an A list penciller, he’s as good as they come, which is why he’s such an amazing inker. The best inkers can also draw like titans and that’s Jerry. I’m a ridiculous fan and to see him and Pat together is going to be a treat for everyone. I doubt you’ll find a better-looking book on the stands when it hits. I’d love to find a way to lock Pat and Jerry in a room and force them to draw my ideas forever; in fact I’m currently looking into the legality of such a situation.
NRAMA: And you, Pat?
PO: Very exciting and very intimidating!!! I'm a big fan of Jerry's and when I found out he was available and was willing to ink the project I was thrilled to say the least. Jerry is enormously talented and a true professional. I'm looking at this as a learning opportunity for me as well as a chance to have Jerry make me look good!
NRAMA: We can't talk about the man without having the man talk back. Jerry, what say you?
Jerry Ordway: I am not privy to many details, but I loved their work on the The All-New Atom, and have followed both guy's work for years. I inked a few of Dan Jurgens’ covers on the original run of Booster Gold in the 1980's because I was a fan of the series then.
NRAMA: We've found a true fan indeed. Before we go, let's get your thoughts on this -- Booster Gold's got a bit of history in the DCU, and his new mission in the new series really puts him in the thick of it. What do you think of Booster's place in it all?
JO: Well, I like to look at Booster as a character that endured because everyone always underestimated him, both in the fiction as well as the comic publishing biz. His role in the new series kind of reinforces the fact that Booster has been integral to many key moments in DC history, thanks to Dan, and later on, the Justice League writers. I'm happy for Dan, who has been a good friend for many years, that the new series has been so successful. And now I get to work on a two part story! Yay!