Giffen & DeMatteis Back to BOOSTER GOLD; ft. Ted Kord?

Giffen & DeMatteis Back to BOOSTER GOLD

Later this year, Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis, the writing team who first brought the character to prominence as a member of the Justice League, will be taking over Booster Gold with artist Chris Batista.  

Giffen broke the news Tuesday on Newsarama, adding shock to awe amidst news that the Justice League International is coming back within the pages of this spring's biweekly series Justice League: Generation Lost.

Today, Giffen and DeMatteis reveal a little more to Newsarama readers as we find out that the Metal Men co-feature they've been writing as a back-up to Doom Patrol is officially ending, and there just may be a Hero Squared television series in the works.

Plus, the two are apparently open to utilizing not only Ted Kord during their Booster Gold run, but other characters from the JLI, since Giffen revealed this title will "absolutely" bump up against the Justice League: Generation Lost series he's writing with Judd Winick.

The Booster Gold ongoing series was launched by co-writers Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz, with art by Dan Jurgens, in 2007 after the character gained a new fanbase thanks to the DC weekly series 52.  More recently, artist/writer Jurgens has taken the series over completely, continuing the antics of Booster as he was revealed as the hero who spawned the Time Masters, though Giffen has also done a fill-in issue.

Although DC has not announced exactly when Giffen and DeMatteis will take over the series (and Giffen jokingly says "DC told me but I forgot"), Newsarama talked to the pair of writers to find out more about their plans for the time-traveling hero.

Booster Gold #13 Cover, by Chris Batista

Nrama: Marc and Keith, the Booster Gold series has always been infused with humor, but is there going to be a change in tone when you guys take over?

Giffen: It's Giffen & DeMatteis. Yeah, it's exactly what you think it is.

DeMatteis: I think the instant Keith and I take over a book, the tone shifts; so, you can expect plenty of "Bwa-ha-ha"—but with an undercurrent of tragedy.

Giffen: That said, it's not going to be all Bwah-Ha-Ha. Booster's going to be put into some "serious-as-a-heart attack" situations as well as a few that are patently ludicrous. It's the way we roll. 

Nrama: Are you guys planning to be on the title for awhile?

DeMatteis: I'm the wrong guy to ask.  I thought I'd be on Justice League for a few months and ended up sticking around for five years.  Keith and I have talked about this a bit and there are enough ideas here to keep us going for years.  We'll see how it goes once we get started.

Giffen: As far as I'm concerned we're on it for the long haul.

Nrama: How did you guys get involved with Booster again? Were you looking for more projects outside Metal Men? Did you ask specifically for Booster?

Giffen: Dan approached me about Booster and it just snowballed from there.  We were perfectly content to ride Metal Men into the ground but apparently DC had other plans.

DeMatteis: For me, it was the usual thing.  Keith called me up and asked me if I wanted to co-write Booster with him.  (The truth is if Keith called me and asked if i'd co-write a BINKY revival with him, I'd say yes.  For me, the fun is in our collaboration even more than it is in the characters.)  

Back when we finished I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League, we were both pretty much done with those characters, so it was odd that, recently, I'd been thinking about JLI and what fun it would be to revisit them. Keith calling about Booster was perfect timing.

Nrama: Let's talk about Booster as a character. How has he changed since his JLI days? What's different about the modern Booster?

DeMatteis: I'll let you know as soon as I find out.  I'm totally out of the loop re:  current Booster Gold continuity. I really want to know what happened to his wife, Gladys!  

Giffen: He kinda went from our favorite knucklehead to the guardian of the DCU timeline. I don't know about maturity, but he's certainly got more responsibility.

Nrama: OK, you each have to answer this separately. Keith, top 10 words to describe Booster Gold?

Giffen: 10) Audacious, 9) Impulsive, 8) Frustrated, 7) Courageous, 6) Loyal, 5) Goggled, 4) Amiable, 3) Opportunistic, 2) Horny, 1) Low fat.

Nrama: Marc, your top 10 words to describe Booster Gold?

DeMatteis: What I love about Booster is that he's a mass of contradictions.  So: 10) Brilliant, 9) Stupid, 8) Arrogant, 7) Insecure, 6) Cynical, 5) Sentimental, 4) Loyal, 3) Focused, 2) Bewildered, 1) Horny.

Nrama: And Chris Batista is the artist on this?

Giffen: Chris Batista drew the short straw. Chris was on my short list of preferred artists so things worked out pretty well. Apparently, Chris is pretty excited about getting the gig. We'll soon see to that.

Nrama: Do you hope to keep the same supporting cast of Michelle, Daniel, Rose, Rip, Jaime and the beginnings of the Time Masters?

Giffen: Absolutely.

Nrama: There have been a lot of hints in this series that Ted Kord may be alive somehow. Without revealing anything, how do you feel about the character's death and the idea of bringing him back to life? Keith, knowing how hard you worked to establish a new Blue Beetle, what do you think of the possibility that Ted's alive?

Giffen: Ted is dead. Period. That said, Booster is a time traveler so, yes, Ted will be a regular player. Blue and Gold lives! Kinda...

DeMatteis: At the time, I wasn't happy with Ted's death, but that's ancient history now.  Besides, with a time-traveling main character, you don't have to resurrect dead Ted in order to feature him in the book.

Nrama: As a writing team that brings out the nostalgia among comic book fans, how do you balance their expectations of reliving the past with your desire to bring new ideas to the future of comics?

DeMatteis: I don't think it has anything to do with expectations.  In the end, it's about following the characters, letting them, letting the story, lead us on.  But the most important thing for me (and, I think, for Keith) is that we have a fantastic time working together. That's why we keep doing this:  because it's incredible fun.  

Giffen: We're still having fun. I think that's a big part of it.  The readers can tell when a creative team is having fun on a book and, hopefully, share in that fun.  As for reliving the past... I dunno.  We're just trying to tell the best stories we can.  Well, I am at least.

Nrama: Keith, you had stated that the biweekly mini-series you're doing with Judd Winick might "bump up" against some other books in the DCU. Would it be likely that this series would be one of them?

Giffen: Oh yeah.

Nrama: Are you two still going to be co-writing Metal Men co-feature? It's not mentioned in March's solicitation for Doom Patrol #8, and the price of that comic dropped to $2.99 in March.

Giffen: Nope. Metal Men ran its course and now it's on to Booster.

DeMatteis: The "Powers That Be" have decided that the Metal Men back-up is going away. Very disappointing, as we were just hitting our stride with the series.  I really fell in love with those characters; I miss them already. I'm hoping we can find a way to drag them into Booster's book.  

Nrama: Marc, what else do you have coming out?

DeMatteis: I've got a kids fantasy novel, Imaginalis, coming out in June, from HarperCollins, that I'm very excited about.  Continuing to work in animation (among other things, I've got a Brave and The Bold episode featuring the Doom Patrol coming up soon).  Some interesting comics projects in the pipeline (that I can't talk about just yet). Keith and I have a television project in the works that we can't "officially" talk about (but if you're a fan of Hero Squared, I think you'll be happy).  Still editor-in-chiefing for new publisher Ardden Entertainment (among other things, we recently launched Casper and The Spectrals and we've got another Flash Gordon mini-series coming up soon).  Recently launched a story consultant business with my friend Derek Webster and my son, Cody  (   And other fun stuff.  

Nrama: Keith, we know your DC exclusive schedule, with Magog, Justice League: Generation Lost, Doom Patrol and now Booster Gold. Are you going to have time for all these comics you're doing for DC?

Giffen: I still take weekends off so I don't think time's going to be an issue.

Nrama: Anything else you two want to tell fans about your upcoming co-writing gig on Booster Gold?

Giffen: Just want to thank Dan Jurgens for giving us a damn fine launching point. The kid's got talent.

DeMatteis: And I'm very much looking forward to getting reacquainted with Booster ...and other old friends.

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