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Monday, February 8, 2016

The REAL origin of Booster Gold (as revealed by Dan Jurgens)

Booster Gold was created by Dan Jurgens and first appeared in Booster Gold #1 (1986). While his first ongoing series lasted a mere 25 issues, he did manage to acquire a fan following in Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis' Justice League of America series (most notably as Blue Beetle's partner-in-mischief). As of this writing, it's been hinted that Booster Gold will be appearing in CW's Legends of Tomorrow television series. Has anybody ever wondered how did this character come to be?

Thankfully, Creative Continuity actually had the foresight to ask Dan Jurgens that very question when they ran into him at the 2015 Baltimore Comic Con AND they managed to record his answer.

I'm concerned that this interview is going to get 'lost' thanks to information overload that is so prevalent in this day and age, so I'm transcribing it (well, just the relevant parts concerning this article). I'm doing this so that if this video ever gets mysteriously deleted, future generations will have it - y'know, for posterity.

I don't transcribe things very often, but took the liberty of omitting any awkward pauses, um's and uh's as this appeared to be a spontaneous interview.

I'm going to assume the interviewer is Harold Gant based on the quick internet search I did on him. The video didn't credit who the interviewer was. This video was published Feb 10, 2015.


HAROLD GANT: "Now I've also noticed that Booster Gold is another character that you've created..."


GANT: "Now where did the inspiration for him come about?"

JURGENS: "Booster came from a lot of different places, one of which was just the idea that I wanted to do a super-hero that was different from everybody else that was out there.

And so this is like 1984, and at that time the celebrity culture as we know it now was just starting to emerge and some of that was because video was becoming more portable - people could take it around... y'know something like this [gestures to camera]... and paparazzi and everything were emerging at that time.

And at the same time the Olympics were on, and they were talking about an Olympic athlete who had signed an endorsement contract even before they won a medal*. And that was thought to be a really 'out here' kind of thing like 'ugh.. can you imagine that?'.

So.. you add all that together, along with my desire to do something just kind of fun and different, and that's where Booster came from."  


And now that Jurgens spells it out for us, that kind of makes sense. Booster Gold's flying robot sidekick, Skeets, actually acts as a flying camcorder throughout the series relaying film footage to whatever client needs it. Booster Gold's very own personal paparazzi/portable video recording device. So there you have it, straight from Dan Jurgens himself: Booster Gold was a product of the 80s.

*That wouldn't be uncharacteristic of the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. According to 'Los Angeles 1984 Olympics Games' entry in the online Encylopaedia Britannica:

Under the direction of the American entrepreneur Peter Ueberroth, the 1984 Olympics witnessed the ascension of commercialism as an integral element in the staging of the Games. Corporate sponsors, principally U.S.-based multinationals, were allowed to put Olympic symbols on their products, which were then marketed as the “official” such product of the Olympics. A spot on the torch relay team sold for $3,000 per km. The Olympics turned a profit ($225 million) for the first time since 1932. Despite concerns about growing corporate involvement and the reduced competition caused by the communist boycott, the financial success and high worldwide television ratings raised optimism about the Olympic movement for the first time in a generation.

For the life of me, I CANNOT determine which Olympian Jurgens is referring to. If you do know, be a pal and write it in the comments section, wouldja?

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