DC Universe Classics: Booster Gold & Blue Beetle by Mattel

“A friend is a person with whom I may be sincere…

Before him I may think aloud.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson, as quoted in Booster Gold.

Of all the characters in the DC Universe, Booster Gold and Blue Beetle have been my favorites. Yeah, that may sound weird. People usually say Batman, Wonder Woman, or Superman or Aquaman… no, scratch that… nobody says Aquaman. That’d be ridiculous. But as pointed out in yesterday’s feature, I first took notice of this pair of BFF’s while reading one of my favorite childhood comics, Mr. Miracle, and I’ve pursued their exploits in Justice League International and the pages of other DC comics ever since.

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It’s no secret that I’m not a huge Batman fan, and maybe that’s because I like Ted Kord’s version of that character archetype better. Both are millionaires relying on their own brilliance and technology over superpowers. But unlike Batman, Kord wasn’t a moody dick. On the contrary, among his peers he was probably the most liked character in the DC Universe. You could argue that he ultimately died because Batman couldn’t be bothered with his findings and Ted was too nice a guy to want to burden the rest of the Justice League with his theories on Max Lord. Booster, on the other hand, yeah he was a dick. At least that’s how he was perceived by most. But he grew into a better person, and Ted saw something in him, and thus was forged this unlikely and delightful friendship. Let’s kick it off with Booster.

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The self-centered jock from the future turned time warrior, Michael Carter, aka Booster Gold would be a polarizing character if enough people actually gave a shit about him. Those that do either love to hate him or hate to love him. He’s a fun character because he’s an anti-hero and he’s exactly what you don’t expect. He’s both pathetic and heroic, and a general pain in the ass for the Justice League, and just when you think you can sum him up in a few unfavorable words, you find that he can be frustratingly more complex than that. All I know is I love this guy.

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The DC Universe Classics version of Booster was available in two variants. I have the version of Booster that I prefer, but seeing as how the other one comes with a Skeets that opens up to reveal Mr. Mind, I really should pick that one up at some point. Booster’s portrait is a little hit and miss with me. Maybe a little too cartoony? I don’t know. Sometimes it bugs me, other times I’m perfectly happy with it. I do really dig the clear yellow goggles and the way his sculpted hair sticks up out of the top of his hood. The body makes use of a standard DCUC buck, but he does have his forcefield emitters sculpted into his hands, as well as his flight ring on his finger. I also really dig the sculpted high collar. Booster has a cavernous hole on his back, but we’ll get to that in a moment.

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Booster features one of my favorite paint jobs among all the DCUC figures. The mix of metallic gold and blue is really gorgeous and there isn’t much slop or bleeding to speak of. The only downside here is that his copyright stamps are painted black and smacked right onto his gold ass, so the lettering stands out pretty sharply.

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Of course, you can’t have Booster without Skeets, and that’s where the big hole in his back comes into play. Skeets is sculpted along with a translucent yellow effect piece that allows him to hover over Booster’s left shoulder. I think I would have preferred the connecting piece to be completely clear and not yellow, but all in all, the effect works really well.

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Moving on to Blue Beetle. I love this guy, and I’ll never forgive DC for allowing just about every other character that dies in the DCU to come back to life except for poor Ted Kord. Ok, so he comes back temporarily, but we’ll get to that tomorrow. Anyway, Blue Beetle is one slam-dunk of a figure. The head sculpt is fantastic and just like Booster, I love the use of the clear yellow goggles here and the powerful slightly cleft chin. Of course, setting the portrait aside, Ted was a pretty easy figure to do, since he also uses a standard DCUC buck with a painted costume. The paintwork utilizes two shades of blue and heavy black outline is crisp and fits the costume perfectly.

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The only new sculpting on the body involves his belt and FUNCTIONAL holster, which holds his gun. Wow, do I love Blue Beetle’s gun. It’s pure retro sci-fi love that looks like a combination of a 50’s hairdryer and power drill.

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Both figures feature the same standard DCUC articulation, with just one exception. The arms have ball joints in the shoulders, hinges in the elbows, and swivels in the wrists and biceps. The legs have the usual DCUC style hinge, hinges in the knees and ankles, and swivels in the thighs. They each have the ab crunch hinge in the torso and ball jointed necks. What’s the exception? Booster can swivel at the waist, whereas Blue Beetle cannot.

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And there ya go, two of my favorite DCUC figures based on two of my favorite DC characters. Besides my genuine love of these guys as individuals, it’s the magic and tragedy of their friendship that elevates them to an even higher level in my eyes. Like I said earlier, it never seemed fair that just about every other character that dies in the DC Universe gets to brush themselves off and come back, while Ted Kord remains in the ash heap. It was something that Booster could never get over, and that was really something ironic for a character that was viewed by everyone but Ted as a self-centered narcissist. Maybe it all strikes a chord in me because I’ve been there, I’ve lost a best friend before, and while time is said to heal all wounds, it’s something that never truly goes away. From Mr. Miracle and Barda to Blue Beetle and Booster, I’ll wrap this whole thing up tomorrow as I spend my weekend reading three TPBs of Booster Gold!

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