|“Booste Gold” #8 on sale next week|
In celebration of the launch of our new site, CBR News dialed up superstar writer Geoff Johns for a lengthy interview to discuss his four ongoing titles for DC Comics.
We spoke earlier with Johns about the happenings in “Green Lantern,” “Action Comics” and “Justice Society of America” and today we wrap up our weeklong series with a special look at THE GREATEST HERO YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF, Booster Gold.
It was announced in January here on CBR News that Johns will be leaving the time traveling “Booster Gold” title later this year. Unfortunately for his fans, Johns still plans on exiting the hit series, but not with issue #11 as was previously reported.
“It’s actually issue #1,000,000,” Johns revealed. “And we’re introducing a new character in that issue, too. But yes, my run ends after 12 issues, if you include #1,000,000 and #0, which was our seventh issue. So it’s been a full year. I never intended to stay on the book that long. Originally, I was just going to come on and do an arc. Kind of set up the book for what I thought it could be but I ended up staying longer because it was just that much fun to write and I had more ideas. But it’s got to a point now where with two other things coming out this year (‘The Flash: Rogues’ Revenge’ and ‘Final Crisis: Legion of Three Worlds’), I had to walk away.”
And while Johns also confirmed co-writer Jeff Katz will also be leaving “Booster Gold” following July’s issue #1,000,000, he promised the title will live on.“I think [DC] want us to finish our current arc before they announce who is coming on [as the new writers],” explained Johns. “I know the people coming on love the characters as much as we do. And I know I’m going to be reading it. And I hope anybody who has become a fan of the book or the characters, will give the book a shot after we leave.”
|“Booster Gold” #9|
Current “Booster Gold” stories feature a trio of villains — Per Degaton, Ultra-Humanite and Despero — first introduced as a team in a subplot of “The Lightning Saga,’ the top-selling crossover arc fro 2007 told in the pages of Johns’ “Justice Society of America” and Brad Meltzer’s “Justice League of America.”
The time traveling trifecta now identifying themselves as the Time Stealers was folded into “Booster Gold’s” storyline in issue #5 and revealed as the book’s primary evildoers last month in #7.
Johns loves the three-headed monster plain and simply because all three are obsessed with delusions of grandeur. “They are all megalomaniacs,” said Johns. “They are also grabbed from different time periods. Despero is actually grabbed from when he first appeared and first fought the Justice League [‘Justice League of America’ #1 in 1960], Ultrahumanite is grabbed from when he first fought Infinity, Inc. [‘Infinity Inc.’ #2 in 1984] and Per Degaton is from the far future.”
And their team name is pretty cool too. “They are the TIME STEALERS,” laughed Johns, who said having fun is crucial to “Booster Gold’s” success.
“It’s a book where it is a bit more relaxed,” he explained. “You can push the boundaries of reality even further, because of the comedy level but also because there are some absurdities in there.
|“Booster Gold” #10|
“But it also has the classic trappings. Booster’s father is a bad guy. But it’s really just a fun book to write. It’s a breath of fresh air every once in a while just to goof around.
Johns continued, “All the books I work on, I try to include some humor. ‘Justice Society of America’ definitely has some humor coming from those characters. In ‘Action Comics,’ I find a lot of humor in the Legion guys. And in ‘Green Lantern,’ Guy Gardner is always good for a laugh too.
“But ‘Booster Gold’ obviously calls for a little more. Booster is most associated with ‘Justice League International’ from [Keith] Giffen and [J.M.] DeMatteis and [Kevin] Maguire, who were so great. And we’ll be using some of those characters in an upcoming issue.”
Indeed, the solicitation for “Booster Gold” #9 features Blue Beetle (Ted Kord), Batman, Green Lantern (Guy Gardner), Mister Miracle, Martian Manhunter and Doctor Light on the cover, JLI members all.
Johns has high praise for his title’s art team of Dan Jurgens, who created Booster Gold in 1986, and inker/finisher Norm Rapmund. “Working with Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund, who has just done amazing inks, has been great. If anyone has noticed, because people don’t really notice when guys don’t get fill-in issues, have had a huge run. Dan and Norm are going to get through 12 issues without any fill-ins. That’s pretty badass.”
|“Booster Gold” volume 1 on sale in May|
As a bonus, Johns also shared with CBR News a quick word on “DC Universe: Zero,” the one-shot special he co-wrote with Grant Morrison as a lead into Morrison’s 2008 mega-event series “Final Crisis.” “That was great to work on. It’s a beautiful book and it’s freakin’ 50 cents,” laughed Johns. “It’s really for anyone who has never read DC Comics or for anyone who has read DC Comics all their lives. It’s for both. There is a misnomer that this is too complex a story because there are too many characters. ‘New Frontier’ used tons of characters and it worked completely. You didn’t need to know every little thing referenced. You can read ‘Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes’ in ‘Action Comics’ without knowing every little thing about Wildfire. He’s this guy with energy powers, who has a thing for Dawnstar. And he’s a hot head. That’s it. Move on.”
In closing, CBR News asked Johns what he planned for 2009 and beyond, specifically if he would be adding any more monthly titles to his workload. But Johns, never the spoiler, had little to share on that front. “I can’t answer that question. I know a lot of things that I am working on this year and next year and things always change but I can’t really talk about whether I’ll do a new monthly or not.”
In typical Geoff Johns’ form, check back to CBR News in May for INFINITE GEOFF JOHNS V: “The Flash: Rogues’ Revenge.”
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