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Four Color Fury’s Modest Proposal to DC Comics: Give Us Earth-Fun

Booster Gold #6 cover art

Okay, for those of you haven’t read the latest issue of Booster Gold, #6, you might want to run away.

I’ll wait.

Gone? Okay, fine. The gist is this:

Booster Gold gets visited by three different versions of the Blue Beetle so he can go back in time and prevent the Ted Kord Blue Beetle from getting his brains blown out by suddenly evil Maxwell Lord as part of the suddenly lame revelation that the fun Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League years were fun because it was all part of Lord’s plot to make the League ineffective.

Get that? Fun = ineffective in the new DC.

The spoilerific bit is that Booster succeeds, and rescues Ted, even though no one knows that Ted survived. He and Booster are now non-hero heroes, unknown but righting wrongs. Blue & Gold.

Now some might think this is dumb, but I would disagree: the decision to kill Ted in the first place was misguided and stupid. Booster is acting like himself, which is odd for comics these days. In a day and age where Spider-Man–even though he personally knows gods, Inhumans, Reed Richards, Tony Stark not to mention is running around with Dr. Strange–decides to make a deal with the devil to save his Aunt May, it’s odd for characters to do things that they would, you know, actually do. And Booster saying, dammit, I’m going to go save Ted, is exactly what that character would do.

Knowing this, though, a thought struck me: how about Booster goes and snags–from the time stream, or from alternate realities, or whatever–the old Giffen/DeMatteis Justice League and they run around and have adventures, like a DC version of the Exiles. Get G & D back to write the thing…wouldn’t you read the hell out of that book? Of course you would. And so would I.

In discussing this with Ken, he brought up an even better idea. Now that there’s a multiverse again, let’s have Earth-Fun. Not a world where everything is Captain Carrot and Ambush Bug (although that would be okay), but a world where comics are actually fun to read again, instead of a parade of watching your favorite characters get raped, killed, their limbs ripped off, set on fire, and then killed again in case the first time didn’t take. It’s like Eli Roth is editor-in-chief at DC or something.

The rules of Earth-Fun are simple: Giffen is editor there. He is God. G & D write what happens there. Kevin Maguire handles covers. More if he feels like it. And you can have some great tie-in posters like they did with Countdown: “No goth cheerleaders on this Earth.” And… “This Earth’s pantry has lots of Oreos.” And… “Brad who?”

What do you say? Who’s with me?

Update: Pedro from Funnybook Babylon had a good comment below and it makes me want to clarify something: Earth-Fun is not necessarily where the characters have fun, it’s where we, the readers, have fun.


  • I would, and maybe you would, but the sad truth is no one gave a shit about Ted Kord or Booster Gold until they died.

    I also think you are really mis-remembering the events of JLA/JLI/JLE. In between such classic comedy bits as the mad capped adventure on Kooey Kooey Kooey, there were sad moments like Gypsy’s parents being slaughtered by a super-villian, the funeral of Mister Miracle, and the betrayal of Booster Gold.

    Sure Martian Manhunter got to eat Oreos but in between fantastic and dramatic character moments.

  • Pedro: Thanks for the comment. But I think you have mis-read the column. On Earth-Fun, it’s not going to be Bwah-ha-ha wall to wall. But the key point of the stuff you’re citing is that they were *fantastic* and *dramatic* character moments. They *meant* something. They were well written. Earth-Fun is a world where death and tragedy are meaningful, not tossed around like in some bad fanfic, which is all DC and Marvel produce these days.

    So I think, in other words, we are in violent agreement. And I think also the reason no one “gave a shit” about the two of them is that nobody has written them well in recent memory, so readers who don’t know them from when they were in the JL books had no *reason* to give a shit about them.

    I mean, honestly, I can’t think of a recent character in the Big Two I give a shit about.

    Anyway, like I said, I think we’re both sides of the same coin here. Or at least the same side on two different coins. Thanks.

  • Matt: Thanks for the comment. You can call it Earth-Fred for all I care, just so long as we get something that’s fun to read back in the DCU. :)

  • This seems pretty symptomatic of the current fan trend of painting an entire company and publishing plan with a single brush. Books like Booster Gold, the new Blue Beetle, Brave and the Bold, Flash and even Shooter’s new Legion all have that sense of “fun.” Clearly this isn’t all of, or even the majority of, the line, but the aspects are there — just about as much as they were during the G/DM heyday.

    Second of all, you’re assuming Keith Giffen and J.M. DeMatteis agree with you, when all signs indicate that, uh, they don’t. Giffen seems to be having a riotous time at DC killing his own sacred cows, and for God’s sake DeMatteis is the guy who killed Harry Osborn and wrote Kraven’s Last Hunt over at Marvel.

    It’s awesome that what they achieved in the ’80s is still so evocative of quality comics for you, but it just seems like initiating this plan would be trying to follow the letter but not the spirit of their creative drive. G/DM Justice League was a bright shining light in a fairly dreary DC output then, and quite frankly linewide DC Comics is leagues better today than it was then.

    And finally, it’s more than a little bit disingenuous to describe DC as “a parade of watching your favorite characters get raped, killed, their limbs ripped off, set on fire, and then killed again.” Basically every “character death” in recent times has been upturned (except Connor Hawke (yet) and the New Gods who aren’t actually dead) – reducing them to the same level of “O NOS THE HERO IS DEAD!” cliffhangers you’d see in the ’50s and ’60s. Yes, Superman Prime is a bloodthirsty murderer, but that’s the joke. He’s a more malevolent Ambush Bug, who killed tons of people in his first appearance too.

    I guess this just seems less like Earth-Fun and more like Earth-LookingBackwards. Those G/DM stories were wonderful, but I’d really just rather have new and exciting ideas that may or may not fall flat than a neverending nostalgia tour.

  • David: Thanks for the comment…however, one of my issues with recent deaths is not “O NOS” but “Oh, for fuck’s sake, again?” So yeah, you can’t take any death or anything that happens to any character seriously because it can and will be reversed at any moment. I know what you mean about fan-ignorance of things–if I had a dime for every time people got excited (again) about the film SUPERMAN 5 before it got shot down (again), I’d be rich. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. Am I supposed to think, “Oh, well, that’s all right, Sue Dibny will eventually ‘get better’ and that makes it okay?”

    However, please note that I did not ask for the DCU to return to the 80s. I asked for one world in a multiverse.

    But regardless, if the DCU is new and exciting to you, then rock on with your bad self. I’m sure they appreciate your business. And I appreciate the comment.

  • Eh, The Flash book isn’t fun at all right now, he’s kids apparently have a uncurable terminal illness and could age so fast they could be dead by the next day… It’s got quite a gloomy under current.

  • I like your idea of an Earth fun, we can only hope and wish. I get almost all of DC and there are still certain books I look forward to the Green Lantern books,Superman/Batman, Booster Gold, Blue Beetle, the Countdowns to Mystery and Adventure, Batman,Robin and a few others. I am significantly less irritated at DC than MArvel where I would like to figuratively boil Joe Quesada in oil for BUTCHERING Spiderman. I will say I was happy with MEssiah Complex to see Cable get back to have a mission in life. Back to DC, we all know that Dido saved Nightwing due to overwhelming fan sentiment but what did he save him for? Is he going to become the next Batman cause i keep hearing Bruce is gonna die. Lately Dick and his adventures are lame after a great Chuck Dixon year 1 Run.

  • You know, LOTS of people gave a shit about Blue Beetle before the whole Countdown atrocity. Bill Willingham and Gail Simone both pitched series/mini-series starring the guy that were rejected by DC. He was on 70% of the “pick your ideal League” lists on any number of message boards. His use in Countdown doesn’t represent a resurgence of the character, it represents a pinnacle in the “hackery” of those creators involved who think the only way to make a character relevant is to kill him off. And the only fans who started to care about him only after he was dead are the same sheep swallowing the notion that the current output of DC under DiDio is “the greatest DC has ever been.”

    As for the idea presented here, while I like it I also have to kind of reject it because it’s kind of giving the people who got the characters into this mess in the first place a free pass. I want something that ingrains the characters and their book in the proper DCU (the way it SHOULD be, not as part of some lame Max Lord mind-control cluster%&$#) and shows that the creative choices made by those responsible for Countdown were mistakes that they should be held accountable for.

  • Widge, and any DC Powers who may be listening, I would read the living crap out of that comic. I would buy the floppies, and then I would buy the trades, and then I would buy the figures, and then I would buy the omnibus. Currently, all I buy is Booster Gold.

  • Well, Marvel Adventures line is sort of Marvels version of “Earth Fun”. DC could create a line more along the lines of that. Then again, Justice League Unlimited and Teen Titans Go! comics are sort of like that already. There’s also a mini JLI reunion happening in Blue Beetle #25. I wish the sales figures of Blue Beetle were better, because it IS fun, but the low sales make DC think readers don’t want the fun.