Covering Convergence/The Gold Exchange: Dan Jurgens Talks Booster Gold

boosterDan Jurgens returns to Booster Gold -- and we return to Jurgens for another installment in my long-running Gold Exchange column -- next month in Convergence: Booster Gold, which exists both in service of the event and also picks up where stories have left off from Booster Gold Volume 2 and the New 52's Justice League International and All-Star Western lines.

There are a lot of unanswered questions -- moreso for those of us who have been following Booster very closely for a very long time -- and while some of them will doubtless be answered in Convergence, there clearly isn't time, space or in some cases will for them all.

We spoke with Jurgens about what to expect from the series, which launches as a Week Four title and promises to play into the main spine of Convergence more than almost any other miniseries.

convergence booster-goldWith you, Jerry and Paul, Week Four really seems to be where it's at for people who are getting another shot at books they're very associated with. Did you have to sell DC on giving you Booster or after the Futures End one-shot was it a no-brainer?

It was a no-brainer. Booster was a part of this back in some of our earliest meetings. We didn’t know exactly how, but given the nature of where we were going, it seemed a natural.

Speaking of which, any chance we'll be seeing him as Futures End starts to wind down? He was on the poster and people thought he'd be a big part of the book.

The poster really related to the Five Year Later book, which is obviously part of the set-up for Convergence. You won’t see him in Futures End, I’m afraid. We definitely have a big enough cast as is!

Is it safe to assume by their presence in Convergence, by the way, that the Futures End world doesn't come to pass? After all, Telos is ostensibly comprised of dead or forgotten worlds, right?

Oh, c’mon! Don’t be asking me the end of the story!

Seriously—stay tuned.

What's the elevator pitch for this series, for the readers who weren't following Booster prior to the reboot?

Criminal from the future who came to the past to make up for his mistakes, while playing the celebrity angle at the same time.

Did you always know that the Older Booster from the pre-52 would be back, or is that an opportunity that was just too good not to take advantage of when it presented itself?

That’s a concept I always had floating around in the back of mind. Didn’t know if it would ever work out or not but it actually ended up being a perfect fit here.

Really gives us the chance to take the story full circle.

Booster Gold HaircutOn that Convergence #1 cover, did you just draw Older Booster's hair to look like it did when he got a focus-grouped haircut back in Volume 1?

Absolutely! It’s one of the twists that will help readers differentiate between the two.

We never saw the Time Masters on-panel in the New 52, including Skeets. Is it safe to assume that while Booster was doing his thing in the JLI, Rip and company were starting to get an inkling of something going horribly wrong with time and the multiverse?

Time Masters, y’say?

Rip Hunter, y’say?

Sounds like potential grist for story in the first few pages!

Besides Booster, Rip and Michelle, who can we expect to see in this miniseries?

I don’t know if we need to go much beyond that. When you consider those characters, you’re really talking about a family and their story is very important here. It’s about them.

Of course, considering the nature of the project, it doesn’t mean we can’t have a few fun and obvious guest stars.

convergence-booster-gold-interiorsYou said with Superman that this was a chance to give some of these characters that “one last adventure.” Is Booster the same premise, or a little different, since he's operating outside of his normal setting?

I’d like to think that we’re going to be doing a little of both here.

Yes, Booster will be operating a bit outside his normal setting, but we can still tell a nice story.

Any chance we'll get some closure on stuff from Volume 2, like the identity of the Black Beetle or Booster finding out who his son is?

I don’t know that would be fair to the readers as that’s getting to be a long time ago. We really had a minimal number of pages and much larger story that had to be dealt with first.

That said, Booster was introduced in the post-Crisis. Why is he a Week Four title?

The point he exists in now is a bit outside that specific introduction point.

Way outside, when you get down to it.

Please tell me we get Skeets in this story.

Your wish is my command.

Skeets is there and on screen.

convergence-booster-gold-interiorsCertainly in that one image where Skeets appears, both he and Rip look pretty much like they did in Time Masters: Vanishing Point. Is it safe to assume that those are the Volume 2 iterations of those characters, with all those experiences more or less intact?

Hmm… I think this Skeets has a bit of a different look to him.

I think we have a surprise or two coming with that.

As the first major character find of the post-Crisis, Geoff made sure to give Booster a key role in both Infinite Crisis and 52...and now it looks like Rip and Booster may be key to saving the day in Convergence. Did that similarity come up in the planning stages?

We talked about it. In fact, it was actually Keith [Giffen] who brought it up.

We ended up transitioning into something a bit different, but no less suitable.

How many times has Booster had to deal with Legionnaires upset about the fact that he has a flight ring they don't remember giving him, at this point?

One of those time travel conundrums that may always be a bit of a question.

We got an issue of Dan Jurgens-drawn Superman out of this deal. Did you ever consider trying to fit an issue of Booster into your schedule, or with Futures End was it just not doable?

I would have loved to draw one, if not both, issues of Booster. But there was just no way I could fit it all in. With Futures End, Aquaman & the Others, the Five Year Later books and now the Convergence stuff, I’ve been running on fumes as is.

Will Booster's trip to All-Star Western get any more clarity, or was that all just explained in the Futures End story as part of his time-tossed misadventures brought on by Brainiac/Telos?

I think it’s enough to say that he was bouncing through time.

Is Vanishing Point one of the cities kidnapped for Brainiac's mosaic world?

No, though it is part of the story.

During our Gold Exchange interviews back before Flashpoint, I often bugged you about when we would see Booster wander out into the multiverse. It seems we've finally got that story. Are there any tricks you've been saving up for such an occasion?

Tricks wouldn’t be the right word, but there is certainly opportunity to deal with the concept of who’s done what, who’s accomplished what and where all that might lead.

Booster doesn't have a new title in June. Can we expect that he and/or the Time Masters in general will get a new status quo by the end of Convergence?

Yeah, that’s a very fair expectation.

As somebody who's been involved with almost every solo story ever told featuring this character, what makes Convergence special?

Convergence is special because of the combination of characters. We really have characters from all over DC history united under this banner and it really is a lot of fun.

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And do you have a favorite Booster arc – a story you think really defines what you'd like to do with the character at this point – whether by you or another writer?

I really have to say that for me, it was all about launching the series back in the 80’s. Writing and drawing a new series I’d created was a massive thrill. It’s still hard to beat that experience.