Monday, April 18, 2011

Ted Kord, not always the greatest friend

Looking over Giffin and DeMatties' work I gotta comment on their version of Ted Kord. I don't think anyone has ever written him as such a jerk. Don't get me wrong, I like seeing character faults but they could really make him unlikable. I'll even make this statement bolder by saying that I don't think Guy at his worst was as bad as their Ted. Which makes Geoff Johns "Ted always carried Booster" bit all the more head scratching.

When Booster revealed the truth about his origins to Ted, the latter calls him on being a thief. Now while this retelling of his origin was written by Jurgens it has Booster telling his bud how gambling destroyed his life in the 25th century. How gambling was considered as big a sin as being a murderer in his house. After learning this information what does Ted do? He gets Booster to help him steal U.N funds and start a gambling resort on Kooey Kooey Kooey. Think about that for a second. Then the guy that called him a crook wants to rig the machines to get their money back. Booster is quick to tell him that heroes don't steal and while the next line makes light of it his face reflects horror at the idea.

Afterward Booster is honestly upset that he's being treated as a joke and in his eyes not getting respect from his teammates. No one takes him seriously until he quits and instead of thinking about how this is affecting his best friend Ted makes it about himself. Because if Booster believes he's being treated like a joke then it HAS to be a reflection on him. Booster ponders his issues, Ted doesn't, he basically waits for an apology never giving one of his own. What makes this worse is that G/D just had Booster travel back to talk to Ted during this period. Ted knows from talking with the future version of his friend how mature he can be and that their argument won't be serious. Which means that Ted made sure it was Booster that says he's sorry (although he had no problem talking to Future Booster) and it makes his later complaints about Booster knowing too much seem more than a little cruel.

Speaking of cruel I honestly can not read the FKATJL/ICBINTJL without cringing. Part of that is because of Teds' treatment of Booster. It reads like an abusive relationship IMHO. And the last Ted story they wrote had him dragging his friends along for a job, abandoning them for a queen, lying to her, using her for sex, and blaming Booster for what's happened even though by staying to save Ted he earned the rage of his would be attacker. Ted, you seriously suck at being a good friend. Still I can't help being somewhat amused that this is the guy Booster has grieved for. Yeah, I like Ted but when he's like this I have to question why their friends. Because seriously, too many forget that Ted was the bad influence.


  1. I enjoy Giffen and DeMatteis when they are "on", and I did enjoy both of the mini-series that brought back our intrepid JLIers, but you're quite right...Booster was written as a complete boob, and Ted wasn't much better.

    I think that sometimes, they suffer from a bit of "wouldn't it be wild if we did this?"ism. It's got to be hard to catch lighting in a bottle TWICE! In their zeal to recapture those golden days of yore, they sometimes go a bit overboard

    Plus, Giffen has always had a tendency to ignore characterization by other writers to some extent. His version of Guy was much more childlike than Gerard Jones' version way back when for example.

    So yeah. It's fun to read the first time through and chuckle at their antics...and then you go back and read it again, and realize that it isn't quite as innocuous as it appeared.

    Booster was quite a bit younger than the rest of them, and he was from a whole different time period, not to mention culture. He managed to blend in so well in so many ways that I think the rest of them tended to overlook the fact that he was such a stranger to so many things. Even Ted. Heck, especially Ted.

  2. I know it was supposed to be for laughs but a lot of things bothered me about the minis. It read more like the team were bullies than friends. And I like to ignore it all together.

    True, which is why I liked the General Glory issue of BG better than the JLI BG issues. Their humor was more like it was in the JLI days and not repeating the jokes so much that it became annoying.

    The funny thing is that they made Booster a bit more mature than Jurgens' early version of the character during their first run. But yeah, DeMatteis admitted he never read BG issues and I have a hard time believing Giffin did when he keeps getting the same things wrong.

    Thing is, I don't mind the humor of JLI but their recent stuff with them bothers me.

    I also think they'd take advantage of his naive nature for pranks and such. But really I think he was likely more of a stranger than Tora, she at least had Bea hanging around her since GG. Booster just had Skeets, who apparently "didn't fit in" with the league.

  3. Booster was unsuspecting to a certain degree. So was Tora, but as you say, she had Bea as a mother dragon, guarding her baby. Booster had Ted, and really, Ted was AWFULLY childish at the best of times. Back in the old days, it was usually Ted who started things rather than Booster, who basically just followed his lead.

    Throw in Guy's antics, and Bea's and it's no wonder that poor J'onn had a headache most of the time. He NEEDED those oreos!

  4. Too true. Between the two of them Bea was far more protective of her friend than Ted was of his. Bea did things she thought would be good for Tora (even though Tora would disagree) while Ted really didn't give Booster nearly as much consideration. I think Booster trusted Ted to help guide him since he was still adjusting to the time.

    I want J'onn/new JLI interactions, he'd get a kick out of Booster being the leader. "The circle is now complete." Talk about karma. :D