Thursday, May 5, 2011

Writers Block: Maxwell Lord Friend or fiend? Part 3

Dan Jurgens:

You'd think that given all the attention previous writers gave on Max and Ted that the guy who not only created Booster Gold but wrote most of his series would have a lot to say on the matter. Jurgens' Max is pretty much nonexistent, only viewable through Boosters' thoughts on him. I don't recall anyone really focusing on this side of Teds' death before Jurgens. No one else showed how Maxs' betrayal affected Booster before he wrote it, almost as if Booster didn't care about a friend suddenly turning into an enemy. The first real acknowledgement (outside Johns "we never liked Max" POV) was in issue #16 of the Reality Lost arc, Jurgens' first storyline once he officially took over the series. After saving the life of an American solider named Cyrus during an unexpected trip to World War 1 Booster finds out that he just saved the life of the man who's bloodline will spawn Max, resulting in his best friends' death.


While Booster does distress over this it's not a major focus point of the arc and does not carry over as a badge of guilt for the rest of the series. Which is more than fine with me since Booster already suffers enough guilt that other writers would likely repeatedly hit you over the head with. In fact many have with the repeated visits to Ted in the past. Jurgens doesn't really get into Ted's death nor Max taking his life until the two part tie in to Blackest Night Dead Ted.
If the Johns/Katz run dealt with Boosters' denial over Teds' death this arc showed his acceptance. It doesn't get into what his current feelings on Max were but it does explore how raw his emotions were at Teds' funeral. Really his thoughts on Max are very brief and anger filled but given the time period it's fitting. He's furious that the man who introduced him to his BFF ended up murdering him.

It gives a lot of open interpretation to the things he's not saying. And really every single thing he thinks gives you a lot of insight on his mindframe and the characters involved. Maybe it's not as in depth as the others but still more fitting.

(After reading Giffin/DeMatteis' BG stories I think the panel with Barda makes SOOO much sense now.)


  1. I never really thought about it before, but you are right, Jurgens doesn't touch on the subject of Max that often. All I can think of, is that he's not overly enamoured of the new evil version of Max either.

    Max used to be selfish, arrogant, and money loving, but he was also very funny, and I always got the impression that he was genuinely attached to the JLI. They certainly were all upset when he got hurt. I also can't believe that he could have successfully hidden being totally evil from J'onn.

  2. I think that in general Jurgens doesn't want to touch anything to do with Teds' death. In the last interview about him returning to BG he said that he will be staying away from Ted for awhile and that the subject of his death has been used too much lately. It was likely the reason he was so unsure about doing the Blackest Night tie in.

    Wasn't Jurgens' Max repeatedly slapped down by Superman during Jurgens JLA days? I think J'onn was pretty messed up around the time Max was supposed to go bad (Coast City.) Not sure but it might be around the time he was part of Bloodwynd. I do get the impression that Jurgens love Guy though.

  3. Well seriously, how can you NOT love Guy?

  4. Near impossible I say. But I love that panel he has of Guy in the middle.