Booster Gold

Booster Gold

Booster Gold is a fictional character, a superhero in publications from DC Comics. Created by Dan Jurgens, he first appeared in Booster Gold (vol. 1) #1 (1986) and has been a member of the Justice League, DC Comics' all-star team of heroes. The character is initially depicted as a glory-seeking showboat from the future, using knowledge of historical events and futuristic technology to stage high-publicity heroics. The character develops over the course of his publication history and through personal tragedies to become a hero weighed down by the reputation he has created for himself.

Publication history

Booster Gold first appeared in Booster Gold (vol. 1) #1 (1986), being the first significant new character introduced into DC Universe continuity after the reboot of Crisis on Infinite Earths. The next year, he began to appear regularly in the Justice League series of comics and remained a team member until the group was disbanded in 1996 to make way for a new team known as the JLA. He and his former leaguers subsequently appeared as the "Superbuddies" in the Formerly Known as the Justice League miniseries and its JLA: Classified sequel "I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League."

On March 16, 2007 at Wizard World Los Angeles, Dan DiDio announced a new ongoing series titled All-New Booster Gold, later published as simply Booster Gold (vol. 2). The series follows the events of 52 and will be co-written by Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz with art by Dan Jurgens and Norm Rapmund. The main plot device of the series is that Booster time travels to various times and places in the DC Universe. The series will also have Rip Hunter, Skeets, and Supernova (Daniel Carter) as supporting characters. The tagline of the new series is: "The greatest hero the world has never known!

The Katz/Johns pairing announced that they would be leaving this book after 12 issues (1-10, 0 and a One Million issue). Jurgens and Rapmund stated that they would stay on the book which would be written by Jurgens, following a four-issue hiatus during which time it would be written by guest-writers Chuck Dixon and Rick Remender.

Fictional character biography

From the future

Michael Jon Carter was born poor in the Gotham City of the 25th century. He and his twin sister Michelle never knew their father because he left after gambling away all their money. Luckily for Michael, he was a gifted athlete and he managed to get into Gotham University on a football scholarship. In college, Booster becomes a star quarterback with a bright future. But then his father reenters his life and convinces him to bet on games and then throw them. He is exposed and his once bright future is shattered. He takes a job as a night watchman at the Metropolis Space Museum, where he begins to study displays about superheroes and villains from the past, particularly the 20th century. With the help of a security robot named Skeets, Michael steals devices from the museum displays, including a Legion of Super-Heroes flight ring and Brainiac 5's force-field belt. He uses Rip Hunter's time machine, also on display in the museum, to travel to the 20th century, intent on becoming a superhero and forming a corporation based around himself to make a comfortable living. As such, he is a shameless self-promoter whose obsession with fame and wealth irritates other heroes.

Carter's nickname as a football player was "Booster", but his chosen 20th century superhero name was "Goldstar". After saving the president, Carter mangles the two names, causing the president (at the time Ronald Reagan) to introduce him as "Booster Gold." The name stuck.

Celebrity

Booster Gold is originally based in Metropolis, the home city of Superman. He starts his hero career by preventing the shape-shifting assassin Chiller, an operative of The 1000, from killing the president of the United States and replacing him. With the public exposure he gains from this rescue, Booster is quickly able to sign a multitude of commercial and movie deals. During Booster's superhero career, his sister Michelle Carter, powered by a magnetic suit, follows in his footsteps as the superheroine Goldstar. She dies soon after while battling creatures from another dimension, leaving him devastated. Amassing a small fortune, Booster founds Goldstar, Inc. (later Booster Gold International) as a holding company and hires Dirk Davis to act as his agent. During the Millennium event, Davis reveals that he is a Manhunter in disguise and has siphoned money from Booster's accounts for months in hopes of leaving Booster no choice but to do the Manhunters' bidding. Although the Manhunters are ultimately defeated, Booster is left bankrupt.

Justice League

Booster Gold is a key character in the late '80s/early '90s Justice League revamp by writers Keith Giffen and J. M. DeMatteis. Booster Gold is frequently partnered with fellow Justice League member Blue Beetle, and the two quickly become best friends. Among the duo's more notable appearances include a stint as superhero repo men and the construction of a gaming resort, Club JLI, on the living island Kooey Kooey Kooey.

After one too many disgraces and longing for the reputation he once had, Booster quits the League to found The Conglomerate, a superhero team whose funding is derived from corporate sponsors. Booster and his team are determined to perform as legitimate heroes, but find that their sponsors compromise those values far too often. The Conglomerate re-forms several times after Booster rejoins the League, though without much success.

When an alien of awesome power comes to Earth on a rampage, it is Booster Gold who coins the name Doomsday for it. In the ensuing battle with Doomsday, Booster's costume is destroyed. Blue Beetle is able to design a new (albeit bulkier) costume to replace it, although this costume often malfunctions. During a later battle with Devastator, a servant of the Overmaster, Booster is nearly killed and loses an arm. Again, Blue Beetle comes to his aid, designing a suit that acts as a life support system in addition to replicating the powers of Booster's previous costumes. This suit also includes a cybernetic arm to replace the arm Booster had lost.

Extreme Justice

After the Justice League falls apart, Booster Gold joins Extreme Justice, a team led by Captain Atom. While a member of this team, Booster makes a deal with the super-villain Monarch, who fully heals Booster's wounds so that he can once again remove his battle suit. Booster dons a new costume created by Blue Beetle with Skeets acting as the mainframe systems controller, who aids Booster and is even able to take control of the costume if Booster is rendered unconscious.

Following the disbanding of Extreme Justice, this suit is destroyed. A new costume is created by Professor Hamilton, based on the designs of both the original 25th century costume and the energy containment suit Superman was wearing at this time. This costume is apparently later tweaked to resemble Booster's original costume more closely.

Infinite Crisis

Countdown to Infinite Crisis

After the events depicted in the limited series Identity Crisis, in which Sue Dibny is murdered, Booster Gold hangs up his costume and retires from crime-fighting only to once again assume the role to help Blue Beetle discover who is manipulating Kord Industries. Booster is badly injured in an explosion at Kord's home, and it is revealed that his companion Skeets has been dismantled for its 25th-century technology by the Checkmate organization.

The OMAC Project

In The OMAC Project limited series, Booster Gold gathers the old Justice League International heroes to investigate Blue Beetle's disappearance. At the series' end, he is ruined physically and emotionally, having destroyed much of his gear in the fight against the OMACs. He has seen his friend Rocket Red die in battle. He has discovered another friend, Maxwell Lord, is responsible for killing Blue Beetle and that in fact, Lord has always hated superheroes. He has also lost his trust toward the other heroes of the DC universe. In a moment of self-reflection, he realizes that if only he had bothered to recall more of what was history in his native era, he might have been able to warn his friends. Giving a farewell kiss to the forehead of his wounded teammate Fire as she lay in a hospital bed, he drops his trademark goggles on the floor and leaves, saying only that he has decided to "go home", the implication being a return to the 25th century.

Infinite Crisis

In the pages of Infinite Crisis, Booster Gold resurfaces in the ruins of the Justice League's Watchtower on the moon, along with Skeets, again branded as a criminal in his time for "hijacking historical records". When Skeets fails to locate the absent Martian Manhunter, Booster searches for Jaime Reyes, the new Blue Beetle, whom he promptly takes to the Batcave. Booster tells Batman the subject of the stolen records: Batman never finds Brother Eye, but Booster implies that, with Jaime's aid, they can succeed. The mission is successful, and Booster plays a pivotal role in the destruction of the satellite.

52 and Supernova

In the aftermath of the Infinite Crisis, Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have temporarily retired their costumed identities, and the remaining heroes attend a memorial for Superboy in Metropolis. Booster Gold attends the memorial, but when Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman do not arrive as he expects, he suspects his robot sidekick Skeets is malfunctioning and becomes hysterical. After Skeets reports other incorrect historical data, Booster searches fellow time traveler Rip Hunter's desert bunker for answers, but finds it littered with enigmatic scrawled notes. Booster finds photos of himself and Skeets surrounded by the words "his fault" with arrows pointing toward them.

Booster is seemingly angered when a mysterious new superhero named Supernova appears in Metropolis. His reputation ruined by his various unscrupulous dealings in pursuit of publicity and sponsorship deals, Booster tries to regain the spotlight by containing an explosion, but appears to be killed in the attempt. Skeets uses Booster's ancestor, Daniel Carter, to regain access to Hunter's lab, where he sees the photos and arrows pointing at him. Skeets traps Carter in a time loop in the bunker and sets out to locate Hunter himself.

Supernova meets with Rip Hunter in the Bottle City of Kandor, and Hunter examines a number of high-tech items Supernova has brought him. When Skeets discovers the two, Supernova reveals himself to be Booster Gold and fights him, revealing how he and Rip Hunter used time travel to fake his death and create a rivalry between Booster and himself as Supernova. Hunter and Booster attempt to trap Skeets in the Phantom Zone, but Skeets appears to eat the subdimension and pursues his two adversaries through time.

During the World War III miniseries, Booster appears at various points in time. He tries to steal a missile, but leaves after realizing that he appeared before it was launched. Booster later appears before Steel and Natasha Irons, stealing the nanobot missile they were about to use on Black Adam, saying he needs it more than they and that it wouldn't have worked for its original purpose anyway; Booster promptly disappears.. During his time-hopping mission, he briefly stops in the far future, robbing the Dominators of an experimental weapon designed to deal with time-travelers. Trying to explain his situation to the alien warlords, he makes them suspicious as they mistake his rant of "having to save 52 worlds" as a warning that the Earth and 52 unnamed worlds are going to invade them after Booster's raid.

Booster returns to the present, using T.O. Morrow as bait to draw out Skeets. Skeets reveals itself to be Mister Mind in disguise, having used Skeets' shell as a cocoon to evolve into a being capable of devouring the Multiverse. Booster and Rip flee into the timestream with Skeets' remains and return to the end of "Infinite Crisis". Rip and Booster witness the birth of the new Multiverse, made up of fifty-two identical worlds. Mr. Mind attempts to trap Booster and Rip in the Phantom Zone, but is stopped by Supernova (actually Daniel Carter, who was saved from the time loop he was trapped in by Rip and given Michael's outfit), who restores the Phantom Zone to its original place. Mr. Mind then devours years and events of each of the fifty-two worlds, altering their history in the process. The real Skeets gives Booster a pep talk which inspires him to stop Mind.

Booster travels to the day after the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths on New Earth, where he retrieves the Blue Beetle scarab from a younger Ted Kord. Using the scarab, along with Suspendium stolen by Rip Hunter, Skeets' mangled shell and Supernova's powers, Rip, Booster and Daniel trap Mister Mind inside Skeets and hurl it into the timestream, trapping Mr. Mind within a repeating time loop. As a reward for helping save the Multiverse, Rip downloads Skeets' programming into a spare Responsometer. Rip, Booster, and Daniel decide to keep the existence of the new Multiverse a secret.

Will Magnus then repairs Skeets using the Responsometer, although Skeets has no memory of the last year. Meanwhile, Daniel Carter decides to keep the Supernova costume and begin his own superhero career. His resolution weakening with time, he starts using the suit to play video games instead, because he does not need to eat, drink, or sleep while wearing it.

One Year Later

Following the events of 52, the character returns in his second "Booster Gold" solo series with the first story arc "52 Pickup." Booster puts in a request to the JLA that they admit him and the group begrudgingly decide to monitor him over the next week. However, Rip Hunter informs Booster that history has become malleable after Mister Mind's rampage and earlier damage to the timeline.

A new villainous Supernova arises after stealing Daniel's costume, and aided by evil time traveler Rex Hunter, intends to exploit weakness in history, keen on rewriting it and destroying the JLA (they are later revealed to in fact be working under the orders of the Ultra-Humanite, Despero, and Per Degaton). As Booster is thought of as a buffoon, the person or persons behind the altering of time will not suspect he is thwarting them, but Booster must maintain his poor reputation to protect himself from any time travel attacks. Booster's condition for following Rip's orders is that he may travel back in time to avert the death of his best friend, Ted Kord.

Despite Rip's objections, Booster and three Blue Beetles team up to rescue Ted Kord moments before his death. They succeed, and the restored Blue/Gold duo deserts Rip Hunter to side with the Blue Beetles group. Rip Hunter retaliates by presenting Daniel Carter and Rose Levin, ancestors of Michael, with replicas of the Supernova and Booster Gold suit, stating that the Carter family's heroic legacy starts "right freakin' now". When time "solidifies" following the salvation of Ted Kord, and the other three Beetles return to their own times, Ted and Michael find that as a consequence of changing the timeline, the world has become overrun by Maxwell Lord's OMACs.

During a final battle between the remade JLI and the OMACs, the Time Stealers return, where they are defeated. However, Booster suffers a tragedy when he is unable to stop Ted from entering a time sphere with the Black Beetle to change the past one final time, resetting history and sacrificing himself.

He was later transported to the 853rd century, where he faced off with Peter Platinum, a con artist who is attempting to do better than Booster at making money off of heroic acts. When he was able to return to the present, he is enraged by Rip's unsympathetic responses to what he's been through, and quits. However, after a conversation with Batman, where he revealed he knew about Booster's involvement in the crippling of Barbara Gordon, he resolved to continue working with Rip, even if it won't be "fun". However, Rip reveals that he has a way to make things easier: he was able to save Booster's sister Michelle from moments before she died, claiming there was a loophole from Michelle being from the future. It's also revealed to the audience that Rip Hunter is Booster's son: as Michelle and Michael go out to eat, Rip says "Keep it up, dad.

Booster's Legacy

Since his beginning, characters with the DC Universe have hinted that there is a greater purpose to Booster Gold than even he knows.

During the Millennium Event, Harbinger reveals to Martian Manhunter that Booster is descended from The Chosen, and that he must be protected due to his involvement in elevating the human race. In fact, it is revealed that Booster was destined to come to the past to protect him from an unknown event in the future. In 52 Week 52, Rip Hunter and Booster's ancestor, Daniel, discuss Booster. Rip states that the moment Booster helped save the multiverse from Mr. Mind would be remembered in the future as the start of Booster Gold's "glory years". Later, in the new Booster Gold series, Rip hints at a 'Carter heroic legacy'. It is then revealed that Booster is important to the Time Masters, as he will train 'the greatest of them all'.

It is finally revealed that Booster is, in fact, the start of the Time Masters, and that all his family, starting with son Rip, will go down as great heroes, save Booster, who is seen as the only loser of the bunch, though to the Carters, he will be remembered as the greatest of them all and honored for the sacrifices he made.

Powers and Equipment

While Booster Gold has no superhuman abilities, he is an excellent athlete. He has also demonstrated enough willpower to use his Legion flight ring at range, a feat few have been able to demonstrate.

Booster Gold gained his "powers" from the artifacts he stole from a museum in the future. A power suit grants him super strength and wrist blasters allow him to project force blasts. The wrist blasters contain the primary controls and power supply for the suit as well as communications equipment to monitor communications frequencies. Circuitry from a force field belt that is incorporated into his costume allows Booster to resist physical and energy attacks, and he uses the force field to repel objects with great force and generate a breathable self-contained environment. The force field centers on Booster's body, but can expand and even project outward. The costume's goggles have infrared and magnifying capabilities as well. In addition to the powers from his suit, Booster can fly thanks to a Legion of Super Heroes flight ring. Booster can also absorb mass and eject it either in its original form or as a melted mass, although this depletes his force field for a time afterward.

According to the third issue of Booster Gold (vol. 2), Booster's original uniform included a cape which was taken by Superman after telling Booster, "You can't handle a cape." Booster's later costumes use many different technologies to grant him his powers, but the powers themselves remain basically the same despite changes to the source. Booster's third costume acts as a mobile life support system in addition to its granting him super powers.

As Supernova, Michael Carter uses a Phantom Zone Projector built into his suit to teleport matter from one place to another.

Despite the fact that Booster stole the elements of his costume in the 25th Century, recent Legion of Super Heroes reboots and retcons depict them as having been invented in either the 30th or 31st century. Originally, Booster Gold (vol. 2) #8-#9 told the story about how the Time Bubble Booster used to travel from 2462 to 1985 was discovered in 2986 with pieces of Brainiac 5's Force Field belt aboard. This prompted Brainiac 5, Chameleon Boy, and Ultra Boy to travel back to 1985 to investigate. In the process, they assisted Booster in foiling an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. Brainiac 5 left his Force Field Belt and Flight Ring with Reagan and determined that these would end up being the ones Booster would eventually steal in 2462, thus completing the causality loop.

In the context of the "Threeboot" (Mark Waid) Legion continuity, it is revealed that in a sort of predestination paradox Booster's Ring and Force Field belt were stolen by Rip Hunter and Daniel in an attempt to reverse a Time Stealer's plan intended to erase Booster Gold from the continuity by damaging the Time Sphere held in the museum.

Booster's equipment includes:

  • Legion Flight Ring: The standard Flight Ring employed by the adult-Legion of Super-Heroes member, made of a particular alloy named valorium, bestows his/her owner with flight abilities. It is the only piece of equipment stolen from the Space Museum which has survived to the most recent version of Booster's suit unscathed. Its origins differ slightly between the 1987 and the 2008 series, but in both origins, it's revealed that the ring originally was the one held by Brainiac 5, willingly given or stolen.
  • Power Suit: In lieu of any metahuman powers, Booster Gold uses an advanced microcircuitry-powered all-purpose combat suit that allows him a wide range of options to use in combat. The suit bestows enhanced strength, at least twenty tons without exerting, and durability to his owner, and is extremely durable, very lightweight, and easy to wear. The suit itself is able to withstand bullets without losing its integrity (although being shot hurts). It's also equipped with a force field, courtesy by Brainiac 5 belt, able to withstand powerful impact forces, like a punch from Doomsday without any damage spreading to its wearer, and filtering atmosphere to allow the holder thrive in a no-air atmosphere and defending Booster from germs and pollution: this particular feature was later downtoned, as Booster prefers now engaging the shield only when necessary to avoid weakening his own immunitary responses. Originally, it was the war-suit of an alien invader, put on display on the museum in which Booster stole much of his equipment. The suit was damaged by Doomsday, then replaced with bulky suits of armor and a variation of the Energy Superman energy-dampening costume. The current suit, a close replica of the original one, comes from the future; however, its origins remain unknown.
  • Time-Travel Circuitry: Originally reliant to a Time-Sphere from chronal transportation, Booster Gold has shown during the OMAC Project events the ability to travel back and forth from the 25th century on his own volition. His association with Rip Hunter came with upgraded time circuitry woven into his costume, allowing him to travel safely the time-stream, sense and repair chronal anomalies, at the cost of a permanent link with Rip Hunter's equipment, to allow the more experienced time-traveller to provide counseling and guidance.
  • Gauntlets: Originally on display as the exotic weaponry of an alien warlord, and using the same energy cells of the suit, the gauntlets contain powerful blasters, able to plow at their maximum setting through two solid feet of concrete.
  • Visor Devices: Booster's visor is outfitted with both sensory amplification devices (both auditory and visual) and a HUD for targeting and threat-identification, along with broad scanning along the electromagnetic spectrum, providing infra-red, ultraviolet, and X-ray vision. It's described by Michael Carter as lightweight as a pair of contact lenses, and although it has been shown as unable to protect his wearer by sudden flashes of blinding light, it provides a measure of protection.

Other versions

As the series Booster Gold features time travel as a major plot element, Booster regularly visits alternate timelines where key events in history played differently. Occasionally, in Booster Gold and in Justice League International and Super Buddies, alternate versions of Booster Gold from these timelines make appearances.

In I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League, , several Super Buddies visit an alternate universe where Maxwell Lord leads a violent super-team of strippers and male enforcers called The Power Posse. An apparently un-powered and street-talking Gold serves as an employee. He is much more brutish, instantly pimp slapping a female employee simply because Lord commands it. This alternate version of the Justice League International may be the same team as the Antimatter Universe-based Crime Syndicate of Amerika, which first appeared in Justice League Quarterly #8 (1992) sans Booster Gold, but many of the events in this series do not seem to tie directly into continuity.

Elseworlds

Elseworlds is an imprint of DC Comics which takes place outside of mainstream continuity. Characters appearing in Elseworld titles are placed in alternate timelines and realities making heroes "as familiar as yesterday seem as fresh as tomorrow." A number of the most popular Elseworlds were later integrated into the DC Comics Multiverse in 2007.

In The Kingdom, the sequel to Mark Waid and Alex Ross's Kingdom Come Elseworlds series, Booster is the founder and owner of the "Planet Krypton" restaurant. He is also mentioned in Kingdom Come by Fire.

One Million

The One Million version of Booster Gold is a time traveler named Peter Platinum ("Platinum always beats gold") who appeared in Booster Gold #1,000,000.

52 Multiverse

In the final issue of DC Comics' 2006-07 year-long weekly series, 52 Week 52, it was revealed that a "Multiverse" system of 52 parallel universes, with each Earth being a different take on established DC Comics characters as featured in the mainstream continuity (designated as "New Earth") had come into existence. The Multiverse acts as a storytelling device that allows writers to introduce alternate versions of fictional characters, hypothesize "what if?" scenarios, revisit popular Elseworlds stories and allow these characters to interact with the mainstream continuity.

The 2007-08 weekly series Countdown to Final Crisis and its spin-offs would either directly show or insinuate the existence of alternate versions of Booster Gold in the Multiverse. For example, Countdown #16 introduced his evil Earth-3 counterpart, a member of the villainous Crime Society of America - and a similar Booster Gold exists on the Antimatter Universe, as suggested in a 1992 Justice League comic book, with Booster's evil variant first appearing in a 2005 Super Buddies story. The 2007 Countdown spin-off series Countdown Presents: The Search for Ray Palmer also featured a gender-reversed Earth-11 where through character exposition it is revealed that Maxine Lord (the female Maxwell Lord) murdered this world's female Booster Gold as opposed to its Ted Kord counterpart. The 1997 Tangent Comics fifth week event (by Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens) originally introduced an entirely different version of Booster Gold, a yacht-owning gentleman connected to the origins of the mysterious Green Lantern; when the Tangent Comics universe was later amalgamated into Earth-9 of the 52 multiverse, 2008's Tangent: Superman's Reign #1 (again by Jurgens) introduced an African American superhero by that name.

In other media

Booster Gold appears as a member of the Justice League in the animated series Justice League Unlimited. Booster is voiced by Tom Everett Scott. Booster's colleagues in the Justice League dismiss the shameless, showboating, and self-promoting superhero as a hopeless wannabe. Children ask for his autograph, but only because they inexplicably mistake him for Green Lantern.

In the episode "The Greatest Story Never Told", during an epic battle with Mordru, Booster is assigned to crowd control. Unfortunately, a nearby scientist's experiments are dangerously interrupted by the chaos and threaten the entire city. Booster's calls to the Martian Manhunter for help but is ignored; he is too busy instructing those on the battlefield, and thus cuts him off. Booster, with the aid of Skeets and Dr. Tracy Simmons, must save the day. Booster halts the scientist's unwitting rampage and saves Skeets and the girl. When Booster returns to his post, Batman scolds Booster for not following orders. Unable to convince him of the danger he averted, Booster is told by Batman that he will speak to him later. However, Tracy shows her appreciation for Booster's work by going on a date with him.

Booster's appearances after this episode are limited to non-speaking roles. He goes on to appear in "Dark Heart", "Flashpoint", "Panic in the Sky", and "Destroyer"; in the latter, he is shown descending the Metro Tower's stairs with his fellow JLI alumni Fire, Ice, and the Elongated Man.

In the first episode of 2006's Legion of Super-Heroes cartoon, Booster Gold and Skeets make a cameo appearance as the janitors in the Superman museum.

Booster Gold and Skeets will appear in the upcoming series Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Tom Everett Scott will reprise the role.

Footnotes

References

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