Booster Gold
Booster Gold (circa 1988).png
Booster Gold, as he appeared on the cover of Booster Gold #25 (February 1988), cover art by Dan Jurgens.
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceBooster Gold #1 (February 1986)
Created byDan Jurgens
In-story information
Full nameMichael Jon Carter
Team affiliationsJustice League
The Conglomerate
Justice League International
A.R.G.U.S.
Extreme Justice
PartnershipsBlue Beetle
Michelle Carter
Rip Hunter
Notable aliasesSupernova, Waverider, Gold Star,
Abilities

Booster Gold (Michael Jon Carter) is a superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. Created by Dan Jurgens, the character first appeared in Booster Gold #1 (February 1986) and has been a member of the Justice League.

He is initially depicted as a glory-seeking showboat from the future, staging high-publicity heroics through his knowledge of historical events and futuristic technology. Carter develops over the course of his publication history and through personal tragedies to become a hero weighed down by his reputation.[2]

The character has been portrayed in live action television by Eric Martsolf in Smallville and by Donald Faison in the seventh season of the Arrowverse series Legends of Tomorrow.

Publication history

Dan Jurgens, the creator of Booster Gold.
Dan Jurgens, the creator of Booster Gold.

Booster Gold first appeared in Booster Gold #1 (February 1986),[3] being the first significant new character introduced into DC Universe continuity after Crisis on Infinite Earths. The next year, he began to appear regularly in the Justice League series remaining a team member until the group disbanded in 1996. 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".

At Wizard World Los Angeles in March 2007, Dan DiDio announced a new ongoing series titled All-New Booster Gold, which was later published as simply Booster Gold. The series follows the events of 52 and was initially co-written by Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz, with art by creator Jurgens and Norm Rapmund.[4][5] The series focuses primarily on Booster Gold's clandestine time travel within the DC Universe.[6] The series also features Rip Hunter, Skeets, and Booster's ancestors Daniel Carter and Rose Levin as supporting characters. The tagline of the series is: "The greatest hero you've never heard of!"[7] Katz and Johns left the book after 12 issues (#1-10, #0, and a One Million issue). Jurgens and Rapmund stayed. Jurgens assumed writing duties following four issues by guests Chuck Dixon and Rick Remender.

In May 2010, Keith Giffen took over the Booster Gold title, linking it with the 26-week miniseries Justice League: Generation Lost, in which Booster united with Fire, Ice and Captain Atom to defeat the resurrected Maxwell Lord. From July 2010 through February 2011, Booster starred alongside Rip Hunter, Green Lantern, and Superman in the six-issue miniseries Time Masters: Vanishing Point, part of the "Return of Bruce Wayne" arc, which also reintroduced the Reverse-Flash and established the background for the 2011 DC crossover event Flashpoint.[8] Jurgens returned to the main Booster Gold title with issue #44.[8]

Development

Jurgens's 1984 series proposal for Booster Gold compared the hero to U.S. Olympic Gold athletes such as Dorothy Hamill, Peggy Fleming, and Caitlyn Jenner, who had turned "Olympic gold into commercial gold", selling multiple products based on their fame and past accomplishments.[9] Booster's origin as a security guard at a future Superman museum was altered when writer/artist John Byrne was brought to DC to reboot Superman's origin in The Man of Steel.[9]

Legacy

Since his origin, other characters within the DC Universe have hinted that there is a greater purpose to Booster Gold than he knows.

During the Millennium event, Harbinger reveals to Martian Manhunter that Booster is descended from the Chosen and that he must be protected. It is revealed that Booster is destined to come to the past to protect him from an unknown event in the future.[10] In 52 (comics), Rip states that the moment Booster helped save the multiverse from Mister Mind would be remembered in the future as the start of Gold's "glory years."[11] Later, in the new Booster Gold series, Rip hints at a "Carter heroic legacy."[12] It is then revealed that Booster is important to the Time Masters, as he will train "the greatest of them all",[13] being the father and the teacher of Rip Hunter himself, who willingly chose to protect his identity against other time-travelers, to pass through history as the only loser of the clan. Despite the general distrust of Booster, Rip and his descendants apparently know the truth, always honoring him.[14]

Due to the complicated Time-Travel mechanics, Booster's future self, "currently" operating from an unknown era with his time-travel educated wife, still watches over his past self and his son, making sure that Rip Hunter gives his past self proper schooling. The older Booster acts in total anonymity, and has access to other "time-lost" equipment than his suit, such as Superboy's seemingly-destroyed "super-goggles".[15]

Due to a predestination paradox, the future Booster is revealed to be a more experienced Time Master than his son Rip Hunter, but also that he personally tasked Rip to school his past self. It is also implied that the departure of the Hypertime concept, rather than a simple retcon, is Booster's work, as in the future he tasked himself with the role of pruning divergent timelines from each universe in the Multiverse.[15]

Fictional character biography

From the future

Michael Jon Carter was born poor in 25th-century Gotham City. He and younger twin sister Michelle never knew their father because he left after gambling away all their money. Michael was a gifted athlete, attending Gotham University on a football scholarship. At Gotham U., Michael was a star quarterback until his father reentered his life and convinced him to deliberately lose games for gambling purposes. He was exposed, disgraced and expelled. Later he was able to secure a job as a night watchman at the Metropolis Space Museum, where he studied displays about superheroes and villains from the past, particularly the 20th century.[16]

Michael's sidekick is a robot named Skeets. Skeets is a 25th-century security robot (sometimes "valet unit") with artificial intelligence. He is capable of flight, cognition, and voice projection, which are all considered highly advanced for 21st century Earth. He also has historical records which give him a vast knowledge of what will happen between the 21st and 25th centuries, though its reliability has become questionable. He possesses numerous miniature tools and weapons kept within his shell, and is also equipped with a powerful energy blaster. He is apparently immune to reality and temporal manipulation.

With the help of Skeets, Michael stole devices from the museum displays, including a Legion of Super-Heroes flight ring and Brainiac 5's force field belt. He used Rip Hunter's Time Sphere, 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.[2] He is a shameless self-promoter whose obsession with fame and wealth irritates other heroes.[17]

Carter's nickname as a football player was "Booster", but his chosen 20th century superhero name was "Goldstar". After saving the president, Carter mangled the two names, causing US President Ronald Reagan to introduce him as "Booster Gold".[18] The name stuck. In a running joke throughout the DC Universe, people erroneously call him "Buster" to his chagrin.

Celebrity

Booster is originally based in Superman's home city, Metropolis. He starts his hero career by preventing the shapeshifting assassin Chiller, an operative of The 1000, from killing the President of the United States and replacing him. With the subsequent public exposure, Booster signs a multitude of commercial and movie deals. During his career, his sister Michelle Carter, powered by a magnetic suit, follows in his footsteps as the superheroine Goldstar. Booster is devastated when she dies battling creatures from another dimension. 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 that he siphoned money from Booster's accounts in hopes of leaving him 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 1980s/early 1990s 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. The duo's notable appearances include a stint as superhero repo men, and as the minds behind the construction of a gaming resort, Club JLI, on the living island Kooey Kooey Kooey.

After one too many embarrassments and longing for his old reputation, 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 behave as legitimate heroes, but find that their sponsors compromise them far too often.[2] The Conglomerate reforms several times after Booster rejoins the League, though without much success.

When an alien comes to Earth on a rampage, Booster coins the name Doomsday for it. While battling the entity, Booster's costume is destroyed. Blue Beetle is able to design a new, 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 prosthetic for his lost arm.

Extreme Justice

After the Justice League falls apart, Booster Gold joins Extreme Justice, a team led by Captain Atom.[19] While a member of this team, Booster makes a deal with the supervillain 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. Skeets acts as its systems controller, who aids Booster and is 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.[2]

Countdown to Infinite Crisis: The OMAC Project

After the events depicted in the limited series Identity Crisis, in which Sue Dibny is murdered, Gold retires briefly, but then helps Blue Beetle discover who is manipulating KORD Industries.[20] 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.

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 discovered that another friend, Maxwell Lord, is responsible for killing Blue Beetle and that in fact, Lord always hated metahumans and superheroes. 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", implying a return to the 25th century.[21]

Infinite Crisis

In Infinite Crisis, Gold resurfaces in the ruins of the Justice League Watchtower on the moon, along with Skeets, again branded as a criminal in his time for "hijacking historical records".[22] 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.[23] The mission is successful and Booster plays a pivotal role in the destruction of the satellite.[24]

52 and Supernova

Main article: 52 (comics)

In the aftermath of Infinite Crisis, Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman temporarily retire their costumed identities, and the remaining heroes attend a memorial for Superboy in Metropolis.[25] Booster 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,[26][27] Booster searches fellow time traveler Rip Hunter's desert bunker for answers, finding it littered with enigmatic scrawled notes. Booster finds photos of himself and Skeets surrounded by the words "his fault" with arrows pointing toward them.[28]

One Year Later

Main article: Booster Gold (comic book)

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

Blackest Night

Main article: Blackest Night

In a tie-in to the Blackest Night event, Booster faces Ted Kord, reanimated as a Black Lantern. At first unavailable due to reliving Ted's funeral in the past, he returns to meet his ancestor Daniel Carter, only to find the crashed, derelict Bug at his house. Then, he finds the Black Lantern pummeling Jaime Reyes, Daniel, and Skeets.[29] Attacked by him, he removes Daniel and Rose from the scene and heads to Kord Industries to arm himself. He uses a special light gun designed by Ted to blast the corpse and separate the ring with light, simulating the emotional spectrum.

Upon separating the corpse from the ring, he collects Ted's remains before the ring can reanimate them and takes them into the Time Sphere to Vanishing Point Fortress to secure them. He is somewhat relieved when Skeets uses the Fortress's special chronal surveillance equipment to display images of the days of Team Blue and Gold. Jaime promises to live up to Kord's legacy and eventually form a new Blue and Gold team. They find evidence at the warehouse of someone else entering, even though the doors were genetically coded, with only two people cleared for access: Ted and Booster.[30]

Brightest Day

Main article: Brightest Day

Booster next finds his sister living in Coast City mere hours before its destruction. Though unable to save her boyfriend, Booster and Michelle patch up their relationship, with her agreeing not to leave him. This arc introduces an older Booster Gold, the man that trained Rip Hunter and was the master of both Time, the Multiverse, and Hypertime. Rip reveals that this Booster is not only his father, but also has been watching Rip training the young Booster Gold, aiding him when needed. Older Booster also reveals that he is still married to Rip's mother, and that Michelle is with them in some unknown time.[31]

In Justice League: Generation Lost, Booster is part of the manhunt to bring the resurrected Maxwell Lord to justice. He finds Max but is beaten badly. Fire, Ice, and Captain Atom find him just as Lord uses his psychic powers to the utmost to erase all memory of himself from the minds of the entire world. For some reason, Booster, Fire, Ice, and Atom are the only ones who remember Lord and see him in recorded images.[32] Trying to convince Batman (Dick Grayson), Booster is horrified to learn that, thanks to Max, the world believes Ted Kord committed suicide. Fire, Ice, and Captain Atom are soon set up by Max to cut them off from allies, but, ironically, Booster is left alone because his reputation is already poor.[33]

Flashpoint

Main article: Flashpoint (comics)

After the Time Masters: Vanishing Point event, Rip Hunter informed them that someone snuck into the JLI base, leaving messages on a chalkboard about the altered timeline.[34] When Earth entered an alternate timeline due to the actions of the Flash, Booster and Skeets awaken and are the only ones who remember the original timeline (later, Booster realizes that the chronal protection in his suit saved him from being erased). Gold travels to Coast City, but US soldiers attack him mistaking him to be an Atlantean threat. Skeets is damaged when Gold is attacked by the military's Project Six, which is revealed to be Doomsday.[35]

During the battle in Coast City, he discovers that Doomsday is controlled by General Nathaniel Adam. He escapes from Doomsday and then saves a woman named Alexandra Gianopoulos from Doomsday's attack. He learns the timeline has been changed, suspecting Professor Zoom. Alexandra and Booster split up, but she secretly has powers allowing her to take others' powers and follows him. Later, he flies to Gotham City when Doomsday attacks him. General Adam's control link is destroyed by Alexandra in an attempt to rescue Booster. Doomsday's true personality comes to the surface and he attacks Booster.[36] During the fight, Doomsday beats him nearly to death, but he is rescued by Alexandra. He tries to prevent Doomsday from killing innocent people, and manages to put Doomsday's helmet back on. Doomsday's control is restored to Adam, who grabs Booster, hoping to kill him.[37] Fortunately, Adam takes him back to the base for interrogation, allowing him to escape when the sight of "Project Superman" causes Doomsday's true personality to resurface. Alexandra defeats Doomsday by using the control helmet to make Doomsday tear himself apart, subsequently asking Booster to take her with him when he restores history to normal. Alexandra subsequently sacrifices herself to save Booster from an Atlantean attack, leaving him to return to Vanishing Point as history resets without any clear memory of his time in the "Flashpoint" universe. Before the Time Masters: Vanishing Point event, Alexandra somehow appeared in the JLI base and left the messages regarding the altered timeline on the chalkboard before vanishing.[38]

The New 52

Main article: The New 52

In The New 52, Booster Gold appears as part of the new Justice League International series.[39] In the Post-Flashpoint continuity, Booster is portrayed with his original glory-seeking personality and is chosen by the U.N. to lead the JLI due to his PR sense and naiveté. He takes his leadership role seriously, and strives to become a better hero and role model.[40] However, despite his best efforts and support from Batman, who officially defers to Booster's leadership after supporting Booster for leader, the JLI falls apart due to a string of attacks against the group that leaves members killed or wounded.[41] Despite his best attempts to bring in new members, Booster later watches in horror as the hero OMAC betrays the team and inflicts more carnage, including teleporting Blue Beetle to the homeworld of the villainous "Reach" species.

In the end, Gold is confronted with what appears to be an older version of him, an agent of A.R.G.U.S. who warns his present self to prevent Superman and Wonder Woman from dating. Failure to prevent it, without explanation, would cause Booster Gold to cease existing. As the JLI monitor reveals Superman and Wonder Woman kissing, the future Gold disappears. The present day Gold disappears moments later.[42] A.R.G.U.S.' director Amanda Waller orders Chronos to search for the contemporary Gold through time, but Chronos is captured by the Secret Society before carrying out his mission.[43] The older Booster Gold mysteriously reappears in other timelines, like 19th century Gotham City.[44] In Booster Gold: Futures End #1, the older Booster clarifies he is not an older version of the New 52 Booster, but an older version of him from a universe which has ceased to exist. The older Booster is sent careening through the timeline, eventually meeting up with his sister, Goldstar, who is in a version of Metropolis which has been sealed in a bubble by a godlike version of Brainiac from an alternative universe. They are teleported to where the younger, New 52 Booster is held captive by Brainiac. Brainiac threatens to kill Michelle unless the younger Booster gives up the location of Vanishing Point, which he concedes. The older Booster knows this could lead to the end of the Multiverse, setting up the events of Convergence.

In the two-part Convergence: Booster Gold, Booster is found by a Pre-Flashpoint Rip Hunter on Skartaris, where the older Booster Gold and Goldstar are in prison on the planet Telos, where Brainiac has gathered cities from across the history of the Multiverse. The New 52 Booster and Rip release them both. Hunter tells older Gold that he has not traveled through the timeline, but through the cities in the planet which were now chronal anomalies that he was in conflict with, and that his body absorbed so much time travel radiation that he was aging rapidly and dying. The aged Pre-Flashpoint Booster transports again, and encounters the Zero Hour Ted Kord. Booster explains to Kord that he has led a good life, married and had a son. Rip, the New 52 Booster and Michelle find him, and Rip forces the New 52 Booster to take his father into the raw chronal field contained at Vanishing Point to cure him; Pre-Flashpoint Booster's body is destroyed, but he is reborn as Waverider, the all-knowing cosmic time traveler. Waverider then emerges on Telos in the final issue of Convergence, along with the New 52 Booster and Goldstar to bring back Brainiac, and they convince him to save the Multiverse from its imminent destruction. Brainiac then sends the Zero Hour Parallax and Pre-Flashpoint Superman back to the conclusion of the Crisis on Infinite Earths to avert the original crisis event, and this results in many of the classic worlds of the Multiverse being reborn in their modern forms.

Alternate versions of Booster Gold and Blue Beetle as they were prior to Countdown to Infinite Crisis appear in the pages of Justice League 3000 #14, where they are awaken from a 1,000-year suspended animation on Takron-Galtos in the 31st century. According to Keith Giffen, "they're J.M. DeMatteis and my Blue Beetle and Booster Gold".[45]

DC Rebirth

Main article: DC Rebirth

In 2016, DC Comics implemented another relaunch of its books called "DC Rebirth", which restored its continuity to a form much as it was prior to "The New 52". Booster Gold and his robot partner Skeets return in Action Comics #992.[46]

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, alternate versions of Booster from these timelines make appearances.

In I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League,[47] 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 unpowered and street-talking Gold serves as an employee. He is much more brutish, pimp slapping a female employee simply because Lord commands it. This alternate version of JLI 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,[48] but many of the events in this series do not seem to tie directly into continuity.

Elseworlds

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

In Justice Riders, a western take on the Justice League by Chuck Dixon and J. H. Williams III, Booster is a travelling gambler who wants to join Sheriff Diana Prince's posse. To counter the speed advantage of Prince's preferred choice, Wallace "Kid Flash" West, he acquires a machine gun from the eccentric inventor Ted Kord. At the end of the story, once the Justice Riders have defeated Maxwell Lord, Gold heads for Denver, where "the suckers come in by the trainload every day".

Justice League 3000

In the continuity of Justice League 3000, Ted and Booster have slept for 1,000 years in suspended animation tubes. They wake up on Earth, now the prison world of Takron Galtos, where they are immediately taken advantage of.

DC One Million

The DC One Million version of Booster Gold is a time traveler named Peter Platinum ("Platinum always beats gold") who appears in Booster Gold vol. 2 #1,000,000. Based on Booster's reputation as a profiteer posing as a hero, Platinum admits to Booster that he is pulling the same scam, but more successfully, and assumes Booster is after a cut. His superhero gear is based on technology stolen from Rip Hunter, who has apparently had several encounters with him to get it back.

52 Multiverse

In the final issue of DC Comics' 2006–2007 year-long weekly series, 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 2007–2008 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,[49] 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 (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.

Injustice 2

Booster Gold and Skeets appeared in the prequel to the sequel game Injustice 2. He and Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle, had been friendly rivals even though Booster used to mock Ted's Blue Beetle suit due to his weight. One year after Superman's Regime has ended, Michael warns Ted about the latter's cruel fate in the future, something Michael cannot prevent and is not allowed to interfere with. Before he sets on his way home back to the future with Skeets, Michael bids his friend farewell and promises that they will see each other at the end. After Ted is mortally wounded by Orca and Killer Croc, Michael arrives to talk to Ted one last time. Ted tells Michael to look after Jaime Reyes before his final breath.[50] During a training session with Jaime, Booster receives a message from Ted, telling him he now owns Kord Industries and his suit.[51]

Smallville

Booster Gold is featured in the Smallville Season 11 digital comic based on the TV series.

Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century

Another incarnation of Booster Gold appears in Legion of Super Heroes in the 31st Century #19. The series is based upon the television series of the same name.

Reception

Booster Gold was ranked as the 173rd greatest comic book character of all time by Wizard magazine.[52] IGN also ranked him as the 59th greatest comic book hero.[53]

In other media

Television

Animated

Live action

Film

References

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