Sunday, May 29, 2011

All that Glitters: The Gambling themes of Johns/Katz run part 1

Taking risks has always been a part of Booster Gold. From his early morally grey beginnings theft and gambling have played a huge role in his life. Now this meta is mostly about Johns and Katz run but it will briefly touch on 52 with Daniel Carter.

When Skeets/Mind happens upon Daniel Carter one of the first things he does is inquire about being on tv. Mind keeps this information for later when he comes to the conclusion that he's basically the same person Booster Gold is thus he's be able to manipulate him the same way. A huge difference is Daniels' passive nature versus Boosters' ambitious side. Boosters' football career ended because of his gambling where Daniels' was due to an injury. Booster tried to make a profit by being a superhero while Daniel hasn't used the suit in a heroic manner unless he's pressured into it.

Likewise Daniel isn't so willing to trust Skeets' offer. He's a shown as a much more jaded person than he's presented as after 52. And he wasn't quite as bad off as Booster was when he decided to become a superhero. Yet Mind sees a desire for glory and uses it to his advantage.

Daniel Carter: I'm being asked to entrust my future to a flying toaster. That's a pretty huge gamble.

Skeets: Gambling runs in the Carter blood.

Booster tried to reason with the whys of what he did while Daniel can't believe he's breaking into the Time Lab on a robots' say so. The risk sends him into a time loop until Rip Hunter gets him out. That's when he takes another risk in doing what Rip--the guy he's never met before--asks him to do. He's never done this hero thing and knows it's likely that their screw up yet he's willing to take another leap of faith. This is partially due to his own fear of what's to come and guilt for his part in helping Mr. Mind. Once their out of danger he's only too happy to keep away from any risks--from life in general--to play mindless video games for 8 weeks straight.

In Johns/Katz run the gambling theme is very predominant. The title is called "52 pick up" featuring cards heavily on the cover. The name it's self is a joke of a game. From the introduction, hell the very first panel it's brought in to remind us of Boosters' origins. A few pages later Batman suggests they leave the choice of Booster rejoining the league to fate by flipping a coin.

Booster Gold: I've always dealt myself a bad hand. Unfortunately for me, one thing I don't do well is fold.

Not only does this bring back how he started out but it's a metaphor for the good and the bad of his life. Temptation tampered with perseverance. Loss and Gain. Love verus the Logical. It's represents the next step in his character growth by overcoming the very real ghosts from his past.

The Royal Flush Gang: A solid nod to how Booster first joined the league. Their also based on playing cards and in some cases a family. The JLA in the issue are under the impression that he paid the group to attack to buy his way onto the team. Which will come up again with Green Arrow suggesting they were hired for a publicity stunt later on. Then by Booster himself reminding Batman that Max was the one who set up the fight. Booster won but not how Max had intended. He had the R.F.G. program Ace to face the JL members--which meant that they had none of his abilities to counter. Only Booster didn't defeat Ace by his own powers but by using his brain and teamwork. Funny to note that he seems to have an easier time dealing with them the the JLA in present day issues.


  1. It's nice to see the card theme throughout. Booster does have this willingness to jump into things...but then what hero doesn't?

    Also, Ollie is as big a jerk to Booster as Hal is.

  2. Booster seems to lead more with his heart than his head and sometimes just on impulse. Like when he first met Superman he wanted to rush into a situation while Superman thought it was better to not get involved. Yeah the man of steel ended being right on that one.