Sunday, May 22, 2011

Writers Block: Booster Gold Getting Character Development or Character Derailment? Part 1

Countdown to Infinite Crisis:

Written by Winick, Johns, and Rucka.

Since it's hard to pinpoint what was theirs let's just go through this. Their joint effort starts with Booster stealing money from Teds' account. Supposedly because of the woes of someone who doesn't have any social security but really you'd think someone would have fixed that at that point. Or Ted and him would have had a joint account (no I don't mean it that way) because they were business partners hence it's not stealing. Speaking of which Booster is still on billboards for his phone company so wouldn't that still bring in money? Both Blue and Gold look bad to the world at large although Teds' POV thinks that others' perception of them helped take away their own self confidence. He seems to suggest low self-esteem was always the reason for no one including themselves taking them seriously. (Which had nothing to do with the rich quick schemes.)

A story point that's only briefly mentioned later by Rucka in his mini series is that it's Booster who thinks they should go to Max for help. No, I don't think Teds' death is his fault because it's been shown that Max has kept close tabs on Ted thus would know before they pay him a visit. Still it's interesting because this shows that their all friends even though later stories (even the ending of the issue) will slant this. One of the main story beats with Booster is that he serious wants to retire from the superhero business. (*1) According to Ted it's because Sues' murder deeply affected Booster and nothing seems as bright as it used to. It would have been nice to follow up on this more (*2) but plans changed. (*3) Booster is the only hero that actually puts aside everything to do the right thing and help Ted. Yes he didn't at first but I think we all knew he'd make the right choice. Although the book is filled with errors, retcons and forced tie ins the relationship between Ted and Booster remains strong.

Booster himself is given a mysterious quality as he seems to know what's going to happen to Ted and tries to save him from his fate. While the "first stringers" look like condescending morons who can't even see the value of Teds' information Booster comes across as misjudged and truly heroic. A loyal friend and team mate that would be willing to lay down his life without anyone else knowing that was his plan all along.

This also marks the first time Michelle has been mentioned by someone other than Jurgens and how much the death of love ones affects Booster. His desperate need to prevent Teds' death after all the others really brings home how isolated his character is and a hint of things to come.

*1 Although if The Kingdom was still canon why isn't he still retired?
*2 Ralph accused Booster of letting Sue and Ted die in 52. Nothing ever came of that although Jurgens did play into how Booster felt once he had that information and had to answer Ralphs' inquires with a vague answer.
*3 I can't recall where the interview was but around the time CTIC came out there was an interview that said that the writers did plan on retiring Booster but an artist mistake made them change their minds.


  1. Really enjoying these articles (and thanks for increasing the font for this old man!)

    Not sure The Kingdom was ever really canon; Waid's Hypertime was pushed to one side pretty much instantly and with Kingdom Come now taking place on Earth-22, if Booster had retired and set up Planet Krypton I guess it would take place there.

  2. Thanks, I found a lot of meta worthy things in the BG books. (No problem. :) )

    I wasn't sure because there were stories that took place in DCU "present" where Booster owned Planet Krypton and Rip was his partner. It was also shown in a Superboy book where Rip revealed he was using Boosters' image as a cover. Jurgens has said Hypertime still exists and mentioned that Rips' been friends with Booster for a while. So I'm not sure if those parts were supposed to be in our DCU.

  3. "there were stories that took place in DCU "present" where Booster owned Planet Krypton and Rip was his partner"

    Really? I've not seen any of these - what titles? When I try and imagine Booster and Rip owning a restaurant together... it sounds like it should be a sit-com!

  4. I think one was called Planet Krypton, which was one of the "Kingdom Come can happen" one shot books that was supposed to take place in current DCU. It was mainly in the POV of one of the waitresses he hires. Booster retires and asks to be called his real name. Later on he calls Batman to investigate the "ghosts."

    I know another one was in a Superboy issue (I don't know the number) where Linear Man Rip shows up saying Booster and him are silent business partners. The reason for this was that the spot Booster put the building was a link to Hypertime. Although Rip had an image inducer that made him appear like Booster. That was the main reason lots of fans thought he and Booster were going to be the same person before the reveal. He even answers to "Mr. Carter." I don't think they shared any scenes together.

  5. Ah, Planet Krypton - once Hypertime was kinda shelved, I assumed none of The Kingdom one-shots were canon any longer.

  6. I seems Jurgens wants to use it. Even still it's the only reason anyone has for calling Booster by his given name since he's been very firm on just being Booster before.