Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Writers Block: Booster Gold Getting Character Development or Character Derailment? Part 3

Geoff Johns:

One thing that Johns excels at is making Booster an engaging sympathetic hero. Playing up his underdog status Johns forms a tagline that will define who Booster is going forward: "The Greatest Hero you never heard of." It creates a great sense of ironic tragedy but makes the character all the more heroic for his sacrifices showing even the naysayers that he's capable of growth and maturity. Redefining the characters' purpose Johns plays with elements from his past, some all but forgotten, and adds twists to his future. The time travel aspect from his origin is now front and center, used to give Booster a stronger connection to the DCU as a whole.

Barely touched matters such as his family are expanded on. His absentee father plays a part in his (ever-expanding) origin and gives better insight into why Michael Jon Carter harbors such doubts about himself. The true isolation Booster feels and knows will worsen by agreeing to play the fool is heartfelt. Although he can save all of history he's desperately trying to have one victory for himself, to have one person who actually understands him. Booster comes off smart and resourceful. Able to find the solution to the various problems the Time Masters face with unusual means.

Booster has flaws but their not the ones the world at large think. Ego is no longer an issue but rather his fight for self-worth. Although he knows what he has to do without Ted the hero can't bring himself to let go even with his choice affecting all of time. Given past betrayals with Dirk and Max, Booster might be too trusting of the new "Blue Beetle" but he just doesn't want to accept the truth.

As for Johns, the problems during his run seem to be an almost stubborn insistence in retconned elements. Sometimes he goes overboard on Boosters' low self-esteem to prop Ted up, or how other heroes treat him to the point the big names look like insensitive jerks. Having Booster saying how neither Ted or him liked Max reads more like Johns trying to prove that Max was always evil rather than serving a solid connection to the characters. Great set up for the character but a little too preachy with the retcons. Photobucket


  1. I have to admit to liking what Geoff Johns has done with Booster. I don't really think that Booster and Ted never liked Max...but I think that it is possible that Booster is trying to convince HIMSELF that they did...because of the guilt that he feels over Ted's death. Because if Max really WAS a monster from the beginning, he certainly managed to fool ALL of the JLI...including J'onn who is a telepath.

  2. Despite my little quibbles I did love Johns run. I can see that now but then they were pretty much shoving the idea that Max was always evil into every mention he got. It does make sense for Booster to try to convince himself as he didn't actually get the chance to explore his feelings nor see Max until JLGL. Because once he knows Max is back those emotions are stirred up. Even though he's more in control of himself in JLGL he has moments where his fury slips out.