Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writers Block: Booster Gold Getting Character Development or Character Derailment? Part 6


Although there is a lot of things that bother me about this run Booster mostly remains mature and professional though the sea of immaturity. Jurgens has Booster refer to Rip for a lot of guidance (whether he wants it or not) while this team have Booster rely on himself more. Through a solo mission and then what he believes is necessity. Although he makes some sound plans execution still leaves a little to be desired. I'm still iffy if his choice to leave the tourists was a good one but leaving Rani alone for even for a little period of time after she's traumatized to fix his suit? Not really. Still he's always brave even when uncomfortable with his settings. The skills he shows in their first issue while being powerless (outside the flight ring) is impressive.

They have him do something no one else has by repairing his own suit without assistance. More impressively they have him do it with material from a century far more advanced than his--something Ted couldn't do. This is a double edged sword because the writers made Booster too tech savvy. So much so that Rip tells Booster that he has to rebuild a time sphere that was destroyed by himself. Booster has never been the repair guy, that's why he's had other people do this stuff for him. Ironically Jurgens commented in an TMVP interview not too long after it was written to say that Booster wasn't skilled enough to build a time sphere by himself. Other writers have also backed Jurgens take as Johns/Katz had Booster specially admit that science wasn't his strongest point--which is why he would "keep Rip around." Giffin himself had Booster unable to help Rip when the time sphere "broke down" and couldn't even fathom the tools that were used. They might have tried to fix this in their last issue but having Brainy say that the forcefield belt was badly tinkered with but this also raises questions. (#5)

Rip sees where his fault lies as Booster is clearly affected by his emotions. Where it seems to backtrack into previous storylines is Boosters' suddenly reaffirming his denial over Teds' death. It doesn't make sense for Booster to mourn Ted, not for the reasons they give. If anything the reason for Booster getting upset should be the fact that he took Teds' body away potentially robbing him of the chance to come back like Max. This of course isn't mentioned. (#6) The teams' strength was challenging characterization of Max and how Booster felt about it. An all too brief look into a topic that's barely been touched.

His relationship with the other characters is odd at best. He takes Michelles' verbal abuse without protesting when he was fine with getting into sibling shouting matches with Jurgens. Skeets doesn't seem to know why he's friends with Booster and acts more like L-Ron than himself. With Rip there seems to be some affection although he never seems to take his advise nor offers of help. What should be the breaking point in their relationship is ignored for Booster to simply grumble in annoyance. Rani is barely present as he's always away. She does show that he's uncomfortable with the idea of being a father although not entirely against it. Just not ready for it. Intriguing thoughts given his own issues with his father. But there's not enough interaction to warrant his sudden "belief in god" or even anything outside a couple comments this team put in to even suggest he has a lack of faith.

Granted there are a lot of little things that are off about their Booster. Some times he seems more freaked out than he should or he's far too calm. Other times they don't seem to know how to write him. Is Booster freaked out that an insane female prisoner is threatening to rape him or does he think her friends are a "dream come true." The tonal shifts always seem at odds with each other. His friendship with Ted makes him look like a sucker who repeatedly gets used by someone who doesn't care about the consequences of those around him. Made all the more baffling when Booster breaks down, something he rarely does and never to that extent. I have a hard time thinking he'd randomly call a robber "Ted" instead of Jaime, who is more of a constant reminder.

Then there's the Perforated Man, something that doesn't make sense and doesn't seem like a good concept even if they were given the time they wanted to make it work. In time travel stories this is the biggest of all cliches and rarely ever works right. As long term readers know who Rip is to Booster it also calls into question how the warped "future" version could even exist in the first place. Because if Rip doesn't exist then Perforated Man shouldn't either since he would have never had the time sphere. A lot of things aren't answered and they basically say that Booster would turn out to be a murderous pitiful creature. Not the best characterization since CTIC but still better than ICBINTJL and FKATJL. 

#5 In the first run Booster did makes adjustments to the belt as Skeets directed him through it. But everything except the ring was shredded against Doomsday. Although the costume was remade and Rips' been the last one to fix it up. It's been implied that his teacher in science is/was Brainy.

#6 Of course neither Giffin/DeMatteis or Winick seemed to have read Jurgens two parter where Booster accepts Teds' death. While Winick does have Booster acting like he has accepted it and focusing on Max Winick also has Teds' body buried on earth. This becomes an important plot point to get Dick Grayson to believe Power Girl that Max Lord exists and murdered Kord. While that story could be explained by Booster moving the body back to get more allies Giffin/DeMatteis has Booster stalking the fake grave throughout time. Implying that Booster never gets over it. Teds' body came to life in Dead Ted and Booster cut off the Black Rings' connection by going into the time stream. To prevent such a thing from happening again he buried Ted at Vanishing Point. Meaning he pointlessly grieved at the fake gravesite when Teds' body was at a site few visit.


  1. Giffen/DeMatteis and Winick's handling of Booster has been more than scattershot to me. There are occasional moments of brilliance, but mostly it seems to be whatever they just pulled out of their asses in order to fulfill whatever plot they have going at the moment. Continuity has NEVER been any of their strong points.

  2. I think Winick has done a far better job than G/W. He gets the continiuty of Booster right, and makes him shine. The only bad part of his Booster, to me, was inserting some of his Winick-isms into his speech.