Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writers Block: Booster Gold Getting Character Development or Character Derailment? Part 7

Judd Winick:

The most determined member out of the team assembled to take on Max, Booster puts his fool facade behind him to get the mission done. He's focused and gets the other members to stay on task. Falling into the leadership role so naturally that it comes as a shock when others realize he's the one calling the shots. He certainly makes an interesting leader as he's not afraid to put his foot down and is more emotionally available than most leaders. Literally the only person in the world able to figure Max Lord out Boosters' just a couple steps behind. 
Winick plays on Boosters' strengths rather than falling on his more comedic side. Although Booster has been written seriously this is the first time he completely sheds his class clown persona since OMAC Project. While this isn't the first time he's been in the role of leader it is the first time he's been in command of any Justice League. For all Winicks' flaws his take on Boosters' maturity and command starts off subtle and doesn't come across forced. Winick manages to take details from Boosters' past and dovetail them into the narrative. He doesn't make Booster a perfect leader, this is a very personal mission for him and he never leaves any doubt of it. He knows his own weakness of not knowing when he's being played. 
While this does make use of how Ted Kords' death was brought about by Max Winick is one of the few writers who doesn't overuse the Ted connection. It acts as an inspiration, sure, but it's not the main point of the story. At the center it's questions what's morally right. Maxs' own journey is a distorted mirror of Boosters' current job as Time Master. Working in secret, trying to do what's needed to protect lives even if they have to let horrific scenarios play out. Putting on a face for the world to hide the true purpose. The difference lies in how far they are willing to go to achieve their goals and just what is predestined. It certainly raises a lot of interesting questions.
Yes there were problems in the series but I don't think there were many related to Booster. Winick does put his favorite sayings into the characters speech which at times is at odds with how the character acts. But he also has heartfelt emotions and added something that's been missing from Booster for awhile. His friends actually caring about him. This is a character that only had Clark Kent go to his "funeral" that now has his teammates worrying over him again. That tell him not to quit and acknowledge his value.

While the team wants to quit or take things to Maxs' level Booster stands as their reminder what a hero is. They all want their lives back but Max can't take anything else from Booster. Because as well as Max knows him there are still things he doesn't know about his current life. And Booster is used to doing the right thing even if no ones else knows about it.


  1. This is one of the reasons why Winick annoys the piss out of me. He can be so GOOD when he actually wants to be...and yet he can also be so completely terribly bad, when he doesn't care about the characters.

    Obviously, he likes Booster. He did an excellent job of introducing Gavril and making him a sympathetic character, in fact I LOVE Gavril. He actually made Captain Atom less of a jerk, which is amazing. On the other hand,he did a gawdawful job of it with Bea and Tora. And until they get rid of his idiotic retcon of Tora's origin, I am going to continue to be cranky.

    But yeah, Booster was pretty fabulous.

  2. I wouldn't say he doesn't care, I think he just doesn't get some characters. Winick does seem to like Booster but it could be more to it. He was involved with CTIC so I think talking over Boosters' character with Johns, and Rucka made it click more. He did say that he was deeply affected by a list of things they decided was important to DCU, one of which was that Batman knows what Booster is capable of.

    What did he do that was so horrible with Bea? He didn't use her much and yeah she was a little mean to Booster but she's been worse in other books. She was still a pretty cool spy, got a new love interest, still had a strong friendship with Tora and he explored her past/guilt a little.