Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mrs. Carter (Secret Origins #35)

The mother of our twins Michael and Michelle Carter. Not much has ever been revealed about her, not even her real name. What we do know is that Mrs.Carter was married to Jon Carter, a con man, gambler and (as we learned in one retelling in vol. 2) abusive husband. He left her poor with his gambling debts and with their four year olds to raise by herself. Since Jon hurt them so much gambling is considered a sin in their household. In fact Booster even says that she'd consider gambling worse than murder.

The only time we really get to see what she was like is in Secret Origins #35. In one of the many, many, many retellings of Booster Gold's origins (each time adding new details) he decides to fill Ted in on how he became a superhero. Mrs. Carter is shown as a loving mother that Booster dotes on when he can. He compliments her cooking and tells her that his dad's been gone for years so she can find a new husband. Mrs. Carter proclaims that she'll never marry again after being "fooled once" and she doesn't need a man. She says she's healthy but Michelle tells her brother that their mom's lying. They need more money than can get to help her out. Even with Michelle working two jobs they can still only get Mrs. Carter half of her medicine. Booster hopes she can hold on for a couple more years until he can be signed onto the major leagues.

But both of the twins see that she's not doing so well and might not make it that long. Which makes Booster desperate for money. He looks up his friend "Snake Eyes" and slowly but surely gets sucked into the world of gambling. Despite not being able to get out he makes sure to pamper his mother with gifts but the happiness doesn't last long. Once the police come for him Mrs. Carter rejects him stating that she no longer has a son and it would have been better to let her die than bring shame upon the family. She makes Booster guilt worse by stating that it doesn't matter what he does, he'll never be able to make up for his mistakes. That's the last time he sees his mother as he returned home to find out she died. Michelle does tell him that thanks to Skeets mailing them proof of his heroism in the past their mother knew he turned out good. Even though Broderick hounded them Mrs. Carter was very proud of her son.

What else is in the story that's interesting: This version is a little different than many of the other retellings of Booster's origins. It's not just amusing due to the various JLI products Booster's trying to sell it actually has some nice depth. From the little moments like Booster silently staring at a passed out drunk on his street, to his dark look when the doctor mentions betting on him Jurgens sells the moments without overdoing them. There are some rare scenes of Booster explaining his nickname while hanging out with the football team and his life prior to the scandal.

It also shows some nice small moments between Ted and Booster as the story progresses. Ted not wanting to hear the tale at first and Booster making it sound like some grand adventure. Ted's surprised of course to hear the truth and starts to see where the story is headed pointing out the thefts would make Booster a crook. He even starts saying what a poor role model Booster is before Booster tells him everything will be fine as long as Ted doesn't tell anyone. At the end there isn't a resolution to Ted's claims as he pretty much rolls his eyes at Booster's ideas of making money then rushes to look for the Black Canary Lingerie. Uh, the ones Booster planned to market that is. But the characterization was good and even makes stories like Kooey Kooey Kooey have more depth. Like Booster's flat out horror filled expression when Ted suggests they rig the machines. Or how Ted doesn't take his own advice and pushes his friend with a gambling problem into running a casino with him. You can't read this story without at least question their later actions.

It might be worth a look for any Booster fans even if you know the story of his downfall (or at least some of the versions of it.) The same issue has origins of J'onn and Maxwell Lord but I got mine in the 52 companion trade.


  1. I've always liked that Booster is actually deeper than just a blond beautiful egomaniac. Makes him a lot more real. And frankly, as much as I love Ted, he was usually the one that got them into trouble.

  2. Yeah people really don't give Jurgens enough credit especially for the first BG series that had A LOT of depth. Some of the scenes were simple but pretty damn powerful. Like the one where a cop tells him that he's no Superman so he shouldn't try to help. It's not humorous at all.

    I love Ted but he was a crappy friend for a good part of Giffin/DeMatteis stories. Jurgens tended to make Booster the more money hungry one and make Ted somewhat sensible.