Thursday, April 30, 2015

Time Travel Danger?

I saw this mentioned a couple of places so I figured it was worth talking about.

SPOILERS for Convergence Booster Gold

On one review I read I saw a comment mistaking what's wrong with pre-Flashpoint Booster (a.k.a. Dad Booster) being the same thing that happened in his original series. It isn't although I can see the confusion as Rips' comment about unshielded time travel did remind me of it. In the first BG series Booster got sick because he was from a different time period which made him vulnerable to bacteria in the past. The reason for him not being affected faster being that he was using his force field so much it slowed the process down. This was undone when he was cured in his time period and allowed himself to get used to the bacteria in the present so it wouldn't happen again.

What happening to him now is that he's absorbed too much of the energy used for time travel (*1) I think all time travelers are affected a little bit by this energy as Booster did start to see time changes in his second series. His JL certificate changed into a death certificate for different people in the first arc which only Rip, Skeets and him can see.

This energy is usually used to give travelers powers like Chronos 1 when he made a deal with the devil and for a time Degaton in Johns JSA. It's also used with temporal anomalies as the means to ensure they aren't erased despite having their timelines altered. As seen with Chronos 2, Waverider, and Rex Hunter/Jason Goldstein.

The rainbow energy we see when Dad Booster is in pain/fading? It's seen in the second BG series as the leads travel through time and as Rex Hunter gets "erased" and becomes a being made of this energy. For some reason Dad Booster is connected to the cities Telos set up. In FEBG and CBG he ends up hoping from one city to another. Interestingly the heroes that couldn't use their powers because of the domes can when he's in the city. Those powers disappear when he leaves and only come back when the domes are opened.

What's really puzzling is if all time travelers can be affected like this. New 52 Booster asks if it can happen to him and doesn't really get a solid answer. Rip has been using time travel his whole life which should be more than Dad Boosters' 15 plus years yet he seems fine. He does say that it's due to too much unshielded time travel so does this mean Dad Booster had too many emergency jumps? I think I recall Rip improving the uniform to make it possible for Booster to be safe. Still I can see him doing dangerous jumps to prevent his young son from being assassinated. It will be interesting to see how this is resolved.

*1 I've seen it referred to by a few different names/forms and used for various means. Basically it's used for time travel, to get time related powers and mishaps. I know these stories don't use the same names. This is basically me boiling down these plot threads to their simplest forms in storytelling.


  1. Remember that the original Linear Men established that continued use of time travel resulted in chronal energy destroying the body. I think this is an extension of that concept. The Curies were groundbreaking innovators in the study of radiation who died from cancer. I think the Carters are probably in the same vein in the science of time travel.

  2. It is hard to keep up with the rules of time travel as the concepts change like solid time and the limited method of travel. Something had to have happened to affect Booster because he originally lived to be older as we saw him talking to Rip after Coast City was destroyed.

  3. Clues in the dialogue where both Booster and Michelle say he looks older and Rip calls him dad point to dying Booster in the ARGUS suit isn't the Booster who went through Flashpoint but the older Booster who posed as Supernova in TIME MASTERS VANISHING POINT. Bit of a trick here in the interior art. Look how old Booster is on the cover. Jurgens is the writer of the story and the cover artist: that can't be an accident.

  4. All I know is that Time Travel is tricky. Very very tricky. And...confusing.

  5. Boosterrific: I noticed the ARGUS suit but I was waiting it out to see if Jurgens explained it. Like the constant time shifting, etc. The original intent seemed to be that the older Booster was somehow involved in Argus since it was supposed to be new 52 Booster in the future upset about WW/SM. I believe Johns was fleshing out Argus when it was written. Elements of that are still here with Rips' reaction to the couple.

    Younger Booster estimates dad Booster is 15 years older than him. I don't think it's so much the time travel aging him as Jurgens wanting to make it clear that he's older. Dad Boosters' version of Rip being 10 while grown up Rip has an older version of that same Booster. I think what you're talking about happen in Superman Time and Time again?

    It's been awhile since I looked at my trade. I recall the Linear Man there having his hand melt or something. Linear Men had a few concepts like Hypertime that I believe Jurgens commented on during the second BG run. It's be interesting to see how he uses all of them.

    Sally: Yep, there's a lot of rules and alternate time lines. Still if I could understand the Summers/Grey family it's not too bad.