Saturday, June 13, 2015

Odd Booster Gold Story

There was this one short Booster Gold story that always seemed kind of...bizarre. In tone and execution which is why it stuck with me for some time despite it being unimportant to Boosters' overall story. There are some interesting choices done given the character which has mixed results depending on your interpretation.

From Justice League Quarterly #9


Tomorrow Belongs to Geralyn

We start with Booster and Ted discussing many times they've been robbed at a diner with the waiter thinking their talking about getting laid. I bring this up for two reasons: 1.) I think it's odd that two heroes get their things stolen so often and 2.) It's the most innocent moment that has to do with something sexual in this. More on the second part in a bit.

A teenager takes Boosters' wallet prompting him to go into overkill to bring out his blasters which Ted objects to on the grounds that it would mean using them "out on the street" or rather in the open. Both Booster and Ted are capable of handling this without weapons but he does so because he had stuff taken from him five times in a row? Ignoring the fact the kid brings up bad PR (which Booster does get and should know better) this is just too harsh for an unarmed teen. If you recall his origins Booster grew up poor and stole to become a hero!

Max is furious over this making the papers and mentions Boosters' scrapbook like its something well known. Granted Booster had a globe with his mother and sisters' image in the first BG series he just didn't think ahead enough to take a whole holo-album with him. Now he has one. Our hero gets prompted by Maxs' awkward suggestion to check the album because he knows he's seen the teen before. Naturally every photo album has this girls' image in it in the 24th century. A star that helped positively shape the world to the point people in Boosters' time still remember her deeds. When Ted comments on how beautiful the woman in the picture is Booster informs him the girl in the image is currently 15. Remember this folks.

Anyway Booster doesn't want to be her manager he wants to save her from a future tragedy. Since most are under the impression the teen thief is a boy Booster searches for Gigi using male pronouns as to keep others from knowing the truth. This is when it starts to get uncomfortable. While searching for Gigi Booster asks around the prostitute area where one man hopes to give the "boy" a job. Naturally Gigi isn't pleased when Booster turns up since he shot at her (although only to scare her) and now has followed her. After leaving his card he goes not noticing how interested the homeless men are to learn "Jerry" is really a girl. Icky vibe very strong.

She points this out when she arrives at his door and stays since she now has no where else to go. He tries to tell her the real reason he knows so much about her only to discover she fell asleep. Life isn't going to be so perfect for Gigi as she's destined to lose her twin sister and it's implied she meets a bad end with a sleazy director. He tries to explain this to Max who isn't thrilled that Booster might doom them all to a potential disaster. You'd think he might want to know any information Booster has about the future but no. Max just wants the girl gone and doesn't want anymore details.

Booster calls her parents while Gigi puts on Beas' clothes (her green costume minus the headband) all the guys go gaga over her. While Booster is understandable since she's a living legend that's finally starting to look the part it comes off creepy for the rest. Max even forgets he wanted nothing to do with her and suggests she sit down. (Although he might not have wanted her to know he wanted her gone.) After hearing the name of the director Max has visiting Booster moves Gigi out although the man sees her and comments on her being a lovely child. Gah! While she doesn't want to return home Booster informs her of her sick twin sister prompting her to go back. Maybe she needed a transplant as both sisters live and share a glorious future together.

Overall: It's pretty squicky to see so many people interested in this girl. I'm guessing the "wow" moment with the guys seeing her in Beas' costume was supposed to be because she was said to be glamorous. Booster did say she was a cultural icon like Marilyn earlier and that was certainly how I read his reaction. But Beas' outfit is very sexual and the art depicting her dressing didn't help the tone. What I did like was how devoted Booster was to helping her out which felt very brotherly. He wants to do the right thing and it's sweet to see him become so protective. On the other hand would he have tried to help her if she wasn't anyone special? The impression at the start when she was just a thief doesn't make that seem likely.

Back when this was published only those that read Boosters' first series would know he had a sister, right? DeMatteis certainly didn't so I don't think many other writers did. Which gives this another unintentional meaning since he's sending Gigi back to save her twin. That information makes this story a deeper meaning as Booster wasn't able to save Michelle and doesn't want Gigi to suffer the same loss. There's also the untouched element of the celebrity parallel with Gigi and Booster. Did he aspire to be an icon like her?

If the tale needed to be suggestive to get the message across of the dangers homeless teens have to deal with...fine. I can see that underlining the threat around Gigi and hinting at bad things to come from the director. I guess what threw me was how the bit with the homeless men suddenly getting interested in her feeling like it was being played for laughs. Then the many nudges in such a short story.

Still Booster was being a little reckless since he had no idea what the outcome of saving Gigi and her sister would be. We don't even know if they will remain safe from the director since it's not mentioned. We do know just a glance at Gigi caught his interest. This probably would have read better as a full issue story since some of the details are brushed over. I don't hate this and I don't love it. This is just an odd tale that feels a little unfinished. In the end Booster did change history by reuniting a family, keeping a teen off the streets and helped save one if not two lives.

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