Booster Gold: The Greatest Hero You’ve Never Heard Of

(Disclaimer: This article is heavily focused on the storyline and events of the 2007 Booster Gold comic line by, Geoff Johns, Jeff Katz, and Dan Jurgens.)

Booster Gold was one of the first new characters DC introduced after Crisis on Infinite Earths. Created by Dan Jurgens, his first debut was in February of 1986 in Booster Gold #1. He guards the integrity of the time stream, and playing the fool is part of his cover. He protects all of time and space from evil. These adventures remain unknown to everyone due to his cover. He’s saved the Universe multiple times, but if anyone ever discovered what he actually does, it would jeopardize his entire existence.  And if that isn’t bad enough, he can’t make too big of a name for himself in the past, since he is from the future. Batman is the only one to discover Booster’s true agenda. Booster is an incredible character that doesn’t receive much recognition.

Michael Carter Fumbles was born and raised in Gotham City in the year 2442.  He was a gifted athlete, and aspired to make it big in his football career at Gotham University.  While attending college, his mother fell ill, and needed an operation that neither of them could afford.  Therefore, with Michael’s back against the wall, he made a few deals on the side, and threw a couple games in order to earn money for his mother’s treatment.  He succeeded and his mother continued to get better, but he was ultimately expelled.  Following the scandal, the only job he could pick up was a night security guard at a museum in Metropolis.  That’s where he was introduced to the Hall of Heroes within the museum, and it immediately intrigued him. He had an idea—he saw an opportunity to become something better, to be a hero.  With no future for himself, he decided to make one in the past.  He began by scavenging the museum for items to create his suit: a power suit, Brainiac 5’s force field belt, and a Legion of Super-Heroes’ flight ring. His power suit is crafted from fiberweave microcircuits allowing him to be capable of lifting several tons at once. He doesn’t have any super human abilities, and all of his abilities are technology based. Without his suit, he’s just your average Joe. After collecting all parts for his suit, he stole Rip Hunter’s time machine, took a historical droid named Skeet, and traveled back in time to the 20th century. 

Skeets possess all historical knowledge, even when anomalies occur.  Moreover, with that knowledge Booster is able to be at the right place, at the right time.  Booster Gold’s suit is so durable that it was able to take a direct blow from Doomsday, keeping Booster safe.  Although the suit was destroyed, Booster was still intact, but with no suit he wasn’t able to function as a super hero.  Until, Ted Kord was able to construct a new, bulkier suit for Booster.  Booster Gold was also the one to coin the name for the death-defying villain, Doomsday.  He made sure his debut didn’t go unnoticed, from saving the president, to running a company called Goldstar, and marketing himself.  He was on cereal boxes, had his own action figure, and the list goes on.  Mostly everyone saw him as a joke.  He was a jerk and a narcissist, who self-promoted himself as a star.  He obsessed with fame and fortune, which does rub many heroes the wrong way. He came up with the name Goldstar, but whenever a reporter on live TV asked for his name he mangled his own name, and said Booster Gold, which stuck ever since. Once the 2007 comic line came out, he became a more respectable character in the comic books.

Booster travels throughout the timeline with Skeet and Rip Hunter to repair the timelines following 52, and to stop villains who are exploiting anomalies in order to change history. We’re introduced to Rip Hunter who is a time master with an unknown past acting as Booster’s boss. However, his true origins were revealed later in the comics, when we learn that Rip Hunter is Booster Gold’s future son.  In his adventures throughout time, Booster has had many great achievements, and has the heroism of a main DC character. He’s prevented the death of the Green Lantern, Superman, the Titans, and many more heroes.  Not to mention he has had to save Flash on a few occasions, and ensures that Barry Allen becomes Flash through altered timelines.  Booster struggles a lot with doing what’s right, and doing what must be done. His job is to protect time, so he never gets a break. Booster was put in an impossible position where he had to let the events of Coast City happen. These events are when the Cyborg Superman incinerates Coast City, resulting in the death of 7 million people. Throughout these issues, Booster has a huge self-conflict within himself.

Although the right thing to do would be to save millions of people, he cannot.  If the events of Coast City never happen, Superman will not return from the grave, possibly resulting in Booster having no future to return back to. It is an event with huge importance, and although saddening, this event in history can’t be altered. So, he is forced for the events to play out the way they are intended to. Booster hasn’t been the best hero at times, and had a lot of experience before turning into such a great hero.

Early on, Booster Gold teamed up with Ted Kord, also known as the second Blue Beetle, and they quickly became best friends. Since the introduction of these characters, they have always been the best of pals. Until tragedy struck, leaving Booster in a vulnerable state without Blue Beetle. Ted had discovered someone was laundering money via his company Kord Inc., as well as Wayne Tech.  Once Ted, found who the culprit was, he was shot in the back of the head and killed.  As a result, it immediately caught the attention of the Justice League and they exposed the criminal, resulting in his death by the hand of Wonder Woman.  Booster was left absolutely heart broken, and just wanted the return of his pal.  Knowing how to time travel Booster immediately wanted to prevent his death, but Rip Hunter won’t allow it. Booster continues attempting to persuade Rip to let him save Ted.  And with every no, he becomes more furious towards him. Until, Rip finally caves, and says if he does one last mission for him he will help him save Ted. 

Rip sends Booster on a very important mission to stop another time anomaly that occurred, and Booster’s job is to save Batgirl.  Rip explains to Booster that in this timeline the Joker shoots Barbara Gordon paralyzing her, and leaving her unable to continue as Batgirl. Booster attempts to save Barbara, and is one second to late, and fails. The second time he attempts to save her, the Joker puts a gun to his head instead. Just as he’s about to pull the trigger, Rip pulls Booster back, when he sees a spike in his vitals.  Booster goes back repeatedly, and fails each and every time. Rip then tells Booster that there was never an anomaly, and this was all to prove a point. He goes on to explain, that Barbara Gordon is always destined to be paralyzed by the Joker, it’s a moment of solidified time, which cannot be changed, much like Ted Kord’s death.

Each person has a natural, unavoidable death.  It’s the way things are intended to be.  Booster becomes furious, and breaks the laws of time travel to prevent Ted Kord from dying.  Rip Hunter warned Booster not to go back in time, but he ignored him and listened to his emotions instead.  However, when Booster goes back in time and successfully saves Ted, things get complicated.  By Booster preventing his best friend’s death, he causes the outcome of the future to be much different.  A new timeline is formed resulting in the deaths of dozens of heroes, half the Justice League, and thousands of people.  Since Blue Beetle never died in this timeline, and criminal who killed him wasn’t exposed. Instead he lived to take down heroes, and caused the deaths of many innocent lives.  After multiple attempts to save this new timeline, Ted Kord realizes what he must do and scarifies himself for the sake of the world.  After the death of Ted Kord, it forced Booster Gold into a more mature mentality.  However, he still can’t seem to stop screwing with the time.

The most fascinating adventure to read is when an anomaly forms causing devastation.  In this time, Dick Grayson is the Robin that is killed, which causes an insane timeline to form.  In this new timeline all Titans were killed, and years later when Batman dies, Dick Grayson is not alive to take over the mantle as Batman.  With the Justice League weak, and no Titans, Trigon seeked to fulfill his long life desire, and ran roughshod over Earth.  Not long after the Titans died, Trigon had attacked Earth and claimed it as his own.  Leaving only 37,000 people left on Earth, with intensions to soon rid the entire planet of life. Trigon worked closely with Black Beetle, and Lex Luthor during his reign. However, with the human population dwindling, Luthor knew it was a matter of time, before he’d become disposable to Trigon. So he took action, to help change the timeline.  It was Booster’s job to make sure that those events never occurred.  With the help of Lex Luthor, Zatanna, Raven, and Oliver Queen, he’s able to ensure this timeline’s existence is erased.

More recognition for this character is much needed.  There is so much potential for the character, which has been missed for a while.  A Booster Gold movie script and show has been proposed to Warner Brothers in the past few years, but it seems there aren’t any intentions for those projects as of right now.  In early seasons of CW’s Legends of Tomorrow, it was rumored that Booster might be joining the show, but it didn’t happen.  I think the best platform for a Booster Gold show if one were to happen, would preferably be on the DC Universe, with a more mature rating, and audience this show could have the potential to be great. A team up movie with Booster Gold and Blue Beetle could have been nice competition with Antman and the Wasp. Maybe with hopeful success of some of DC’s newest movies, fans might get to see Booster Gold on the big screen.