The Price of Gold Declines: Supernova Speculation

August 21st, 2006 by |

For the past week, I’ve been on vacation in Phoenix (hey, it’s a nice place), which explains the lack of What If updates. Thankfully, hermanos is an update machine. I was lucky enough to find a comic shop, where I bought enough new stuff to keep me occupied. Green Lantern Corps ended with one of the most hilarious ownings in recent memory. Ultimate Fantastic Four included a jaw-dropping two-page splash that’s more than worthy of being a wallpaper.

52 Week 15, on the other hand… well, that just gave me a new reason to be annoyed at DC. Let’s not mince words: Booster Gold is dead. I don’t feel too bad about spoiling this, since DC already spoils the crap out of it with the issue’s cover. Booster, in an attempt to make himself look better than his mysterious rival Supernova, blew himself up from absorbing too much radiation and has been reduced to a skeleton in futuristic threads.

Hopefully, the writers of 52 won’t hold out on the aftermath for too long. For all we know, the next issue could be Black Adam dancing the Charleston for 20 pages, followed by a two-page bio of Mirror Master. Still, we know that Booster is gone. No matter the reaction by his peers and the public, it doesn’t change that he’s as dead as Ted.

But what of Supernova?

Ever since he’s shown up, there’s been much speculation on who Supernova could be. There’s little to go by, other than his vaguely described powers, his resentment of Booster Gold, the fact that he really seems to be a hero and that he has some air of experience around him. Theories of who he could be range from the Starman from the future to a Superman robot to an actual new character.

The most popular theory is that Supernova is Booster Gold… from a different timeline or reality. Some say that Supernova is Booster from the future, trying to make up for his past mistakes. It sounds like it could be right, but at the same time sounds too simple. Morrison’s been writing a lot of the Booster subplot, so you know they have to be going all out to surprise us.

I can’t think like Grant Morrison, but I could surely give it a try. Here’s my own speculation of what’s going on, based on the idea that DC cares at all about continuity. Meaning, I’m totally off.

First, let’s look at the different incarnations of Booster Gold:

1) Debuting Booster Gold: Booster as he first showed up in the 80’s, stationing himself in Metropolis. An egotistical asshole who used his limited knowledge of the future to become rich, to make up for a future that spits in his face. Accompanied by his sidekick Skeets, he fought crime mainly to be greedy, but had some nobility to him. Over time, he softened up from his sister’s death, his many friendships, experience and so on. At the end of his series, he decides that Metropolis isn’t for him.

2) Countdown/OMAC Booster Gold: Years of character development later and Booster makes the right choice: he’d rather help Blue Beetle than try and make his promotional comeback. Booster is now more competent than he’s ever been, but it’s not enough. He’s unable to save Skeets, Beetle and Rocket Red despite several attempts at self-sacrifice. Not only that, but his futuristic gear is damaged beyond repair. He’s last seen removing his goggles and sulking over how his own inability to remember history makes him worthless.

3) Infinite Crisis/52 Booster Gold: Booster shows up with Skeets during the events of Infinite Crisis, angry that he couldn’t get back further than when the JLA tower exploded. He tracks down the Beetle Scarab, uses his knowledge to prevent Brother Eye’s massacre (while claiming it’ll shoot him back to the top) and comes off as a hero. After that, he uses his extensive knowledge of the future to make a buck, while again stationing himself in Metropolis. He doesn’t actually show any semblence of emotion towards guys like Fire, Elongated Man or even his dead friend Blue Beetle. He’s a lot like Debuting Booster Gold, only even more of an asshole. He ends up dying in a selfish way.

4) The Booster That Never Was: In 52, we see that according to Skeets’ records, Booster Gold was supposed to be hand-picked to be in the new Justice League, which was to be considered the best incarnation ever. Whether it’s because of New Earth fuckery or Booster Gold’s help in preventing the Brother Eye massacre, we don’t know.

Let’s just ignore Extreme Justice Booster Gold and Super Buddies Booster Gold here, since they have nothing to do with this article.

My speculation is not just that Supernova is Booster Gold, but that he’s our Booster Gold. He’s the Booster Gold we last saw in OMAC Project. He’s the Booster Gold that was meant to join the new Justice League.

You see, after realizing how worthless his lack of historical knowledge made him, OMAC Booster figured that it wasn’t too late. On a chronological level, he wouldn’t initially time travel for centuries. He could still warn himself and save Ted, Ice, Rocket Red, Sue, etc. All he had to do was relay the message to his younger self of what to do. While time travel is an option (though Booster Gold really shouldn’t be able to travel forward, like Countdown and OMAC Project suggested), it’s more likely that he just placed a message somewhere that young Michael Jon Carter would find it in the 25th century.

Anyway, 25th century museum watchman Michale Jon Carter goes back in time to get fame and fortune as Booster Gold. There are two changes here: 1) He knows he’s supposed to know about superhero history. He made sure to have Skeets take care of that. 2) He knows that he has a major role in that time, which would probably fellate his ego even more. The problem with having all this knowledge is a double-sided axe. On one hand, he is preventing disasters. On the other hand, he’s not doing it for the reasons OMAC Booster intended.

Teen Titans has shown us that time travel + Superboy Punches = screwed up landing date. That’s why Booster Gold and Skeets arrive during Infinite Crisis and not when they were supposed to: several years ago. He can’t prevent Doomsday, Ted’s death, the OMACs, the Watchtower exploding or anything else. All he can do is use his knowledge of the future to help defeat Brother Eye and then get rich off of it. While this is going on, there’s an older Booster Gold (OMAC Booster) doing nothing about it.

So why Supernova? If you notice, Supernova first shows up immediately after 52 Booster Gold gets exposed as a fraud. The other Michael Jon Carter really can’t go back to being Booster, can he? Especially when you look at what happened with the two Lex Luthors. What’s stopping 52 Booster from using his older self as a scapegoat? Besides, OMAC Booster Gold doesn’t have working gear.

How he got his Supernova powers, I don’t know. But seeing the absolute worst version of himself destroy his legacy causes him to make a stand and go back to heroing. We now have the two sides of Michael Jon Carter existing at once and at odds: the selfless hero and the selfish fraud.

Let’s look at what Dan DiDio had to say on the subject of Booster Gold’s death:

“This is the end of the character. The repercussions of the death will play through the remainder of 52, and although this is the conclusion of character, it’s not the conclusion of his story.”

Even if the Supernova speculation is correct, this quote is still equally correct. Let’s face it: Booster Gold is dead. He’s never coming back. Michael Jon Carter, on the other hand… well, time will tell.

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One comment to “The Price of Gold Declines: Supernova Speculation”

  1. Interesting… this would explain things… except, why wouldn’t OMAC Booster reveal himself to Fire and Ralph? Especially after Booster died.

    It’d have been the perfect end page:

    Supernova lands and lays Booster’s corpse gently on the ground. He breaks down and takes off his mask. “No, it wasn’t supposed to be this way!” John Michael Carter shouts, surprising the onlookers who noticed the similarities between him and the recently deceased Booster. “You weren’t supposed to die!”