My God, It’s Full of Stars!

July 28th, 2008 by | Tags: , , , , , ,

A couple weeks back, Johns and Katz finished off their spectacular run of Booster Gold, bringing us some closure, while opening several new plot threads. A lot happened in there that I enjoyed, including the scene with Booster and Batman. Yes, sure, you can complain about how Batman remained completely silent about finding photos of a beaten and tortured Booster when he found Joker’s camera circa Killing Joke, but I dug it. Not only because Batman, the big superhero cynic, was giving Booster the well-deserved props, but because it went both ways.

Fact is, Booster hated Batman more than any other superhero. That’s a damn lot. What’s that you say? Hal Jordan? No, Hal Jordan didn’t really hate Batman. He was more submissive to what Batman had to say against him and was at most irritated. Superman? More disappointed than anything else. Red Hood? Just confused in a frustrated way. Booster Gold, on the other hand, outright tried to MURDER Batman!

I still remember when Countdown to Infinite Crisis happened and people were frothing at the mouth to see how Booster would react towards Batman. Ah, that was a fun scene.

So anyway, the new issue of Booster Gold finally had Booster and Batman bury the hatchet. That’s cool.

But another big moment involved Rip Hunter’s reveal that he brought back Booster’s sister Goldstar. Now, I understand that only a handful of comic readers have read anything with Booster in it outside his Justice League/Blue Beetle team-up stuff, so I’m sure there’s quite a few of you wondering who this is. It’s a logical thing to wonder, since other than an earlier flashback, she hasn’t been seen for about twenty years.

First, it’s worth mentioning that Goldstar was meant to be Michael Jon Carter’s superhero name. When he first showed up in the present, he wanted to be called “The Mighty Booster”, only to decide that “Goldstar” sounded cooler. His first adventure involved him saving the life of President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George Bush, which included the involvement of the Legion. Making his first public appearance post-victory, this happened.

You know what’s awesome? The next time they need to mention this bit, they can easily retcon it into George W. Bush for timeline purposes.

With Booster gaining in popularity as a superhero and himself rich due to exploiting his status and playing the stock market thanks to historical data, he figures it’s time to get himself a sidekick. He hires Jack Soo of STAR Labs to make it happen. Briefly, we see him create a costume for a female sidekick set to be named “Goldstar”, but they don’t get a chance to audition anyone for the part.

For the first year of the series, the main conflict was Booster Gold vs. The 1000, an amped up version of a gang Black Lightning used to throw down with. The twelfth issue ends with Booster taking them down for good, but having used up all of his suit’s power and for reasons yet explained, he passes out and becomes terminally sick.

At this point I should mention Theresa “Trixie” Collins, Booster’s mousy, redhead secretary who shares an apartment with her nagging aunt. She spends the first half of the series crushing hard on her boss and getting broken up when the media gossips about his celebrity girlfriends. She is the only character to figure out the secret to Booster’s origin, based on his grasp on present-day culture.

She later explains this to Jack Soo and Dirk Davis. Dirk Davis, Booster’s agent, is the placeholder for Ted Kord in the best friend department. Soo figures that being from a different time is causing havoc on Booster’s immune system. Things are so smooth in the future that a simple modern virus is killing him. The only way to save him is to spring him from the hospital, find time-traveler Rip Hunter, go to the future and have Booster treated.

Unfortunately, this is during one of those times when the public is all up-in-arms about superheroes, so there’s a near-riot at Booster’s hospital. Our trio of supporting characters won’t make it past them, so Soo pulls out the Goldstar costume. Trixie is absolutely opposed to the idea, knowing that the costume is made for a female and she’s the only one who can wear it. Finally, she gives in and goes as long as she doesn’t have to show her face.

The Goldstar costume equips the user with what I’d call a Magneto Starter Kit. You can fly and toss metal around. That’s about it. She uses that to get Booster free and off they go to meet Rip Hunter.

Long story less-long, the whole lot of them go into the future, a couple years after Booster left initially. Booster is dismayed to find that his mother got sick and died after his disappearance. Not only does he start blaming himself for his mother’s death, but he finds out that for time-traveling, he’s a wanted felon. He and Trixie (still in the Goldstar duds) get captured, only to be rescued by Booster’s twin sister Michelle.

Later, Booster tries to tell his sister how irresponsibly he used that time machine.

Booster, Trixie, Michelle, Rip, Dirk and Jack all return to the present, just a few months off schedule. Booster buys himself a new mansion and gets ready for a huge comeback. While he explains how he expects to get back into the limelight, one of his old celebrity girlfriends busts in, demanding an explanation as to why he hasn’t called. Booster goes into a speech about how he’s no “one-woman man” and that he likes to play the field. This is the straw that allows Trixie to get over her thing for her boss. The guy’s too much of a dick for there to ever be anything between them. From there, she gets together with Dirk.

Michelle wants nothing to do with Booster’s business and merely wants to explore the twentieth century version of America. Booster gives her his full blessing, but is unaware that she’s stolen the Goldstar suit for herself.

Before long, a couple green-skinned aliens shoot her out of the sky. They come from another dimension and while they can create dimensional portals, they can only do them to fit one alien at a time. Can’t really invade another dimension like that. By hooking Goldstar up to a device, they use her magnetic powers to build a bigger portal. With a giant portal, they send a humongous creature to Earth. With the help of the Justice League, who were in the beginning of their awesome “BWA-HA-HA!” phase, Booster blows up the monster and goes straight after the aliens.

As Booster finishes off the monster, Skeets frees Goldstar and the two try to escape. Booster appears and saves their skins. After busting up the aliens, the trio try to escape back to Earth. Booster turns on his force field, but Goldstar runs off to hit a switch to make the portal work correctly. After getting the switch, a live cable falls from the ceiling and lands on or near Michelle. A huge explosion occurs, knocking Booster and Skeets through the portal.

Booster mopes about causing his sister’s death thanks to his time traveling antics. What’s kind of messed up is how at the funeral, they can’t display Michelle’s tombstone. Booster doesn’t like the idea of a grave for someone who hasn’t even been born yet and instead has Dr. Fate toss the tombstone into another reality, where it floats for eternity.

For such a so-called goofy character, Booster sure has a lot of casualties. His mother died, his sister died, his best friend died, his robot sidekick died… Hey, you remember that, right? Skeets dying? Like, Ted Kord discovered that Max Lord disassembled him back in Countdown to Infinite Crisis and then Infinite Crisis happened and he was just there again with no explanation? Whatever happened with that? Maybe he’s a Skr… whoa, wait. Wrong company. Though a green Skeets with a wrinkled chin and pointy ears could look amusing.

I admit, I read Booster Gold after having read Countdown to Infinite Crisis, so I already knew that Michelle Carter was on borrowed time the moment she showed up. I just didn’t know it would be so soon. She appears in the future, comes back in time and is immediately thrust into the story that kills her off. Though really, considering her death involves a giant explosion in a reality that can’t be easily revisited, Jurgens was practically begging for somebody, anybody, to bring her back. I even remember the writer of Extreme Justice saying as much in the letters section.

Booster only has a handful of issues left to go before cancellation. First, he has a nifty crossover with Action Comics that involves him saving Superman and humiliating Lex Luthor. After that, it thrusts into Millenium, DC’s half-baked event that reads like a prototype for Secret Invasion, only with Manhunters instead of Skrulls. At first, Dirk Davis is revealed as a Manhunter. He steals all of Booster’s money, reveals himself as being evil all along and asks him to join the Manhunter cause. It’s almost exactly like the Blue Beetle/Max Lord situation, only Booster goes with the smart plan of pretending to join the bad guy and not dying.

It didn’t take very long at all before Jurgens decided that none of this made any sense. The reveal didn’t so much say that Dirk was replaced by a Manhunter, but that he’s been one since the beginning of the series! Considering the guy was there since Booster first showed up in the present AND he has a human daughter, it was a big old continuity mess. So they changed it so that Dirk has been working with the Manhunters as just a human. I guess.

Even though Booster turns on the Manhunters during Millenium, his reputation is tarnished by those who still believe him to be a traitor. Booster gets the idea to move to a different century and try to start from scratch. It’s Blue Beetle of all people who gets in his face and tells him to stand up to his problems and deal. Booster agrees and takes up the offer to live at the JLI Embassy, but not before making one last stop in Metropolis to say goodbye.

“What’s next for you then?”

“First I’m going to find a place I want to be… and then I’m going to attack that market for all it’s worth and make a few million bucks! Like it or not, the world is soon going to learn… that BOOSTER GOLD is here to stay!”

From there on, DC decides that appearing regularly in Justice League International is good enough for Booster… and Beetle as well. He too has just had his series canceled with somewhat similar results. It is after their respective series have ended that the two notice that they have each just lost their fortunes and are in the same boat. Seeing eye-to-eye, they go into business together as Blue & Gold and a bond is created.

As for Trixie Collins? She has since shown up once or twice in the Jurgens-involved Teen Titans run. I haven’t read those issues, so I don’t know what her deal was there, but I doubt anyone got excited over it. “A forgotten supporting character from a series I probably haven’t read is hanging out with the Titans? Algebraic!” I suppose the only payoff to this was in the miniseries Chase, where Booster and the Titans cross paths. Booster and Trixie share a tense Jerry/Newman greeting with each other, but that’s about it.

Towards the end of the latest Booster Gold, the relationship between Booster and Rip Hunter is made clear.

Ever since being thrust back into the DC limelight, they’ve changed Rip’s blond hair to something more reddish. Booster has only had a handful of love interests over the years. He was briefly with Firehawk, but I wouldn’t expect anyone to remember that. He married an old woman named Gladys for her wealth, but that got retconned away as part of Infinite Crisis. His fling with Fire didn’t go anywhere.

I’m thinking Trixie will be making a comeback soon to fulfill her role as Rip Hunter’s mother. Hey, go for it, DC!

Similar Posts:

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to Reddit Post to StumbleUpon

One comment to “My God, It’s Full of Stars!”

  1. With Jurgens named as the long-term replacement on the series (after the filler issues) your guess as to the mom seems likely…