In the past 3 years we have witnessed a renaissance of the superhero in mainstream media. Marvel Studios is pumping out at least two movies a year for the foreseeable future, Warner Bros. is constructing their cinematic universe, and every network including Netflix is snatching up the rights to superhero characters to adapt to the small screen. And a favorite of mine, Booster Gold - the fortune and fame adoring man out of time - would make a great transition to serialized television, and could make for an incredible action-packed sci-fi series. But I'll get to that in a little bit. First, for those unfamiliar with this superhero, let's learn a little about what makes Booster Gold so incredibly boosterific.
The character of Booster Gold was created by a young up-and-coming artist named Dan Jurgens in 1986. Jurgens would later pen and illustrate the monumental Death of Superman story arc a few years later. Booster Gold had the distinction of being the very first new character to debut in the DC Universe in 1986 after the epic mini-series Crisis on Infinite Earths changed the landscape of the company’s Universe of superheroes — and in his own title to boot!
Booster Gold first appeared through in-house print ads running throughout various DC Comics titles in 1986 for several months prior to his first in-issue appearance. His first canonical appearance was in Booster Gold #1 (1986), but his origin was not revealed until several issues later.
Michael Jon Carter was an all-star football quarterback in peak athletic condition, from the 25th Century, that was banned from playing the sport ever again once it was discovered that he was fixing games for profit (later retconned that it was his sleazy father that forced him to rig the games). After being arrested and having his sentence commuted to community service, Michael worked at the Metropolis History Museum as a security guard. Working there for several months, and befriending a security droid named Skeets, Michael ventured into the Hall of Superheroes of the 20th Century and was mesmerized by the grandeur and fame that superheroes received during that era. Feeling that he was now a nobody in his era because of the profiteering scandal, and that he really had nothing to lose, he fashioned a costume out of stolen technology from various eras — including a Legion of Superheroes flight ring – grabbed his pal Skeets, and hopped into Rip Hunter‘s time machine and set a course to America in the 1980s. Metropolis specifically. It was Michael’s hope to once again find the fame and fortune he craved by becoming a superhero and product pitch-man. The idealistic decade of excess, the 1980s, was the perfect backdrop for him to start his life anew. With Skeets in tow, Michael adopted the name Booster Gold and began his crime-fighting career. He was soon hired by an agency, had an agent, and was making tons of money in endorsement deals. His manufactured costume allowed him the ability to fly, gave him power blasts, force fields, and enhanced strength. Later enhancements to his suit allowed him to phase in and out of time periods when in communication with Rip Hunter’s Time Sphere.
Booster Gold is a second tier character that became more and more of a comedic character as the years progressed. This was in large part because of his close association with fellow superhero Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle. The two characters became intertwined following their long stints in the Justice League and that image tarnished a great deal of the potential of both characters. It wasn't until Ted Kord was murdered in the Countdown to Infinite Crisis Special in 2005, that Booster started to veer away from being depicted as a clown. Fan favorite writer Geoff Johns wrote Booster Gold’s exploits in the year long universe-wide series 52, which tailored Booster Gold with a new mission statement as protector of the time stream. Given a new popularity following that series, Johns continued to write Booster Gold’s adventures in a brand new series in 2006. When DC Comics relaunched their branding with The New 52 in 2011, Booster was front and center as the leader of the Justice League International. After the book's cancellation, Booster Gold was last seen traversing the time stream in an attempt to halt a great disaster.
BOOSTER GOLD - JLI
The very first time that I was introduced to Booster Gold, is when I became an instant fan. I had started collecting the retooled Justice League title in 1987 from the first issue of this new series. In the fourth issue, the weasely businessman Maxwell Lord found his way into the JL headquarter and immediately demanded Booster Gold’s inclusion on the team. Having no familiarity with the character whatsoever (this was long before the halcyon days of the internet to look things up), I thought, Who's this nerd? Booster, feeling dejected by the Justice League’s response to his presence, decides to leave as he knows when he’s not wanted. Upon his departure, he stumbles upon the villainous Royal Flush Gang ready to ambush the League and have already prepared traps around the perimeter. Booster contends with the entire lot and vanquishes them, which you’ll see on the scans below. Impressed by his abilities, quick thinking and prowess, Batman recommends Booster Gold for Justice League membership after all. Booster has one of the longest tenures in this incarnation of the team, along with good friends Blue Beetle and the former Global Guardians known as Fire and Ice.
THE BLUE AND THE GOLD
For the better part of 20 years Booster Gold shared his exploits with the Blue Beetle. They became best friends and Beetle was often the voice of reason whenever Booster devised a hair-brained get-rich-quick scheme. Their tomfoolery often had them both viewed as incompetent imbeciles in the eyes of the rest of the superhero community. When Ted Kord was killed at the hands of their former friend and benefactor Maxwell Lord, Booster took it hard and disappeared for awhile. Traveling back to the future. When he returned to this era, and following his involvement in the Infinite Crisis (2007), he had a new purpose as Protector of the Time Stream alongside fellow chrono-hero, Rip Hunter. But in order to accomplish his mission without any interference, Booster must hide his accomplishments and his mission from the public and continue having them believe that he is a complete idiot. For a glory-hound like Booster Gold, that was a tough pill to swallow. But he continues his mission diligently trying to honor the sacrifice of his best friend.
BOOSTER GOLD - Destined For TV Stardom?
In the final season of TV's Smallville, Booster Gold was featured in an episode trying to track down the mysterious Blue Beetle scarab. He was portrayed in the episode by actor Eric Martsolf and the character's personality, costume, and charisma had a 24 karat shine that translated well to television.
Following that brief stint of TV stardom, several years ago there was an announcement that the SYFY channel was developing a Booster Gold TV show. That didn't come to fruition, but that doesn't mean the character shouldn't have a show nonetheless. With his backstory heavily steeped in time-travel and exploration of alternate realities, Booster Gold could make for a program that would be a perfect guide through the DC Universe. Each episode could center around a disturbance in the time stream which would have Booster Gold (with colleagues Skeets and time master Rip Hunter in tow) striving to put right what once went wrong, and hoping each time that his next leap will be the leap home. Uh...sorry, that's a different show, but the premise would be similar just substituting out helping Average Joes with established characters from the DC Universe. Licensing aside, this could be done easily. It's not as if the concept of a time-traveling hero correcting irregularities in history is unheard of. There has been quite a few shows that took a dive into this subject matter dating all the way back to the 1960s with The Time Tunnel, Dr. Who, and in the 80s with Voyagers! and Quantum Leap, and in the early 1990's with Sliders to name a few. So at least there's a precedence for the time-travel frame work.
The beauty of this kind of concept show, is that it would be a seamless way to introduce other DC characters into the DC TV Universe (much like Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. bridges the Marvel Cinematic Universe with television) and wouldn't get too bogged down with origin stories because Booster Gold and Rip Hunter could educate the audience on each character appearing on the show through stylized exposition. Personally, I think this could work incredibly well in expanding DC's Cinematic Universe.
So, c'mon DC and Warner Bros...what are you waiting for?! There's a golden opportunity for the next big genre TV show!