The Greatest Hero You’ve Never Heard Of: A Celebration Of Booster Gold
On this day in 1985, DC Comics introduced us to a new type of hero. A bold, new, narcissistic and self-aggrandizing type of hero, named Booster Gold. For over three decades, Booster Gold has gone from self-important a-hole to comic relief to the greatest hero you’ve never heard of, and one of the biggest fan-favorite characters in the DC Universe.
Booster first debuted in Booster Gold #1, written and drawn by Dan Jurgens, and was the first new character to get his own ongoing comic after Crisis on Infinite Earths. Booster was Michael Jon Carter, a sports star from the future who lost it all when he was exposed for throwing games, and attempted to start a new life of glory as a superhero in the 20th century.
Accompanied by his trusty robot pal Skeets, Carter stole gear from the superhero museum where he worked and traveled back in time, ready and set to be the new sensation known as Goldstar. However, after saving the life of the president, he mixed up his superhero name with his childhood nickname and was forever dubbed Booster Gold.
Booster capitalized on the fame by signing a number of endorsement deals and advertising contracts, immediately rubbing the majority of the superhero community the wrong way. However, Booster was swindled out of his money by a corrupt (and robotic) agent and left bankrupt, so he sought to rehab his image by joining the Justice League.
It was in the Justice League that Booster met his future best friend forever Ted Kord, AKA the Blue Beetle. Booster and Beetle became fast friends and the comic relief of Keith Giffen, JM DeMatteis and Kevin Maguire’s Justice League titles, but the books also showed both characters’ true heroic spirit and proved that they were more than just the “funny guys.”
Booster was here and there across the next twenty years of his existence; he helped Superman fight off Doomsday and got an awkward armored costume like everyone else in the '90s. His road to redemption began following the death of Ted Kord in Countdown to Infinite Crisis, when he helped Batman locate the new Blue Beetle, which led the heroes to the location of Brother Eye’s satellite.
Booster was reinvigorated in the pages of the experimental weekly comic 52, where it was revealed he was working in secret with Rip Hunter to trap the menace of Mr. Mind, who was incubating inside Skeets and trying to feast on the newly reformed multiverse. In the wake of their victory, Booster stuck with Rip and helped him fix the timeline wherever he was needed, but was forced to remain his bumbling self in the present day, lest any villains realize the true scope of their mission.
Booster helped save the DC Universe more times than it will ever know, and was one of the few surviving characters from the pre-Flashpoint universe. He even recruited his newer incarnation to help him with the gravest threat of all, and then evolved into Waverider, given ultimate power to help the multiverse expand past its limited fifty-two worlds into infinite earths once again.
Booster’s a fun character, but he represents a part of us all that isn’t featured much in superhero comics. He’s the guy at his desk who wants respect and knows he’s better than this. He’s the singer who knows they can prove everyone wrong if they just get their shot. Booster Gold represents that part of us that wants to show the world just what we’re made of, and in doing so, he encourages us to do it too.