Throwback Thursday – Showcase Presents Booster Gold Vol. 1

First Published: March 2008

Contents: Booster Gold #1 (February 1986) to #25 (February 1988); Action Comics #594 (November 1987); and the Booster Gold origin story from Secret Origins #35 (December 1988)

Key Creator Credits: Dan Jurgens, Mike DeCarlo, Ty Templeton, John Byrne, and others

Key First Appearances: Michael Jon Carter/Booster Gold, Skeets, Blackguard, the 1000, Trixie Collins/Goldstar, Dirk Davis, Michelle Carter, Chiller

Overview: In the 25th century, down-on-his-luck Michael Jon Carter is working at the Space Museum as a night watchman. As a promising football star nicknamed “Booster”, he was banned from the sport when it was revealed he took money to throw a game. Deciding to take advantage of his knowledge of the past, Carter steals a Legion flight ring and force-field belt and uses a time bubble to travel to the 20th century. There he sets himself up as a new superhero, Goldstar, in Metropolis, the hometown of Superman. He sets up a corporation for himself, to handle commercials and endorsements. During his first debut as a hero, he bumbles his own name, and the President introduces our hero to the world as Booster Gold!

Stuck with the botched code name, Booster Gold is the toast of the town, and in the targets of many people. New villains sprout up, such as Blackguard and Chiller, working for a criminal organization known as the 1000. Booster sister Michelle follows her brother back to the 20th century, where she becomes the hero Goldstar. Life is going well for Booster, right?

Unfortunately, life goes wrong for Booster – again! Booster’s sister is killed in battle. His wealth is taken away by his agent, who is secretly a Manhunter. Booster Gold realizes that he can still be a hero without the fame and money that motivated him in the past.

Why should these stories be Showcased?: I was ready to dismiss this volume, having lived through it’s run 28 years ago. But on the re-read of this title, I have to reconsider my position on this. First, Booster Gold was one of the first NEW heroes to debut in the new post-Crisis universe. While there have been times when he has been nothing more than comedy relief, he has been an active character in DC Comics for nearly 30 years now.

These stories also represent the changing view of heroes in the mid-1980s. Following works like Watchmen and The Dark Knight Returns, heroes were no longer goody-two-shoes. At the start of this title, Booster Gold is not a likable person. He stole a Legion ring and a force field belt and traveled into the past with the intent of using his knowledge of history for monetary gain. His actions are based on what the reward is for him, and not for the betterment of others. It’s only after Booster Gold’s life bottoms out that he realizes the mistakes he has made along the way, and now must overcome his legacy of the corporate hero in order to become a true hero.

Footnotes:  The cover to Action Comics #594 is a direct homage to the cover of Booster Gold #7.

The full review can be found at Essential Showcase

To find the original issues, or reprints, of these books, check with your local comic book store. In the Midwest, I strongly recommend Clint’s Comics in midtown Kansas City. Clint’s has been in business for nearly 50 years at the intersection of Main St. and Westport Rd. The back-issue selection is incredible, and what you see in the store is just a small fraction of their total inventory. In addition to the back issues, Clint’s stocks current issues, trade paperbacks, toys, T-shirts, and more. Check out Clint’s Comics to build your own essential collection!

Categories: Jerry

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