The greatest hero you never heard of! That’s seriously the phrase Booster Gold shouts when he announces himself to people. Most people, in the comic book world and our real world, don’t know who Booster is. In our real world, only educated comic book fans know who he is. He isn’t one of the top heroes you think of when discussing your top DC superheroes. In fact, as short as a year ago, I would have laughed if someone told me he was one of their favorite superheroes. I’ve always thought he was lame and just another white guy with a dry sense of humor. That’s the cool thing about comics though. You can have as many opinions as you want about a character, but that’s all they are, opinions. Your love of a character isn’t determined by facts, nor is your hate. If you hate a comic book character, or don’t understand them, there’s only one option (and it’s the best one too.) Read up on them. Learn about them. Their motivations, their strengths, their weaknesses. Our real world doesn’t work that way. I don’t give a rat’s ass about Donald Trump. I have seen, heard, and read a plethora of things that make me hate the man, but I have literally no way of proving my theories about the man correct. Unless I meet the man, I can never truly understand him or his motivations. Trump doesn’t seem like that complicated of a man, but still, even someone in the public eye as much as him, can never be understood without direct conversation or interaction. Comics allow us to engage with a character directly. We can block out all the internet rage and praise. You think Zack Snyder messed up (or accurately depicted) Superman in his films? You better bring specific, relevant moments in comic book history that back up your statement. Emotional responses followed by hateful slurs don’t advance the discourse of superhero film at all. If you don’t think Booster deserves a film, I hope I can change your mind, but if you think he’s a dope of a character before learning about him (as I did) then please read his comics first. Yes, at first glance, he is just another white guy with horrible jokes. But his origin, motivations, and most importantly, his growth, make him an important, and relatable hero in DC Comics.
The DCEU takes itself too seriously right now. Which isn’t a bad thing honestly. Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman were serious films. I don’t like the criticisms of those films being about the tone of the films. I felt the hope in Man of Steel. Batman v. Superman had more pressing problems than their tone. Things don’t start to heat up in the DCEU until we get to Suicide Squad. I have a problem with this route though. I think I’m a minority when it comes to this way of thinking, but whatever. I’m not a fan of this anti-hero culture. Not at all. I think it’s because of our society’s firm belief that people are extremely flawed, to the point they abandon their morals at some point or another. I believe humans are flawed, but characters like Superman make me feel good about human nature. Heroes like Captain America and Cyclops make me believe that people can still be good. American television and film though would have you believe that you can go from high-school teacher to murderer in two seconds. Walter White, Frank Underwood, Annalise Keating, Wade Wilson, Harley Quinn, the list goes on and on. Suicide Squad attempted to humanize criminals. They did a good job (do you know how impossible it is to hate Will Smith?) but at the end of the day, we were rooting for criminals. Harley is still a psycho who will cut someone’s hand off for the Joker. Deadshot still kills for money despite his daughter not wanting him to. Suicide Squad’s comedy was cheap too. Lame stereotypes and stilted acting made the movie fall flat. So far, our heroes are gloomy shells of themselves, and our “villains” aren’t really villains at all because they want “normal” lives. It’s backwards, but most importantly, has been executed poorly. Now, they promise the tone will shift with Justice League, but my question is…why? If any movie in the DCEU has a dark tone, I would want it to be Justice League. And considering the fact they are going up against Steppenwolf in their first battle, I wouldn’t flinch at a dark tone, and no jokes. Instead, giving in to pressure despite all that financial success DC Extremists remind us about, we got a joke filled trailer for Justice League. It wasn’t a full-length trailer, but the tone seems jovial this time around. I’ll repeat, this is backwards. The DCEU doesn’t need jokes to make good films. They need soul. They need emotion that isn’t forced. Booster Gold provides both of those things, along with a bunch of laughs along the way. The sooner he becomes a part of the DCEU, the sooner we get back to heroes being heroes.
WHO IS BOOSTER GOLD?
He’s the greatest hero you’ve never heard of! But seriously, Booster Gold was created by Dan Jurgens and debuted in 1986. His origin is one of the goofiest in comic book history. Michael Jon Carter is from Gotham. Not the Gotham you’re thinking of. He’s from the 25th Century. In the future, he’s a famous quarterback. He has it all. The fame, the looks, and the women. Michael’s life is turned upside down though when he’s caught betting on his own games. He becomes a disgraced athlete and is forced to live his life in shame. A Booster Gold film would be cool to see in the DCEU because of the future. This was a point of emphasis in my Batman Beyond piece as well. The visuals of a futuristic Gotham could be spectacular with today’s technology.
Michael doesn’t have any powers at all. After a while, he got a job as a security guard at the Metropolis space museum. The museum has artifacts from the superheroes of old. All of them are dead now and Michael was in charge of protecting them. Instead, he still yearns for fame and glory. He decides to steal some artifacts with help from a security robot named Skeets. Skeets is a wisecracking machine that follows Michael throughout his journey as a wannabe hero. Dawning artifacts such as a Legion flight ring, a force field belt, energy gauntlets, and a special suit, he becomes the hero he always wanted to be. He steals a time sphere at the museum as well. The sphere was built by famous time traveler, Rip Hunter. Michael has the perfect plan. Go back in time, wow everyone with his special abilities, and become the greatest (and most profitable) hero that’s ever lived. Michael then becomes the annoying, unskilled hero known as Booster Gold!
You can see why this is an almost perfect film idea. Michael has literally no skills other than his athleticism that helped him become a football star. His ambitions to become a hero in a world where Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman exist is asinine. But he thinks he can make a profit. In the past, Booster becomes a celebrity. He stages PR stunts so he can make money. It doesn’t earn him any fans in the superhero community though. They see him as a joke. He’s desperate for people to see him as a hero, but he just isn’t one. The comedy in a Booster Gold film would be off the charts as he tries to impress the public. His interactions with someone like Bruce Wayne would be hilarious as well. Booster eventually makes his way on the Justice League. He becomes one of the original members of Justice League International. Batman leads this team as well. Other members include Black Canary, Mister Miracle, Guy Gardner, and Doctor Light. The only other member that matters though is Ted Kord, the second Blue Beetle. He doesn’t have alien scarab attached to his body that the other Blue Beetles have. Ted is the second hero to dawn the name. The reason he’s important is because of his relationship to Booster. They are best friends. Not only are they best friends, but they’re a nuisance. Always causing trouble or getting into trouble. Ted and Booster become superhero repo men. They retrieve things for people, but of course, for a price. Their relationship is a vibrant one and something the DCEU needs. Seeing their hijinks on screen would be fun for everyone watching.
The main reason I want to see Booster in the DCEU though isn’t because of his shenanigans. It isn’t even because of his relationship with Blue Beetle. No, the main reason I want to see Booster Gold in the DCEU is the evolution of his character. A character who doesn’t evolve is boring. Sometimes, a character doesn’t need a major evolution. Superman staying the way he is, is just fine for the DC Universe. His attitude towards life and humanity has changed somewhat over the years, but overall, he’s still the same character. The same goes for Batman, Barry Allen, and others. Booster though needed to evolve. Not only did he need it, but he wanted too. His celebrity persona didn’t last forever. The funniest thing about Booster is that everyone knows he is a poser. Have you ever met someone who claims to be the best (insert occupation here) and you can tell they are a fake within thirteen seconds? Yeah, that’s Booster. There’s just something about him that screams fake. The heroes of the 21st century know this and eventually, the people start to realize it as well. It’s unfortunate because Booster doesn’t want that reputation after a while. He realizes how stupid and juvenile his dreams of stardom were. Booster grows up. You don’t see that with goofy characters all the time. Some of them go through life changing events, but maintain their goofiness to help cope. Booster eventually becomes a very important figure in the DC Universe. He realizes the importance of his actions as he gets older. This type of growth in Booster couldn’t, or I should say shouldn’t, be shown in a singular movie. There is potential here for a Booster Gold franchise which I’d happily sign up for.
The two events that help Booster evolve the most are the deaths of his sister Michelle and his best friend, Blue Beetle. His sister died trying to be a superhero just like him. She took a suit as well and adopted the name Goldstar. Her death proved to him the seriousness of the superhero life. Ted Kord was killed by the villain Maxwell Lord. Lord was a liaison to the Justice League when both Booster and Ted were on the team. The whole time though, he wanted to take the League down. Ted is shot in the head by Maxwell, which leads to his downfall. This affected Booster the most. He quits the League and meets up with Rip Hunter, the man who built the Time Sphere he stole in the future. Booster then becomes the protector of the Time Stream. The time stream is a place where people, both villains and heroes, travel to either the past or the far future, and everything in between. Rip is a smart man. Seeing him in a film would be cool. He’s Booster’s boss. No nonsense. That basically describes Rip’s personality. He helps Booster in his efforts to protect the multiverse. Where things get tricky is Rip’s requests to Booster for him to maintain his loser image. Rip tells Booster that for him to successfully defend the universe, he must make people think he’s the idiot they think he is. This is so he can go about his business in the time stream unperturbed. If someone caught wind of a hero doing hero things in the time stream, Booster and Rip would be out of business. It’s funny because whenever someone sees Booster, they immediately have something derogatory to say. It’s interesting as well because this frustrates Booster more than anything. He finally strips himself of his “all about me” ego and his antics. Finally, he wants to save the world and do the right thing. Except everyone has this image of him. Granted, he created that image, but it’s one he desperately wants to shed, given the fact he’s saved the universe multiple times. This causes conflict with Rip, and I think it’s the perfect formula to show his growth.
There’s an interesting story, written by Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz and illustrated by Dan Jurgens, where Booster in fact brings Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle, back to life. He saves Ted from Max Lord’s bullet. With the help of the other Blue Beetles, both past and future, they rescue Ted. Rip has always told Booster that affecting the past is a time travel no-no. Booster doesn’t care though. He wants his best friend back. In the story, he only goes through with his plan because a futuristic version of the Blue Beetle promises him that nothing will happen. Of course, something does. Booster is happy to be back with his friend. Their chemistry is perfect. However, they’ve entered a world where the Justice League couldn’t find out about Max Lord’s plans for world domination. He’s taken over the world with the help of his OMAC project. The OMAC’s are sentient beings that take over the body of normal people. Lord’s OMAC’s have killed and taken over the bodies of almost every superhero in the world. Lord also has taken over the mind of Superman in this future as well. He can’t make Superman kill though. This story teaches Booster the lesson that history really can’t be changed. Hero after hero dies in this story before Ted himself decides that he must return to the past so he can die. Johns does a wonderful job writing this story. The maturity of Booster is showcased in this story brilliantly. The villains behind this future are surprising as well. Booster and Rip are known as the Time Masters. The villains of this story are the Time Stealers. They don’t want to kill Booster. But they want to break his spirit. The Blue Beetle from the future is revealed to be the Black Beetle, mortal enemy of Jamie Reyes, the third Blue Beetle. The Time Stealers also include Mister Mind. Mind is a worm that infects people like a parasite. He is controlling the body of Booster’s father. Booster and the rest of the League eventually defeat the Time Stealers and Ted kills Mind.
Booster is then transported to the year one million. There is another con artist there by the name of Peter Platinum. When Booster arrives, he realizes he’s the inspiration for Platinum’s antics, but not because he admired Booster. Booster is known as a failure. Platinum tells him that he’s doing what Booster couldn’t, make a profit. Booster is furious that the only thing he contributes to the future is Peter Platinum. He quits being Rip’s partner, only to go back to his reality of being a joke. Booster can’t take it. It’s all too much. Just as he’s about to lose it, Batman calls him to the cave. I desperately want to see this scene in a film. Batman shows Booster pictures the Joker took the night he paralyzed Barbara Gordon. Booster went back in time to save Barbara, but he failed, and the Joker took pictures of him to shame him as well. Batman shows him the pictures so that someone knows what Booster is trying to do. Someone knows he’s not the idiot everyone thinks he is. Batman tells Booster that it’s okay if everyone must think that in order for him to be the best hero he can be. He then offers Booster someone to talk to, whenever he’s feeling down or just needs a friend. I love this scene because number one, who doesn’t love Batman in this role, and number two, Booster realizes his role in the DC Universe finally. He goes back to Rip to tell him while being a Time Master isn’t the most glorious role in the world, it needs to be done. Rip surprises him though. As Booster approaches Rip, his sister, Michelle greets him in her Goldstar outfit. Rip saved her because a loophole in time allowed him too. Michelle is Rip’s gift to Booster. Both of them decide to go have lunch in Paris, 1889. As they leave, Rip reveals to the readers that he is in fact, the son of Booster Gold. While his place in history is cemented as a buffoon, Booster Gold is the reason the Time Masters become the protectors of the universe for eons after his death. He’s one of the greatest heroes in DC Comics.
There have been rumors of a Booster Gold and Blue Beetle film. The rumors I’ve seen have said a film starring them two wouldn’t be in the DCEU though. This would be a grave mistake. Yes, the DCEU is different and Booster doesn’t fit their mold right now, but he is the perfect character for them right now as well. Not only is he marketable because of his look and humor, but his growth, as I’ve stated earlier, is something the DCEU needs. The MCU’s version of Booster Gold would have to be either Peter Quill or Scott Lang. Both are jerks who grew up in front of our eyes. The difference between them and Booster though? They’re real heroes even when we first meet them. They have it in them from day one to save the universe. We didn’t need multiple films to get to their “save the universe” moment. Booster needs at least one or two to get there. A Booster Gold film has the chance to not have happy endings in the first two and then finally gives us one in the third and fourth. A comedy with a sad ending? You don’t see that every day. Booster must go through some serious growing pains before he becomes the hero we see in the Geoff Johns story. Even after this story, he continues to grow and fight his reputation. This could also be an easy way for Blue Beetle to get introduced in the DCEU. If they do a film where Ted Kord dies, this leads to the possibility of Jamie Reyes, which leads to the possibility of the Teen Titans. Booster Gold also opens the time stream and the idea of the multiverse. This is something they’ve teased before with Snyder’s nightmare scene in Batman v. Superman. A Booster Gold film could happen right away. It doesn’t need to connect to the Justice League or any other part of the DCEU. Not until he joins the Justice League or Justice League International. Booster interacts with everyone in the DC Universe but his stories are unique. There is nothing stopping a Booster Gold film. Almost any actor could play him. Just as I said in my Captain Atom piece, the actor who plays Booster needs to be ready to undergo a serious transformation from zero to hero.
As fun as a Booster Gold series of films would be, the DCEU doesn’t deserve him yet. They have shown they don’t understand what good humor in a superhero film is. Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman didn’t need it. Suicide Squad though was lazy. Justice League’s first teaser was filled with jokes. Something that isn’t necessary for that film either. I have the sense that a Booster Gold film would be so raunchy that his character would be lost in the jokes. Every film would be nothing but jokes. Then, at the end of each film, he’d save the universe, then go back to jokes. I could see him literally becoming the joke of the DCEU and staying there because they don’t understand his character. I don’t know why they wouldn’t put him in the DCEU, but he needs it. His story is special. His evolution is special. Booster Gold could bring much-needed life to a universe whose most vibrant character is a man who kills people for money and a psychopath in love with the Joker. The DCEU takes itself too seriously right now. Booster Gold has never taken himself that seriously. They are a match made in comic book film heaven. He’s the greatest hero you’ve never heard of, but I hope the world knows his name soon.
I hope you enjoyed this review and my DCEU series. These five heroes are the main ones I want to see added to the DCEU. Nightwing, Batwing, Terry McGinnis, Captain Atom, and Booster Gold. These five heroes could help turn this train wreck of a universe around. DC Comics has a plethora of heroes that are unique. They have to take advantage of their unique heroes before they get left in the dust by Marvel Studios.
Make sure you follow me on Twitter @Hero_Review for more updates on future reviews. The next time I write about the DCEU I’ll cover the heroines they need to make their universe better. Until next time everyone! Peace, Love, and Comics.