Booster Gold was the 1st new super-hero concept DC Comics published after it's landmark maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths, a story which not only celebrated the publisher's 50th anniversary, but also, in a pure storytelling sense, consolidated many of the company's disparate timelines, dimensions & realities. A clean slate was created for a universe of characters, and the time was right for new talent to put a new spin on the idea of what it means to be a hero. Booster Gold, the idea of Booster Gold, at least - as premiered in a memorable house ad just in advance of the series launch, held some promise of a new kind of hero.
Readers thumbing through their comics with a cover date of February 1986 (the above scan comes from a copy of Wonder Woman #329, the last issue of one of DC's longest running titles), were greeted by a brilliantly colored full page ad for a new title, its main figure striking a typically heroic pose - legs straight, arms akimbo. A big smile creases his face, as he's surrounded by some slightly faded objects and vignettes. These little scenes aren't of the hero, Booster Gold, saving victims from a fire or rescuing pets from trees, these are the trappings of a hero of the 80s: a killer logo (who designed this? Anyone?), an attractive woman, a flying robot buddy, billboards, a luxury car (was the Boostermobile a Bentley?), the Metropolis skyline, CASH!
The first super-hero of the era was a for-profit hero. Not a mercenary, per se - Booster Gold had a heart of -- well, his heart was most often in the right place, but he didn't shun the spotlight. He reveled in it. He accepted endorsements, courted the press, and made lots. Of. CASH!
Booster was the brain child of Dan Jurgens, a new-ish talent at the time who'd spent most of his career to date behind the drawing board, having a 2+ year stint on Warlord. I'm pretty certain this was his first published work as a writer - he'd go on to write and pencil all 25 fabulous issues of Booster Gold, before moving on to other projects at DC including that other hero from Metropolis.
For his greatest creation, Jurgens came up with a pretty interesting concept - Booster (real name, Michael Carter) was a disgraced college athlete from 500 YEARS IN THE FUTURE, who cleaned toilets at a place called the Space Museum. Frustrated with his life, he thought to turn it around by stealing equipment from the Museum, including a time machine and Skeets the security robot, and high-tailing it to the past, using his & Skeets' future knowledge to earn lots of money and save lives as a super-hero on the side. Not your typical bitten-by-radioactive-responsibility origin story.
|Booster would just as soon solve problems with his checkbook as with his fists|
took me even longer to find an issue of Booster Gold than it did to find one of 'Mazing Man. It wasn't until issue #19 that I was able to read about the Corporate Crusader's adventures.
|My 1st issue of Booster Gold, and still one of the most cherished books in my collection|
|One of the more 'vivid' cliffhangers in my memory|
By the way, does anyone have an extra Booster Gold pin they'd be willing to part with?