- Booster Gold
“The Gift, Finale”
Volume 3, Issue 47, July 2018
Released May 16, 2018
Cover Price: $2.99
Estimated Issue Sales: 101,566
Writer: Tom King
Penciller: Tony Daniel
Inkers: Tony Daniel, Sandu Florea, Danny Miki
Colorist: Tomeu Morey
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Assistant Editor: Brittany Holzherr
Editor: Jamie S. Rich
Cover Artists: Tony Daniel, Danny Miki, Tomeu Morey
Heroes: Batman, Booster Gold, Bruce Wayne, Catwoman
Supporting: Martha Wayne, Skeets III
Settings: Gotham City, DCU, USA, 21st-century; Gotham City, DCU, USA, 21st-century
Cover Description: Batman throws Booster Gold off a building.
Brief Synopsis: Bruce Wayne corrects history, but not in the way he expects. So he kills himself.
Issue Summary: Reveal Potential Spoilers
Booster Gold's role in this story:
Featured (Booster Gold plays a prominent role)
Costume Worn: MARK I.v2 power-suit
This story has been reprinted in:
Batman Volume 7: The Wedding (2018)
Page 1, panel 1
ALTERNATE REALITY: This story starts one year after the conclusion of the previous issue in the same alternate timeline. Not coincidentally, "One Year Later" was a DC Comics event in which the setting of all DCU comics was jumped forward one year. The event was created to allow room for the events of the 52 maxi-series — events in which Booster Gold had a key role — to play out without spoilers. (If this sounds familiar, it's because Batman #46 started exactly the same way.)
Page 1, panel 3
Skeets lives! Technically, Skeets cannot die, as it is not "alive," though this rebirth is something of a miracle. When Skeets was last seen in Batman #45, it had been smashed to tiny pieces. It is not revealed how Bruce Wayne managed to piece back together Skeets' 25th-century technology. (This issue makes it clear that Wayne had help, but the identity of that help is never seen on panel or referred to by name.)
Page 4, panel 1
DON'T MAKE 'EM LIKE THEY USED TO: Booster Gold, complete with shoulder-length hair and a shaggy beard, has spent the past year chained in the cave beneath Wayne Manor as a prisoner of Bruce Wayne. He is emaciated, and his costume is in tatters. Presumably, Wayne has found some way to negate the strength enhancing abilities of Booster's 25th-century power suit.
Page 6, panel 6
HIS STORY: As Booster is cleaned and given a haircut by unseen henchmen of Bruce Wayne — Wayne seems to have a lot of those in this issue — he retells his own origin story. He specifically mentions his Legion Flight Ring, drawing attention to the curious fact that the ring hasn't appeared either on Booster's hand or off in a single panel in this entire 3-issue story.
Page 7, panel 1
Booster Gold and Skeets are reunited for the first time in two years. Wayne's henchmen did more than shave Booster's beard. They also restored his muscular physique and repaired his costume. (Did they weave a new power suit in the intervening year? Does it have padded muscles?) Booster admits that he has gone crazy and probably still is. It is not clear if he is joking. (Booster has been something of an immature simpleton since this story started, so it is hard to tell if he is being sincere here or whether he is making another joke. He certainly doesn't seem to have grown any wiser in the previous 2 years.)
Page 7, panel 5
POWER UP: After learning that both Booster Gold's voice and his armor are necessary for Skeets to initiate time travel, Bruce Wayne has had his henchmen design bullets that can penetrate Booster Gold's armor. As he makes this threat, Wayne holds a gun that belonged to this timeline's Batman, who died in the previous issue. For the record, this is a textbook example of the literary concept known as "Chekhov's Gun." Now that Bruce has admitted he has such a deadly weapon, how long until we see it used? (Hint: 8 pages.)
Page 8, panel 4
Booster explains that he can't travel through time to specific dates "because of time differences and international date lines and daylight savingses." Clearly, Booster is lying to Wayne in the hopes of tricking him. Like so much else in this story, this little bit of verbal comedy is played for the reader's benefit. Skeets can't do anything unless Booster commands it, so the words that come out of Wayne's mouth are irrelevant. Booster could chose to follow or ignore them at his whim, which he does anyway. (Booster talked at length a few pages back about being inspired by heroes, but he is acting like his role model is the Joker.) Booster's foolish behavior leads directly to...
Page 12, panel 1
NOT ALTERNATE REALITY?: ...Bruce Wayne destroys Skeets. Again. Though only after Skeets has returned them to the original DCnU timeline 10 minutes before young Bruce Wayne's parents were shot in Crime Alley.
Page 14, panel 1
A PAIR OF DOCS?: Booster Gold and Skeets arrive! This is a two-year younger Booster Gold whose plan to save young Bruce Wayne's parents kicked off this disastrous alternate timeline. Young Booster seems excited that Bruce Wayne and an older version of himself are here to stop him. This brings extra emphasis to the illogical premise of Booster's original motivation for creating the alternate timeline; even an immature Booster must realize that "back to normal" should mean that Bruce Wayne would have no memory of events that never happened to him, right?
Page 15, panel 5
BORROWING THE CAR: Young Booster Gold is killed by a shot fired by older Bruce Wayne as he wrestles with the older Booster Gold. On the up side, this means that young Bruce Wayne's parents will die, too. (Did I say "up side?" That sort of thing is all pretty relative in this very, very dark story.) On the down side, doesn't this mean that older Booster Gold is also dead? That wasn't an alternative universe counterpart but himself as a young man that he just man-slaughtered.
Page 19, panel 1
SPOILER WARNING!: Reveal
Page 20, panel 2
SPOILER WARNING!: Reveal
Boosterrific Review: The resolution of this story creates an impossible time paradox that only adds to the terrible aftertaste of watching Bruce Wayne commit violent, on panel suicide with a handgun. The events of the story aren't even relevant to any character but the an already mischaracterized Booster Gold, so I can't find the point. Now that it's over, I have no problem calling "The Gift" the worst Booster Gold story I've ever read.
Boosterrific Rating: Fool's Gold.
Average Fan Rating: (1 vote)
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