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Friday, February 13, 2015

30 Years and Counting: Triskaidekaphilia

Friday the 13th. It's an unlucky day for some, largely owing to the superstition around the number 13. Some high-rise buildings don't have a 13th floor, some cities skip 13th Streets, and few athletes wear the number 13. In comics, there is one notable exception:

© DC Comics

That's right. While playing quarterback for Gotham University, Michael "Booster" Carter wore the number 13.

There aren't a lot of quarterbacks in history who have worn 13, and fewer still who could be considered "America's Best." However, back in 1985 when Dan Jurgens was creating Booster Gold, there was one 13 already in the process of shattering most major football passing records. That young quarterback was Dan Marino. Could Marino, who was also dogged by rumors of inappropriate behavior in college (in his case it was recreational drugs, not cheating) have influenced Jurgens' choice of uniform number for "Booster" Carter?

I put the question to Jurgens himself. He said no.

Jurgens: Booster's #13 had nothing to do with Dan Marino. It was totally symbolic of the "unlucky number" aspect. It just felt appropriate.

So there you have it: Michael "Booster" Carter's 13 was Jurgens' way of foreshadowing of Booster's bad luck. (It's probably no coincidence that we first learn that Booster Gold wore number 13 on the 13th page of Booster Gold, Volume 1, #6.) Poor kid.

This has been the first installment in our year-long series:

The True Story of Booster Gold

Do you have any questions about Booster Gold's origins after 30 years? Speak up, and we'll investigate!

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