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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold

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Friday, February 22, 2019

Reconsidering a Crisis in Progress

We're less than a week away from Heroes in Crisis #6 of 9, which means we're pretty close to learning the truth behind who killed everyone at Sanctuary. It seems like a good time to talk about Booster Gold's mental health.

Clearly, Booster has been mentally struggling with fallout from his incredibly stupid actions in Batman #45. I had complained at the time that Booster's reaction to Green Lantern's graphic on-panel suicide was inappropriate — and it was — but I'm willing to concede that Tom King was trying to make a point in his own way about how the human brain reacts unpredictably to such trauma.

© DC Comics

And how is Booster Gold reacting to that trauma? His symptoms as exhibited in Heroes in Crisis look like an aggravated case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which is exactly what press reports advertised King wanted to address in this series. PTSD is triggered by extreme trauma with common symptom including avoidance of repeat stimuli, willful memory loss, and hallucinations. Booster has spent most of the series hiding from just about everyone, so check one. And he claimed he couldn't remember exactly what happened, so check two. But hallucinations? Maybe those too.

As Frankie Hagan pointed out in blog comments last month, so far in Heroes in Crisis, no one seems to have noticed Blue Beetle other than Booster Gold, which certainly suggests that the Blue and Gold reunion may be all in Booster's head. I don't know what that says about Booster Gold, but if it turns out to be true, it may be even more disappointing for Booster Gold fans than if our hero turns out to be a mass murderer.

© DC Comics

Speaking of murder, that's the real question, isn't it? Is Booster's mental illness severe enough to drive him to kill? Statistical evidence indicates that there are indeed links between PTSD and increased rates of outbursts of anger and violence. However, the odds that PTSD would unbalance a hero enough to engage in a spree killing remain remote.

Experts say that the biggest indicator of how an individual may respond to PTSD is that person's pre-trauma personality. It's true that Booster Gold has always had his own set of foibles, yet he has never killed anyone, even when given the opportunity. At heart, he's no murderer, no matter what Tom King wants to imply.

We'll find out more about Booster Gold's health when Heroes in Crisis #6 is released February 27.

Comments (4) | Add a Comment | Tags: blue beetle heroes in crisis mental illness tom king


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