- Booster Gold
Friday, February 26, 2021
I'll let you in on a little secret: I wasn't always a huge Booster Gold fan.
Which is not to say that I didn't consider myself fortunate to have first met Booster Gold in 1985, when I found his debut appearance in Booster Gold Volume 1 #1 sitting on the magazine rack at my local convenience store.
Even at a young age, I had seen enough Super Friends episodes to recognize that Booster Gold was lampooning traditional superhero ethos and consumer culture in a way I immediately found equally engaging and endearing. At the same time, I was still impressionable enough that if anyone had sold Flakies cereal, I would have begged my parents to buy a box.
I was devastated when his comics were canceled, but it would take another twenty years before I would call Booster Gold my favorite comic book character. The truth is that my first love in comics was Captain Carrot, the cosmic carrot-chewing leader of DC Comics' Amazing Zoo Crew.
The Zoo Crew's adventures were overloaded with smile-inducing puns, and the pop culture references read like a long-form Mad Magazine segments. I read and re-read each issue until its cover fell off. I spent years rebuilding my collection with better copies. I think I currently own the entire series in triplicate.
It's entirely possible that Captain Carrot would still be my favorite comic book character if DC hadn’t canceled the Zoo Crew in 1983. Even then it took years before I was willing to let another character take his place at the top of my personal pantheon. After reading a lot of books from a lot of companies, I decided that my second love in comics was a key member appearing in Justice League International. However, that wasn't Booster Gold but Batman.
Specifically, I loved the Batman still more driven detective than deified super hero. I spent summers watching syndicated reruns of Batman's 1960s television series, and I grew up respecting his innate ability to solve riddles and escape deathtraps with nothing more than his honed mind.
As the 80s and 90s progressed, I bought every Batman comic I could afford. I watched Batman grow increasingly grimdark as he relied evermore on his wealth at the expense of his wits. Ironically, this made him more popular than ever with the reading public. Like any jealous lover, I did not appreciate my hero growing away from me. (And yes, I'm aware that my emotional, nostalgic bias for "the Batman I first met" is its own set of problems, but are ex-lovers ever rational?) Which brings us back to Booster.
About the time that I decided that Batman and I should just be friends, Booster Gold was returning to the limelight with a tragic turn in Countdown to Infinite Crisis. Despite never being my favorite hero, I'd been following Booster's adventures for years, even through the wasteland of Extreme Justice and the lean years that followed.
Booster's subsequent rise from the ashes in 52 finally made me realize how truly unique he was. I couldn't name another character who had survived such a long journey from origin to the triumph of saving a multiverse. With that realization, Boosterrific.com was born.
I now gladly call Booster Gold my favorite character, and I'm grateful he was willing to wait for me to come around. I assume that eventually, everyone will eventually realize Michael Jon Carter's greatness. Time has always been on Booster Gold's side.
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