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Monday, September 16, 2019

Character Spotlight on Michelle Carter

The life of any comic book hero would be a lonely one if not for the many characters who have made up their supporting cast. Just as Superman has Lois Lane and Batman has Alfred, Booster Gold has also shared his adventures with quite a few people over the years. Today we look at one of those, Michelle Carter, Michael Jon "Booster" Carter's twin sister.

The People in His Neighborhood: spotlighting the characters who have made Booster Gold such a star

Fraternal twins Michael and Michelle Carter were born into a state of poverty in 25th-century Gotham City. Abandoned by their ne'er-do-well father abandoned them family, and the twins were raised by their mother. With Michael absorbed in athletic pursuits, Michelle was the more responsible sibling, taking multiple jobs to support their ailing mother. The news of Michael's illegal gambling shattered the family, and the twins would not speak for years afterwards.

Eventually, Michael was captured and sentenced to execution for the theft of a time machine. His friends came to his rescue in Booster Gold #15 (1987). They only escaped thanks to the timely intervention of Michelle. She had forgiven her brother (thanks in part to the intervention of Skeets) and risked her own life to ensure that Booster Gold was safely returned to the 20th century.

© DC Comics

To repay his sister, Booster bankrolled her adventures across 20th-century America, which she considered "the best idea" she'd ever had (Booster Gold #19). Interested in exploring what it was like to be a hero, she took the Goldstar power suit with her. That proved to be a mistake.

Interdimensional aliens sought to use the Goldstar costume for their own nefarious purposes, and kidnapped Michelle to get it (Booster Gold #20). Booster Gold and the Justice League repelled the alien invasion, but Michelle payed the ultimate price while escaping from Dimension X (Booster Gold #22).

© DC Comics

Booster would grieve the loss of his sister for many years until Time Master Rip Hunter bent the laws of time and space to reunite the Carter twins in Booster Gold, v2, #1,000,000 (2008). For a short time, Michelle would use the Goldstar power suit to aid Booster and Rip Hunter in their self-appointed task of policing history. But when Rip's former protege, Rex, revealed to her how history had been changed so that she could cheat death (Booster Gold, v2, #18), she rebelled and sought her own path in life.

Michelle returned to the 20th century and found a partner, Drew. Fate had other plans. The happy couple unwittingly visited Coast City at the moment of its destruction (in Booster Gold, v2, #30) and would have shared its fate if not for the intervention of another time traveler — this time a much older Booster Gold. Drew did not survive, and the twins were forced to accept that some things were outside a Time Master's control.

© DC Comics

From that point forward, Michelle would become a valuable ally in Time Master operations, assisting in the search for a time-lost Batman (in Time Masters: Vanishing Point) helping to raise the orphan Rani (beginning Booster Gold #34), and joining the quest to resolve the "Convergence" crisis (Booster Gold: Future's End).

Michelle's whereabouts in the wake of the DC Universe "Rebirth" remain unknown, but don't worry. History has proven that not even death can keep the Carter twins apart for long.

Interested in meeting other "People in his Neighborhood"? Get to know Trixie Collins, Daniel Carter, Jack Soo, Rani, Dirk Davis, Skeets, Mackenzie Garrison, and Rip Hunter.

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Friday, July 10, 2015

30 Years of Sibling Rivalry

We first learned that Booster Gold had a twin sister in Booster Gold #6. It would be nearly a year before we actually met her in Booster Gold #15.

© DC Comics

Michelle Carter would eventually join Booster and travel to the 1980s where she would assume the identity of the hero Goldstar. Yet despite appearing off and on in Booster Gold stories for 29 years, we still know very little about her.

Did she go to college or play a sport? What was her job in the 25th century? The few clues we have to her past was that the first time we saw her, she was driving a stolen school bus. Would I be reading too much into it to assume that she had once been a bus driver?

I put the question to her creator, Dan Jurgens.

Yeah, you would. That, in many ways, was Michelle's starting point. Eventually, I wanted to Goldstar to become much more her own character. I remember doing a sketch-- which I can't find anywhere-- of her wearing a cloak and hood, white, of course-- and becoming much more enigmatic. Much more the opposite of the more wide open Booster.

There has been a big push lately to develop more female-friendly comic book titles. Maybe it's time for DC to put Goldstar front and center so we can finally see what makes her tick.

The True Story of Booster Gold

Everyone say thank you to Dan Jurgens for answering questions about my far-fetched speculation about his characters.

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Birthday to Michelle Carter

Tomorrow is the birthday of the Carter twins, Michael and Michelle. is devoted to the adventures of Michael Jon Carter, at least the portion since he adopted the identity of Booster Gold in 1985. As a result, we know a great deal about his history and personality. However, his twin sister still remains something of a mystery.

The siblings were born on December 29, 2442. Although the pair are twins, Booster is considered the older sibling. We know little of the pair's upbringing, save that Booster found his way through life by way of his incredible athletic ability. Michelle was left in her brother's shadow, caring for their mother. By their own admission, the siblings were not close. This could in part be due to the fact that Michelle is every bit as headstrong as everyone else in her family. If nothing else, the Carters are all fiercely independent spirits.

© DC Comics

When Booster's life fell apart in the 25th century and he retreated to the past, Michelle was left behind, surviving as a highly-lauded flying school bus driver. Whatever sense of disappointment or abandonment Michelle might have harbored against her brother, she did not hesitate to risk her own life to save his when Booster returned to the future and was facing a death sentence. Heroics also run in the family. When Booster again fled to the past, he this time took Michelle with him.

Michelle was excited to live in the 20th century, but had great difficulty adapting to the world around her. Her desire to understand her brother's motivations for being a hero led her to steal the Booster Gold International Goldstar costume. Unfortunately, wearing the costume caused her to be confused for a hero herself, and ultimately resulted in her apparent death. Fortunately for Michelle, her nephew is Rip Hunter, Time Master. Rip saved Michelle from the moment of her demise and transported her into the 21st century. Michelle at long last had access to travel anywhere and any time, allowing her to see the world, past, present, and future.

© DC Comics

To date, Michelle has appeared in 33 different comics. All but 5 of those issues has been written by Dan Jurgens. Despite this consistency, Michelle has never been given the opportunity to express much of her individual character. We know that she often frowns on the Time Masters' methods but has an affinity for time tourism. She considers Skeets to be a soulless, high-tech appliance. She volunteered to step in and aid her brother in raising Rani. And like her brother, she has no idea that Rip Hunter is his son.

Unfortunately, we still may never get the opportunity to learn any more about her. Like Skeets and Rip, she has yet to seen in the DCnU. Like Rani, she has yet to even be mentioned. Does Michelle even exist in the post-Flashpoint DCnU? I'm sure I'm not alone in wishing for the return of Michelle Carter on her birthday.

Happy Birthday, Michelle! Here's to many more.

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