- Booster Gold
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Friday, September 20, 2019
In his superlative blog at ProgressiveRuin.com, the Internet's foremost Swamp Thing fan, Mike Sterling, has spent much of the past week discussing his definition of "completist" and what that means in regard to his Swamp Thing comic book collecting habit. As a completionist collector myself, I found it interesting.
I noticed two things in Sterling's posts and the responses from his commenters:
- Each collector has his own definition of what "complete" means.
- Most "completionist" collections appear to have begun in childhood.
Both of those apply to me, which is no doubt why I noticed them. In the first case, the Boosterrific.com database arbitrarily draws the line at depictions of the character of Booster Gold himself; dialogue references don't count. In the second case, I first discovered Booster Gold on a gas station magazine rack when I was 10 years old — can you even imagine finding comic books in a gas station in 2019? — and have been collecting ever since.
But in addition to being a completionist, I'm also a contrarian, which plays no small part in why I would gravitate to an upstart super hero like Booster Gold. I have to wonder whether my observations were skewed by my perception bias. Do I think all completionist collectors start young just because I did? Let's gather some data!
This week's poll question: How old were you when you bought your first Booster Gold comic book?
Monday, May 20, 2019
There isn't much ambiguity about how Booster boosters feel about Skeets.
Last week's poll question: Is Skeets a sentient artificial being? (39 votes)
I'm one of the few who voted "no." Maybe I'm wrong. That's the best part of being a rational being: the ability to learn.
Maybe one of these days DC will investigate Skeets' intelligence further in a future Booster Gold series. Skeets could teach us all a thing or two.
Wednesday, May 15, 2019
I was in the beginning stages of writing another "People in His Neighborhood" Booster Gold supporting character post about Skeets when I got hung up on a single question: Is Skeets sentient?
It's not an easy question to answer. Putting aside the deeper philosophical and metaphysical quandaries of what reality is and whether anything truly has free will, let's focus on the arbitrarily narrow definition of a sentient artificial intelligence as a man-made creature that doesn't merely simulate human behavior but is functionally indistinguishable from a rational being.
This question is really integral to the development of Booster Gold as a heroic character. When Michael Carter stole his first Time Sphere to flee from the 25th century in Booster Gold volume 1, he forced Skeets to come with him. If Skeets is a glorified security camera, then the action was theft. However, if Skeets was a sentient employee, Booster is guilty of kidnapping.
While Booster has usually treated Skeets as a coach and companion — usually referring to it with the masculine pronouns "he"/"him" — it's telling that Booster's twin sister, Michelle, has always treated Skeets like a second-class citizen. If sentient A.I. exists in the 25th century and Michelle's dismissive attitude is common, how is her behavior any different than the racism and sexism that cause so many societal problems of the 20th century? (If Skeets was a sentient machine forced to work as a slave for the Space Museum, would that make Booster a freedom fighter?)
The biggest obstacle to answering the question of Skeets' consciousness is the relatively few solo adventures it has had. Skeets has almost always been seen acting in service to Booster, who characteristically gives very little consideration to his floating "friend." (This shouldn't be considered as evidence against sentience. Selfishness has always been Booster's biggest flaw.) The only time that the reader has ever been given access to Skeet's thoughts were late in the run of Booster Gold volume 2. Those few panels imply that Skeets was gaining a sentience it was previously denied.
Then came the New 52. Convergence Booster Gold revised Skeets' origin. This time, Booster stole Skeets from its well-armed "corporate overlords" via a briefcase. Once again, the question of sentience remains unaddressed. Theft? Kidnapping? Emancipation? The answers remain vague.
Should Skeets be granted rights equal to any other human being, or should it continue to be treated like any other tool in Booster's high-tech arsenal? What do you think?
This week's poll question: Is Skeets a sentient artificial being? Please visit the Boosterrific Polls page to view results for this week's poll.
Friday, March 15, 2019
If you look at that Heroes in Crisis house ad I reposted on Monday, you'll see that DC claimed the list of potential murders is limited to
So that was the list I used when I created Monday's poll asking who Booster boosters believe the Sanctuary killer really is.
Given that we already know that Booster Gold and Harley Quinn accuse one another of being "the" murderer, they had to be poll options. Internet rumors have fingered Wally West for months, so I included him. I chose Poison Ivy to round out the poll options because other than Superman and Wonder Woman, neither of whom is likely to have gone kill crazy, Ivy is the only other character in the list who has actually been mentioned in the series so far. I have a hard time believing that even Tom King would resolve his story by revealing a character that wasn't in any of the previous issues.
Given those four options, you chose none of the above.
Last week's poll question: Who is responsible for the deaths at Sanctuary as seen in Heroes in Crisis? (38 votes)
So who are you thinking?
Monday, March 11, 2019
Now that we're 2/3 of the way through Heroes in Crisis, we should have all the players, even if we still don't know all the clues. That's means it's finally time to start guessing. Whondunnit?
DC released the above tease in the pages of DC Nation #2 last July. Note the promise that one of the indicated characters will be "a murderer," two would be murdered, and three would be accused. Let's pretend that DC was playing fair.
Thus far, it seems only Booster and Harley have been accused. Will share some blame? Aren't three of the characters in that ad dead? And, most importantly, who's the guilty party?
This week's poll question: Who is responsible for the deaths at Sanctuary as seen in Heroes in Crisis? Please visit the Boosterrific Polls page to view results for this week's poll.
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