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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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Showing posts 0-5 of 9 matching: powers

Friday, July 3, 2020

Super Power Spotlight on the Goggles

What makes a hero super? The super powers! From awesome strength to zero-to-sixty speed, great superpowers are the most useful tricks in every famous costumed crime-fighter's tool kit. Michael Jon Carter knew this, and that's why he started his career with high-tech goggles.

Dressing for Success: The futuristic super powers of Booster Gold

Energy blasts, impenetrable force fields, flight: Booster Gold's best known powers are also the ones that show up the best on action-oriented comic book panels. But Booster's arsenal contains more than just power gauntlets and powered tights. He's also got a fancy pair of glasses which, while less flashy, can be just as useful.

© DC Comics

Booster's goggles have been a part of his costume from the very beginning. Using components he stole from the Space Museum in the 25th century, Booster and Skeets integrated the goggles into the hood of his power-suit and fueled them with the same "little power rods" that supplied energy to his other technological abilities, as detailed in Booster's very first chronicled adventure detailed in Booster Gold volume 1 #8.

Though their technology isn't traceable to any particular hero or villain, their powers were clearly inspired by the incredible range of abilities of a certain Man of Tomorrow's Kryptonian eyes.

© DC Comics

Booster has used the goggles' infrared filters to help him defeat the mad bomber Mister Twister in Booster Gold #5 (1986) and infiltrate the 1000's waterfront stronghold in Booster Gold #12 (1987). The magnifying ability came in handy when the Justice League needed to find a weak point in the otherwise indestructible hull of the alien Klaarsh spaceship in Justice League Quarterly #7 (1992), and the telescopic function was useful when traveling into the Old West to help Jonah Hex bring the warped Hootkins Gang to justice in All-Star Western #20 (2013).

© DC Comics

Super strength is great if you want to break through walls, but a hero always knows which walls can be broken safely. Knowledge is real power, and nothing is better at gathering information than high-tech magnifying infrared goggles, just like the pair Booster Gold wears.

If you'd like to read about other powers in Booster Gold's arsenal, check out previous spotlight posts on his Force Field Belt, Booster Shots, and Flight Ring.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: goggles jonah hex mister twister powers superman

Friday, May 8, 2020

Super Power Spotlight on the Flight Ring

What makes a hero super? The super powers! From awesome strength to zero-to-sixty speed, great superpowers are the most useful tricks in every famous costumed crime-fighter's tool kit. Michael Jon Carter knew this, and that's why he started his career with a telepathically-controlled flight ring.

Dressing for Success: The futuristic super powers of Booster Gold

As a student of history, Michael "Booster" Carter modeled his superhero persona on Superman. In addition to strength, invulnerability, and long-range energy beams, he'd also need to be able to fly. To that end, he stole a Legion of Super-Heroes Flight Ring, created by Brainiac 5 in the pages of Adventure Comics #329 (1965).

© DC Comics

In its original design, the ring was a simple metal band that provided a telepathically-controlled anti-gravity effect for those Legionnaires who could not fly under their own power. They soon became standard issue equipment for all Legionnaires. Even Superboy had one, though he rarely had need of it except in those few cases where he lost his powers, such as the time he visited Earth's past and found it lit by a red sun.

© DC Comics

(If you squint at the panel above, you can see a flight ring there on Superboy's hand in this panel from Adventure Comics #133, also in 1965. This is the first time Superboy wore a Flight Ring.)

Brainiac 5 wasn't content with having a ring that only allowed flight. He eventually gave the ring other abilities, including sending emergency distress signals. He also improved its appeal by converting it to a gold signet-style ring showing a raised letter "L" in the center (first appearance in Adventure Comics #347). That's how the ring looked when it found its way into Booster Gold's arsenal in Booster Gold #1 (1985), and that's more or less how it looked when Booster Gold joined the Justice League in Justice League #4 (1987) and escaped from a Bialyan prison in Justice League International #17 (1988).

© DC Comics

Booster's ring was originally depicted with a letter from the Roman alphabet. However, it sometimes was seen showing Interlac, the "inter-galactic universal language of the 30th century" which first appeared in Adventure Comics #379 (1969). By Booster Gold volume 2 #1 (2007), Booster's ring had changed to the stylized "L" on a black background that had been in use since Legion of Super-Heroes #41 (1993).

© DC Comics

How could one ring alter its appearance so much? Well, the Legion of Super-Heroes have a tendency for getting involved in reality-warping time travel shenanigans. In fact, that's how a Legion of Super-Heroes ring from the 30th century ended up in the 25th-century Space Museum in the first place.

When Booster's debut in the 20th century drew the attention of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Brainiac 5 realized he had to leave his own flight ring in 1985 for Booster to be able to steal it in 2462 (as seen in Booster Gold #6). Therefore, the ring was available for Booster Gold to steal only because he had already stolen it. (It's best not to think too hard about that.)

© DC Comics

If it sounds like Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens was making things up as he went along, he was. His original plan, as revealed in Booster Gold: The Big Fall, was that instead of stealing Brainiac 5's ring from the Space Museum, Booster would have stolen Superboy's rarely used original ring from the Superman Museum!

© DC Comics

That plan was scuttled by the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, which erased Superboy's adventures from history. Thus the original origin of Booster Gold's flight ring became just one more casualty of the universe-destroying Anti-Monitor. What a jerk.

If you'd like to read about the origins of other powers in Booster Gold's arsenal, check out previous spotlight posts on his Force Field Belt and Booster Shots.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: adventure comics brainiac 5 dan jurgens justice league international legion flight ring legion of super-heroes powers superboy superboy superman

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Super Power Spotlight on the Booster Shots

What makes a hero super? The super powers! From awesome strength to zero-to-sixty speed, great superpowers are the most useful tricks in every famous costumed crime-fighter's tool kit. Michael Jon Carter knew this, and that's why he started his career with energy blasting Booster Shots.

Dressing for Success: The futuristic super powers of Booster Gold

At the outset of his super-heroic career, Booster Gold knew he would need offensive weapons to defeat the forces of evil. That is why, given his choice of many amazing inventions housed in the Space Museum, he selected wrist-mounted Energy Blasters.

In Booster Gold #6 (1986), Skeets tells Superman that they stole "gloves and control bands that were once worn by an alien menace." The true identity of this "alien menace" has never been clarified in any of Booster's published adventures, but Superman may have a clue. The technology may be alien, but it was crafted into powerful gauntlets by none other than Superman's oldest foe, Lex Luthor!

© DC Comics

Lex has been wearing specially tailored suits to fight Superman since Superman #282 (1974). His purple and green suits soon became his trademark. Super genius that he is, Lex kept his suit's tool belt stocked with to whatever inventions he would need for the specific crime he was committing. Those tools included such classics as jet boots, robot controls, finger-mounted gravity casters, age-regressing omega barriers, age-restoring pills, and, of course, enough pockets for forty cakes.

However, none of that was enough to defeat The Man of Steel, so in Action Comics #544 (1983), Luthor fled Earth for the planet Lexor, named in his honor. (For an explanation of how an entire planet could consider a creep like Lex Luthor a hero, see "The Showdown Between Luthor and Superman!" in 1963's Superman #164.) Lexor had once been home to a race of advanced scientists, and Luthor adapted their technology into a "warsuit" that would allow him to defeat Superman once and for all. Or so he hoped.

© DC Comics

The new power suit was indeed a considerable upgrade over what came before. Its energy gauntlets were so strong, they could destroy space-going vessels with a single blast. Alas, it was not powerful enough to make Luthor Superman's equal. It was, however, powerful enough to accidentally destroy Lexor (and Luthor's wife and child along with it). With great power can come great regrets.

Superman vowed to destroy the warsuit once and for all in Superman Annual #12 (published in 1986 but set in pre-Crisis, Silver Age continuity). How it survived to make its way from the 20th century to the 25th-century Space Museum will likely always remain a mystery, but we don't have to wonder whether they were the one and the same thanks to the original pencils from Booster Gold #6 included in the superb collection Booster Gold: the Big Fall.

© DC Comics

Since returning to the 20th century, Booster Gold has integrated the power gauntlets into his crime-fighting arsenal. Renaming them "Booster Shots," he has used them as his primary weapon in his eternal quest to rid the multiverse of those who would destroy it. If there were any left, the citizens of Lexor would be proud.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: action comics booster shots energy blasts lex luthor powers superman

Friday, November 15, 2019

Super Power Spotlight on the Force Field Belt

What makes a hero super? The super powers! From awesome strength to zero-to-sixty speed, great superpowers are the most useful tricks in every famous costumed crime-fighter's tool kit. Michael Jon Carter knew this, and that's why he started his career with an impenetrable force field.

Dressing for Success: The futuristic super powers of Booster Gold

When he looted his equipment from the Space Museum, Booster Gold literally had his pick of powers, and he chose only the best from Superman's history. Perhaps none of his impressive array of powers are more notable or powerful than his force field belt.

First encountered in Action Comics #242 (1958), the original belt was the creation of Brainiac, a brilliant alien who claimed mastery of super-scientific forces. His "Ultra-Force Barrier," controlled via his belt remote, was strong enough to frustrate any attempt Superman made against him. The Ultra-Force Barrier was expandable enough to envelope entire space ships and whole planets. No matter the size, at full power it resisted anything used against it, from energy beams to projectiles to Men of Steel.

© DC Comics

Brainiac would go on to become one of Earth's greatest foes, but his descendant, Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes, would become one of Earth's greatest allies. From his first appearance in Action Comics #276 (1961), Braniac 5 was using his own variation on his ancestor's technology to help make Supergirl even more powerful than her cousin, Superman. Like it's predecessor, Brainiac 5's Force-Shield Belt was resizable and could stop all radiation and matter alike, although its smaller, more portable size limited the duration it could be used.

© DC Comics

Brainiac 5 would recreate his signature belt many times over the years, and he would occasionally lend them out to protect the lives of others. Once he even gave a copy to United States President Ronald Reagan (as seen in Booster Gold #9, 1986). Centuries later, that belt would be put on display in the Space Museum for a disgraced ex-football player to find. That thief would put it good use.

Booster Gold integrated the Force Field into his costume, relocating the controls from the belt to his gauntlets where he could more easily adjust its size, strength, and area of focus. The field proved its worth almost immediately, saving the young hero from an army of gunfire (in Booster Gold #3), massive bombs (Booster Gold #5), and Superman himself (Booster Gold #7). In addition to protecting himself, Booster has put the field to more creative uses destroying a incredibly toxic poison (in Booster Gold #17) and containing a rogue Green Lantern (Justice League International #19).

In many ways, the Force Field has become Booster Gold's signature power. And that's Boosterrific!

© DC Comics
Justice League International #9 (1988)

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: action comics adventure comics brainiac brainiac 5 force field justice league international powers supergirl superman

Monday, May 30, 2016

Super Powers Collection of the Future

For the better part of the past decade, someone identified as "Industrial Toy Werks" has been selling a series of custom action figures as though they were foreign bootlegs of the popular but long-discontinued Kenner Super Power Collection. Included in this line of figures was a Booster Gold, and one of those showed up on eBay.com this past week.

Booster Gold Super Powers Collection by Industrial Toy Werks
Photos from eBay.com auction by primetime_njd

ITW has become known as a pretty high quality bootleg, especially considering the detailing put into the custom blister card packaging. The Booster Gold card is no exception, reusing art from the DC Heroes role-playing game to make a card that you'd expect to find on a legitimate Super Powers Collection product.

If you Google this figure (or look at the back of the card), you'll see other ITW Booster Gold figures painted with gold paint. That color scheme was probably influenced by the Justice League Unlimited figure released in 2004. This custom is a more comic-accurate yellow, like the second Booster Gold JLU figure released in 2009. How many of these did ITW make?

Booster Gold Super Powers Collection by Industrial Toy Werks

Eagle-eyed critics might also notice that the figure's gloves are blue and his bracelets are gold. Booster's classic, high-collar costume had gold gloves and blue bracelets. The colors were inverted in Booster's 2007 collarless redesign. Even I'll admit that complaining about that sort of detail about a custom figure is simply nitpicking.

The auction is closed now, but the seller was asking $269.99 (+ $9.95 shipping)! That's about the going rate for original Super Powers figures still on their original card. That's a lot of money. If Booster Gold were here, no doubt he'd want his cut.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: action figures can art ebay.com industrial toy werks primetime_njd skeets


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