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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, January 11, 2019
Max Lord is the big "winner" receiving a clear majority of the vote, so I feel comfortable declaring him Booster Gold's arch nemesis, Rebirth continuity be damned!
Last week's poll question: Which villain do you consider to be Booster Gold's arch-enemy? (47 votes)
(If you voted "someone else," who did you have in mind? Dirk Davis?)
While we're on the subject of villains, someone has been making Booster Gold's life miserable recently in the pages of Heroes in Crisis. (We all agree Booster is innocent, right? Right.) The identity of the real culprit has been the subject of much debate recently as the series nears its halfway point.
One popular Internet theory is that the real villain is Skeets. This is mostly based on one panel in Batman #50 that remains unexplained. The link between these two stories is writer Tom King. Could he have been dropping Heroes in Crisis clues in Batman? I doubt it. I just can't believe that he'd crib so blatantly from 52.
The manager of my Local Comic Shop thinks that the mastermind behind the murders is Psycho Pirate. For those who don't know, Psycho Pirate — a character with key ties to the biggest crisis, Crisis on Infinite Earths — has the ability to manipulate emotions, a power that fits well into a story advertised as being about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. (For what it's worth, PP is also in the aforementioned panel with Skeets in Batman #50. But then so was the Joker. Joker can't be behind all this, can he?)
Personally, I've decided that there aren't really any murders in Heroes in Crisis. I think it's all just one ongoing computer simulation designed to.... Well, I'm not sure what it's designed to do. Unfortunately, no one can be told what the matrix is. We'll all have to see it for ourselves.
If you need some evidence to support your pet theory, Vaneta Rogers put together a list of the clues at Newsarama.com. Take a look and see if you can't solve these crimes before Booster Gold does.
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
I have sung the praises of Ross Pearsall's Super-Team Family Presents... covers for years. And I'll keep doing it so long as Ross continues to create such masterpieces as this, the latest to feature RoboFoce, Skeets' all-robot action team!
Issue #2450 was the sixth RoboForce cover appearance. Since I have only shown 3 of them, I'll correct that oversight now by adding the two I missed.
I particularly love that all of these feature a different Skeets model.
Click on any of these covers to visit BraveAndBoldLost.blogspot.com and see more of Pearsall's imagination at work.
Wednesday, July 4, 2018
Happy Independence Day! If you can tear yourself away from fireworks and hot dogs, get yourself to your Local Comic Shop today and get your hands on Injustice 2 #29, featuring Booster Gold's new jacket!
Finally! A costume update that looks better than what he was already wearing!
While you're there, consider picking up a copy of the suddenly very controversial Batman #50. Your LCS probably ordered too many of them.
(A quick aside for those of you not glued to the comics press: on Sunday, with the consent of DC Comics, The New York Times newspaper spoiled the events of Batman #50. According to ComicBook.com, DC vice-president of sales John Cunningham defended the company's actions by essentially saying that DC wanted to mitigate what they knew would be terrible backlash if fans didn't find out about the issue contents until the day of release. That's practically an admission that they had promoted and sold the issue — retailers had to commit to orders for the 50+ covers two months ago — on false pretenses. I'm no lawyer, but I would think that qualifies as fraud.)
But I'm not advocating that you pick up Batman because I'm a nice guy who wants to see Local Comics Shops stay in business. No, like Booster Gold, I'm a little shallower than that. I'm suggesting you pick up an issue because Skeets is in it.
What is Skeets doing here? I have no idea. It being a Tom King written book, I bet there's no logical reason, probably just an excuse to get Booster Gold fans to buy a copy. At least in my case, it will work.
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