- Booster Gold
Showing posts 0-5 of 12 matching: supporting characters
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
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, Doctor Shocker.
Early in the super-heroing career of Booster Gold, while the self-satisfied young hero was posing with beautiful actresses in perfume advertisements, the Director of the 1000 was plotting his downfall. The 1000 had many employees, from the brutish Blackguard to the assassin Chiller. However, none was as important to the Director's plot against Booster Gold as the man they called Doctor Shocker.
We first meet the bad doctor in Booster Gold #9 (1986), where he was using his high-tech Psi-Trap to "drain the knowledge" of Benjamin "Benny" Lindgren and Martin "Marty" Kramer, the comic book artists working on the Booster Gold comic book. In the next issue (Booster Gold #10), Shocker is remotely monitoring Booster Gold's energy signature. By Booster Gold #11, he's graduated to hacking Skeets, an advanced 25th-century artificial intelligence.
Doctor Shocker escaped the 1000's underground lair before Booster Gold destroyed it (Booster Gold #12), and hasn't been seen since. Who was this mysterious villain that dressed like a surgeon but acted like a computer programmer? Why did he dedicate himself to making life difficult for Booster Gold? And what school gave him his doctorate in mad science?
We can, in fact, answer most of these questions. Obviously, a silly name like "Doctor Shocker" is an alias for a more familiar face. To determine just who he really is, let's look at some clues he left behind.
1. It's ridiculous to think that a pair of comic book artists would have any unusual, inside information about the heroes they wrote for. Therefore, we can assume that any knowledge gained by the so-called Psi-Trap was worthless. This implies that Doctor Shocker had the information he needed the whole time.
2. The 1000's plan required manipulating Skeets, but how could any 20th-century computer scientist expect to be able to reprogram 25th-century technology in a matter of minutes? Only if that computer scientist had experience with future tech.
3. Booster's final battle with the Director of the 1000 would result in his need to return to the future? As a direct result of Doctor Shocker's actions, Booster Gold would go on to meet Rip Hunter and reunite with his sister, Michelle, both integral members of the eventual Time Masters team. Note also that a supposedly reprogrammed Skeets ended up playing a key role in the Director's eventual downfall. Did Skeets' reprogrammer make a mistake, or was this betrayal his intention all along?
There is only one white-haired old man who has the knowledge of Booster Gold's life, a working familiarity with technology across the centuries, and a demonstrated history of working behind the scenes to ensure that Booster Gold becomes the hero he was always destined to be: Booster Gold himself!
It's no accident that Doctor Shocker managed to avoid meeting Booster Gold face-to-face. That prevented any potential time paradoxes. He'll use that tactic again when he'll need to guide his younger self to the right path during the fall of Coast City in Booster Gold volume 2 #30 (2010).
Past? Present? Future? There's no difference to a real Time Master.
Interested in meeting other "People in his Neighborhood"? Get to know Trixie Collins, Daniel Carter, Jack Soo, Rani, Dirk Davis, Skeets, Mackenzie Garrison, Rip Hunter, Michelle Carter, Nurse Devlin, and Monica Lake.
Friday, February 14, 2020
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, Monica Lake.
It's a common practice for anyone seeking to become a celebrity to attach themselves to other celebrities. When Booster Gold was new on the scene, he was no different.
In order to maximize his client's marketing potential, Booster's manager, Dirk Davis, scheduled a very public dinner date for our hero at The Imperial, "one of the finest restaurants in Metropolis," in Booster Gold #3 (1986). The lucky (or opportunistic, depending on your point of view) starlet is Monica Lake, star of The Love Cruise.
Due in equal parts to Booster's vanity and Monica's disinterest, the date did not go well.
Despite the inauspicious start to their relationship, both Booster and Monica recognized the practical public relations value of continuing their association. By the next issue, Booster Gold #4, Monica was already in touch with Davis about staging another encounter. In Booster Gold #9, she revealed explicitly what she hopped to gain by the relationship.
For a time, the plan seemed to work. The media couldn't get enough of the couple. Rumors of an impending marriage between the couple started immediately ("his first, her fifth"!), and continued for months.
Gradually, this made-for-tabloids romance began to strain Booster's personal relationships, most notably with his secretary, Trixie Collins, who felt that Booster was demeaning himself (as seen in Booster Gold #10). Booster eventually agreed. After a near death experience and a trip to the future, he re-evaluated his life and decided that there was no room in it for Monica Lake, resulting in a blow-up between the two in the pages of Booster Gold #16.
It was not the last Booster would see of Lake, however. She may not have gotten what she wanted from their year-long partnership, but Booster sure did. He had successfully elevated himself into the celebrity social echelon, and the former couple would cross paths again at celebrity parties, such as the art gallery opening of painter Paul Morris' latest show (Booster Gold #19).
Neither Booster nor Monica come off looking very good in hindsight, but that's sadly true of all too many relationships. In all fairness, they were both immature. Booster was barely 20 years old at the time, and Lake couldn't have been too much older despite having already been married four times. Keep that in mind this Valentine's Day: if you want to maintain the magic in your partnership, don't be a childish jerk.
To answer the question of whether creator Dan Jurgens based Monica Lake on any real celebrities, click here to read my post from May 8, 2015.
Interested in meeting other "People in his Neighborhood"? Get to know Trixie Collins, Daniel Carter, Jack Soo, Rani, Dirk Davis, Skeets, Mackenzie Garrison, Rip Hunter, Michelle Carter, and Nurse Devlin.
Monday, December 23, 2019
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, Nurse Devlin.
Not all supporting characters are created equally. Some are far more important than others, but even the smallest has a role to play in the adventures of a superhero. Take, for example, Nurse Devlin of Metropolis General Hospital, first met in Booster Gold #13 (1987).
At the end of his previous adventure, Booster had been left battered and broken by the 1000. Because he lacked immunity to 20th-century diseases, he was nearly at death's door. Nurse Deslin helped repair our hero's body. She was also instrumental in improving his soul.
She took advantage of Booster's weakness to read him the riot act about how his selfish behavior disguised as altruism wasn't heroic.
Booster had heard the same countless times before — from no less a moral authority than Superman among others (see Booster Gold #6). This time, he listened. Near-death experiences will do that to you.
The change wasn't immediate. Booster first had to travel to the future and confront his own death squad (in events perhaps unintentionally echoing Charles Dickens' classic A Christmas Carol) before he accepted the need to begin modifying his behavior. Growth is never easy, even for super heroes.
After returning to the present in Booster Gold #15, Booster turned over a new leaf, beginning with an anonymous donation to the Metropolis Food Shelter. (It's no accident that Booster's goodwill tour began with a donation to Nurse Devlin's charity. This suggests that wounded pride motivated him as much as a true desire to be a better person, but hey, every hero has got to start somewhere.)
Monday, September 16, 2019
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Wednesday, August 7, 2019
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, Ripley "Rip" Hunter, also known as the Time Master.
The details of Rip's early life are vague, and that's just the way he wants them. In one telling, Rip was a wealthy adventurer who invented time travel to "solve mysteries that have plagued mankind for centuries." In another, he was an MIT graduate obsessed with conquering the mysteries of time travel to save the world from Vandal Savage. In yet another, he was a member of the time policing Linear Men. The truth has been intentionally obfuscated to prevent interference from those who would change history for their own nefarious means. Even "Rip Hunter" is a pseudonym.
How deep do Hunter's deceptions go? He would have Booster Gold believe that they first met in Booster Gold #13 (1987) when Booster was desperately looking for a way to return to his own future for medical treatment. From Booster's chronological point-of-view, that's true. However, only Hunter knows that he is actually Booster's son — revealed in Booster Gold #1,000,000 (2008) — sent from the future to ensure that his father got the help he needed. Talk about your classic time paradoxes!
Once Booster was out of danger, Rip continued as a consultant for Booster's B.G.I. corporation while still managing to have his own adventures elsewhere. After B.G.I. closed its doors, years would pass before the two would work together again -- but what's a few decades for a time traver? Together, Rip and Booster (and Booster's 20th-century ancestor, Daniel) saved the multiverse from Mister Mind (in 52).
In the wake of their success, the two joined forces on a more permanent basis. As the new Time Masters, they have saved history from the likes of Per Degaton's Time Stealers (in Booster Gold Volume 2, #10), Black Beetle (Booster Gold Volume 2, #19), Darkseid (Time Masters: Vanishing Point), and Maxwell Lord (Booster Gold Volume 2, #34) to name a few. And they did it all in secret.
Hunter played an essential role in helping Booster resolve the multiverse-colliding events of Convergence, but he has managed to stay otherwise mostly hidden since Doctor Manhattan meddled with known history behind the scenes of Flashpoint. Where will we see the Time Master in action next? If the past is any indication, he'll return when Booster needs him most. That's what family is for.
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