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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
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Monday, December 24, 2018

100 Reasons Why Not

One of the responses to my list of my Booster Gold's rogues gallery posts last week came from Boosterfett:

One big glaring omission-- The 100! They were instrumental in fleshing out our hero's early motivations and if they were updated, could be a major contender for that evil organization that could be the Hydra to Michael's Captain America!

Without a doubt, the 1000 was integral to the development of Booster Gold. They were the first criminal organization he fought as a 20th-century hero. It was their planned assassination of Ronald Reagan that introduced Booster Gold to the public. Nearly half of Booster's original run was devoted to the 1000's attempts to destroy our hero.

But no, I didn't include them in my rogues gallery. I didn't include them specifically because Booster isn't the biggest Thorn in their side.

© DC Comics
from "Death House Honeymoon," Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #105 (1970)

The 1000 debuted as the 100, "The Centipede of Crime," in Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #105. Star Daily Planet reporter Clark Kent described them as "hoods [who] have a finger in every racket" in Metropolis. In other words, they were too big for even Superman to snuff out.

When Metropolis police detective Phil Forrest was murdered by a 100 assassin, the trauma was too much for his daughter, Rose. Her psyche was split into two personalities. After that, each night Rose became Thorn, a hardened vigilante with only one enemy: The 100.

© DC Comics
from "Nightmare Alley", Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane #130 (1973)

Thorn's crusade continued through the next three years of Lois Lane comics until the trail of the 100 grew cold in issue #130 (1973). As Thorn moved further into the background of the DCU, Thorn's father remained unavenged. The 100, however, would have a second act.

© DC Comics
from "Black Lightning", Black Lightning #1 (1977)

Enter Black Lightning. Four years after Thorn lost their trail, Jefferson Pierce would run afoul of 100 associate Tobias Whale in Black Lightning #1 (1977). Black Lightning locked horns with the Whale for 8 of his 11 issues, and their feud continued in various appearances across the DCU even after the infamous DC Implosion of 1979. The 100 didn't care for the attention that the Whale brought them, and they eventually parted ways with their former associate, paving the way for their rebirth.

© DC Comics
from "Death Ransom", World's Finest Comics #257 (1979)

When the 100 reemerged as the high-tech 1000 in Booster Gold Volume 1, #1 in 1985, their oldest foe reappeared with them. Booster Gold was the star of the series, but both Rose Forrest and Thorn joined his early supporting cast. (In this way, even Booster's first enemy "borrowed" heavily from pre-Crisis on Infinite Earth DC continuity.) Together and apart, they opposed the Director's nefarious plans for world domination through almost a full year's worth of comics.

© DC Comics
from "Crash", Booster Gold #4 (1986)

Like Tobias Whale before him, the 1000's leader, the Director of Death, would become obsessed with one hero. Unlike Tobias, Director's obsession was largely one-sided. (Booster Gold was largely indifferent to the Director's goals and was content to ignore him until he turned to kidnapping his staff. ) The Director eventually died in the pursuit of his obsession. The 1000 died with him, and Booster Gold hasn't given them a second thought since.

Not so, Thorn.

The 100 survived the Director's death, and they remain Thorn's driving motivation. She has been seen continuing her crusade against them in appearances in the Showcase anthology of the middle 1990s and Birds of Prey issues in the 2000s.

© DC Comics
from "Hero Hunters Part 4: She Rides the Eye of a Hurricane", Birds of Prey #79 (2005)

Yes, the 1000 could be updated to bedevil Booster Gold once more, but why should they when they're still locked in a life-and-death struggle with another hero even more deserving of their hatred. For nearly a half century, the 100(0) has been Thorn's Lex Luthor, and she has been their Superman. For that reason, any incarnation of the 100 belongs in her rogues gallery, not Booster Gold's.

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: 100 black lightning director of death lois lane thorn tobias whale villains


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