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Friday, March 29, 2019

Character Spotlight on Rani

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, Rani.

The People in His Neighborhood: spotlighting the characters who have made Booster Gold such a star

In the 30th century, when the evil god Darkseid will take over the planet Daxam in what will become known as "The Great Darkness Saga," time-traveller Booster Gold will do what he can to save innocent lives (in Booster Gold Volume 2, #32). Unfortunately for everyone, Booster is no match for an army of billions of super-powered Daxamites, and he manages to save the life of only one child, little orphan Rani.

© DC Comics

With Rani's parents dead and her foster parents fallen victim to Darkseid's invasion, Booster has little choice but to take the poor girl home with him to 21st-century Arizona where she could be cared for by Booster's grown son, Rip Hunter, who Rani nicknamed "Boppy" after her own grandfather (Booster Gold #33). Hunter was concerned that Booster had damaged the space-time continuum by bringing Rani to the past, but Booster's twin sister, Michelle, refused to allow them to send the little girl back to a death sentence in the future (Booster Gold #34). Just like that, Rani became part of Booster's family.

Despite her young age, Rani has an advanced knowledge of technology (Booster Gold #35) and a drive to join the family business. In Booster Gold #38, she pilots a stolen time sphere to 1943 to confront Maxwell Lord's parents before he was born, and would later "borrow" Michelle's Goldstar costume (Booster Gold #39). In response, Michelle grounded her for two whole days.

© DC Comics

Rani was mature for her age, but she would continue to be traumatized by her experiences on Daxam. For example, when Doctor Nishtikeit and his time-traveling Nazis attacked Hunter's Arizona home (in Booster Gold #41), Rani suffered a prolonged PTSD episode that only resolved when Booster returned to "rescue" her. She cried for the duration of Booster's 25th-century prison sentence (though that was only 10 minutes of her relative time) as seen in Booster Gold #42. So far as she is concerned, Booster is her new daddy, and he treats her like the daughter he never had.

In the last days before Flashpoint changed history and destroyed everyone's memories of the history of the world that was, Rani was fittingly last seen in Booster Gold #43 on 30th-century missing child poster.

© DC Comics

"The Great Darkness Saga" is still in Booster Gold's future. Will Rani be there? Will Booster Gold save her? Only time will tell.

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