- Booster Gold
Wednesday, June 24, 2020
A recent clickbait listicle at CBR.com written by Brett Hoover has the very pointed title "Justice League: 5 Reasons Why Blue Beetle Is The Most Annoying Member (& 5 Why It's Booster Gold)."
I was initially going to let this obvious bit of fanboy-baiting slide, but then I decided that if I wasn't willing to fight for Booster Gold, who would? So in the interest of giving equal time to Booster bashers, let me directly address those 5 reasons. (I'll leave it to others to defend Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes.)
Reason 5. Booster Gold: Believes Himself To Be More Powerful Than He Really Is
Superheroes have egos. In fact, in most cases that is what makes them super as they are constantly trying to improve themselves to live up to their own and others' expectations of them. That said, in the case of Booster Gold, it is just sad how he tries to portray himself as one of Earth's mightiest heroes when, in fact, he is just a chump in a costume. What is even sadder is that, because of his enormous ego, he doesn't even notice that others see through his facade.
No one can deny that Booster Gold has an over-sized ego, but if the premise is that he's the worst Justice Leaguer, the real question is whether his ego is more over-inflated than other Leaguers. I'd say Booster's sense of self-importance, while impressive, is dwarfed by the runaway delusions of self-important grandeur often displayed by the likes of Batman, Hawkman, Green Arrow, or
Parallax Extant Hal Jordan.
Reason 4. Booster Gold: Not Earth's Mightiest Hero
Certain superheroes seek to earn their place in the top ranks of the Justice League. Many work for years to even get admitted to the A-level superhero squad. While all are heroic in their own way and are confident in their own powers, Booster Gold takes his accomplishments and quadruples the amount of importance his actions really played in any situation. It isn't wrong to be confident but confidence is something that is obtained through surviving the tough battles, not just given like he wants it to be.
This sure sounds like a duplication of the first complaint. No less a talent than Geoff Johns dubbed Booster Gold "The Greatest Hero You've Never Heard Of" explicitly because when a time-cop like Booster Gold does his job correctly and saves a multiverse, you don't see the tough battles he fought on your behalf. If someone has to be a publicly recognized, best-selling A-lister before they join the league, someone might want to break the news gently to Martian Manhunter, Red Tornado, and Firestorm.
Reason 3. Booster Gold: Attention Seeking Superhero
Booster Gold isn't known for his modesty when it comes to the good deeds he has committed. In fact, he oftentimes hopes and prays that there is a camera on each corner taking his picture as he saves the day. This attention-seeking aspect of his persona leaves many superhero allies with a bad taste in their mouth when forced to team up with him. Yet, instead of realizing how pathetic such a demeanor truly is, he instead begins to believe their animosity is because of his true heroism.
Sure, Booster has frequently lamented not receiving the earned respect of his peers, but that final sentence is patently untrue. I think you, like so many others before you, have confused him with Green Lantern, specifically Guy Gardner. Or Obsidian. Or Triumph. (Surely I'm not the only person who remembers Triumph, the founding leaguer who was lost in timeline shenanigans. Speaking of timeline shenanigans....)
Reason 2. Booster Gold: Mentored By His Own Son
Some of the worst things shows or comics about time travel have to deal with are the paradoxes these travelers inflict on time itself. Fans see it often enough by the Flash who has jumped around the past and the future on countless occasions. Booster Gold's attempts at messing with time ultimately resulted in him not only coming in contact with his son, but being mentored by the child he hadn't yet raised, along with having his future self shape his past self.
Time paradoxes make for bad Justice Leaguers? Sure, Triumph was a jerk, but time paradoxes are practically a prerequisite for league membership. Stalwarts like Superman and Supergirl had plenty of time-twisting adventures with the future's Legion of Super-Heroes in their past, Plastic Man's JLA adventures through time would prove him functionally immortal, and Moon Maiden seemed nice enough while she existed. (Can anyone explain why the Flash gets a pass here? Is it because the Cosmic Treadmill is cool? Because it is.)
Reason 1. Booster Gold: Runs From The Present To Live In The Past
There's a common time travel fantasy about going back in time with modern technology in order to impress the denizens of the past. If that weren't the main reason Booster Gold traveled in time, it wouldn't be so sad. Booster Gold was so unimportant in his time that the only way to feed his ego was to time travel to the past and show off his futuristic technology.
Well, you have me there. It's not a very heroic origin, is it? I guess there's a reason the Justice League never let a criminal like Lex Luthor join. Oh, they did? Well, then. Case dismissed.
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