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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
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Showing posts 1 - 5 of 5 matching: brainiac 5

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Super Power Spotlight on the Time Sphere

What makes a hero super? The super powers! From awesome strength to zero-to-sixty speed, great superpowers are the most useful tricks in every famous costumed crime-fighter's tool kit. Michael Jon Carter knew this, and that's why he started his career with a time machine.

Dressing for Success: The futuristic super powers of Booster Gold

Power suit, energy rays, force field, flight ring... "Booster" Carter could steal every super power in the Space Museum, but none of those would make the citizens of the 25th century forget that he had committed the ultimate crime: shaving points in a college football game.

To move on with his life, Booster would have to think outside the box. He'd have to think in a sphere. Specifically, he'd have to think in Rip Hunter's Time Sphere.

© DC Comics

Rip Hunter and his distinctive time machine, the "amazing" Time Sphere, made their debut appearance in Showcase #20, 1959. He and his 20th-century companions, calling themselves Time Masters, would continue to improve the Time Sphere's design as they traveled from one end of history to the other with many adventures in between.

© DC Comics

At any given time, there were several operating spheres, any one of which could have ended up in the Space Museum of the 25th century for Booster to, um, borrow. Although Booster broke that first Time Sphere, he has since had the opportunity to use some of Hunter's other Time Spheres for other temporal journeys both with and without the Time Master, beginning in 1987's Booster Gold #13, and as recently as 2021's DC's Cybernetic Summer.

Though the story of the time-traveling globe doesn't end (or begin) there. As we will eventually learn, while Rip Hunter may have invented the Time Sphere, he certainly did not invent time travel. Or even spherical time machines.

As revealed in Booster Gold volume 2, #1,000,000 (2008), Rip Hunter is Booster Gold's son. Later issues of Time Masters: Vanishing Point will demonstrate that Rip traveled through time as a child with his father. That crates a paradox, since it's impossible that at some point in the future, Rip Hunter could have gone back in time to create the circumstances that led to his own birth.

But it's not impossible that at some point in the future, a super-intelligent alien from another planet could have traveled backwards in time and laid the groundwork for Booster to do so. That alien is Brainiac 5.

In addition to inventing the Force Field Belt and Legion Flight Ring that Booster liberated from the Space Museum, Brainiac 5 also worked with the 30th-century Time Institute, perfected the time-traveling Time Bubble that his fellow Legion of Super-Heroes would use to have time-travel adventures with Superman beginning with 1958's Adventure Comics #247.

© DC Comics

Clearly, the Time Bubble precedes the Time Sphere. Since Brainiac 5's history is in no way connected to Michael Jon Carter's, it is no stretch of the imagination to speculate that Brainiac 5 or the Legion of Super-Heroes made trips through time that somehow created the impossible sequence of events that lead to Rip Hunter appearing to create the machine necessary for his own birth. Fortunately, Brainiac 5 also has the power to resolve such space-time paradoxes.

As seen in Time Masters Vanishing Point #3, Brainiac 5 has access to the uniquly powerful Miracle Machine, a device that turns imagination into reality. With a power like that, even the most difficult paradox can be untangled with a thought.

© DC Comics

That panel makes it clear that time-traveling Rip Hunter knew Brainiac 5 from an early age, so it's probable that the future Time Master's time-machine design was influenced by the Legion of Super-Heroes' pioneering inventor. When a design works that well, why change it?

(Footnote: Amusingly, there is also a time-traveling globe from the future in 1951's Batman #67. Although the Batman of the 31st-century takes credit for inventing it, he wouldn't be the first person to steal a Time Sphere.)

If you'd like to read about other powers in Booster Gold's arsenal, check out previous spotlight posts on his Force Field Belt, Booster Shots, Flight Ring, and goggles.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: brainiac 5 powers rip hunter time sphere

Friday, May 8, 2020

Super Power Spotlight on the Flight Ring

What makes a hero super? The super powers! From awesome strength to zero-to-sixty speed, great superpowers are the most useful tricks in every famous costumed crime-fighter's tool kit. Michael Jon Carter knew this, and that's why he started his career with a telepathically-controlled flight ring.

Dressing for Success: The futuristic super powers of Booster Gold

As a student of history, Michael "Booster" Carter modeled his superhero persona on Superman. In addition to strength, invulnerability, and long-range energy beams, he'd also need to be able to fly. To that end, he stole a Legion of Super-Heroes Flight Ring, created by Brainiac 5 in the pages of Adventure Comics #329 (1965).

© DC Comics

In its original design, the ring was a simple metal band that provided a telepathically-controlled anti-gravity effect for those Legionnaires who could not fly under their own power. They soon became standard issue equipment for all Legionnaires. Even Superboy had one, though he rarely had need of it except in those few cases where he lost his powers, such as the time he visited Earth's past and found it lit by a red sun.

© DC Comics

(If you squint at the panel above, you can see a flight ring there on Superboy's hand in this panel from Adventure Comics #133, also in 1965. This is the first time Superboy wore a Flight Ring.)

Brainiac 5 wasn't content with having a ring that only allowed flight. He eventually gave the ring other abilities, including sending emergency distress signals. He also improved its appeal by converting it to a gold signet-style ring showing a raised letter "L" in the center (first appearance in Adventure Comics #347). That's how the ring looked when it found its way into Booster Gold's arsenal in Booster Gold #1 (1985), and that's more or less how it looked when Booster Gold joined the Justice League in Justice League #4 (1987) and escaped from a Bialyan prison in Justice League International #17 (1988).

© DC Comics

Booster's ring was originally depicted with a letter from the Roman alphabet. However, it sometimes was seen showing Interlac, the "inter-galactic universal language of the 30th century" which first appeared in Adventure Comics #379 (1969). By Booster Gold volume 2 #1 (2007), Booster's ring had changed to the stylized "L" on a black background that had been in use since Legion of Super-Heroes #41 (1993).

© DC Comics

How could one ring alter its appearance so much? Well, the Legion of Super-Heroes have a tendency for getting involved in reality-warping time travel shenanigans. In fact, that's how a Legion of Super-Heroes ring from the 30th century ended up in the 25th-century Space Museum in the first place.

When Booster's debut in the 20th century drew the attention of the Legion of Super-Heroes, Brainiac 5 realized he had to leave his own flight ring in 1985 for Booster to be able to steal it in 2462 (as seen in Booster Gold #6). Therefore, the ring was available for Booster Gold to steal only because he had already stolen it. (It's best not to think too hard about that.)

© DC Comics

If it sounds like Booster Gold creator Dan Jurgens was making things up as he went along, he was. His original plan, as revealed in Booster Gold: The Big Fall, was that instead of stealing Brainiac 5's ring from the Space Museum, Booster would have stolen Superboy's rarely used original ring from the Superman Museum!

© DC Comics

That plan was scuttled by the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, which erased Superboy's adventures from history. Thus the original origin of Booster Gold's flight ring became just one more casualty of the universe-destroying Anti-Monitor. What a jerk.

If you'd like to read about the origins of other powers in Booster Gold's arsenal, check out previous spotlight posts on his Force Field Belt and Booster Shots.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: adventure comics brainiac 5 dan jurgens justice league international legion flight ring legion of super-heroes powers superboy superboy superman

Friday, November 15, 2019

Super Power Spotlight on the Force Field Belt

What makes a hero super? The super powers! From awesome strength to zero-to-sixty speed, great superpowers are the most useful tricks in every famous costumed crime-fighter's tool kit. Michael Jon Carter knew this, and that's why he started his career with an impenetrable force field.

Dressing for Success: The futuristic super powers of Booster Gold

When he looted his equipment from the Space Museum, Booster Gold literally had his pick of powers, and he chose only the best from Superman's history. Perhaps none of his impressive array of powers are more notable or powerful than his force field belt.

First encountered in Action Comics #242 (1958), the original belt was the creation of Brainiac, a brilliant alien who claimed mastery of super-scientific forces. His "Ultra-Force Barrier," controlled via his belt remote, was strong enough to frustrate any attempt Superman made against him. The Ultra-Force Barrier was expandable enough to envelope entire space ships and whole planets. No matter the size, at full power it resisted anything used against it, from energy beams to projectiles to Men of Steel.

© DC Comics

Brainiac would go on to become one of Earth's greatest foes, but his descendant, Brainiac 5 of the Legion of Super-Heroes, would become one of Earth's greatest allies. From his first appearance in Action Comics #276 (1961), Braniac 5 was using his own variation on his ancestor's technology to help make Supergirl even more powerful than her cousin, Superman. Like it's predecessor, Brainiac 5's Force-Shield Belt was resizable and could stop all radiation and matter alike, although its smaller, more portable size limited the duration it could be used.

© DC Comics

Brainiac 5 would recreate his signature belt many times over the years, and he would occasionally lend them out to protect the lives of others. Once he even gave a copy to United States President Ronald Reagan (as seen in Booster Gold #9, 1986). Centuries later, that belt would be put on display in the Space Museum for a disgraced ex-football player to find. That thief would put it good use.

Booster Gold integrated the Force Field into his costume, relocating the controls from the belt to his gauntlets where he could more easily adjust its size, strength, and area of focus. The field proved its worth almost immediately, saving the young hero from an army of gunfire (in Booster Gold #3), massive bombs (Booster Gold #5), and Superman himself (Booster Gold #7). In addition to protecting himself, Booster has put the field to more creative uses destroying a incredibly toxic poison (in Booster Gold #17) and containing a rogue Green Lantern (Justice League International #19).

In many ways, the Force Field has become Booster Gold's signature power. And that's Boosterrific!

© DC Comics
Justice League International #9 (1988)

Comments (2) | Add a Comment | Tags: action comics adventure comics brainiac brainiac 5 force field justice league international powers supergirl superman

Friday, July 17, 2015

This Day in History: Think 4th Dimensionally

On this date 29 years ago, fans finally learned where Booster Gold's Legion Flight Ring came from in Booster Gold, Volume 1, #9.

See, we knew Booster Gold stole a Legion Flight Ring from a museum in the 25th century before he traveled with it to the 20th century. The only problem was that the ring wouldn't be invented until the 30th century. So how did it get back in time for Booster to steal it in the first place? Even 12th-level intellect Brainiac 5 didn't know the answer to that.

© DC Comics

Ironically, it was only after he traveled back in time with Chameleon Boy and Ultra Boy to investigate this paradox that Brainiac 5 realized that Booster's Flight Ring was in fact his own. Brainiac 5 didn't dare change history lest he damage his own timeline, so he chose to leave his 30th-century ring with 20th-century United States President Ronald Reagan so that it would eventually end up in the 25th-century museum.

Hey, if you don't love a good time-travel paradox, maybe Booster Gold isn't the right hero for you.

The Legion of Super-Bloggers reviewed this story (including its first half in Booster Gold #8) from the Legion's point of view earlier this week. Check it out at legionofsuperbloggers.blogspot.com.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: brainiac 5 chameleon boy legion flight ring legion of super-bloggers ultra boy

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Only His Hairdresser Knows for Sure

Booster Gold skipped a digital issue of Smallville Season 11, but he's back for issue #48, and Skeet's is spilling his secrets!

© DC Comics

Booster Gold is a bottle blond? Heavens, no! Presumably, this is a sly reference to the actor who played Booster on Smallville, Eric Martsolf. Martsolf is not a natural blond. He has brown hair. The real Booster Gold has blond hair!

Also in this comic, Booster retells his origin for Smallville fans. In Smallville continuity, there isn't any mention of Booster's signature force field, and his Booster Shots, er, "wrist blasters," are made from 22nd-century technology.

You can download a copy of the issue from ComiXology.com for just 99¢, or you can wait until the issue is collected in Smallville Season 11 #14 at your Local Comic Shop on June 12.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: brainiac 5 comixology.com eric martsolf origins skeets smallville


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