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Boosterrific.com: The Complete, Annotated Adventures of Booster Gold
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Showing posts 0-5 of 5 matching: director of death

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Character Spotlight on Doctor Shocker

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.

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

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.

© DC Comics

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?

© DC Comics

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?

© DC Comics

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).

© DC Comics © DC Comics © DC Comics

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.

Comments (1) | Add a Comment | Tags: 100 april fools director of death doctor shocker people in his neighborhood supporting characters

Monday, January 7, 2019

The Worst of the Worst

What does it take to make a villain a hero's arch-enemy? If it's familiarity, then the villains vying for Booster Gold's most-hated award must be one of these:

Royal Flush Gang and Jonar Jon Carter (aka Supernova III): These long-time foes are tied with 7 encounters each.

The Director (The 1000): The Director was certainly the most dominant of Booster's early villains, racking up 8 encounters before his untimely demise.

Black Beetle: The villain with the most central role in Booster Gold's second volume, Black Beetle crossed paths with our hero 12 times with hints of more to come. Unfortunately, his story will probably remain forever untold thanks to Flashpoint and the arrival of the New 52.

Mr. Mind: Mister Mind has a surprisingly high count of 19 encounters with Booster Gold, a statistic increased both by his tendency to masquerade undetected as Booster's allies and his role in the weekly 52 title.

Maxwell Lord IV: Few characters have such frequently recurring roles in Booster's adventures as Max Lord, who has amassed a total of 65 encounters with our hero to date. Sure, most of those appearances were in supporting roles for the Justice League International (and all of those appearances take place outside modern Rebirth DCnU continuity), but nothing makes for a better antagonist than a former friend and mentor gone bad.

Now that you've seen the numbers, what do you say? Which villain deserves the title of Booster Gold's arch-nemesis?

This week's poll question: Which villain do you consider to be Booster Gold's arch-enemy? Please visit the Boosterrific Polls page to view results for this week's poll.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: black beetle director of death maxwell lord mister mind polls royal flush gang supernova villains

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

Friday, November 20, 2015

30 Years of Arch-Enemies

These days, the DC Universe seems to be chock full of secret organizations of dubious morality. There's nothing new about that. In fact, Booster Gold's 1985 nemeses, the 1000, was a rebirth of the 100, which originally debuted in 1970.

Of course, the 1000 did have something none of the other clandestine organizations have had: a Director of Death!

© DC Comics

The Director was a typical power-mad dictator wanna-be who had a mad-on against Booster Gold. By making Booster's first archenemy a corrupt politician desperate for more power, was Dan Jurgens drawing an intentional contrast against Booster's origins as a corrupted athlete desperate for attention?

I put the question to Jurgens himself.

Somewhat, but not entirely.

If I'd gotten too close to Booster, it might have seemed too "one note".

So the actual difference worked well. The Director craved power whereas Booster simply wanted fame and money. I think one of the attractive things about Booster is that a simple desire for recognition and wealth is really easy to relate to.

The Director could have been the head of any number of evil organizations. As a follow-up question, I asked Jurgens whether it was determined the Director and the 100 would be Booster's first foes before or after it was decided that one of the organization's oldest foes, Thorn, would be Booster Gold's first guest star?

That was actually decided before the firm idea of adding Thorn.

I always thought the idea of Thorn fighting the new 100 and having the numbers to go with each one she took down was cool. Though I always wondered why they didn't just add more guys to replace the fallen.

There you have it. It takes a Director to have a direction.

The True Story of Booster Gold

Thanks again to Dan Jurgens, whose Booster Gold #1 hit newsstands 30 years ago today.

Comments (0) | Add a Comment | Tags: 100 dan jurgens director of death origins rose and thorn true story

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Would-be World Conquerors Need Love Too

TitanTrap Customs continues to give us the action figures we'll never see from DC. This month, it's Booster Gold's first arch-villain: The Director of Death!

Director of Death by TitanTrap Customs

If you're unfamiliar with the first 13 issues of Booster Gold's original series, know that a scheme of the Director of the 1000 that was the first crime Booster Gold foiled. As a result, the Director became Booster's first arch-foe.

Before you say, "why would anyone want that loser," know that the Director sold last week for $36 on eBay.com. For old-school Booster fans, he's worth every penny!

You can see more customs on TitanTrap's Facebook page.

Comments (4) | Add a Comment | Tags: action figures director of death fan art titantrap customs


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