Review: Showcase Presents Booster Gold
1986 was the year that everything changed in comics, being the year that the superheroes grew up. The year brought Alan Moore’s Watchmen, Swamp Thing, Miracleman and Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow. Frank Miller released his triumvirate of the Dark Knight Returns, Born Again and Elektra Assassin. It also gave us Crisis on Infinite Earths, Squadron Supreme, John Byrne’s Fantastic Four, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Dark Horse. In the midst of all this DC launched Booster Gold, a superhero book that was every bit as radical as the rest of the list (not to mention a lot more fun), but which I think was passed over given all the competition that year.
Booster Gold as envisioned by Dan Jurgens is the hero despised by all the other heroes. He’s a disgraced athlete from the future who comes back in time, armed with a stolen super suit and a cynical robotic sidekick, to be a hero and make a bit of money on the side. He rapidly becomes a millionaire thanks to his future knowledge of the stock market and his willingness to accept nearly any endorsement deal. The book falls apart a bit towards the end when the book gets caught up in the awful Millenium Crossover and half the supporting cast vanishes, but until then it’s a brilliant take on superheroics unlike anything previous to it (sadly not the case anymore).
But while the comic ended the character survived thanks to a stint in the Justice League and a great revival in which Booster finally grows up but has to keep pretending to be a jerk anyway. I recommend that book highly as well.