Imagine five of the greatest writers ever assembled collaborating on a year long series each leading different subplots and characters to write about within the larger context of this massive epic. That, was the series 52.
Before all this New 52 nonsense, Geoff Johns (Green Lantern: Rebirth, Flash Point) Grant Morrison (Batman Incorporated, Final Crisis) Greg Rucka(The OMAC Project, Wolverine) Mark Waid (Kingdom Come, Irredeemable) and Keith Giffen ( wrote this series about a myriad of DC characters, some of which were old characters and concepts brought back into the mainstream DC Multiverse and others still relatively new were expounded on and given fresh life in the wake of a company wide revamping of its catalogue of characters, origins, and story arcs.
There are so many incredible stories and plots that its hard to review the whole book but I’ll be taking an in-depth look at four different characters throughout the series and their incredible stories.
2. Booster Gold, Supernova, and Rip Hunter Time Master
This is the ultimate trifecta of time travel beginning with Booster still horribly depressed over Ted Kord’s death, (the second Blue Beetle after Dan Garrett) as a result of going toe to toe with Maxwell Lord, the leader of Checkmate. Still over sensationalizing and grand-standing, no one takes Booster Gold seriously as he makes his way towards the Hall of Justice for the announcement of the Greatest Justice League in history. An event which is taught in civics classes for the next 500 years particularly about Superman’s speech, forming under the guidance of himself, Batman and Wonder Woman.
But it doesn’t happen. Slowly the future diverges from the current time in placement of events and time throughout the universe. Booster is later criticized by Ralph Dibny, astutely accusing Booster of being “a vain opportunist who poses as a hero to earn lucrative corporate contracts.” Further blaming Booster for the deaths of Kord and Dibny’s wife, Sue as a result of his fraudulent crime fighting and fake rescues staged to improve marketability.
Booster even goes as far as to hire an actor to pose as a super villain and “defeat” him. The actor later comes forward, however, and Booster’s credibility is immediately lost. In the meantime, with Superman out of commission and Booster Gold remaining an ineffectual hero overall, Supernova takes over Metropolis as its champion.
When a creature carrying a nuclear submarine appears in the middle of Metropolis, Booster tries to reclaim his lost glory and image by defeating the beast. However, he is incapable of doing so until Supernova arrives to teleport the creature away. However, the submarine becomes severely damaged and increases the possibility of setting off a nuclear explosion in the middle of the city. Booster lifts the vessel into his forcefield attempting to fly it out of the city, but dies in the ensuing explosion.
It is later revealed that Booster had collaborated with Rip Hunter, a Time Master recorrecting characters’ histories, destinies, etc. and used his time-traveling capabilities to fake his own death. The Booster skeleton found at the blast-site (which looks similar even to the Bruce Wayne skeleton) was actually his remains from his death at some point in the future.
Meanwhile, Skeets had used Booster’s ancestor Daniel Carter as a biological tie to Booster to unlock Rip Hunter’s Time Lab. He later sealed Daniel in a loop of his own death as a result of him knowing too much. It is later revealed while battling Skeets, that Supernova is actually Booster Gold, despite many characters believing it to be Superman or a member of the Super family. When Booster returned to the Booster Gold identity, however Rip passed along the mantle of Supernova to Booster’s 21st century ancestor, Daniel. However, the suit is only capable of being used by a member of the Carter family.
Skeets splits open to reveal the universe eating entity Mr. Mind but is defeated at the last possible second by Rip Hunter and his crew, leading into Booster Gold: 52 pick up.
See, this is how a Booster Gold/Rip Hunter book works. It lets everything happen and then they go back and explain how they did things to counter act their past selves’ actions. Like in Back to the Future Part II, When Doc and Marty figure out they need to go back to 1955 the point of divergence between their 1985 timeline and the alternate 1985 timeline.
I absolutely love Booster Gold. He is just so cocky and full of himself and yet really (as we learn throughout this series and beyond) Booster’s entire superhero career is a facade to cover up his activities as a Time Master in order to save the universe and correct the disruptions in the time stream. All of which creates a really strong character out of purely selfish motivations at first. Imagine how difficult that would even be… you screw up as a young athlete and become a security guard for the hall of superheroes, realizing 25th century gadgets could make you look like a superhero, come to the past to be praised and ultimately you are just as hated and failed in the past as you are in the future.
Of course, some heroes are aware of his involvements and have since recanted many of their insults of his character as a result of his activities within the time stream. So much so, Booster is later part of the search team that looks for Batman from the events of Final Crisis, along with Rip Hunter, Superman, and Hal Jordan Green Lantern.
So if you get a chance read the follow up Booster Gold series! Booster Gold, the Greatest Superhero You’ve never heard of!