Booster Gold has been through a number of ups and downs since debuting in his own ongoing series in 1986 but, despite having a hand in some of DC's major events and his recent billing as "the greatest hero you've never heard of," he's never quite broken through as a marquee character. But with a shocking decision in Action Comics #998, an upcoming turn in Batman #45, and the timey-wimey shenanigans of Doomsday Clock, all of that is set to change, and soon.
After more than 30 years, Booster Gold has quietly become one of DC's most important heroes.
Created in 1986 by Dan Jurgens, Michael Jon Carter was a nobody from the 25th century who stole a super suit, a Legion flight ring, and a time machine to become the heroic Booster Gold in the 20th (sliding to the 21st) century. He does it for fame and glory, and at one point had even accepted sponsorships, with NASCAR-style patches appearing on his costume. While his first series ran for 25 issues, his most prominent role was in Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis, and Kevin Maguire's Justice League International, where he and buddy Blue Beetle were the most comedic members of the comedy-action series.
When Jurgens took over the series with #61 (at which point it was renamed Justice League America, no "of"), the tone changed dramatically to more straightforward superhero series, but Booster and Beetle remained the (toned down) comic relief until their own story arcs took a turn for the grim. During the "Death of Superman" storyline, also written by Jurgens and crossing over with JLA, Beetle was beaten into a coma and Booster's futuristic suit was shredded, leaving him powerless.
Both eventually returned to action, but in the lead up to Zero Hour Booster learned his knowledge of the future was flawed when a C-list villain hewed off his arm and killed him. (He was restored to life by the end of the day, and eventually got the arm back -- don't ask -- which leads one to wonder whether his future knowledge is accurate after all…)
Why bring up Zero Hour? Getting there. But first…