Who Is Booster Gold In 'DC's Legends Of Tomorrow'
Spoilers for those who haven't read this article's headline: the latest episode of Warner Bros.'s CW's DC's Legends of Tomorrow features Donald Faison, who played Turk in Scrubs, as ... well, pretty much Turk from Scrubs, only as a time traveler. Or that's who he appears to be at first. At the end of the episode, we find out that Faison's character calls himself "Booster Gold" -- which sounds like some sort of fancy vaccine but is actually the name of a classic DC hero. Based on Twitter, this revelation got mixed reactions from fans.
But if you know about the character's comic book history, Faison's portrayal (including the part where he charms the heroes' pants off, only to betray them) is pretty in line with Booster's early appearances. Booster Gold was introduced in 1986 as a fame-obsessed hero who, unlike Superman or Batman, isn't ashamed to endorse any product they put in front of him as long as the check clears, baby.
By the start of his first series, Booster already had a successful company to promote his brand and get his face plastered across as many surfaces as possible. It's then revealed that Booster pretty much conned his way into his hero position via temporal and property crimes. He was a disgraced football star from the 25th century who stole a time machine and various items from a future museum to travel to the present and create a superheroic persona. He also used the historical knowledge contained in his robotic sidekick, Skeets, to stage stunts for maximum promotional impact. It's established that Skeets doesn't know everything about our era due to a nuclear war messing with the record-keeping, but he knows enough.
But, while playing hero for fame and profit, Booster realized he actually liked saving people. Good thing, because his first series ended with him losing his company and fortune after being scammed by his manager (who was working for a cabal of world-conquering alien robots all along).
Around this time, Booster joined the Justice League and hit it off with Blue Beetle, another financially ruined hero whose comic had just been canceled. Booster and Beetle became notorious for taking side gigs and pulling off a series of failed get rich quick schemes, like when they became super repo men, when they licensed the League's name for a casino in a tropical island, or when Booster put together a calendar showing a female teammate in suggestive poses. Lowering themselves to singing about T-Mobile in a dumb Super Bowl ad would have been perfectly in character for those two.
But then comics got darker and edgier, and so did they. In 1992, the always brand-aware Booster was the one who named Superman's killer, Doomsday, right before having his futuristic costume destroyed. Booster ended up using a succession of bulky battle armors that made him look goofier than anything in those "get rich quick" stories.
The fact that Booster was seen as sort of a joke character for a while became an important plot point in his 2007 revival series. In that book, he's recruited by legendary time traveler Rip Hunter to travel across different moments of the DC Universe's history and fix temporal anomalies without anyone noticing -- because who would suspect that this greedy ass-clown would be a protector of the time-stream? The series ended up revealing that Booster was Rip's dad, even though Rip debuted 27 years earlier because that's time travel for you.
So, introducing Booster as a self-serving dickwad is actually a great idea, since it leaves room for the sort of growth that made the character special in the comics. They could even keep the Rip Hunter storyline, even though Rip died in season 3 (time travel, bay-bee). And, while we highly doubt they can score Zach Braff as Blue Beetle given that he's currently starring in prestigious films like the Cheaper by the Dozen threeboot going straight to Disney+, a guest spot here and there would be pretty nice.
Follow Maxwell Yezpitelok's heroic effort to read and comment on every '90s Superman comic at Superman86to99.tumblr.com.
Top image: Warner Bros. Television