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Welcome to another “You Missed That Issue!” This time we have Booster Gold’s addition to DC’s 1.000.000 series. If you’re unfamiliar with the “million” concept, it was DC’s experiment to show what the comics we know and love now might look like when they reach the million issue. It was also their way of saying that they plan on being here and making comics until they get to that point and beyond. When Booster Gold was announced after 52 wrapped up, Geoff Johns and company thought it would be funny to give Booster a million issue so as to say that the character is strong enough and important enough to make it that far.
So why this issue? Why not any of the great issues before this issue? It’s simple… the last line of the book. It’s a single moment that caps off the story and makes the strongest statement about the title and its importance. But we can’t simply jump to the end, for the ending means nothing taken out of context.
This issue starts after Booster has just tried to save Barbara Gordon from the Joker. He travels back numerous times to try and rescue her from the worst night of her life, but he’s beaten and defeated by the Joker each time. It’s not just a few times that he tries; no, we’re talking in the hundreds. After finally giving up on Barbara, he tries to save his best friend Ted Cord. Once again, he fails. The failure becomes too much for him.
Booster then finds himself back in the future meeting a man he’s inspired, but not in the way he wants to. Peter Platinum has learned from all of Booster’s mistakes when it comes to cashing in on being a hero, and frankly it makes Booster sick. After dealing with the monster he created, he’s whipped away by Rip Hunter. Rip lectures Booster on his responsibilities and how he’s had to learn by experiencing his failings first hand. This prompts Booster to quit and go back to being the causal hero he was before.
Booster returns to the 21st century and instantly has a run in with the Royal Flush Gang. This is good because he really needs to blow off some steam. Booster receives a little help from Green Lantern and Green Arrow, and they question whether or not they helped in a typical Booster PR stunt. This sends Booster further into rage mode. It’s a short lived conversation as Batman interrupts and summons Booster to the cave.
There Booster attempts to go off on Batman, until the B-man drops dozens of photos of Booster being brutalized by the Joker. He goes on to explain that he’s held on to them for years wondering how it could be. He waited until Booster matured and tells him that whatever he’s doing… is good. It’s an amazing moment between these two characters that don’t see eye to eye, but who find respect between each other, and it practically makes the book all on its own.
Booster renews his quest of fixing time and working with Rip. He heads back to their lair only to find his dead sister waiting for him in matching white suit. Finally his hard work has been rewarded by returning one person he’s lost in his life. It ends with Booster and his sister springing off into their next adventure leaving Rip alone in the lair. He watches Booster as he leaves and simply says, “Keep it up, Dad.”
Then it hits, Rip isn’t just doing this for time and space, he’s doing it for his family. He’s getting to spend time with his father and help him become the man he’s meant to be… but Booster doesn’t know any of that. It’s a rare moment for the reader that both is deeply touching and adds a depth to Booster Gold that was never there before. There are a lot of great issues in this series but this one stands out as spectacular. At first it comes off as just a marketing gimmick or as the creators trying to be funny, but then they throw a curve ball and tug on your heart strings the entire issue.
If you’re interested in reading this issue and the other issues it loosely ties into, be sure to pick up Booster Gold Volume 2 for DC comics.
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