Today’s Super Comic — Booster Gold #6 (1986)

Booster_Gold_6I’ve always had a soft spot for Booster Gold. And if you’re not a regular comic reader, you’re probably asking, “Booster who? What?”

Booster Gold debuted in the mid-80s, and creator/writer/artist Dan Jurgens immediately distinguished him from the rest of DC’s superhero lineup. While most superheroes save the day for altruistic reasons or to avenge loved ones, Booster is pretty much in it for his own glory at first. He wants to be rich, famous, and adored. His path to doing so just happens to be crimefighting, but he’s totally comfortable marketing his likeness as any popular athlete would.

Jurgens could easily have misfired with this. (Well, the series lasted all of two years, so perhaps it was a misfire anyway. But the character was a creative success, and Booster has continued to play a role in the DC Universe ever since.) Booster could have come across as overly selfish and unlikeable—and at times he absolutely does—but beneath all the product endorsements and preoccupation with image, he’s a guy who truly wants to be the best superhero he can be.

As we learn in #6, his origin issue, Booster’s past is not one to be proud of. He starts from a very low point, and he’s determined to become something better.

To drive home just how un-heroic Booster initially appears, the big man himself, Superman, shows up and heaps considerable judgment upon the titular showboat. The two make for excellent foils.

Some heroes are born great, and others have to work hard at it. The latter is often the more interesting approach, and that’s what makes Booster Gold a somewhat hidden gem among DC’s cast.

Writer/Penciler: Dan Jurgens

Inker: Mike De Carlo

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology

Appropriate For: ages 10 and up