Could Skeets, Booster Gold’s security android and sidekick, be somehow involved with a plot against Batman? It sure looks that way.
Warning: Spoilers ahead for Batman #50, out this week.
Last night, we pointed out that the Flashpoint Batman seems to have joined up with Bane, which was a surprise in and of itself, but the addition of Skeets to the group is a baffling one.
In the final pages of Batman #50, titled “The Wedding of Batman and Catwoman,” Catwoman realizes that Batman “needs his misery” in order to be Batman, and calls off their wedding. After she does so, it appears as though everything — the romance, the engagement, and the cancellation — was part of a grander scheme by Bane to “break” Batman again.
The plan seems to encompass nearly every story writer Tom King has told yet with Batman, and every antagonist from Gotham Girl right up through The Joker and The Riddler.
Skeets's inclusion seems a likely nod to "The Gift," the last story pre-wedding, in which Booster Gold inexplicably abandoned his role as a Time Master and decided to create a tangent timeline where Batman's parents were never murdered. It was, he explained at the time, a wedding present for the man who has everything -- but when he went to fix the timeline, Bruce incapacitated both Booster and Skeets.
Later, when Bruce wanted to time travel for himself, he repaired Skeets, but did a subpar job, and ultimately shot Skeets, incapacitating him again, when he failed to operate as planned.
Another verison of Booster and Skeets arrived out of the timestream to stop Bruce and set things right, but in that alternate timeline, the last time we saw it, there was a version of Skeets sitting on the ground nearby the fallen Bruce Wayne.
The fallout from that story will play through more of what King is writing this year, including Heroes in Crisis, which is a murder mystery centering on suspects Booster Gold and Harley Quinn which takes place at a psychiatric facility for superheroes.
Whether Skeets is somehow evil and actually involved with whatever Bane is planning, or whether he is essentially inert and being used as either a time machine or a source of data, is unclear. There is precedent for robots like Skeets being evil: during the most recent volume of Booster Gold, the hero often squared off against an evil counterpart named Supernova, who had a weaponized version of a similar droid to Skeets, named Maximillion.0comments
It is likely that King's decision to use Skeets among the villains is a callback to 52, the year-long, weekly event series in which Skeets was appropriated for use as a "coccoon" for the caterpillar-like Shazam villain Mr. Mind. Eventually growing to maturity, Mr. Mind was defeated by Booster Gold and Rip Hunter.
Batman #50 is on sale now.