Sandwiched between the headline-grabbing "The Oz Effect" and the push to Action Comics #1000, Dan Jurgens has been writing a storyline in which Superman finds himself teamed with Booster Gold. Stranded in Krypton's past, the pair have to battle against the world's technologically-advanced army, led by General Zod, while Superman is without powers due to the planet's red sun.
The "Booster Shot" story was almost quite different, though, as Jurgens revealed today on Twitter, sharing a trio of cover roughs that indicate a version of the story would have seen the pair teaming up with (...or is that fighting against..?) Terry McGinnis, the Batman of Batman Beyond.
Jurgens also writes Batman Beyond, so it is possible that the story would have taken place over fewer Action Comics issues and tied into his other title, thus explaining the three covers ("Booster Shot" is six parts). Another, arguably more likely, possibility is that they did not get beyond three cover concepts before the story changed to be more Zod-centric.
"Booster Shot" centers on the idea of a Superman grappling with one of the most disturbing revelations of his life -- the idea that his father was taken, moments before the destruction of Krypton, and deposited on Earth by a being of immense power and mystery. Jor-El would then be shaped by some of the world's worst influences into a kind of philosophical anti-Superman, and eventually pointed at his son to challenge the Man of Steel's core beliefs.
When DC first solicited the "Booster Shot" storyline, which begins tomorrow in Action Comics, the sell was clear: on the heels of "The Oz Effect" and the revelation that Superman's father Jor-El was actually the villainous Mr. Oz, the Man of Steel would recruit time-traveling hero Booster Gold to help him verify the unthinkable truth.
"Superman acting on his own and Booster trying to stop him is more the set up of the story — because, obviously, what Superman is embarking on is a dangerous mission," Jurgens explained. "So, the potential ramifications of what Superman is trying to do is what draws Booster into the story."
Once upon a time, Action 994 was going to take Superman and BG on a somewhat different trip through time. Didn't quite make it. pic.twitter.com/QJjiqr8UZ0— Dan Jurgens (@thedanjurgens) December 29, 2017
It is not clear whether that change -- Superman calling on his friend Booster, versus Time Master Booster seeking out a reckless Superman -- accompanied the change from a Batman Beyond story to a General Zod story, or whether the solicitation was just written to avoid spoiling as much of "The Oz Effect" as possible.
Action Comics #995 hits the shelves in stores and online on January 10.