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.
As Jurgens revealed to ComicBook.com back in November, it isn't actually that simple.
"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."
That mission? Traveling back in time to the moment of Krypton's destruction, and watching the world of his birth die -- watching his birth parents die -- in the hopes of proving to himself that Mr. Oz is not Jor-El. The potential for psychological damage to someone watching such an event is incalculable, and Superman will be doing it while hovering near a red sun at the heart of the universe's largest Kryptonite explosion.
"I don't believe Superman has necessarily contemplated seeing his parents die," Jurgens said. "In a way he has sort of seen that through his experiences in the Fortress of Solitude where he could walk through the archival imagery of what happened on Krypton -- but, now with Jor-El having shown up, that's where, I think you get that, emotional change and that emotional sort of playground that he has to negotiate because obviously things have changed."
Changing things is, of course, the biggest potential disaster to the timestream, and what brings Booster into the picture. If somehow Superman were tempted to interfere with the moment of Krypton's destruction, it could be disastrous for the Man of Steel, for the timestream, or both.
While he is a Time Master, though, Booster Gold is also someone whose father turned out to be not just a very bad man, but an actual supervillain. There are some clear differences between the two -- Booster's dad was driven by greed, while Superman's appears to have been manipulated into his actions by Doctor Manhattan -- but there is some room there for the two to have a conversation.
"I think we have something we can play on a little bit here," Jurgens said. "Because I think there are some natural connections to be made and some things that we can use to build a bit of a relationship between Booster and Superman as well. So, there are connections here and I think some character and story elements we can really use to flesh this out so the readers have fun with it."
Of course, Booster has not been seen since the start of Rebirth, and here he shows up wearing his pre-Flashpoint costume and serving in his capacity as Time Master...seemingly right back where he was when his Jurgens-written series ended in 2011.0comments
"if you go back to Flashpoint, the two characters from the DCU that made it into the Flashpoint Universe was Booster and Flash," Jurgens explained. "So, I think there is the potential for a continuous thread here. Not sure how far I want to pull that, because again, I want the story to be more about now and not yesterday...but, yeah. I think there are certain conclusions one can arrive at."
Action Comics #993, the first part of the "Booster Shot" storyline, will be in stores tomorrow. You can pre-order a digital copy here.