This weekend, filmmaker James Gunn confirmed that Blackguard, a character created in the 1980s Booster Gold comics, will appear in The Suicide Squad next year. Played by Pete Davison, Blackguard lacks his comic counterpart's unique fashion sense and looks more like a generic hitman-type supervillain. It's likely he will be one of the Squad members killed fairy early on, in a movie where the director and studio have repeatedly cautioned fans "don't get attached." In any event, the presence of an early, but largely forgotten, Booster Gold enemy among the Squad has driven some fans to wonder whether the character may be directly referenced in the film, or even have a cameo.
Regardless, it has been almost ten years since the first time fans heard that a Booster Gold TV series was in development, and a little more than four years since the first reports of a feature film, helmed by Arrow's Greg Berlanti and written by X-Men: First Class's Zack Stentz, hit the internet. After years of twists and turns in the rumors, it seems like it's time for the Greatest Hero You've Never Heard Of to finally return to the screen.
Booster Gold, created by writer/artist Dan Jurgens and one of the first DC heroes to emerge following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, hailed from the 25th Century, where he was kicked off his college football team as a result of a gambling scandal. Lacking other options, he becomes a security guard at a museum -- one that has a life-changing array of exhibits celebrating the "heroic age" of the late 20th Century.
Michael Jon Carter, whose nickname on his football team had been "Booster," steals a bunch of gadgets, along with a Time Sphere, and travels back to the '80s, where he saves President Ronald Reagan from an assassination attempt. Having decided on the superhero name Goldstar, Carter briefly becomes tongue-tied and starts to introduce himself as "Booster" before chaning gears. Ultimately, Reagan refers to him as "Booster Gold," a name that stuck.
In the past, he convinced people that he had powers, rather than just a fancy set of tech, and used a security droid he stole from the hospital to provide him with intel on the past. He became a publicity-seeking superhero, determined to have the financial success as a hero that was denied him as a football player. That drive for recognition often created friction between Booster and other superheroes with more mainstream attitudes, but he was eventually welcomed into the costumed crimefighter community when, after a few years on his own, Maxwell Lord invited him to be a part of the Justice League. Standing shoulder to shoulder with Batman, Shazam, Black Canary, and Martian Manhunter, Booster struck up a years-long friendship with Blue Beetle, who would become his most regular partner in heroics as well as childish pranks.
Years later, when he got his own solo series again, fans would learn that Booster Gold was a Time Master, working secretly behind the scenes while still presenting publicly as a glory-seeking clod, as a cover to prevent time-travleing villains from perceiving him as a threat and trying to kill him as a baby or something.
His son, it would turn out, was Rip Hunter, the inventor of the Time Sphere Booster stole to go back in time, become a hero, and ultimately father a son, in a cause-and-effect loop worthy of Bill and Ted.
Of course, fans have long wondered whether Booster could show up on DC's Legends of Tomorrow, where Rip was once the Captain of the Waverider (a ship named for another time-traveling character Jurgens created, and in fact one who the pre-Flashpoint Booster Gold eventually became). For a while, it seemed unnecessary to bring Booster in, since the roles of smart tech guy (Blue Beetle) and historically savvy jock (Booster Gold) were being filled by The Atom and Citizen Steel. With the departure of The Atom, the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths, another trip to Vanishing Point (home of the Time Masters and Linear Men), and almost a decade of waiting around already...let's bring in Booster Gold, even if only for a few episodes, and see how he might play of the heroes of the Arrowverse (especially the Legends).
On top of all of this, the DC FanDome event confirmed that one of the biggest arguments against using a character like Booster on TV has unraveled: the notion that the feature film side has "dibs" on a character they might or might not ever use doesn't make any sense when the idea of accepting and incorporating a multiverse is a key part of your storytelling.