WARNING: This article contains minor SPOILERS for Action Comics #993
After years without him, the time has come for Booster Gold to return to a starring role in the DC Universe. Fans of the famously brash time traveler have been hoping to see a starring role revealed in the events of the Rebirth mystery, but have so far had no such luck. That may be about to change, and not only for the reasons that DC is openly advertising. But at least officially, Booster Gold will arrive on the scene when Superman decides to travel back in time to witness the destruction of his home planet, Krypton.
What motivates the Man of Steel's need to see Krypton's death for himself is his latest adventure into the identity of the mysterious 'Mr. Oz.' The character who had observed Superman and the rest of DC's heroes since before the Rebirth was recently revealed to be Jor-El, Superman's Kryptonian father. How he managed to avoid the planet's destruction can be guessed by the DC die-hards (we'll explain the top theory shortly), but to Superman, it's too strange to be true. Seeing is believing, but even a small investigation into the timestream of the DCU catches Booster's attention.
Writer Dan Jurgens isn't revealing just where Booster has been for the Rebirth so far, but he is teasing some unexpected twists to Booster and Superman's adventure. It sounds like they won't only be going back to witness Krypton in its final days, but heading forward into the world that General Zod might have created. Here's how Jurgens teases the storyline, "Booster Shot," when speaking with Newsarama:
If Superman is going back to the moment of Krypton’s destruction (which he is), he’s putting himself in a very precarious position. What happens if he’s stuck on Krypton when the planet blows? How would that change time? Because of that, Booster gets involved... Booster and Superman get to see a Krypton that might be, as well as a Zod related planet that will be. It sets us up for some strong material going forward.
Jurgens promises that he's been waiting for the right time to bring Booster into the Rebirth world, and this chapter of Superman's story is finally it. And with the official synopsis teasing a "massive power" that also observes Booster and Superman's trip backwards through time, the big, blue hand of Dr. Manhattan may be messing with the DCU once more. It would make sense: not only because Superman and Manhattan are the stars of the Doomsday Clock event series, but because Superman has already beaten Manhattan's attempts to weaken him by diving his origin story.
If Manhattan is the "power" being alluded to, then sending Booster and Superman into a Zod-controlled world, and making them fugitives from justice (all teased in the coming Action Comics covers) could be worse. After all, Manhattan was also the one who kept the Flashpoint Universe intact to torture Thomas Wayne, and recommend that his son get out of the superhero game. He has now also brought Superman and Jor-El face to face, but is this trip back to Krypton Manhattan's killing blow?
Only time will tell. And lucky for Superman, he'll have Booster Gold to rely on. What could go wrong?
Action Comics #993 will be released in comic book shops and through digital download on December 13th, 2017.