Booster Gold set out to do a good thing for Batman. He stopped the murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne only to send Gotham City into a warzone. After his attempt to fix his mistake led to their deaths anyway, along with the deaths of Catwoman and Dick Grayson, Booster has been chained in the caves beneath Wayne Manor for one year while Bruce Wayne fixes Skeets. Can he put things right this time around? Or has he completely lost his mind during his incarceration?
It’s kind of amazing and more than a little terrifying that Bruce Wayne could hold a man captive on his property for an entire year. Granted, Booster Gold is from the future and an alternate timeline so it’s not like anyone is looking for him. Still, Bruce has some loyal staff that would have fed his prisoner over this time, no?
Anyway, Bruce’s plan is pretty straightforward. Use Skeets to go back in time and stop his parents from being murdered. Wait a minute. Where have I heard that before? In this case, it’s only going back one year instead of when he was a child. Bruce is stuck because Skeets is voice-activated by Booster only, so he’s forced to bring the guy up from the basement.
The interaction between Bruce and Booster is incredible to watch. Writer Tom King writes some brilliant dialogue and Batman #47 is no exception. These two characters could not be farther apart and you can see how they frustrate each other due their personalities alone. Bruce is a no-nonsense guy, deadly serious about what he has to do, while Booster is more than a little punch drunk after spending a year trapped in a cave. Somehow, the greatest hero you’ve never heard of is still able to explain the basics of time travel.
The juxtaposition between these two characters comes through in Tony S. Daniel’s artwork too. There’s a sequence where the images bounce back and forth between them. Bruce’s look is unwavering as he points a gun at the time traveler, while Booster is super expressive and moving all over the place. Tomeu Morey’s colors complete the package as Bruce is clad in nothing but black while Booster is sporting his signature blue and gold costume that is still sparkling after all this time.
This bouncing between view points continues through the end of the issue in a very effective way. It’s not much of a spoiler for one to figure out how Booster has to fix this whole mess. He has to go way back to the original death of Thomas and Martha Wayne and make sure they die this time. This is a heartbreaking scene as this hero has to hold not only himself back, but an adult version of the young boy who is about to watch his parents get gunned down in an alley.
I’ve seen Bruce Wayne’s parents die more times than I can count. It’s a classic comics scene that has been interpreted six ways from Sunday and in a variety of mediums. We know it’s coming in this book, too. That being said, I don’t know that it has ever been this gut-wrenching to witness. The images of a young boy, full of life and excitement after watching Zorro contrasted with Booster’s struggle with the hardened adult Bruce Wayne are tough to look at at times.
What amplifies this whole scene is how Booster is tied into the death of the Waynes. There’s a moment here where his actions force them down that alley and it has a deep effect on him. This is a very well-crafted detail that ties not only this scene together, but the entire arc. It also does Booster Gold justice and doesn’t treat him like a joke, which I very much appreciate.
Batman #47 is another solid issue in an ever-growing line of them during Tom King’s run on this title. I finished reading this book and just sat there for a second with my jaw on the floor. This is some amazing work.