May 10th marked the 10th anniversary of the DC weekly series 52. The celebration started last Monday with the release of episode 1 of the Podicus Wrecks podcast. During which, I spend 50 minutes discussing the stories within 52 and some thoughts on the series. For the past week, I have been posting more detailed recaps of each of these stories. Previously posted stories may be found here.
Booster Gold is stopping a lot of attacks and crimes because he has records indicating when crime is going to happen. He arrives at a memorial service that is supposed to be his big moment where he is inducted into the Justice League, but Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman are not there. He panics and Clark Kent tells him sorry. Skeets also starts to malfunction, and begins getting his historical details wrong. After an attempt to repair Skeets fails, and Skeets continues to get details wrong, Booster goes looking for a man named Hunter.
Booster finds Rip Hunter’s base, and discovers a chalkboard full of clues, and a room full of pictures of him and the words “It’s all his fault.” Back in Metropolis, Booster gets exposed as a fraud by someone he hired to stage an attack, and Ralph Dibny, who is unhappy Booster didn’t warn him about Sue dying. Shortly after, a new hero starts saving people in Metropolis, frustrating Booster. It comes to a head when Supernova has to stop a sea creature because Booster is incapable. Booster fights Supernova, and stops when he tries to absorb and remove the radiation from a nuclear sub. It seems to be working and Booster is happy to be putting on this display, up until the sub explodes. Supernova flies up to catch him, but finds only Booster’s skeleton in his costume.
Skeets finds Booster Gold’s ancestor, Daniel Carter, and enlists his help to get back into Rip Hunter’s base. Only this time, Skeets has Daniel wear a special set of goggles and contacts that will allow Skeets to see what he sees. Skeets sees all of the writing and talks about how this isn’t how Booster described it. He sees the message “It’s all his fault” and says “he knows.” Skeets then shuts the door and time locks it as Daniel is being pulled into a vortex. Skeets shows up in Metropolis, and is trying to create a large enough time rift to draw out someone. Eventually, Skeets finds Waverider, but even he doesn’t know when Rip Hunter is. So, Skeets kills him.
After finding out from Wondergirl that she thinks Superova is Connor, Ralph Dibny confronts Supernova. He’s about to say who Supernova is, but Supernova asks him to never say it aloud. It must stay a secret at all times.
Supernova has been bringing devices back to Rip Hunter, who has been hiding from Skeets in the Bottle City of Kandor, in the Fortress of Solitude. Rip tells Supernova to leave his suit so that he can work on something, and go stall Skeets. Supernova exits Kandor, goes back to full size, and reveals that he’s actually Booster Gold. He tells Skeets that Rip had contacted him back in his lab, and they came up with a plan to deal with Skeets. Part of that plan was to fake his death by swapping out himself for his future skeleton, and traveling back in time to become Supernova. Not having Skeets following him would allow him to gather things to use as weapons against him. This stalling allows Rip Hunter the time to put together a Phantom Zone projector. It doesn’t capture Skeets, but it gives Rip and Booster the time to escape. They count down 52, 51.
Hunter and Booster appear to Professor Morrow at the moment that he gets Red Tornado’s head back. They had a plan to stop Skeets, but are too late, as it’s revealed that Mister Mind had been living within Skeets, and was ready to leave his cocoon. With Red Tornado’s head, Hunter and Booster exit in a Time Sphere. Hunter takes them to the new Multiverse. 52 identical Earths. Red Tornado had seen them when they were created, and his robotic mind had mapped them. However, Mister Mind was able to follow them. He tries to capture them in the Phantom Zone he had consumed, but Supernova shows up and absorbs the Phantom Zone energy.
This confuses Booster as he was Supernova. It turns out that Daniel Carter was in the costume. Rip had rescued him from a loop of 52 seconds and moved that loop to where they were. They jump from Earth to Earth, finding that Mister Mind is feeding off of the time energy of each Earth, changing its history. Booster travels back to shortly after the first crisis, and takes a power source from Ted Kord. Hunter travels to Sivana’s lab and takes his Suspendium. They return to Hunter’s lab, fit Skeets with the power source and Suspendium, and are able to again trap Mister Mind within Skeets. In a move that will sacrifice Skeets, they send him with Daniel back through the time stream, stopping at the point where Doctor Sivana had initially found him.
After everything has calmed down, Hunter tells Booster that he copied Skeets mem-self before he left. Booster takes this to Magnus, who also had copied Skeets memories when they saw him earlier, and was able to rebuild Skeets, and get him back to normal, just with no memory of the past year.
Hunter’s plan to defeat Mister Mind rested with Booster, Supernova, and Skeets. By fortifying Skeets’ shell with Sivana’s Suspendium, they managed to imprison Mr. Mind in Skeets. Booster threw Skeets through an opening in time while Supernova ensured that it ended up in the correct time: Week 0 Day 0. Mister Mind’s devolved form was found (again) by Doctor Sivana, who imprisoned him. Hunter used the 52 seconds of missing time to bind Mister Mind forever, condemned to live within that loop.
This is my favorite story, thus why I saved it for last. I really like Booster Gold. And here, they really establish the whole premise that the world can’t know about just how great of a hero he truly is, because then it will threaten the timeline. It’s concept that really worked well with Booster, because it shows how much he has grown. In the beginning, he wanted to be seen as being the hero. If you think about it, he was willing to risk the future by changing the past in order for him to be a hero.
But like many of our lives, plans don’t always go how you want them to. Sometimes we have an idea for who we want to be, but then life comes calling with something else. So, you’re left with two options. Either you can do the selfish thing, or you can do the right thing. You do the right thing, and you know that you are the hero that you always wanted to be.
As a bonus, here’s the Rip Hunter chalkboard that I had mentioned earlier. Within it is the entire story of 52. Enjoy.