Subway Shorts – Batman 45

Booster Gold comes to Gotham City bearing a wedding gift for Batman, only things are a bit different – because Booster changed history and Bruce Wayne is no longer the Dark Knight!

Batman 45
Written by Tom King 
Pencils by Tony S. Daniel 
Inks by Tony S. Daniel and Livesay
Colors by Tomeu Morey

In Dan Jurgens’ final story arc of ACTION COMICS, Booster Gold was instrumental in preventing Superman from going back in time and saving Krypton from its necessary destruction, which makes it all the more jarring here when we find out that, wanting to give Batman a wedding gift, he went back in time and saved the life of Thomas and Martha Wayne, drastically changing everything about the DC Universe we know and love.

We’re introduced to the changes right off the bat, as Booster watches a crazed Hal Jordan try to prove he has enough willpower to overcome the Green Lantern ring’s protection against the ring bearer suffering grievous injury.

The confusion is compounded by discovering Batman in Gotham City, carrying an arsenal of guns and trying to shoot at Booster and Skeets, Booster’s drone sidekick. And the man under the cowl with all the guns isn’t even Bruce Wayne. It’s Dick Grayson, and I bet Tom King has a great backstory as to what led Grayson to be such a violent vigilante, even if he didn’t show his cards here.

When Booster finally finds Bruce at Wayne Manor – celebrating his parents’ wedding anniversary – Booster lays out what he had done: he wanted Bruce to see that, even though his life had some tragedy, everything worked out the way it was supposed to. Bruce’s reaction is pretty reasonable, given the circumstances.

When Booster lets him know that Bruce can help change things back and fix the “broken” world – which King shows us glimpses of throughout the issue – Bruce makes his choice, taking a fire poker and destroying Skeets. Never underestimate how much of a mamma’s boy Bruce Wayne actually is.

This is clearly a younger, cockier, less experienced Booster Gold than the one we recently saw in Action Comics, and King does his best to mimic the hero’s attitude as written by Keith Giffen in his JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL appearances. The issue felt like an homage to the Bwa Ha Ha era, with lots of weirdness and fun site gags. It’s a great set-up for a story, as BATMAN has some time to kill before the Bat-Cat wedding.