cover.jpgBooster Gold is Rip Hunter, and more wild speculations.

Week Nineteen is filled with so much time twisting goodness; it not only brings up millions of questions, but makes you question who’s who in the DC Universe. This week’s review is filled with wild speculation that seems like it might just be right.

This issue kicks off with Skeets rooting around in Daniel Carter’s apartment, discovering that Carter shares many of the same problems his future heir Michael “Booster Gold” Carter suffers from. Interestingly Dan Carter was a football player who blew his knee out and now sells insurance. Why interesting? Michael Jon Carter was a college football player who blew his career on gambling and became a security guard.

More on Michael and Dan’s relationship later, but for now, Skeets tells Dan he can help him relive his best moment in life over and over again for all time, if Dan only helps Skeets by breaking back in to Rip Hunter’s Time Lab.

As they head off, we check in with our stranded space adventurers and their momentary pit stop at Lobo’s home base, where they do indeed discover Lobo has found religion and is the Archbishop of the First Church of the Triple Fish-God. Personally it would have been much funnier had it been the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster – but I digress…

As Starfire, Adam Strange, and Buddy clean up, they begin to speculate on where the huge debris field they have been flying through has come from. They soon get their answer when Lobo reveals that nothing remains of sector 3500 ‘cept dead planets and systems. Who destroyed it? The same one who put they bounty on the trio’s head.


“Who is she?”

I’m not really sure who “she” is The “she” is Lady Styx, who we’ve only caught a glimpse of in other DC titles, but it is also revealed Devilance the Pursuer came from the world of The New Gods. Could someone from Apokolips have done it? As we have previously learned, the three did see something they were not supposed to see at the end of the Universe. Could it have been the answer to the Anti-Life Equation? If so, Darkseid’s power could have laid siege to a huge sector. I’m probably way off the mark, but it certainly worth speculating.

But that isn’t what Lobo and his flock are fleeing from.


The Emerald Eye of Ekron is in Lobo’s possession. Perhaps he is using the power of the eye to protect sector 3500. I did some research on the origin of the eye, but was not able to come up with anything other than the connection of the eye to Emerald Empress and Legion of Superheroes stories. So, let’s speculate a bit more shall we?


During Infinite Crisis, Alan Scott, the original Green Lantern, lost one both of his eyes due to a Zeta beam transporter accident that left many heroes changed and/or damaged (Red Tornado from last week for example). Could the Emerald Eye of Ekron be Alan Scott’s eye gone awry? Green Lantern’s have the ability to create structures from thought and will power, and the Emerald Eye has the ability to control (be controlled) others at will.

“Sounds like a stretch to me…”

Before we get to this weeks major revelation, let’s jump to Metropolis where Supernova is racing to save people trapped in a bank from one of Weather Wizard’s storms. As he is busy helping citizens, Weather Wizard is captured by Cassie Sandsmark (Wonder Girl). She seems to have snapped out from under the influence of the Cult of Conner and is back in the saddle, so to speak. While Supernova introduces himself to her, Cassandra seems to think Supernova is Kon-El – Superboy who also died during Infinite Crisis.


I think this is more wishful thinking on her part than the grand reveal. But it does let us speculate who Supernova could be. Let’s speculate again, shall we? Supernova appears to have many of the same powers as Superman, with a twist (ability to transport matter). So far, there is only one other being in the DCU that has something that closely resembles Superman’s powers and that is Mon-El.

“Mon-El? That’s a pretty far stretch Stephen.”

True, but let’s see how that might be. Way back in issue six of 52, Booster Gold breaks into Rip Hunter’s lab to discover a chalk-board filled with ramblings.


On the board and scattered throughout the room are messages like:
“Find the last El” – The last son of Krypton? We know where Superman is. Kon-El is dead. As far as we know to date, Clark and Lois haven’t had a kid.
“I’m not Kryptonite” One of the other Els we know from our “Who’s Who” is Mon-El, who isn’t really a relative of Superman (Kal-El), but rather a Daxamite from a neighboring system close to Krypton.
“Dead by lead” – Daxamites just so happen to be allergic to lead, and the only way Mon-El might survive is by sealing himself up in a suit, hence Supernova’s reluctance to let Cassie take the mask off.
“It hurts to breathe” – From Mon-El’s mixed history, he had trouble breathing in Earth’s atmosphere because of lead particles.
“Future time is different” – Yes indeedy, future time is different. The Legion of Superheroes has had their history rebooted more time than anyone, and in this current launch Mon-El hasn’t made an appearance on the team. However Mark Waid did let slip over at Newsarama that while Mon-El hasn’t shown up yet, DC does have plans for him. UPDATE: DC Shows Mon-El showing up in issue 25 of Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes shipping in December.

“OK, you might be on to something. But what’s that crap you have in the subtitle about Booster being Rip Hunter?”

Dan Carter and Skeets are back at the bunker, and once again Skeets has to rig the doors to open. This time, however, Skeets is using Booster Gold type headgear to see what Dan sees in the lab. Nothing has changed, and again we are lead to the corner where “It’s all his fault” is scrawled everywhere on the walls, all pointing to images of Booster.

From 52 – Week Six

Skeets sees this, and promptly wigs out, closing the door to the lab, and thus activating the lab’s failsafe mechanism.


Another Carter down the drain? If so, then how is Michael even born? And what does Skeets mean when he says, “He knows”?


Is Skeets evil? It appears so, and if we reexamine the images closely, the arrows aren’t necessarily pointing at Booster, but rather to Skeets and reflections of Skeets in Booster’s uniform.

“Whoa! Dude! You’ve totally blown my mind! Skeets is behind all this?”

I’m not really sure, but it does lead me to believe that one of the Carters is Rip Hunter. The “He knows” spoken over and over again by Skeets leads me to believe that Rip Hunter knows what is going on.

“But who is this Rip Hunter you keep speaking of?”

Rip Hunter is a time traveler who uses his Time-Sphere to…well…travel through time. While Rip Hunter/Time Masters/Linear Men have been around a long time and have had many adventures, not much is known about the Rip Hunter of this hypertime. Most recently, Hunter traveled back in time with the JSA to stop other time travelers from killing the ancestors of heroes (among other things). During the mission, Hunter reveals “Rip Hunter” may not be his real name because he doesn’t want anyone traveling back and wiping out his family.

lab_large.jpgBack in “Hunter” lab, written on the board is the phrase “I’m supposed to be dead?” Is this really the writing of “Rip Hunter” or Booster Gold? We know Gold used a Time-Sphere device to travel from his future time to today. In the lab we do see such a sphere destroyed.
“When am I?” – This could mean many things. As we’ve seen, Dan Carter is sucked into a temporal vortex. We assume, by Skeets words, that Dan Carter is stuck in a time loop reliving his best day over and over again. But it could mean something else altogether. The young version of “Rip Hunter” does have a build similar to Dan Carter, and he does have blonde hair to boot. Another version of Rip Hunter we’ve seen is an old man, so he could very easily be an older incarnation of Dan or Michael.

But I’m going to lean toward Dan, mainly because “Rip Hunter” and Booster Gold have worked together previously – specifically during the Booster Gold run from 1986-1988, which falls into the Post Crisis continuity. If Skeets is really Bad Skeets could Booster and “Hunter” be working together to throw Skeets off their overall plan to fix time? Could Booster have faked his death with “Hunter’s” help?

“Time paradoxes… they mess with your head and should be avoided.”

I agree with you completely.

DC did say the cover to this issue was important, and if we look at some of the dates, they do reveal interesting bits of information.
0 – Zero Hour reboots the DC Universe
1935 – New Fun Comics #1 (First DC Comic). This is also the year Elvis records his first record at Sun Studios. He is seen in one of the images in Hunter’s lab. Now that I think about it, a lot of people think Elvis is still alive. Maybe Elvis is Rip Hunter! Nah…
1938 – Action Comics #1 (First Superman)
1939 – Detective Comics #27(First Batman)
1941 – All Star Comics #8 (First Wonder Woman)
1956 – Showcase #4 (First Barry Allen Flash – Start of the Silver Age). Barry Allen is also bouncing around in time, much like Rip Hunter. In one of the last time travel adventures of Wally West, he did make reference to Barry returning three times to help Wally in his time of need.
1985 – Crisis on Infinite Earths. This is also the year Booster traveled from the future to.
1986 – Booster Gold #1
3006 – It has been speculated on message boards that this could be the time frame of the Legion of Super Heroes as it is usually set one thousand years into the future. Another Mon-El reference?
85,271 – DC One Million

Wow… it certainly is a lot to take in, but with Dan Carter’s disappearance (dressed somewhat as Booster), and Hunter’s cryptic message that he may not who he says he is, leads me to think – this week at least – that Dan Carter is Rip Hunter. I am willing to admit that I could very well be 100% wrong on all of the wild speculation, but it was a run read non-the-less.

When all is said and done, this is a real head spinner of an episode and continues to make 52 the must read book of the year.

“What rating do you give it?”

Another 5 Stars.


Week 19 Bonus: How To Tell the Difference Between Good Skeet and Evil Skeet



About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. One point with the dates . . . Elvis recorded his first record in 1955, not 1935. I can’t imagine a recording of an infant would sell very well . . .

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