A Fact-Check for the Four-Color World

Thursday, August 03, 2006

52: Booster Gold Should Go to Jail

Week 6 of DC's weekly 52 series began with a meeting in a sewer between Booster Gold and an armored man. The man is an actor who Booster hired and provided with a suit of armor, and who then 'attacked' a subway platform as "Manthrax." Booster then swooped in and saved the day, while "Manthrax" escaped. They subsequently meet in the sewer so Booster can give "Manthrax" (he states his name is Bill, although Booster keeps calling him Bob) his check, and Booster tells him to return the armor to the same storage locker he had picked it up at.

On day 7 of Week 7, Booster saves a group of people from a burning tanker truck. While he's being interviewed by Lois Lane, Manthrax emerges from the crowd and asks how much Booster paid for the disaster. He tells the media how Booster paid him to stage the attack, and says he came forward because Booster's check bounced. (Strangely, he also gives his name as 'Bob Castell,' although his name was Bill a week earlier. And he still has the check that he says bounced.)

Booster next appears on day 5 of Week 8, complaining about the Daily Planet's article about Manthrax's allegations and how Supernova is stealing his spotlight. The last I saw of Booster, in Week 10, he was having to move to a smaller apartment as a result of his lost marketing deals.

Booster is apparently outrageously bad with money, since he seemingly went broke within only a month of Supernova's first appearance in Metropolis. And I'm curious how Supernova is eroding Booster's endorsement deals, since Supernova gave his first interview to Clark Kent just a day earlier. (And I'm curious why Booster paid his hired crony with a check rather than good ol' untraceable cash.)

But that's not why I'm writing. I want to know when Booster is going to suffer the legal consequences of his actions back in Week 6. Thus far, all it seems to have wrought him is bad press.

Manthrax tells Lois in Week 7, "I said I knew I could go to jail for my part in this -- but I'll do it to drag that son of a bitch down." We're never given specific detail of what the fake attack entailed, only references to the "villain's struggle to bomb the city's busiest subway platform" and how Booster "disarmed" him. That's pretty much it. At the very least, this suggests that Mr. Castell is guilty of terroristic threats and aggravated assault (since he was armed at some point), both felonies. The bomb might have been fake, but the threats and the assaults were real. Depending on exactly what else happened in that station, there could be other crimes as well.

And that's where Booster's problem lies. He solicited Mr. Castell to commit those felonies, which is a crime. He and Mr. Castell worked together to fake the attack, so they're both guilty of conspiracy. Booster has gotten all worked up over his public image, but he seems to have forgotten that the police could easily be taking out warrants for his arrest. As for why the cops hadn't come knocking by Week 10, maybe they were just building their case. Should I ask if that's changed by now?

At the least, I certainly hope that Manthrax doesn't end up behind bars while Booster gets off scot free. Not only would that be superhero favoritism, but it looks a little bad to lock up the African-American co-conspirator while letting the oh-so-Aryan co-conspirator/instigator walk.

Speaking of 52, I just so happen to be auctioning off my set of 52 #1-10 this week. It's enjoyable stuff, but I'm looking to thin out my collection, and I don't expect I'll have a hankering to reread these issues. If you win the auction, e-mail me that you learned about it here at SoD and I'll throw in something extra.