Episode Title: “Menace of the Conqueror Caveman!”
Original Airdate: May 15, 2009
There was a time in comics when post-modern, self aware heroes were very popular, and one of the best of them was Booster Gold. This episode gives us a nice big dose of Booster with a good mix of humor, action and morality. Does it work well in this series? Read on to find out.
The teaser begins with Batman calling in the elder street hero Wildcat to help apprehend a bad Guy. Wildcat initially chides Batman for bothering him during his evening exercise routine for such a skinny perp, but the diminutive villain reveals himself to be Bane with a shot of venom that causes him to grow to an imposing size. The two heroes have their hands full with the Latin American menace, and just as he has Batman suspended over his head, seemingly intent on delivering a back breaking blow, Wildcat takes him out with some golden age vigilante justice.
The story proper opens with the time traveling,corporate minded superhero Booster Gold pitching a line of toys in his likeness (along with the help of his computerized companion, Skeets) to a room of toy company executives. The execs take a pass on the pitch, and tell Booster that in order to be more marketable, he needs to first team up with an A-list hero. As Batman is stopping the ridiculous criminals Punch and Jewlee from robbing a bank, Gold decides to horn in on the action and become Batman’s (largely unnecessary) partner. The Dark Knight rebukes the corporate shill’s attempt, and leaves Booster high and dry. Booster finds the bat cave thanks to his knowledge of the future and finds Batman tracking a stolen lutonic meteorite from Greenland and realizes it’s connected to Kru’ll the Eternal, an immortal caveman. Batman tries to once again brush off Booster, but Booster convinces Bats that he battled the caveman in the future (which is not even remotely true). Batman still doesn’t have much interest in Gold, but Skeets can track lutonic energy because of its lutonium power cell so Batman agrees to take them as Booster starts to line up a book deal and a movie. Bats and Booster confront the caveman in his lab where he is attempting to access the power of the meteorite (which happens to be the source of Kr’ull’s immortality). Kr’ull defeats our heroes and proceeds to use skeets’ battery to power the meteorite, appearing to sacrifice Skeets in the process. The caveman uses his new contraption to convert three of his servants into immortal beast-men as he comes under attack by our pair of heroes once again. Kr’ull’s monstrous henchmen subdue the good guys and place them in a guillotine built for two. As the fearsome blade falls, Gold uses one of his prototype toys to jam the apparatus. The heroes commence to battle their foes for a third time. As the heroes appear to be overwhelmed yet again, Booster and Skeets collaborate on a plan to destroy the meteorite by dumping Skkets’ entire charge into it. As the space rock explodes, the beastly servants return to human form and Batman and Booster easily save the day. As the police take Kru’ll away, Batman notes there’s a valuable lesson to be learned about ignoring the glory and fighting for principals but Booster is too busy calling his agent to listen. Kru’ll vows to defeat Booster when they next meet. In the epilogue in the far future, a museum guard bumps into Kru’ll at a museum and reminds him of someone.
Dan Jurgen’s creation Booster Gold, is one of the most fun characters in DC’s comics lineup. Originally part of the Justice League International and best friends with fellow goofball Blue Beetle, he later matured and had truly important duties for which he could never receive credit. This episode does a truly admirable job of encapsulating this complex character into a short story. I definitely appreciate the value of that accomplishment. Of late I have been losing some of my enthusiasm for the show, but this episode did a good job of rejuvenating my interest. It was also nice seeing neo-classic Batman villain Bane in the teaser along side the oldest of old school vigilantes, Wildcat. I certainly hope the creators can keep this mojo going through the final episodes of the first season, and have me looking forward to the second one rather than lumbering into it as a high school homework assignment. Overall, this episode is solid, on par with the great Plastic man and Aquaman adventures.
Featured Characters: Wildcat (Finger & Hasen, 1942), Bane (Dixon, Moench & Nolan, 1993), Booster Gold (Dan Jurgens, 1986), Kr’ull the Eternal (Binder & Beck, 1951)
To learn more about Booster Gold check out Heroes and Villains ep. 101