As "Rebirth" continues to reshape the DC Universe, more and more characters exist who remember their history from before Flashpoint - or at least sense that something's changed. And several of them are playing a key role in investigating the mysteries first introduced last May in DC Universe: Rebirth #1.
However, as we pointed out in our story exploring the possible new history of the Justice League International, there's one character who's aware of the universe before Flashpoint universe that's conspicuously missing from the "Rebirth" investigation and developments: Booster Gold.
It's possible that Booster and his JLI teammates have just been overlooked in all the "classic" returns in DC's "Rebirth" titles.
Yet there's another possibility - that Booster is actually part of the "Rebirth" mysteries but just hasn't been revealed yet.
Hero in Secret
Let's not forget that, for much of his more recent history, Booster has been depicted as a secret hero, traveling through time and fixing anomalies without getting any credit for all his hard work.
It's a premise for the hero that was established by DC executive and "Rebirth" architect Geoff Johns back when he launched a new Booster Gold title after the weekly series 52 made the character a fan-favorite.
So it's probable that the "New 52" version of Booster Gold - who was last seen during the Convergence event and was allegedly returned to his timeline - is already aware of the time anomalies happening in the DCU and will play a part in fixing them (and, potentially, fighting Dr. Manhattan).
But there's a second possibility that holds a lot of promise, and it's directly related to the ending of the Convergence: Booster Gold miniseries.
In that story, the post-Crisis version of Booster Gold became the entity known as Waverider, a being who is part of the timestream itself and has knowledge of the past, present and future. In this form, Booster can monitor any activity within the timestream.
Now, there are still some questions about whether Convergence still exists in the post-"Rebirth" timeline. After all, the events of Superman's past that happened in Convergence are now incorporated into the new "Rebirth" history.
However, the fact that Jonathan Kent even exists means the events of Convergence had some influence on the current timeline.
Plus, there's the fact that Booster/Waverider exists outside of time. So theoretically, changes to the timeline shouldn't affect him. Er…maybe.
Nonetheless, it's within the realm of possibilities that post-Crisis Booster Gold is still Waverider, still existing as part of the timestream and still aware of all past, present and future activities.
Of course, that begs the question - if Waverider exists, how much of a part could he be playing in the mysteries of "Rebirth"?
"New 52" Booster was allegedly already aware of the changes from Flashpoint, but if a version of Booster is also Waverider, then that character's awareness of what's happening in "Rebirth" (and the "attack" that happened when the "New 52" was formed) has to be significant.
In fact, he may be playing a role in "Rebirth" right now. If he exists within the timestream, then he should be aware of the events of "The Button" - many of which took place in the timestream itself.
In fact, if Booster's role as Waverider is still in continuity, then he might be contributing to the timestream looking so different to Barry during "The Button."
"I've never seen anything like this before," Barry said in The Flash #21 as he and Batman were traveling through the timestream. That different look (and the timestream's "turbulence") during "The Button" was previously linked only to Dr. Manhattan's alleged attack on the DCU timeline. But could the change also be linked to Booster's existence as Waverider?
There's also the matter of those glimpses into the past - the ones that existed within the timestream even though they should have been overwritten by the "New 52." In The Flash #21, Batman and The Flash saw an alternate version of the Justice League's formation and other post-Crisis scenes that shouldn't have existed anymore.
The Flash said in Batman #22 (the third chapter of "The Button") that the various pasts of the current DCU were being "held together" by "something" or "someone."
Previously, it was easy to assume that Dr. Manhattan was the entity who was holding together the past. But for what reason? Why would Dr. Manhattan be nostalgic for the past of the DCU?
Instead, could it be Waverider holding those timelines together within the timestream? If he really does exist (which we admit is only a possibility), it might follow that he's the nostalgic entity who wants the DC timeline fixed, that old Booster-turned-Waverider is holding out hope that the old scenes (and beloved characters) will return. And really, it almost makes more sense than Dr. Manhattan doing it.
Then again, Rip Hunter has already shown up in "Rebirth," and there's no mention of Booster Gold from Convergence, Waverider, or even the anomalies allegedly being caused by Dr. Manhattan and Watchmen. Not that that means much - Rip's a time traveler, so this could be the Rip from before he knew about those things.
At the very least, "Rebirth" is probably rewriting the history of the Justice League International to include some of its continuity from before Flashpoint, which means "New 52" Booster Gold - who hadn't worked with Ted Kord (but instead worked with Jaime Reyes) - now has a history that probably includes the beloved Blue and the Gold.
That would make sense for DC and Warner Bros. as they have tentative plans for a Booster Gold film, with some reports even indicating Blue Beetle might appear alongside the character.
So even if the only role Booster plays in "Rebirth" is one that makes him a former teammate of Ted Kord and other original JLI members, that might be just good enough for the character's long-time fans.