Hal Pictures Green Lantern Butt's FOREVER!: Of Blue Beetles

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Monday, March 05, 2012

Of Blue Beetles

Let me confess right here, that I...am a Blue Beetle fan. I'm a fan of ALL the Blue Beetles, although Ted Kord probably holds the highest place in my heart. Blue Beetles may not be Green Lanterns, but dammit, they're fun nevertheless.

At least...they USED to be fun. I bought the first issue of the NEW new Blue Beetle, which with the new 52 Universe retold the origin of the new Blue Beetle, AKA Jaime Reyes, who took the mantle after the death of the old Blue Beetle,Ted Kord, who took over after the death of the original Blue Beetle, Dan Garrett.


Anyhoo, Dan was fun in a Silver Age sort of way, and Ted was loads of fun, because he was written so well by Giffen and DeMatteis,and drawn so well by Kevin Maguire and a host of other talented artists in Justice League International. And I was so sad when they killed off Ted, but I did fall in love with Jaime, who was so young, and so untried, and so...so SMART! And I loved his family and I loved his whole story by Giffen and John Rogers and Cully Hamner and Rafael Albuquerque, and the new Beetle was simply simply fabulous.

And I was sorry when it too came to an end. But at least it came to a decent end. Well, Nadia was killed, and Hector went bonkers and now we have the Black Beetle, but still...it was a cohesive story with wonderful, fabulous characters.

So I was very happy, when I heard that DC was going to start Blue Beetle up again, and that they were bringing back Jaime. And then...I read it. And I dropped it. But I picked it up again recently and was even more repulsed, so I dropped it twice.

They took everything that was fun and enjoyable and distinctive about his character, and twisted it all around. Yes, he's still young, and yes, he still lives in El Paso...I think, and Brenda and Paco are there, and his family, but all of the JOY is gone. The actualy alien beetle, Kahji Da, is different too. Now it is a cold-blooded killer, instead of the rather charming damaged creature of the first stories, and now Paco has one too, and it has Kyle as the Green Lantern instead of Guy, and Booster hasn't been in it at all, and the Reyes are no longer awesome, and I don't even know if Milagro is IN it.

The new Blue Beetle was a critical hit, and had a devoted and vocal bunch of fans, but by in large, it didn't sell in large numbers. But everyone who DID buy it...pretty much loved the heck out of it. The character of Jaime was also a hit on the Batman: Brave & the Bold cartoon, which also recently ended, much to my sorrow. Kids liked him. He even showed up in Smallville.

So why are they giving us this dreck now? By and large, the new 52 Universe has been pretty dark. I am not completely against a bit of grimness and grittiness in my comics. It can be done very well. But for quite a very long time now, that is ALL that we've been handed, and all of the whimsy, joy and out and out craziness of comics has been ruthlessly sucked away. There are still a few bits of madness out there. Neal Adams Batman: Odyssey is insane, and akin to absolute lunacy, but by God, it jumps off of the page, and although I can't really make heads or tails out of it, I enjoy the crap out of it. Nextwave was fabulous, the Incredible Hercules was a hoot,Ambush Bug was nuts, and so on and so forth...but comics that are simply FUN are becoming an endangered species. And I don't know why.

Now it has come apparent that the new Earth 2 is not going to be the refuge that I had originally hoped for, with the old Farts of the Justice Society, and Power Girl and Huntress and so on. Instead, they have promos touting that Wonder Woman is the only Amazon left, and Batman is willing to kill, and Superman is cranky and out of control, and that pretty much just killed whatever anticipation I had...and I had a LOT...dead.

DC...I love you. Why are you being mean to me?



At 1:47 PM, Blogger Lantern Kiaori said...

Ted Kord was an amazing blue beetle. The team with Booster and, sometimes, with Guy was just excellent and I hated Max so very very very much, I just can't express that with words.

Jamie was an interesting yet lovable character and the whole Reyes Family, pure love. I read the first two (or maybe three) issues of the new 52 series and, personally, I found it boring. It is a shame for me to admit that it actually bored me.

Maybe the New 52 and all of the violence, sorrow and darkness in the new universe is because of Pandora and her plans for the world (we have a theory with a friend about that, but is just that...), or maybe because they want to create a more "mature" plot. I just don't know when killing people and being mean is a synonym of matureness.

At 4:17 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

It seems as though the doom and gloom is just escalating, doesn't it? Seriously, do they really think that distopian view of the world is what people want? I suppose it must be.

Ted is my favorite Beetle, but boy I do love Jaime. The first Jaime, not the one that they are doing now. I agree...it's boring, and dull, and in no way has the fun or the vitality of the first series.

There was a bit in the back of Justice League, if you read that, that had Pandora and the Phantom Stranger...and he's not particularly happy with her. I hope that this means, a return to the OLD DC universe...because I miss my continuity.

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Lantern Kiaori said...

Yeah, I read the bit of the Pandora Story (and boy, is she something! The character design is gorgeous, the weapons are amazing and she's a total badass! way to go!) and that's what began the whole theory brainstorming. I don't think that the old continuity will comeback u.u I mean, all the "New 52!!!!" propaganda to get back to the start? Is not probable, though I really miss the old continuity ;_; Hope Pandora gets Ted and Wally back for us <3.

At 7:13 PM, Blogger Eric said...

Milagro is in the book and I'm sure things will start to lighten up now that the origin is over or when Jaime returns to El Paso. I DON"T WANT TO LOSE JAIME!!!

At 12:12 AM, Anonymous Jeremy said...

I miss Ted Kord immensely. He and Booster Gold guard my TV from being stolen.

At 6:11 AM, Blogger MetFanMac said...

I'll be kind and won't tell you what they're doing to Billy Batson...

At 12:01 PM, Blogger SallyP said...

Well, they haven't killed off Milagro...yet. And I miss Ted something terrible.

Mac, I SAW what they are doing to poor Billy Batson, and I say...for shame!

Next thing you know, Hoppy will be a serial killer rabbit!

At 8:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I dropped Blue Beetle from my pull list. It's pretty and well written but the fun and the great family support is gone and his friends are brand new with only the names the same. If I had read this volume only I'd probably like it but I can't support this book. Not when I know it can and has been much better...

At 12:02 PM, Blogger Erin S. said...

I'll go a step further and say I liked Black Beetle too. Ironically I just got a Black Lantern Blue Beetle action figure.

At 12:28 PM, Blogger SallyP said...


At 7:59 PM, Blogger Jeff McGinley said...

Wow, you're like the Doctor toppling Harriet Jones' government: "I can destroy your interest in the DC Univers in six words...

Blue Beetle Isn't Fun Any More"

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

im reading 80´s JLI and its really fun! i heard many things about this comic.


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