Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Charlton Blue Beetle Contest That Was

If you were around in 1964 you could have had a chance to win some original Blue Beetle art...just by picking between these 2 images. I wonder who won?

Well, come to think of it, I think we fans won...really glad they didn't go with those striped shorts!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Convergence: Justice League International #1

Blue Beetle is back baby! Well, sort of...for the moment. DC's latest event, "Convergence", aims to bring back characters and timelines from across the Multiverse...and with them, Blue Beetle! So let's take a look at the first one, "Convergence: Justice League International" #1, written by Ron Marz with art by Mike Manley.

Metropolis is under siege by Metallo and his army of metallic men. Who will save the citizens of Superman's city? Look up in the sky! It''s...the Justice League International! 

Blue Beetle! Captain Atom! Fire! Ice! Martian Manhunter and...Red Tornado? I don't remember Red Tornado being part of the JLI...but, ok. Another difference? The heroes don't have any of their powers! Luckily Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle, is great with technology and gadgets. Plus, he's never had to rely on powers himself. And thanks to his technical savvy he's kept Red Tornado active and created some gadgets for his team. Heck, he even takes out Metallo with surprising ease. 

Ever since the dome went up (in "Convergence" we learn that Brainiac has been collecting cities and heroes from various points in the Multiverse), everyone that had powers has found themselves ordinary people...but the League carries on.

They limp back to base a little battered and bruised. The BUG is damaged, Ted has a broken arm, but Metallo has been dropped off into Dr. Hamilton's custody, and his robot army has been delivered to S.T.A.R. Labs for parts. 

We get a hint that Blue Beetle and Fire are a couple (or at the very least she's really into him), before Ted and J'onn head off to do some repairs on the BUG. As the two chat, we learn they tried, unsuccessfully, to break out of the dome a year ago. Ted is leading the team, but feels like he's just barely holding things together...and by that he means the team, and the city. J'onn thinks maybe they should try breaking out again, be more proactive. Ted says they can't fix everything, J'onn says that doesn't mean they shouldn't try. And then Ice interrupts. Something is happening!

Up on the roof, the League sees the Multiverse broadcast over the panels of the dome. 

Telos, Brainiac's living planet, speaks, "Citizens of my world! I have brought this convergence upon you." He goes on to explain that the domes will be removed, champions will rise and in the end...there can be only one! It's like "Highlander" with superheroes! With that the League finds their powers restored. With great power comes great urges to use them and everyone but Blue Beetle seems ready and primed for Telos' competition. Ted wants to find another way...but there may not be a choice, because at that moment, a different League appears on the roof of the Daily Planet...a League with its own Blue Beetle...

...a League from the world of "Kingdom Come"!

So, that was...interesting. The art was decent, not what I'd have expected. I mean, when you think JLI you think Kevin Maguire right? Maybe Ty Templeton or Adam Hughes? Manley's art is decent enough, it just seems a little off for this particular book. Maybe that's just me wanting to see the return of an artist I associate with this team though? Story wise, I feel like it was...ok. I loved seeing Ted step into the leader role, but something was still felt amiss, and don't get me started on the formulaic feel of most of these "Convergence" titles either. Heroes without powers struggle to adapt to their new world, Telos announces a trial by combat, powers are restored and heroes from another Multiverse appear on the scene. Don't get me wrong, JLI vs Kingdom Come certainly appeals to me...just hoping part two breaks up the formula a bit. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Blue Beetle: 1st Thursday with Cully Hamner

It's time for another thrilling Blue Beetle: 1st Thursday...this time we have a gorgeous Jaime Reyes done for me by Cully Hamner at the 2013 Baltimore Comic Con!