Ride with us now to the thrilling days of yester...er, I mean let's go back to July of 1986, when Len Wein, Paris Cullins and Bruce Patterson brought us Blue Beetle #5 (cover dated October 1986). And, as the cover proclaims, "The Question is back--and the answer is murder!"
We open with someone looking at a whole lot of notes, files and photos on Blue Beetle, that someone has questions*...and that someone is reporter Vic Sage! Vic's boss doesn't want him wasting time looking into the Blue Beetle though, not when their are gangs running wild on the streets of Chicago. And out of sheer coincidence on the very next page...a gang is running wild on the streets of Chicago! With cops hot on their tail the thugs pile into their car and speed away! One of the thugs panics "What's wrong--I thought we wuz protected!" and at that very moment someone fires a missile at the police. "See? What'd I tell ya? With the Big M backin' us we can't be stopped!!" A second shell crashes into the cops and releases...laughing gas! Hey...is the Joker moving into town? There's no time to wonder because Blue Beetle is now on the scene, following the criminals from the air in his Bug! Just when he gets close though, another explosion rocks a nearby building and Ted has to evade falling bricks, allowing the gang to getaway.
We're then introduced to the king of the underworld, no not the devil, Vincent Perignon mob boss of Chicago. Seems that gang had actually hit one of his numbers operations and he's not too happy about it. His son Richie is on the case though.
Meanwhile, at a coffee shop, Vic Sage is meeting with an informant by the name of "Rodent". The rat (haha, he's an informant, and his name is Rodent...get it?) tells Sage he's heard someone is trying to organize the "kid" gangs. He doesn't have a name, but he knows they're planning to meet at midnight!
Ted brings the Bug back to his underground hide-out for a check-up, and things look good. No damage from the falling bricks!
Lt. Fisher is still determined to pin Dan Garrett's death on Ted, but his boss has other plans. The Captain tells Fisher he needs to drop the Garrett case, or at least do it on his own time. The police are focusing on the gang problem and Fisher needs to get on board.
Ted and Melody have a brief interlude.Ted's questioning how he got here.** The conversation seems to cover both Ted being placed in charge of Kord Inc and becoming Blue Beetle (though he never tells her this). She assures him he's doing the right thing, and that under his leadership Kord Inc has grown into a force second only to STAR labs! We also learn that Ted's dad is MIA, involved with some kind of Egyptian dig before Ted steps out for fresh air...as the Blue Beetle!
Faster than you can say "gang fight", Vic and Ted are fighting side by side, as the Question and Blue Beetle of course, against an army of gang members in a junk yard! What follows is 5 pages of great action and bad puns. Putting hoods under the hood (of a car), using a garbage can to take out the trash (gang members being the trash). This all comes to a "wha-whoom" stop when another missile comes flying into the dump giving the gang members a chance to get out. BB and the Question dust off and decide to work together on this gang issue...and the starting point? Figure out who is "Big M"? Two panels later we readers know the answer...a comically clad villain named "The Muse"!
So there you have it, another fast paced, action packed issue! A lot of the previous sub-plots take a break this issue (like Angela the receptionist, Carapace back on Pago Island, and Jeremiah) which works well to move things along. And I've said it before, I'll say it again...Paris Cullins draws some amazing fight sequences...I think I'm going to have to start scanning a few panels to include with these reviews in the future...great stuff!
* get it? Questions...sorry, couldn't resist.
** This kind of statement always reminds me of the movie "That Thing You Do"...as the band in the film takes the stage the guitarist looks at the drummer and asks "How did we get here?" The response? "I led you here sir, for I am Spartacus."