,It feels like 1986, so it must be time for another Blue Beetle adventure with Len Wein, Paris Cullins and Bruce Patterson! It's Blue Beetle #6..."Face Off!"*
Last month, Blue Beetle and the Question found themselves jammed up in a junkyard and deciding to team up against the Muse and his gang(s). What happens next? Read on!
We join BB and the Question on the BUG as they work out a game plan. They've managed to grab one clue...an invite to the big gang meeting. It's a simple piece of paper, with the masks of comedy and tragedy, Thalia and Melpomene, and the message "Tonight at midnight! You know where! Be there!" Ted uses the BUG's on board crime lab, but it doesn't reveal any fingerprints or clues. The duo does deduce that the meet will take place at a theater...and they agree to split up and try to pinpoint the location. As Ted starts to explain how to use the BUG's sky-wire, the Question simply jumps...and Paris Cullins NAILS it in a beautiful sequence! Take a look!
Afterwards, once the Question has returned to his civilian identity of reporter Vic Sage, we get a cool cameo, by a cabbie named Paris and his passenger, Len, who recognize the newsman.
Quick cut to the Boss of Bosses, Don Vincent Perignon. He's butting heads with his son Richie, who reports that he hasn't found out who's been organizing the gangs and turning them against the family. Don Vincent is really ticked by this punk who's trying to take over...he wants to be able to leave his "legacy" to his son, but Richie doesn't want it! Richie wants to break into show business, but the Don frowns on the idea. Richie is an only child, and since he has no other children, his father needs him to take over!
Ted swings back to Kord Omniversal. We find out that Takamoto and Calhoun have continued to work on the Promethium project...and may be closer to a solution. Angie is still stealing parts from the lab for her crazy uncle...but after a short talk with Ted she swears to herself that if her uncle keeps making her do this, she'll...kill him! Melody notes that Ted's "walk in the fresh air" has done him some good. (I guess fighting gangs in a junkyard with a faceless partner has a way of putting a spring in your step) Ted dabbles with the lab computers and makes a discovery that pulls him away from Melody yet again. She has to be getting suspicious, right?
Other plot points? Lt. Fisher stops trying to pin Dan Garrett's death on Ted, and instead stirs up some trouble at a gym full of Mr. Clean look-a-likes. Carapax tries tunneling his way deeper into the mysteries of Pago Island...until a tunnel collapse stalls his plans...for now. And Vic Sage catches some heat from his boss...until he comes up with a clue to the gang issues.
But now...the moment we've all waited for...midnight! The place? Chicago's "once legendary Globe Theatre". Gangs pour in through every door and window. Black jacketed greasers, muscular bald guys (maybe Fisher's gym buddies?), some guys that look like Zartan's Dreadnoks from G.I. Joe. It's pretty obvious these guys don't like each other...and tensions begin to rise, until the Muse arrives. He explains that he's the one that's been helping them, acting as a guardian angel, and his plan to unite them into an awesome army capable of overthrowing the old syndicate. Blue Beetle has been watching from the rafters and is just about to head back to the BUG when the beam he's on collapses, He's thrown to the wolves, outnumbered one against hundreds for about 6 panels, until the Question appears on the scene. Unfortunately for them, just like the cliffhanger of the last issue, the Muse steps in, this time with an uzi instead of a rocket launcher..."You've all had a chance to prove how tough you are! Now, I think, it's my turn!"
While this was another quick paced issue, I don't feel like it moved the story along much, and it was a little repetitive. Both this and issue #5 ended on almost the exact same note. Not necessarily a bad issue, well written and well drawn, just felt like it slowed the story arc down a bit. Oh well...there's always next time...
*It's funny...previously we've seen issue #1 with the cover "Watch Out, World!!! The Beetle Is Back And Adventuredom Will Never Be The Same!!" and a story title of "Out From The Ashes", #2 cover "In Final Conflagration With Firefist The Incendiary Man! and story "This City's Not For Burning!"...you can see the others #3, #4, and #5 for yourself...this is the first issue so far where the cover blurb and the story title match up!