Saturday, March 9, 2013

“Out From The Ashes”

My 30 day wait was over! I walked into the comic store, headed right to the “New This Week” wall, and there it was... the “Fabulous 1st Issue” of ”Blue Beetle”! Written by the great Len Wein with art by Paris Cullins (pencils) and Bruce Patterson (inks) the issue hits the ground running and doesn’t stop. While cruising the skies above Chicago in his “BUG” Ted swings, literally, into action to assist the fire department with a townhouse fire. Though we’re not given a clear timeline, it would seem that Ted’s been at this hero stuff for quite a while. One of the firemen comments after seeing the BUG in the sky, “Oh geez, not him…I thought he’d retired!” Retired?! Does he think Dan and Ted are one and the same? Did I miss something? Is this DC’s way of acknowledging Ted’s activity before they picked up the character?* But I digress…oh look, there’s still a building burning down. It’s no accidental fire though, it’s arson, and the culprit is still on the scene. We’re introduced to Firefist, the Incendiary Man!** Ted mistakes Firefist for a fireman in trouble and tries to rescue him, which leads to a short scuffle. But when Ted finds himself distracted by cries for help, Firefist takes his chance to make a quick getaway. After rescuing a real firefighter, Ted heads back to Kord Inc, but not before giving us a quick recap of the origin we read 30 days ago in “Secret Origins”. We get quick intros for some supporting characters, receptionist Angie Revere, chemist Jeremiah Duncan, and Ted’s scientist girlfriend employee Melody Case, and then Ted heads off to a meeting at STAR Labs. Before he arrives though we get a peek at Pago Island, where a mysterious man named Conrad Carapax is determined to find whatever was on this “cursed island that was worth Dan Garrett’s life…” Wanna bet that becomes an important plot point down the road? Back at STAR Labs Ted catches up with fellow scientist and former college roommate Murray Takamoto, who’s hoping to get some assistance from Kord Inc with metal alloys. Too bad there’s a shifty looking janitor lurking in the background. Wanna bet that becomes an important plot point down the road too? Mid-meeting Ted gets “paged” (who remembers beepers?) and has to leave. The “page” is actually an alert that another fire has been reported, at a firehouse, and it’s time for Blue Beetle vs. Firefist: round two! Only this time, the Beetle finds himself trapped, pinned by the collapsing building with fire, and Firefist, getting closer! Talk about a cliffhanger ending!
Will Ted survive or will Firefist continue torching the city, one building at a time? Check back in 30 days when I cover issue #2! But don’t forget…I’ll be back next week with another blog. See you then!
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*Ted Kord first appeared as the Blue Beetle in Charlton Comics “Captain Atom #83” in 1966, and had his own Charlton Comics title in 1967. He later appeared in AC Comics “Americomics” in 1983, before being acquired with the other Charlton heroes and incorporated into DC Comics continuity during “Crisis On Infinite Earths”
**Well, honestly, he just introduces himself as Firefist. Ted adds the “Incendiary Man” tag later when talking to the fire fighters on the scene.

1 comment:

  1. What a great cover for this debut DC issue. And the contents: this is how you (re)introduce a character and get the action rolling. Nowadays BB #1-2 would take at least 6 issues and they'd probably have to drop 2 or 3 of the subplots to make it fit in 6.

    If I remember right, Ted does make a reference in a later issue to being back on the scene so I think he did briefly retire.