Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Fab Four?

How many Beetles are there? Well, If you look at things on the surface you might see just three Beetles (how many of you are already thinking of the “Paul is dead” conspiracy?) Like I mentioned in an earlier post though, there are two Dan’s; Dan Garret (single “t”, 1939) the police officer and Dan Garrett (double “t”, 1964) the archaeologist. Then there’s Ted Kord, and Jaime Reyes who bring our group to four. Or do they? After re-watching some episodes of “Young Justice” I started thinking…just how many Beetles are out there…quite a few it seems! There’s the Black Beetle (“Booster Gold” 2007, “Blue Beetle” 2006 , “Young Justice” the animated series…), a Green Beetle, B'arzz, a Green Martian (“Young Justice” the animated series…), a Red Beetle (JSA #49), the Scarab, an Injustice League double (Justice League Quarterly #7), Hector Hall, the Silver Scarab from DC’s “Infinity Inc” and the Scarlet Scarab (I) from Marvel’s “Invaders” (both created by Roy Thomas who acknowledges their inspiration as being the Dan Garrett BB), and the Scarlet Scarab (II) an evil double of Jaime from the animated “Batman: The Brave and the Bold”…that’s a number that would make Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel smile…eleven!

Shoot! Make it twelve! I almost forgot Alex Ross’ Scarab from “Project Superpowers”.

Did I get them all? Should I count “Dead Ted” aka “Blackest Night Beetle” as his own entry? The possible future Beetle, “Kingdom Come” Ted? Yellow Glove Dan? Did I miss anyone? What do you think Beetle-maniacs? Comment or message me!

See you next week!

Friday, April 26, 2013

“This City’s Not For Burning!”

When last we left our hero, he was trapped, pinned beneath the falling supports of a burning building and the culprit, Firefist, appeared to be moving in for the kill. Well, after 30 days of waiting the team of Len Wein, Paris Cullins and Bruce Patterson return to finish Blue Beetle’s first adventure in the post-Crisis DCU.
Outside the Fire Chief laments that fighting this fire is doing no good. “…we just as well be spitting on those flames!” Not sure about the Chief’s grammar, but I get the point. When another fireman asks about BB,and the Chief continues spreading positive energy saying if he’s inside the fire he can “kiss his blue butt goodbye” Firefist has taken his arson skills to a new level!
Inside the burning building BB wonders how he ended up in this mess, and a very cool sequence, of 20 small panels over 1 ½ pages, that take us through Blue’s pinned down, claustrophobic, desperate attempt to escape while pinned in the burning rubble. And just as the building collapses, the Blue Beetle manages an escape worthy of Mister Miracle. But I did have to wonder…where was Firefist? Last issue ended with him closing in on Ted, but now? Ted appeared to be all alone inside. A quick page flip later and we see Firefist has headed back to his secret lair…a seedy hotel! We also get an origin/motivation flashback. See Firefist was once Lyle Byrnes, a lab researcher who was caught in an explosion. When the firemen responded a series of unfortunate events prevented them from saving him…and he although he survived, he was disfigured and full of vengeful hate.
Meanwhile, back at Kord Inc. Jeremiah and Melody are analyzing some charred wood Ted had dropped off. As they wrap it up Jeremiah notices that another piece of equipment is missing, “the fifth or sixth thing I’ve lost this month!” The mysterious janitor from last issue is still lurking around with his mind set on intercepting a delivery of promethium from STAR Labs. And we find out who, but not why, has caused those items to disappear from around the lab…Angie the receptionist! And on Pago Island, Conrad Carapax has set up camp when he begins hearing noises. He grabs a flash light to investigate and we get teased with a shot of one Jarvis Kord’s robots.
Ted has started been doing some detective work and figures out Firefist’s next target…the grand opening of the new Chicago Museum of Firefighting! That’s not all he knows…Ted knows Firefist’s identity. As they fight, Ted calls Lyle Byrnes by name several times which seems to rattle the flammable foe. They battle across the rooftop again, until it collapses, and Firefist is seemingly destroyed by the explosion of his own tanks…and takes out the entire museum with him.
Have I mentioned that I’m a big fan of Paris Cullins’ art? Like Ed McGuinness, a few years later, Cullins’ style had just the right blend of comic art and animation that for me made the pages come alive. The larger eyes, the facial expressions, the action...brilliant stuff!
See you next week! 

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Good News/Bad News

Ok Beetlemaniacs...time for a little good news/bad news...

Let's start with the I mentioned in a post a few days ago, my home was flooded last weekend. I've lost furniture, countless books and comics, had to pay out of pocket for a storage unit to save what I could, and have been temporarily displaced since my place is uninhabitable right now.

The good news? It was clean water, not sewage, my insurance company put me up in a nice hotel (after spending a few nights at my girlfriend's place), I've submitted a claim that will hopefully allow me to replace most of what was lost due to the water damage...and I was able to pull some files from my PC, which means I will have a Saturday post this week!

Thanks again for your support, we're well over 1000 views! Now if I can only get you viewers to start commenting a little more ;)

See you tomorrow!

Monday, April 22, 2013

This is why we cant have nice things

So, after going away for a wedding this weekend, i came home to a flooded apartment! While most of my Aquaman collection survived, sadly Blue Beetle was not as lucky (the collections were in seperate rooms). The BB action figures heroically pulled through and swam (or floated) to safety...but the books and comics are nothing more than 4 color sponges now. Which REALLY sucks!

As near as i can tell, the water pump in the toilet burst free, cracking the tank and the pipe (minus the pump to keep it in check) flowed freely for somewhere around 36hrs. That sort of explains Aquaman's survival, though i need to point out the irony that a collection dedicated to a water based hero was actually in one of the few remaining dry spots...

Anyway...although i swore i wouldnt do it...i think i need to take a week off to regroup, save what i can, and get home back in some kind of order. I hope you understand...

On a more positive note, thank you Beetlemaniacs, for getting the page over a 1000 views! That means a lot to me, and is a big reason i'll be back next week with new posts! Until then, Kaji Dha!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Happy 75th Superman!

I scoured the web looking for the perfect image to pay tribute to Superman’s 75th…and found this great Cully Hamner piece. It’s the cover to issue #15 of the 2006 series.

Happy 75th Big Blue!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Rise Of The Blue Beetle

Ok…I guess it’s time to give Jaime more than just a passing comment. I struggle with Jaime. As I’ve said before, Ted is “my” Blue Beetle and he had to die (well, he didn’t have too…but that was the decision made by the DC editors) for Jaime to carry on the legacy.

So, today let’s talk “Batman: The Brave And The Bold – Rise Of The Blue Beetle”

The Clock King has Batman and Green Arrow caught in a clockwork deathtrap! Will the Caped Crusader? Will the Emerald Archer? Jaime sits at home discussing superheroes and watching the finale to this fight on TV with his friend Paco. After sending Paco home and turning off the lights he notices that world famous silhouette at his window. Batman is waiting outside he needs Jaime’s “expertise” with a meteor that’s headed on a collision course with a space station. Once on the way though Jaime’s suit takes control and the duo find themselves pulled through a wormhole, landing on a planet “on the backside of the Milky Way” (Batman deduces that based on the alignment of the stars in the sky) where Kanjar Ro is rounding up the local inhabitants, the Gibble People, to convert them to fuel. Wait, what?! Yep, you read that right…he’s killing the local life form to create energy. (Kinda dark for a kids show, don’t you think?) Any way the Gibbles seem to be familiar with Blue Beetle, they even have a statue in his honor, but they never expected to see him again…not after his last fight with Kanjar Ro and his weapon, the Gamma Gong!
Seems like Jaime’s scarab has been here before, but with another host. Jaime and Bats decided to rally the Gibbles and take on Kanjar Ro as a team. They storm Kanjar’s ship and Bats finds himself in trouble, staring down the barrel of the villain’s gun. Jaime swoops in for the save and begins a cocky celebration…until Ro reappears with the Gamma Gong, a sonic weapon that strips Jaime of his armor. Next thing you know Batman and the Gibbles are tied up like some kind of sacrifice for space squid, while Kanjar Ro gets it on and bangs a gong trying to use the sonic weapon to remove the scarab and take its power for himself. Bats manages to free himself and, after hearing one of the Gibbles quote Jaime about “finding the power within”, he electrocutes said Gibble. What the?! It's ok folks, he's alright! After his odd moment of sadism, it’s actually Batman who inadvertently hits the right note allowing Kanjar Ro to get the scarab and become an evil Beetle. Depowered and just wearing his boxers, Jaime manages to “think like Batman” and frees himself before rescuing Bats once again by using the Gamma Gong against Kanjar Ro. After leaving the Gibbles in the capable hands of their new leader, the one Bats zapped, they cross back through the worm hole and arrive just in time to stop that meteor! Batman wraps up their adventure with these words of wisdom, “I wanted to see if the kid had hero potential, instead I got to see him become one!”
Ok...I have to admit, this was kinda fun! He's still no Ted...but he's got potential.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

My other favorite character...

I've mentioned at least once that Aquaman is one of my other favorite comic book characters, and that Rob Kelly over at the Aquaman Shrine does a fantastic blog...what hapens when you combine them? Well, like chocolate and peanut butter you get something great! Rob has posted pics of my very own Aquaman collection! CLICK HERE!

Go check it out!

And while my Blue Beetle collecton isn't quite as impressive, maybe I'll share it in an upcoming post...

Monday, April 1, 2013

"Never Fear, the Blue Beetle is here!!!"

Today, in honor of the upcoming April Fool’s Day, we take a short weird trip down Memory Lane, or Sidetrack Street as some may know it. Yes, today we talk briefly about the PBS show “The Electric Company” and it’s role in Blue Beetle’s history. “The Electric Company” was a PBS kid’s show that ran from 1971-1977, and then thru the mid-80’s in reruns, similar in some ways to “Sesame Street” but aimed at slightly older kids. And what it lacked in memorable puppets, it made up for in talent. Among the regulars were Mel Brooks (“Blazing Saddles”, “Young Frankenstein“), Rita Moreno (“Westside Story”, “Oz”), Morgan Freeman (“Shawshank Redemption”, “Se7en”), Bill Cosby (“FatAlbert”, Jell-O pudding), Spider-Man and the Blue Beetle. Wait, what? Yes, you read correctly, two comic book heroes appeared on the show... sort of. Now, that’s an oddity worth taking a quick look at.

The Blue Beetle (played by series regular Jim Boyd) was…well, he was a goof! In a costume that featured a mask, antennae, a t-shirt with his name printed on it, and sock garters. You read that right, sock garters! He tended to make matters worse instead of better, even when he had the best intentions.He also crossed paths with Spider-Man from time to time. The show’s Spider-Man (played by Danny Seagren) never spoke, instead he communicated with word balloons that appeared on screen so the audience could read them...after all this was an educational PBS show. Let me clarify, though, this was a version of a Beetle, not “the” Beetle. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence aside from his name, and blue costume, that this Beetle has anything to do with our hero…thank Kaji Dha!

Just to prove this isn't an April Fool's prank, here's a clip for the curious… click me
Just think, with a little effort (and a better costume) this could have been a first! A live-action intercompany Marvel/Charlton* crossover…but it wasn’t. Still, like I said it was an oddity worth taking a quick look at.

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See you next week!
*I say Charlton because DC hadn't yet begun publishing their version of BB at this point