Saturday, November 30, 2013

Vintage Blue Beetle Advertising #3

Extra!! The Blue Beetle Returns!!! Oh I how I wish that headline would appear again! This is an ad for Charlton's "Space Adventures" which ran from 1952-1979, specifically issues 13 & 14 that were retitled "Space Adventures Presents The Blue Beetle", and featured reprints of the Fox Comics adventures from 1939. I'm not entirely sure how rookie patrolman Dan Garret with his vitamin 2-X and chain mail suit qualifies as a "space adventure"...but it's still a great looking ad!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Super-Team Family Sunday #5

Welcome to another Super-Team Family Sunday! Our monthly visit with Ross Pearsall's amazing comic mash-ups!
In Ross' first Blue Beetle themed entry of his blog Super-Team Family: The Lost Issues, we got a great Batman/Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) team-up that might have been. This month we get a taste of some golden age goodness that could have been!
These covers never cease to amaze me!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Where is Multiveristy?

Way back in 2010 DC Comics announced Grant Morrison was working on something called "Multiversity". The basic idea was that Morrison would take us, the reader, on a tour of DC's multiverse by telling stories about heroes from each of the different worlds. There'd be a Shazam story, an Earth X story, one involving the super sons...but most importantly to this blog, one centering on the Charlton heroes...Blue Beetle, The Question, Captain Atom, Nightshade...but 3yrs later, and the comic is nowhere to be seen.

Well...almost nowhere...going back to this past May some images have popped up online, and Morrison has said things are still moving along. We may still see the Charlton heroes swinging back into action again! In the meantime, here's a couple pics I tracked down of Frank Quitely's art...BB and the Question, and the Question and Nightshade!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Who...or What the Kaji Dha Wednesday #3

Like I mentioned in my previous posts (here and here) I've been a fan of Doctor Who for a long time. I loved the classic show, the new show, the audio adventures, the books, comics...I'm a Whovian! And in just a few days the world, or at least the sci-fi fans and Whovians will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who! I will be one of those folks glued to my TV to see the first televised multi-Doctor* story since, well, 1985's "The Two Doctors" (Patrick Troughton's 2nd Doctor and Colin Baker's 6th Doctor) if you mean the series proper...though I guess the 2007 Children In Need charity mini-sode "Time Crash" (Peter Davison's 5th Doctor and David Tennant's 10th) could count, even if it's not a full length story...

Paul McGann, Doctor #8, just recently made a return** to the series in the mini-sode "Night of the Doctor", a prequel to the November 23rd anniversary episode "The Day of the Doctor". From what I've read so far, the anniversary special is set to include David Tennant (Doctor #10), Matt Smith (Doctor #11), and the recently revealed "War Doctor" (first seen in last season/series' finale "The Name of the Doctor") played by John Hurt. I'm a little disappointed that the remaining Doctors (Tom Baker, Peter Davison, Colin Baker, Sylvester McCoy, Paul McGann, and Christopher Eccleston) aren't confirmed has having any part in the festivities...but the fan in me hopes it's just a tightly wrapped secret.

In the meantime, I was able to get my fix of classic Doctors with Big Finish's "Light At The End", an audio adventure featuring Doctors #4 thru 8!*** It wasn't perfect, I'd have liked to see a little more interaction between the Doctors, but it was fun...and it included my favorite Doctor Who villain, the Master!

What's next? Presumably Matt Smith's Doctor regenerating into Peter Capaldi...will it be in the 50th anniversary special? The Christmas special? Who knows, lol! Between now and then I'll enjoy being a Whovian and work on my holiday spirit by spending some time reading the short story collection "Doctor Who Short Trips: The Ghosts of Christmas"!

*ok...if you want to be technical there was another multi Doc story in 1993...another charity special "Dimensions In Time" that crossed over Doctor Who and EastEnders...but it wasn't in continuity, and isn't considered canon, so...the less said the better

**he's been turning out great work on the Big Finish audios, but hasn't played the Doctor on screen since his first and only appearance in the 1996 TV movie

***in what I believe was a clever use of audio from the original series, William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton, and John Pertwee also 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Blue Monday"

What you may or may not be aware of is that while some of my posts are written a few days ahead of time (or even the day of like the convention posts) sometimes I write them weeks, or even months before they’re posted. This is one of those posts.
I recently posted another great Super-Team Family by Ross Pearsall that featured the Jaime Reyes Blue Beetle. I included Ross’ commentary from his own blog, which was in part, “..."I was among the many Ted Kord fans that was not happy when the Blue Beetle was killed off to kick off a DC Comics crossover. Despite that, I decided to give his replacement, Jaime Reyes, a chance and I have to admit that I do like the character quite a bit…That said, there was no reason he could not have been introduced while still keeping Ted Kord alive as well!"
I am, and will always be, a “Ted” guy. And like Ross, I was not happy when DC decided to kill him. Also like Ross I think there was no reason Ted couldn’t have lived on, maybe even mentored Jaime as the new Beetle. Heck…Chuck Dixon even pitched something like that with Ted mentoring Tim Drake…but DC passed. I’m starting to think the powers that be had something against good ol’ Ted. “Countdown To Infinite Crisis” saw Ted killed by his former JLI boss and friend Max Lord. “Infinite Crisis” introduced the world to his replacement, Jaime Reyes, who somehow unlocked abilities of Dan Garrett’s scarab that no one had seen before. This is all water under the bridge though, nothing we can change now. What I could do though is, like Ross, give the new kid a shot. I went online and ordered “Shellshocked” the trade that collected the first 6 issues of the new post-Infinite Crisis Blue Beetle…and…it wasn’t all that bad.

 Issue #1, written by Keith Giffen and John Rogers, with art by Cully Hamner, opens with a bang…well, more like a “KRAKKABOOM”, as an object falls from space and crashes in the desert. That object is actually the blue and black armor clad new Blue Beetle! Just a page turn later and Guy Gardner is hitting the kid with green energy blasts! Why? I'll be honest...its not clear, because no sooner does the Green Lantern shout out, "I WILL KILL YOU!" then we flash to "earlier" while Jaime and his friends walk down a street discussing whether or not one could kill someone with a pencil. That's biggest flaw of this issue in my opinion (besides Ted not being the Beetle) ...the storytelling. It's confusing. Every few pages we're either flashing forward or flashing back. I get that Giffen and Rogers want to flesh out Jaime, give the reader a chance to get to know him. I just don't think this was the best way...especially when you have a whole group of readers, fans of the characters and history, that are already on the fence with this "new" Blue Beetle.

Now...that said, it gets better over the next few issues...and they succeed in fleshing out the character and background. Jaime is a likable character, with parents, a sister and friends that care about him. His buddy Paco is the misunderstood muscle. The big guy with a big heart from the bad neighborhood. while his friend Brenda is quick witted and tough. She comes from money, but doesn't show it off. Like most siblings, Jaime and his younger sister Milagro share a love/hate relationships like most brothers and sisters do (I speak from years of experience, lol). His mother is nurse, his dad a mechanic, both trying hard to raise their children the right way.

Even the fight with Guy Gardner works out. We get to see the new Beetle in action. The armor seems to have a mind of its own* and provides what Jaime needs. When Guy blasts him, the armor provides wings/shields. And when there's a chance for Jaime to fight back, even if he's not sure he wants to, the armor provides a powerful blaster...and fires it against Jaime's wishes. And when Gardner gets the upper hand? The armor pulls back Jaime's mask to reveal, he's just a kid. Green Lantern, still acting crazy and talking about the bug suit giving him a migraine and Booster Gold telling him there was a new Beetle in town, backs down. "I...DON'T...HURT...KIDS!" After the GL leaves, the armor peels back, leaving Jaime, alone and naked, in the desert...while the scarab scurries up his back and attaches itself to the boy's spine.

A crazy first issue, confusing at times, but I guess in the end it does what it needs to do. We now know who the players are, and at least some very basics for the story to build on. There's still a lot of Ted material to cover, and I like to go back and peak at Garret and Garrett fairly often, but I think I'll through in an occasional recap/review of some of Jaime's adventures too.

*I know that later it is very clear that the armor/scarab do indeed have a mind of their own...but in this first issue it's not stated

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Hero Heritage #2

Another gem from the 1991 DC Comics Cosmic's the Dan Garrett "Silver Age" card, from the Blue Beetle "Hero Heritage" subset... again with some sweet art from Paris Cullins, this time inked by Robert Campanella.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nick Cardy 1920-2013

I woke up this morning to see the sad news that comics legend Nick Cardy had passed away. As you may know from a few of my other posts, Aquaman is one of my favorite comic characters, and Nick was one of the early artists responsible for making the sea king great! Along with Aquaman, Cardy worked on the western series Bat Lash, early Teen Titans, House of Mystery, Batman, Superman and many, many more.

I had a chance to speak to Nick, very briefly, at the Baltimore Comic-Con a few years ago. He was very pleasant even though he was very busy, still highly sought after for commissions. I also spoke with his niece who was assisting him at the table. She told me how happy "Uncle Nick" was to be at the show and to see all the fans. Like I said...a brief encounter, but a very memorable one for me.

Here's one of my favorite Aquaman covers (Cardy drew the interiors of Aquaman from issue 1 to 39, and the covers from 1 to 56!), line art and color, done by Nick and featuring 2 of Aquaman's biggest foes...Black Manta and Ocean Master!

Rest in peace Mr. Cardy!


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sufferin' Scribblenauts!

I enjoy the occasional video game, but I'm not what you would call a serious gamer. I play what I like, then get distracted or bored and sometimes go months without playing again. I own a Playstation, and love Resident Evil. I've enjoyed the Batman: Arkham games, and Injustice has been a lot of fun too. Recently though I've been hearing quite a bit about this new game, Scribblenauts Unmasked, which features DC comics heroes and villains.

Now, I don't have a Nintendo 3DS, the handheld platform this game is for...but I've been giving some thought to buying one. Why? Where else am I gonna see Ted Kord in a video game? 

According to the folks that make the game, 5th Cell, it features almost every character in the DC Universe! Nearly 2000 characters in all, total, including some fairly obscure characters like Ted's Justice League teammate Bloodwynd (Death of Superman era JLA) and variations and alternates of guys like Batman, Superman, Green really does sound like fun!

Has anyone played it already? Thoughts? Opinions? Reviews?