Saturday, August 9, 2014


Len Wein, Paris Cullins and Dell Barras return with issue #9 of "Blue Beetle" from November 1986 (cover dated February 1987) with a "Legends" Cross-Over! "Legends", for the uninitiated, was DC's first post-Crisis cross-over event that saw the world (under the influence of Darkseid by way of Glorious Godfrey) turn against it's heroes. It also led to Blue Beetle joining the Justice League...but lets not get too far ahead of ourselves!

Right off the bat we know this is a "Legends" story. Why, you ask? Because immediately after Blue Beetle rescues a little old lady from a gang of punk rock muggers, she beats him with her purse, and screams "Down with superheroes!" If that doesn't drive home the "Legends" tie-in, I don't know what would.

While that happens in the city, out in the suburbs we get the pay off to on of the ongoing plot threads. Angela, Ted's receptionist who has been stealing bits and pieces of tech, finally sees what her uncle has been up to. Apparently, we learn through a brief monologue, he's been recuperating after a dust up with Batman and some issues with the time stream...he is none other than, Chronos, the Time Thief! Angie finally decides its time to stop him and tries to call the cops, but he freezes her with his stopwatch, and disappears into the night. 

Ted brings the BUG back to base, and laments the goings on of G. Gordon Godfrey, wondering if things keep going this way will there be a place in the world for superheroes...or Blue Beetle? In Death Valley, geologist Cassandra Sharp "dies" in a sandstorm, but is quickly scooped up by two shadowy figures in a helicopter. Not only is Ted's professional life taking a hit, his personal life is too. In the offices of Kord Inc. Ted and his girlfriend Melody watch the President announce an executive order requiring all heroes to cease activity. 

The announcement is followed by some choice words about superheroes from Godfrey himself. Ted turns off the TV, but Melody wanted to hear what Godfrey had to say, "Maybe the man has a point", she says. The two argue briefly until Melody decides she's done discussing it and needs to get back to work. 

At a secluded warehouse, Chronos accepts a shipment of clocks and other equipment, then kills the delivery men. Meanwhile Ted, Calhoun and Takamoto try another test creating, a promethium alloy. Sadly, it fails...just as the head of S.T.A.R. Labs, Garrison Slate, shows up to check their progress. Down at the police station, Lt. Fisher debates the President's declaration with another officer. Fisher is quite happy with the decision, heroes are a menace. Frank, the other cop, isn't so fact "Since he first showed up in town the Blue Beetle has defeated Firefist, the Madmen, Doctor Alchemy, the Muse..." Fisher cuts Frank off there, and promptly kicks him out. While on Pago Island, Conrad Carapax finds a door. A door that leads to "whatever Dan Garrett was searching for", or as we know...Jarvis Kord's lab! Finally back at Kord Inc. Melody and Ted are talking again...and realizing that Angie never showed up for work. Ted swings by her house and finds her, frozen in place. After bringing her back around with a simple shake, she reveals to Ted that her uncle is Chronos. Ted is about to call the cops, but figures presidential order be damned, this is a job for Blue Beetle!

Not a whole lot of Blue Beetle action this issue, but I think it worked out anyway. After shifting over to the Showcase '94 stories the last few months I think this actually turned out to be a pretty good way to get back into the core series...plenty of reminders of the various plot threads, and at least one new one. Great art from Paris Cullins and Dell Barras, and spot on writing from Len Wein as always! See you back here next week for some more Blue Beetle adventures!

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