Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Blue Beetle



I was wondering why the hell my Statcounter was jammed with Something Awful humans. And thank you, Waid. I never knew you said that. I owe you a big damn pint.

So here he is, off of Cully's Newsarama interview (which I assume was cleared with DC or there will be some screaming on the phones tomorrow ...)

For the Ted fans: I will remind everyone that I essentially got this job because Keith was amused at my idea that Ted's death was symptomatic of the DC editorial board suffering from serial child abuse. (and oddly, they have forgiven me. Nice folk) So ... I loved the Ted.
For the none-Ted fans:
the book is indeed 99.99% Ted free. Something -- or rather nothing -- for everyone.

On the design: I have seen it in action during fight scenes, and it excels. Heh, Cully even designed a secondary silhouette that's quite spiffy, something that would ghost past most artists, but a.) he's frikkin' amazing and b.) that sort of detail is totally in the Silver Age/neo-Kirby vibe we're going for. One quick note is that as a writer, I was pretty insistent that the face be completely expressive. I bored Cully with ceaseless e-mails about how I wanted Spider-Man, not Iron Man. He complied wonderfully. This is just BB's "badass" face.

But to keep you abuzzin' and curious enough to buy the book, some hints and lies:

... what IS that on his back? And how come he looks different than BB I and BB II? Yet not completely different?

... some people are completely misunderstanding something the Giff said about Booster Gold.

... why, in the name of Ambush Bug's Sainted Ma, are we in El Paso?

Buy a couple issues and enjoy the fun.

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55 comments:

Bill Cunningham said...

Very techno, John. Reminiscent of 70's Kirby and Mister Miracle. If this has something to do with The Scarab, then my mad pulp guess is that the entire costume is the scarab beetle amulet.

Where that scarab amulet came from is for you to tell (or should I say 'when' it comes from?).

I'm looking forward to it...

1031 said...

I like the design. Cully Hamner is awesome, but if I pick this book up, it will be because you, John Rogers, are working on it.

But no pressure, okay?

Rob said...

I've been working (and I use that term very loosely) with Cully on Down and the guy has just been turning in some fantastic work. I actually somehow heard his name attached to the project before I heard about you and Giffen, and everything so far looks solid. Looking very forward to it.

Justin Gray said...

I love the design elements and the way Cully is working in the classic black lines with the scarab backing. I agree that it does have a great Kirby feel combined with the look of being sealed inside an insect shell not unlike a sacophagus. I'm excited to see what you and Keith do with the character.

laurean said...

I'm not a huge DC fan, so I don't particularly know who the blue beetle is, but I really really like the design.

For some odd reason, it reminded me of Mike Mignola's work at first glance. Probably because of the sharpness and vibrant colours.

Heh. O.o

Sizemore said...

Mike: I figured a way to stop girls walking out of a movie half way through to go to the toilet.

Jess: I don't do that.

Mike: Fashionable yet discreet colostomy bags.

Jess: I've never walked out of a movie half way through.

Mike: Or you could use piping. Like superheroes do.

Jess: Superheroes?

Mike: Yeah - you never see them going to the toilet half way through a fight and I figured out why.

Jess: Piping?

Mike: Yep - they just let go whenever wherever and the hot urine also keeps them warm.

Jess: Like a hot water bottle?

Mike: More like liquid cooling in PCs but yeah. You think that thin suit keeps Spiderman toasty on the Empire State in December?

Jess: What about when it's full?

Mike: Oh they vent it off. That's why so many of the alleyways that superhero types end up fighting in have that smell.

(actual conversation that for some reason the new BB reminded me of)

J-Po said...

Where are his fingertips?

Juancho said...

Hmmm...nice. The first thing that came to my mind was The Scarab as well.

And Mike, you apparently need to talk to Bryan Singer.

Anonymous said...

I'm darn curious to know why the heck this book is going to be set in El Paso. It's going to be a bit of a stretch to have super villains show up there on a regular basis.

-Skyrocket

Ted Kord's Ghost said...

This looks like a cross between Spawn and the Big Bad Beetleborgs, which are rip offs of might morphin' power rangers and every dark comic book character of the 80's. If you are going to rip something off, at least rip off something that was original.

Ted Kord's Ghost said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ted Kord's Ghost said...

"So ... I loved the Ted."


Great...when are you going to bring Ted Kord back? Don't even have to make him Blue Beetle again, just leave door open for new Ted Kord adventures.

And don't give me, "he was shot in the head" bull. Oliver Queen was in an exploding airplane. Hal Jordon was shot into the sun. And apparently the world's greatest detective can't tell if the person he is holding is dead or not! "Well, gee, I just assumed you were dead. I guess I didn't bother to check." Magneto was decapitated, Colossus was creamated and Bucky was, yet again, in an exploding airplane. I don't know why people are so afraid of airplane travel since it seems it is so easy to come back from it.

And don't tell me his death was too important a story for him not to come back, or that it would be disrespectful to the writers of his death. You mean every time you bring back a character it is a sign of disrespect? Stan Lee must be furious over Norman Osborn being alive, and the Death of Gwen Stacy was ten times the book of Countdown. Bringing Hal Jordan back is a slap in the face to Ron Marz? His books were not important? Does bringing back Supergirl disrespect the original Crisis of Infinite Earths and making it any less an important comic book series? If that is the case why are they making a sequel? Saying that his death in countdown is too important for him to come back just sounds pompous.

Ted Kord was the character that got me into comics, and he was the character that brought me back with Formerly Known as the Justice Leage.

So I ask you, survivor of serial child abuse, when is he coming back?

And if you and Giffen are doing everything you can to distance this book from Ted Kord, making sure they are nothing alike and there are no connections what-so-ever, why are you calling it Blue Beetle? What the hell are you telling Ted Kord fans?

Rogers said...

Ted, thank God you're here. Listen, we were cleaning out your house, and you pre-ordered an XBox 360. Booster says he should get it, but I think it should go to Tim Drake. Kid's had a rough year. So your call.

Oh, and everybody apologizes for being uncharacteristically dickish to you on that last couple days. They signed a card and everything.

Rogers said...

All joking aside (okay, 50% joking aside) just to be clear to everyone ... I didn't kill Ted. I don't wield that kind of editorial power. And by "that kind" I mean "none". Just, errr, saying. Ted died. We thought it would be nice to both honor the legacy and take the chance to try some new stuff out in the DCU. Spiffily we had the scarab legacy as a tool to do so. It went in that order. Giff and I didn't kick in DiDio's door and say "We need shelf space! Snuff Ted Kord!" Actually, that's what Mark Waid screamed. And it was in a Bennigans, and it was apropos of nothing. So I have no idea what he was thinking. Scared the shit out of the waitress, though.

We're calling the book Blue Beetle because, well, he's the next Blue Beetle. Ted was number two, if we all remember. All will become clear over the course of (checks Keith's scribbled notes) the first ten years of the series. Give or take. His handwriting is shabby.

As to why we're making sure that everyone understands this isn't Ted's book. Well -- we don't want to lie to you, actually. It'd be pretty scummy of us to maintain that bit of mystery to, say, trick you into buying it, and then you find out it's not Ted. That would be, to me anyway, the jerkier thing to do.

"What the hell are you telling Ted Kord fans?"

Ted's dead. (And by dead, I mean "Is an admittedly beloved but still imaginary construct who will no longer be the primary storytelling viewpoint in this monthly funnybook." Not, you know, really dead) This is a new guy. You'll dig him or you won't. We hope you give the book a chance. If you don't ... that's cool too.

And, as Giff himself has said, it's not like we can't blame the whole thing on a clone-based misunderstanding and bring everybody back in a heartbeat by Labor Day.

Clones. Is ther enothing they can't do?

Ted Kord's Ghost said...

Forget the card, just bring Ted Kord back. That will be apology enough.

Seriously, though, why is it so important that Ted Kord never return when so many other dead characters that DC editors promise would never return have? Why is Countdown so much more important than Emerald Dawn or the Phoenix Saga or the Legacy Virus stories? Why is DC so determined to make sure Ted Kord never returns when they have brought back so many other dead heroes?

And why are you trying so hard to distance this character from previous versions? Giffen has been stressing this will be nothing like the previous Ted Kord books. Isn't that just alienating the fans of the character? And if that is the case, why call this character Blue Beetle at all?

Let's look at the legacy heroes who really are successful. We have the Flash, which is mostly the same costume and same powers. We have Kyle Raynor, again similiar powers, powers coming from the same origin. The new Green Lantern still focused on mostly cosmic scale stories. And Starman...well, at least they had the previous Starman in the stories, helping out the new hero when he can.

So why is so much effort being made to distance this character from Ted Kord? Why make a lighter character and make him, "serious as a heart attack, and it's got some really disturbing stuff going on in it." If this one is, " a far cry from Ted Kord" then why bother calling him BLue Beetle? ARen't you just alienating Ted Kord fans? And don't you think you will need them for this book to be successful at all?

Ted Kord's Ghost said...

Ok, forget that last post. I was writing it when I thought the joke was the only response.

And I know you didn't kill Ted Kord. But you still have Giffen saying, "as long as I am part of this book Ted Kord will stay dead."

You even have a built in way to bring him back in some form without resulting to clones. The scarab was an egyption symbol for resurrection.

Ted Kord's Ghost said...

Ok, one more question for you and then I will leave you alone for a while. And I think this is a fair question. You said, "the book is indeed 99.99% Ted free. Something -- or rather nothing -- for everyone."

Well, what attraction do you think this book will hold for a fan of Ted Kord?

Oh, and one more thing, thank you very, very much for responding to this. Sincerely. I know I am coming off as a jerk, but it is just really frusterating to have your favorite comic book character killed and the only response you get from people who work at DC is, "Well, Giffen is fine with it so you should be too."

Highlander said...

Jeez. The pain in the posts of a ghost.

I want to laugh... Moore's Nite Owl means more, emotionally, to me than the walking talking fat joke that DC's BLUE BEETLE mostly was... and asking us to trust that the author of the fat jokes is going to give us a better version of the fat joke is way too big a stretch for me, too, parenthetically without parentheses... but I can't. I can't laugh at the ghost. His pain is very real to me.

I invested enormous childhood love... is there a more intense kind?... into dozens-hundreds-thousands of Silver Age characters at both Marvel and DC, and that love was rewarded by DC back in the mid 80s with the contemptible circulation stunt we all call CRISIS, and the reprehensible series of incomprehensibly awful reboots that rolled out senselessly and relentlessly for years afterwards.

So I know how he feels. I felt it for Hal Jordan, and Barry Allen, and Katar Hol, and Kal El, and Kara El, and pretty much the entire Legion of Superheroes, and Kamandi, the Last Boy on Earth, and dozens/hundreds/maybe thousands more.

"But DC was about to go under, they had to do SOMETHING," harrumphs Mr. Comics Is A Business Too You Fucking Fanboy, as I saw the top of his head off and prepare to start sticking toothpicks with little colored ribbons into his shriveled, feeble brain.

"But all that Silver Age stuff was Plan 9 From Outer Space stupid, we needed to make the heroes more re-uh-LISS-tick," gibbers Captain I Would Have My Tongue Up Frank Miller's Ass Right Now If Only I Could Find Him Somewhere On This Wretched Mortal Earth, as I fasten the electrodes to his Bronze/Platinum/Diamond/Modern/Shite Age loving testicles and prepare to flip the switch.

Blue Beetle got shot. Apparently, Maxwell Lord did some time with Johnny Caspar, and learned Caspar's maxim... "Always put one in the brain". Is it possible Ted Kord could come back from having his brains blown all over four different comics panels? Sure. With Keith Giffen plotting him, it's not like he NEEDS a brain... he could be the new Ambush Bug!

For all that, all I can say about Ted Kord is this... I never liked him until Geoff Johns wrote him, and then I liked him, and then they killed him.

On the other hand, I loved a lot of other characters deeply for most of my childhood and into my early adulthood, and DC killed all them, too, and replaced them with strutting grim n' gritty poseurs in black costumes with laser autocannons and I don't know what the frick all else, and it took twenty years to even start putting that right, and now all the Modern Age crybabies are sobbing and wailing "But Impulse and Superboy used to sit around and play videogames and jerk each other off in Young Justice and NOW they're acting all grown up and mature and weeeeeee don't LIKE it WAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!"

You can't please everybody.

I'm just happy that finally, DC has a writer who seems to want to please me, about some things, at least.

On a completely unrelated tangent, I just reread Busiek and Perez's JLA/Avengers crossover, and it STILL FRICKIN ROCKS. Best. Superhero. Story. Ever.

Cully Hamner said...

Can I just interject that Waid being in a Bennigan's is what tips that over into funny?

Okay, back to work. Arf!

Rogers said...

It's the little things, Hamner.

Oh, and Highlander, I have to go with you on the JLA/Avengers crossover as still in the rock-age category. As for the original CRISIS ... well, I'm kind of glad I didn't start reading capes books until college. Because all that sounds very upsetting.

John Donald Carlucci said...

Great...when are you going to bring Ted Kord back? Don't even have to make him Blue Beetle again, just leave door open for new Ted Kord adventures.

How do you know he won't come back, or plans might not be in the works (not saying there are, but John ISN'T going to spill any story info here)? I'm a world class fan of Ted, but he is dead (for now). He is a comic book character and he can be brought back with the simple klick of a keyboard key if DC deems him marketable. I'm not happy with the characterization of Ted by KG, but it was a choice he took as a writer and he built a distinctive line of comics that many people read. How can you fault him when it is obvious that DC editorial was cool with this. They are the keepers of the flame on how these characters live and breath (so to speak). We take ownership because we are fans, but we have no claims just because we are fans. Remember the immortal words of JK Rolwings to fans who tell her how to run the Potter series - Fuck off (maybe not EXACTLY the words, but damn near).

"Does bringing back Supergirl disrespect the original Crisis of Infinite Earths and making it any less an important comic book series? "
It kinda does when they dress and sexualize this 15 year old girl like she works at a strip club (there seem to be more panty shots of her than any given Alex Ross Wonder Woman).


I feel your pain of this Ghost and I miss the roads not taken with Ted, but the creators are right in distancing their character from Ted Kord - This is a whole different, but same Beetle.

JDC

Ted Kord's Ghost said...

"How do you know he won't come back, or plans might not be in the works (not saying there are, but John ISN'T going to spill any story info here)?"

Judd Winnick said in an interview that Ted Kord will not come back as long as he works for DC, Keith Giffen said that Ted Kord will never come back as long as he is on Blue Beetle and Dan Didio just said Ted Kord will never be coming back. But then they said that about Hal Jordan and Jason Todd as well.


And Mr. Rogers, what do you think a Ted Kord fan will like about this upcoming book? Without spilling any beans.

Again, thank you for your time and taking the time to talk to fans.

Bill Cunningham said...

My response to all this falderal is here:

www.D2DVD.blogspot.com

Rogers said...

And Mr. Rogers, what do you think a Ted Kord fan will like about this upcoming book? Without spilling any beans.

Hmm. Well, I guess it depends why you like Ted and comics. If you like resourceful heroes in way over their heads, spiffy superpowers, dark mysteries, lots of smacking and hitting and super-heroing and less with the angsty talky-talk crap, fractured friendships and a break from everybody hanging around in Metropolis or Gotham or the Watchtower like it's a frikkin rec room, then you'll dig Blue Beetle.

If your only interest in comics is the actual physical presence of Ted Kord or Ted-Kord-related items -- nothing.

Disruptor said...

Why does the new Blue Beetle look like he's a relative of Sho Fukamachi and Agito Makashima? ^_-

Seriously, this new BB does look like another Guyver armor.

I may give the comic a chance, or I may not. It really depends if DC wrecks it with xover mania.

Rogers said...

It really depends if DC wrecks it with xover mania

There's another reason we'r ein El Paso. Nobody comes to visit El Paso superheroes...

Ted kord's Ghost said...

Hmm. Well, I guess it depends why you like Ted and comics.

Fair enough.

I liked him because he was DC's everyman. He didn't have super powers, he didnt have special training in combat or the mystic arts. He was the average guy who rose to the occasion. The only thing different from most other people was that he was really good with electronics and kept his promises. He didn't need any super powers nor did he need to be perfect to be a fun super hero.

Another thing is that he is one of the lighter of the DC characters. All other DC characters, especially after Countdown and Infinite Crisis, are all dark and grim. Even when they didn't get into the bwhahaha over comedy, it wasn't all dark and "serious as a heart attack" with "really disturbing stuff."

In many way, he was like DC's Spiderman (funny since they had the same creators.) Both of them when they started could be any one of us, not really born to become heroes but became them non-the-less. Except with Spiderman he got his powers from a spide bite and with Blue Beetle, he had to make his own powers. That makes him more interesting in my opinion.

(Sorry for the spelling, I have a bengal in my lap.)

Highlander said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Highlander said...

I'm not happy with the characterization of Ted by KG, but it was a choice he took as a writer and he built a distinctive line of comics that many people read. How can you fault him when it is obvious that DC editorial was cool with this. They are the keepers of the flame on how these characters live and breath (so to speak). We take ownership because we are fans, but we have no claims just because we are fans.

There's this great scene in BROADCAST NEWS. Joan Cusack is talking to her boss, and she's saying something about how newspapers claim that the TV news panders, and then they run Wingo games. Her boss nods sagely and says "Exactly right". Then he excuses himself. Albert Brooks smirks at her and says, rather snidely, "Takes a lot of courage to say something like that to the president of network news."

Joan sniffs and says "You just think anyone who is proud of the work we do is an asskisser."

Brooks responds, "No, I think anyone who presses their lips up against someone else's buttocks and SMOOCHES is an asskisser."

Frankly, anyone who can, with an apparent straight face, call a bunch of heartless corporate bloodsuckers who couldn't care less about these characters "the keepers of the flame on how these characters live and breath"... well... all I can say is... that's some fine smoochin' there.

Rogers said...

hey, to be fair, highlander, you're dissing both JDC, who has not motivation whatsoever to ass kiss so that's a pretty crappy way of characterizing his opinion -- it's just name-calling, which is not cool -- and not a great way of characterizing a bunch of people who got into these jobs because they love comics. Some of the evil overlords at AOL Time Warner, may not give a shit, but the humans in the editorial pit, even when I disagree with them (which is pretty often) do this job because they love it.

I'm one of the folk who make a point of reaching out to fans (I made a big point of it on the Transformers project and was delighted to find out how cool the community was) but I can't argue with the idea that in an industry where you will never, ever make everybody happy -- and the unhappy people will be livid -- drawing a very heavy line between your editorial decisions and the "tides of the fan opinion" is a good idea.

In effect, Rowling was right. You put your head down, you make your calls, and you make some people happy and some people angry. The angry people will seek entertainment elesewhere. That's life. More importantly, that's the only way to try to tell stories. Anything else winds up with the Least Objectionable Programming Model, which is nobody's friend.

John Donald Carlucci said...

"
Frankly, anyone who can, with an apparent straight face, call a bunch of heartless corporate bloodsuckers who couldn't care less about these characters "the keepers of the flame on how these characters live and breath"... well... all I can say is... that's some fine smoochin' there."

Nice, real nice. You completely passed my point to take your clever shot. Fine, your rapier-like wit has cut me sir. A fantastically shitty week has been capped by the cherry that is your being a dick. Thanks man, thanks.

JDC

Highlander said...

JR,

I can't apologize. There may be editors who care about the characters, but the specific example I responded to... the JLI era in which the entire Justice League was reduced to an extended four color Eight or Nine Stooges cartoon... lives in infamy for me. No one will ever convince me that anyone who was in charge of that travesty had the slightest shred of concern for the characters or those who truly loved the characters. That thing was a circulation stunt, pure and simple.

Beyond that, I can understand and respect different points of view, but in all honesty, any industry which has seen as MANY naked marketing ploys over the last twenty years as the one we clearly all love, well... I'll stand by my comment.

JDC,

You say something I find to be egregiously wrong headed, I'll respond. I actually deleted my first response, which was absolutely incindiery, and chose to make my point with, yes, wit, rapierlike or claymore-esque, whatever.

If my comment has hurt your feelings, I regret that, but honestly, I assume when I'm commenting in chat threads on sites like this that I am speaking to adults, with enough self esteem to realize that anything some total stranger says about them on the Internet (or, more precisely, their own stated views) is essentially meaningless. I don't know you, my judgements of you are worth EXACTLY what you allow them to be, and frankly, I was talking about your stated views, not about you.

I am always going to get pissy when someone tries to defend an abhorrent run on one on my favorite titles with the concept that 'the editors are All Holy'. Screw that noise. The editors are paid by the suits, and the suits regard these characters as marketable commodities. The suits always did, but back in the Golden and Silver Age, the profit margins were slim enough that the suits let editors, writers, and artists do what they want a great deal more with the characters. This allowed a lot of crap to get generated, but it also allowed a lot of love to show through.

JR, I'm sorry if you don't see it this way, but until Geoff Johns started writing for DC in the last few years, the love I could see coming through the panels for the characters was nearly nonexistent. Alan Brennert was the last person I can remember writing something that obviously respected the old continuity and showed affection for the characters, and that was a LONG time ago. I've deliberately ignored a great deal of post CRISIS DC stuff, and I've heard that, for example, the Bierbaums had a lot of love for the Legion concept, and it showed... but I can't read a Legion without a Superboy, Supergirl, or Mon El, so I gave that a miss.

If I'm out of line, I don't know what to say. I try to be as considerate as I can, but I'm passionate about my views. These characters mean a great deal to me, and they've suffered a great deal of abuse. And SuperGirlfriend is waiting for me to finish this interminable rationalization ("Ever try to get through the day without two or three JUICY rationalizations?") so I gotta go.

John Donald Carlucci said...

"If my comment has hurt your feelings, I regret that, but honestly, I assume when I'm commenting in chat threads on sites like this that I am speaking to adults, with enough self esteem to realize that anything some total stranger says about them on the Internet (or, more precisely, their own stated views) is essentially meaningless. I don't know you, my judgements of you are worth EXACTLY what you allow them to be, and frankly, I was talking about your stated views, not about you."

Yes, I ran crying to my room.

You caught me on possibly the crappiest day I've had in the last several months (since I moved back to Florida). Why isn't important, but you got under my skin on the personal bitchslap. My own self-esteem was indeed at low tide. I know you consider most of us to be sycophantic dolts and you are entitled to your opinion.

I don't like what was done to Beetle during those years. I don't like the level of contempt that DC seems to hold for the characters of The Question, Captian Atom, and Blue Beetle.

Blue Beetle: A hero who is tolerated by the real heroes, has a fat problem, an ignored crush on Oracle, the butt of too many jokes, and Bwah-ha-ha.
The Question: Paranoid conspiracy nut
Captain Atom: A military yes man with a stick up his ass.

I don't buy a single Marvel comic anymore, and DC is close top the same (there are a few I pick up every once in a while). My heroes are gone.

Batman is a fucking asshole. How many times can a guy create equipment and plans to monitor his friends and lose that shit. An eighteen year old girl cracked his computer and got the Wargames plan. Couldn't he at least buy Norton's Utilities? He has unleashed more attacks on the DC universe than many other villians and caused more devastation. Batman is a villian at this point. Ra's Al Ghul thinks his way is the right way too.

Superman the puss - he killed three Kryptonians, but he whines at Wonder Woman because she snapped Max Lord's neck? He doesn't try to take her into custody mind you (which would give him a small pair and at least show he believes what he is saying). Nope, he whines at her. Batman has unless the Omacs on the world (Checkmate did, but he is the arms dealer), but he whines at the other two all the same. Oh yeah, wasn't he going to beat Joker to death in the Hush mini-series? ::cough::HYPOCRITE::cough::!

Identity Crisis is a great read as long as YOU THROW AWAY THE LAST ISSUE.

The piss poor characterizations for DC and Marvel both have driven me away. Let's trot out the dead horse that continuity-limits-writers-and-that's-why the-books-are-in-this-shape argument.

However, editorial answers to corporate and writers answer to editorial. These properties are owned by corporate and we make are views know with our dollars. I don't buy anymore and that is my choice. I do believe John when he says there are comic lovers in editorial. How do you thing Johns, Winick, Waid get to do what they are doing? Do you think these guys charge the offices with guns when they drop off their work (Maybe Waid from what I've heard)?

You can't please everyone when you create - you just do the best you can. I don't try to please anyone with my writing but myself. I write what I want to read and I know there will be some people out there who want to read it too.

I'll read El Paso Blue Beetle. It won't be my BB, but it will be a BB and that isn't bad. Besides, I do like most of John's work (not American Outlaws or Cosby -sorry man) - so bend over for the half smooch big boy.

I've rambled enough.

JDC

Anonymous said...

I feel pretty much the way Ted Kord's Ghost does but I'm a little more resigned 'cause I know the way things work. I love Giffen and Rogers so I'll buy the book.

But I want to respond to everyone who thinks Keith and JM wrote Beetle as a "joke" back in the day. They didn't. (Maybe they did a little in the recent "Formerly Known" series but I think that was a case of believing their own press)

They wrote him as a smart guy who looked around at a bunch of people flying around in silly costumes hitting each other and recognized the absurdity of it. I think he was more intelligent, "mature" and real, then almost any other tights and capes character ever. He wasn't a joke, he MADE jokes, like a real person would. He was a lot more "realistic" as regards most people's lives than Batman or Wolverine.

Oh, and the "fat joke" thing, that was more the Watchmen version of Beetle, Giffen didn't put the pounds on Ted until the beginning of the "Breakdowns" storyline, which was the end of his Justice League run. Then he lost the weight.

Oh yeah, and I'm even more upset about the character assasination of Max Lord than anything else. I might have grudgingly respected Ted's heroic death in Countdown if not for that gratuitious kick in the balls. It could just as easily have been "Villain X" since that's exactly how they wrote that once interesting, multifaceted character.

Max Lord and Ted Kord were friends, good friends, the kind who rarely, if ever, shoot each other in the head. That's how I'll always remember them.

-Rory

Rogers said...

If my comment has hurt your feelings, I regret that, but honestly, I assume when I'm commenting in chat threads on sites like this that I am speaking to adults, with enough self esteem to realize that anything some total stranger says about them on the Internet (or, more precisely, their own stated views) is essentially meaningless. I don't know you, my judgements of you are worth EXACTLY what you allow them to be, and frankly, I was talking about your stated views, not about you.

This happens whenever this blog wanders over to a new topic, so we get a bunch of new people. No big deal, I should put this next bit into frikkin' boilerplate.

One of the rules here is that the thrust of your argument has to be directed at the other person's argument, preferably built on some sort of counter-idea. I'll occasionally call dealer's choice because, well, it's my piece of real estate, but in particular if you go back into the long runs on the political posts, you see that even when I'm dealing with people I consider the downfall of western civilization, I make a point of treating them with some respect even if I ridicule their opinions. (Expect for the ID people. They're fucking morons). The only people I really unleash on are the intellectually lazy ones. Your Kung Fu must be strong. There's a reason that although I would like nothing better than to see Cheney in the Hague for war crimes, I still have a considerable politically conservative readership.

"ass-kisser" isn't an editorial comment on someone's stated views. It's a specific attack on someone's integrity. You're fudging there. And, it's an attack on his integrity over not basic human rights or the existence of God, but over comic books.

I get the whole "we're all adults here, so fair game", but that's not the vibe I want here. Maybe it's the Canadian in me. (There's a reason our national motto is "Peace, Order, and Good Government.") But you should walk out of the Kung Fu Monkey pub feeling like you just had a pint and a spirited discussion, not like you just had a heated bar argument that descended into name-calling. There are other BBs with other vibes, but this isn't one of them.

This may boil down to a basic disagreement I have with a specfic element of the American psyche. Nobody has a right to be a dick. Oh, you can be a dick, but you have to earn the right by being either really funny, or really, really well-thought out in your arguments.

So all newbies here, consider the flag tossed.

Geesh, we managed to get through the gay marriage and prayer-in-school runs without this much heated emotion ...

John Donald Carlucci said...

"Geesh, we managed to get through the gay marriage and prayer-in-school runs without this much heated emotion ..."

Yeah, but now we're talking about important things - comic books.

JDC

Highlander said...

Oh, you can be a dick, but you have to earn the right by being either really funny, or really, really well-thought out in your arguments.

Okay, I'll accept that, but, in my opinion (for what it's worth) I'm both really funny and my arguments are generally very well thought out.

Still, honestly, I don't set out to be a dick, and I'll try to be more restrained in the future, since this isn't my blog. But people who's feelings are easily hurt need to definitely not read MY blog; I really vent there.

Ted Kord's Ghost said...

Ok, first of all I know I have been somewhat aggressive but I hope I haven't been disrespectful to anybody. That is not my intent. Yeah, I called Rogers a 'survivor of serial child abuse' but that was meant more out of tongue in cheek than being malicious.

Rory, you summed up pretty much everything I liked about the character. And like you I would have been grudgingly more amendable to BB's death if Sue hadn't already been killed, Ralph driven insane and no longer in the hero business, Max Lord turned into a complete psychopath
and Martian Manhunter turned into a complete jerk who goes around saying things like, "True heroes don't ask for help, they handle things on their own." And now apparently they are killing off Booster Gold. It seems like Didio is hellbent on alienating the fans who came into comics in the 80s.

The only thing is that after Giffen and DeMatties's (sp?) run, the writers who came after did turn Ted Kord into a joke. That is around the time I stopped collecting comics. But before that he was a great character.

As for picking it up because of Giffen...without DeMatties Giffen is increadibly hit and miss. His 5 years later Legion is one of my favorite runs of all time while Howling Commandos is probably the worse comic I have ever read...and I really wanted to like it.

One of the problems I have been having with Giffen lately is that in his team books, none of the characters like each other. None of them. This has been true in Howling Commandos, I Can't Believe It's Not the Justice League and Defenders. While yes, there should be drama within the team and infighting, none of these teams feel like teams anymore. There is no comraderie, there is no unity and they don't feel like teams. They are not as much fun to read (although I keep coming back to the Defenders because the art is so gorgeous!

ZenPupDog said...

This should be fun. It would be amusing if the 'fictional' Kinky Friedman (not the author - but the dectective character} would channel Ted Kord for us die hard fans every ten issues or so to get that .01% in. I'll put my trust in your team even if Keith worked with Mark Singer.

ted kord's ghost said...

[i]This should be fun. It would be amusing if the 'fictional' Kinky Friedman (not the author - but the dectective character} would channel Ted Kord for us die hard fans every ten issues or so to get that .01% in[/i]

I actually would be thrilled about something like this, but Giffen has said that Ted Kord will not appear in this book as long as he is working on it.

Maybe they would do a Booster Gold book too but it looks like he is going to buy the farm as well.

Alex Jay Berman said...

Here's the thing I don't get. Ted Kord, a C-list hero however great the character may have been, evokes such emotional response for one simple reason: His innate, overriding humanity.

Yet now that this guy among gods, this powers-free person, is killed--his braincase breached, mind--in the commission of a heroic effort, those fans who loved him offer up a hue and cry that this most human of characters should somehow transcend death. I don't get it.

I will concede, however, that one bit of the writing of Ted Kord's death was mistaken--after all, we all know the "Unless there's a body ..." paradigm--we have no body; we have no solid proof (for the heroes) that Ted is dead. No corpse has been found; Sasha Bordeaux 2.0 has not leaked film of Max Lord's murder of the Beetle to Batman (a grave oversight, considering their history) or to any of the the many representatives of the media in the DCU. This needs be addressed, just as there needs to be, when the Checkmate series begins, a sitdown between the very-changed Sasha and the very-changed Batman to move toward resolving both their history and how they will view each other's activities and duties.

And it would be fitting for the heroes, who paid no heed to Beetle's worries when he was crying that the sky was falling, to erect a Silver Agent-like memorial to Ted. His sacrifice is greater than Larry Lance's, greater even than Kara Zor-El's (for she was, when you come right down to it, one among many attacking heroes, whereas the Beetle acted on his own, in the face of repudiation), greater than Hal Jordan/Parallax's (because he, in desperate need of redemption for his crimes OWED the world such a sacrifice), greater than the sacrifice of ANY fallen DC hero save perhaps Barry Allen. He should, in that world where heroes are venerated, be remembered and celebrated.

(Can I be a dick now?)

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man, you google the new blue beetle out of idle curiousity and find there are a whole load of people getting very worked up about it...

for me, of all DC heros, the two who i always felt strongest about were beetle and firestorm. firestorm has been through his own changes and in all honesty they've not grabbed me (though they're more interesting than the just-ronnie firestorm which missed the key element - the dual personality dynamic) and now it's beetle's turn.

start with the build up. i read and loved len wein's (sp?) blue beetle series which were always my favourite beetle stories.

keith and jm's beetle started well but did degenerate and undermine the character somewhat (with the odd exception). part of that is the team format which doesn't give you a lot of room to build up individuals parts so they tend to become simpler versions of what they might have been (the grim one, the insane one, the innocent one, the funny one and so on), and part of it was that it seemed, once it started, to spiral out of control. more than anything else i think it pigeon holed him in the minds of some readers as a novelty character, around only for the gags.

and then his death. i'd read he was dying before i got the book and once i'd accepted that (which frankly was better than a third "formerly known as..." which was the downward spiral hitting rock bottom), i was happy with the book. this was the real beetle. a thinker, a hero, somewhat out of his depth and not taken seriously, but worth way more than he was given credit for. it was a fitting send off for a great character.

but i don't want him back. the beetle i loved was the balance between the joke and the hero, out of his depth but coping, laughing at the world he was in, but part of it and that can't go on for ever. you can't be ineffectual and be a hero, and you can't be effectual and be a joke. what ted had become wasn't, in my view, sustainable.

and maybe he will come back. as is often said superheroes don't stay dead for long but not now. his death should be meaningful and for that to be true he needs to stay dead a while. the dc head honchos are saying he's going to stay dead but of course they would, they want it to have dramatic impact, but it's no reason to get bent out of shape - the words have been said before, recanted before and will be again.

as to the new book, i'll take a look. i'll buy a couple because it's got the name "blue beetle" and because i like some of the talent, after that it will be down to the story they're telling, but then that would be true if it had ted in it too.

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I believe that the common denominator among fans of the Ted Kord incarnation of the Blue Beetle would have to be intelligence. It seems that die-hard closet fans have been up in arms ever since the offing of his character, the ominous journey of the scarab, and the announcement of a new Blue Beetle series. Ted represented what we believe to be the best of what a superhero could truly be, perhaps because he represented the best of what we saw in ourselves in him: vulnerability, humility, humor, and a reputation mired by not getting the girl, not getting respect, and just plain not fitting in with the big guns. Sounds like my typical day. From reading the threads and reactions on this blog (and others like it), I am amazed at the passion, wit, and veracity of the posters. I think that is why Ted's death and apparent mistreatment/mismanagemnt by the current DC editorial staff seems to have struck such a chord with a very upset minority fanbase. We're pissed because we may no longer be seeing ourselves in a few splash pages in an industry wide crossover or a stand-alone story of the JLA (it seems that's the only places Ted was showing up as of late). Foucault's mirror has been broken. I can't see my own reflection in the dark cowl of the Batman or in the strong-as-steel biceps of the last son of Krypton. So, I ask, what's the big deal? It's not like Ted had his own series anymore. We were pretty much relying on back issues for a good Blue Beetle read anyhow. I'm glad there's a new Blue Beetle, as much as I will miss the old. Give it a chance. Ted is dead and apparently he's not coming back. Grieve. Move on. Strive to be greater than he himself was capable of.

The new title is probably the only DC book I'll be picking up post-crisis. If you ask me, DC is suffering greatly at the hands of a crossover. The writers have bitten off more than they can chew. Every regular title is suffering horribly for their grand scheme. I can't afford to keep up financially or emotionally. Just finish it already. It's not like the type of guys who are into comics are necessarily rolling in enough cash to keep up with thirty titles a month. For God's sake, I teach English at a community college and have more student loans to pay off than Cher has cybernetic organs. Cut me some slack.

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