First off, Majiksthe, I'm flattered, but when I did stand-up I was nowhere in Colbert's league or style -- hell, it was nothing like my comedic writing on this blog. I didn't externalize anger well. I'm much angrier now. DJ McCarthey, he did anger well. I saw him make hecklers cry. Hell, I once saw him threaten to put a cigarette out in the eye of a five year old. To be fair, the kid really had it coming.
Okay, now that we're two in, gone to a third printing on #1 and a second printing on #2 and we can finally drop the whole Ted Kord thing, I thought it would be a good time to answer a few questions in the email bag and forums. Let's dig in:
When's Ted Kord coming back?
So Jaime was gone for a whole year?
Yes. The timetable is roughly:
-- Jaime finds scarab.
-- That night, Scarab grafts itself to Jaime's spine.
-- Jaime has a bad day seeing things, meets Eyeless Chick (named Probe)
-- The next day, Damper and Probe scan Jaime; Probe drops from "scarab feedback"
-- The Posse goes to kick Jaime's ass.
--The Armor manifests, completely stunning/dazing Jaime within and kicking the Posse's ass.
-- Jaime, exhausted from his first transformation and barely remembering any of it, collapses into bed.
-- That night, Booster Gold shows up and "recruits" Jaime with promises of Jesus Juice, pornography, and the DNS for the webcam in the Birds of Prey sauna.
-- Uncle Booster takes him to the Batcave. At the arrival of another lanky teenager in Batman's life, Tim Drake goes into a sulk.
-- Everybody zips off into space. The Scarab recognizes what a threat Brother Eye is and decides to help out. Then, for some unknown reason (although it seems concerned about the Green Lanterns), the Scarab makes Jaime "disappear."
-- ONE YEAR LATER Jaime crash-lands in the desert near home. Guy Gardner detects his presence and is almost overwhlemed by the hostility of his Ring's reaction. Guy eventually calms down and buggers off.
-- With the help of a Friendly Redneck, Jaime reaches home -- to discover that he has, indeed, been gone for a year.
Wow, that is t3h suck for Jaime.
Annnnnd the last thing Jaime remembers is fading out of view in Infinite Crisis ... then whammo, back on Earth. Would you feel abandoned by the underwear-perverts who hauled you into space and then apparently forgot about you? Well, Jaime does. This will create issues with the rest of the DCU.
Why did Guy Gardner freak out at Blue Beetle, and why did the other Green Lanterns react all edgy but not attack him?
Remember, the Rings' powers are manifestations of the Lanterns' will and therefore their personalities and even their emotional states. Hal and Stewart have different levels of willpower, and different emotional relationships with the old Blue Beetle. Guy comes back to Earth after a year, he's still wracked about Ted, and his willpower's ... different. The Rings reacted to BB, and each guy was in a different state of vulnerability at he time.
Why do the Rings react to the Scarab? Boy that's a good question. I hope Giffen tells me before it becomes the focus for a huge crossover event and we have to wing it.
So Blue Beetle will be part of a huge crossover soon?
No, that's one of the reasons we're in El Paso. In order to read Blue Beetle you have to be passingly familiar with the rest of the DC Universe, but don't need to read any of the other books. The entire timetable up top is just as effectively: "Jaime found a rock. It was a magic scarab that gave him super-powers. He disappeared into Space for a while fighting with other superheroes, and now he's back with no idea of how to handle any of it." You'll figure out the rest as you go.
I like the friends and family. Whe are you going to start killing them?
Bad things will happen. So will good things. But be assured, family and friends will be around for a long time. Most of them.
I don't like the Posse from #2 as the first villains in the Rogue's Gallery!
You fell for that? Keep reading.
Was that fat dude's super-power acid sweat?
Blame Giff. He spends all day coming up with bodily-fluid oriented meta-powers. Sometimes, he sends me e-mails that make the Baby Jesus cry.
How come the Scarab didn't do that for Dan Garrett and Ted Kord?
Keeeeeep reading. And it did for Dan Garrett ... kinda.
Is Jaime gay?
No. He watched a lot of Project Runway, but it was mostly because his Mom was hooked and he thought the craftmanship going into the clothier trade was fascinating. No shame in that.
That last line of #2 "It's ONE YEAR LATER". That sucked.
Artistic license. Quit your bitching. That's classic Kirby-style declamation there, mister.
I think Jaime should join the Teen Titans!
That's nice, but Jaime has to go to school. He'd like to go to college. If he hung out at the Teen Titans headquarters, he would be Captain Buzzkill, with the studying and the telling Deathstroke's daughter the whole "Let's just be friends" speech and the like. Seriously, are those kids going to vocational school or anything like that? Learn a trade.
Is Jaime's Dad walking with a cane now?
Good catch. Yes. A lot can happen in a year.
That language the Scarab talks in: is that Atlantean?
... Suuuuuuure. If that makes you happy. But it's not relevant. (Let Geoff Johns deal with tying up those loose ends that ten years from now.)
Did Jaime age in that year? Does he have scarabs in places he didn't have scarabs before?
No, he did not age. He did, however ... change.
Why El Paso?
Their Chamber of Commerce made a helluva presentation. A Duke Cunningham style presentation, if you catch my drift.
Seriously, if you're set in Gotham or Metropolis, you have a lot of baggage to deal with. El Paso is cool, it's multi-ethnic (and I'm sorry if you think we're pandering, but I for one am sick of the superhero universe still being made up of clones of the 1940's Protestant white dudes. It's the 21st Century, suck it up. See here for further thoughts), it has some interesting geographic quirks ... watch, El Paso will soon be the cool alternative DCU hang-out spot. Fire will be buying a little Sedona-like cottage there. Nobody cares about your "friendship" with Ice in El Paso.
I like the cliff-hanger style endings.
Good. That is Keith's rule. "Every issue, a fight and a whammy."
I hate, HATE the flashback structure!! You think you're soooo cool, and it's PRETENTIOUS!!!!
It is indeed avant-garde. I personally have only seen it used successfully in the French indie hit LOST, appearing every week on primetime television watched and enjoyed by 15 million viewers. Seriously, let it go.
That said, the flashbacks are gone as of issue #3. Back to your linear narrative, prole.
What's coming up?
In #3, Jaime deals with the fallout from his sudden disappearance and year-long absence, oblivious that somebody has come to town on the trail of "... blue."
For #4, Jaime begins asking a lot of the same questions the readers are. He has a chat with a representative of the mainstream DCU. It does not go well. Somebody decides to "test" Jaime. That goes less well.
In #5, the Phantom Stranger swings by, just in time to witness Jaime's introduction to the crime world in his little corner of the DCU -- unaware that these events are tied into the troubles he's already experienced in previous issues.
In #6, Jaime uses his brain, puts the pieces together, decides to help some unlikely new friends and learns the value of a secret identity.
From then on, we're off on the extended, multi-year arc Giffen has already mapped out. Or at least, he claims he's mapped it out. When he says that Joan Hilty stops crying for a while, so I'm not going to stop him.
Are these questions real?
They are now. They have been observed, and therefore their probability sphere has collapsed into a single reality.
I don't get that.
Neither do I, to tell you the truth. Come to Earth-2 Comics on Free Comic Book Day, get your books signed by myself and the BOOM! folk, and we'll puzzle it out.
Oh, and ask something interesting in the comments, and I'll answer in an edited version of this post.
(UPDATE -- all joking aside, those are the real questions in the mailag, including the gay one. And the flashback hate mail. The Nextwave bit was tagged on to one of the other questions, but I consider it fair game)