Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blue Beetle in Ten Posters or Less!

The latest issue, the climax of the story that has been building in the background for the last years is out.


Blue Beetle is one of those titles that shouldn't work if you believe so-called "conventional wisdom":

PROBLEM: A New Character: Really, when has this much positive reaction been sent to a brand new character? The last time I think this happened might, MIGHT have been Impulse.

SOLUTION: Show him learning the ropes, and making rookie mistakes. Show him actually feeling the stress an everyman would feel making these kind of high-stakes battles. Give it Emotional Content, but don't forget to make him likeable.

PROBLEM: Appeasing the fan base of Ted Kord that the new guy is worth their time?

SOLUTION: Being respectful of the kind of person Ted Kord was, and making the new guy earn his own place, not by being a copy of Ted, but by respecting his legacy. (See the "What would Ted Kord Do?" in the first poster below):

PROBLEM: He's in the DCU- doesn't that mean he'll be mixed in with a lot of confusing continuity garbage?

SOLUTION: Well, so long as you keep the DCU references to a minimum, and let the readers fill in the blanks however they want, you get to have it both ways: he is on the periphery of the DCU, so it's not like what happens to the Teen Titans affects him, but at the same time, the Titans can show up and it'll make for a cool scene, as below

PROBLEM: OMG he's a DCU character! His Family is dead, isn't it?

SOLUTION: No, in fact, his relationship with his family is probably one of the most moving and interesting back-and-forths in the series. It's clever, cute, and shows that a full family can actually be, you know, a helpful thing (Joe Quesada, I'm looking at you!)

PROBLEM: OMG, he's a DCU character! His friends must all be idiots not to figure out his Secret Identity!

SOLUTION: What I just said about his family? It goes double for his friends. Blue Beetle has pretty close to the best supporting casts this side of Batman. And none of them are emo.

PROBLEM: All Superheroes have terrible love lives! Joe Quesada Says So!

SOLUTION: TRACI 13, the cute teenage sorceress. His dating life isn't perfect: there's distance, and different commitments, but it's nonetheless a great feature to the book.

And so concludes the lecture: Go get Blue Beetle now!

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