Batman: Brave and the Bold
‘Fall of the Blue Beetle’
Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle introduced by Steve Ditko in Charlton Comics, has got to be one of the oddest comic characters simply for the fact that he is far more popular dead than alive. If I had a nickle for every comic fan who came out of the woodwork outraged over Ted Kord’s death in the pages of Countdown to Infinite Crisis, I’d be a very very rich man. That’s not to say that I dislike him, on the contrary I think that Blue Beetle is a wonderful character that adds another feather to Ditko’s already crowded hat of achievements. But I have to ask… where were these Blue Beetle fans when the character’s comic was canceled or when he was completely forgotten by fans and writers alike? It’s just weird is all.
But less about that.
The episode is very unusual because it not only features two versions of the Blue Beetle but it goes through the trouble to bridge the gap between the two. This would be called ‘pleasing the fanboys’ by most and to be honest I’d agree. I mean, who cares if there’s confusion about multiple Blue Beetles? The Brave and the Bold cartoon production team, apparently.
The episode delves into the current Blue Beetle’s self esteem, hampered by the unanswered question as to why he was chosen to be a hero. Was it by chance or design? If by design, he must be something special, but if by chance he’s just any old guy. In the opening sequence, Jamie Reyes (Blue Beetle) tells his best friend the story of Green Lantern and is laughed at. As the discuss the story, Jaime’s friend thinks it’s absurd and that the ring is more important than the wearer. The friend goes on to say that just any guy could find one (a reference to Kyle Rayner who discovered the ring in a men’s bathroom) and become Green Lantern. This leaves Jaime troubled and he begins his quest to uncover the legacy of the Blue Beetle, starting with asking Batman about what he knows.
The episode has a LOT of comic book-style continuity that may lose some, but for those along for the ride it’s a great trip. Bridging the gap between different versions of characters is no easy task, made evident by how infrequently it is done in the comics.
Another great episode.
Next week, Journey to Center of the Bat with the Atom!