Patrick: There’s a point in issue 16 where Moonrunner refers to being stuck in The Hunted as “a fate worse than death.” It’s a hyperbolic cliche — one that gets trotted out whenever a writer wants to artificially heighten the stakes. The phrase caries an added significance here in the final pages of Blue Beetle. If the Jaime Reyes dies here, then his story ends, and the bittersweet message he recorded for his family serves as a poignant farewell to the emotional origins of this character. But if Jaime Reyes survives this series, he’ll be put into the reality / game show “The Hunted,” which means he will linger on lifelessly in the pages of the largely abysmal Threshold. For anyone attached to the Blue Beetle, seeing him languish in another series (just as this one was starting to feel real again) is a fate worse than the character’s death.
Today, Mikyzptlk and Patrick are discussing Green Lantern: New Guardians Annual 1, originally released January 9th, 2013.
Mikyzptlk: Okay, I need to get this off my chest. This issue bugged me. Now, that isn’t to say that I hated it but it really managed to piss me off at the end. Before I get into anything else though, I just want to say that I absolutely loved the characterization that I got out of this issue. Star Sapphire Carol Ferris, Saint Walker and Arkillo were an absolute joy to read and I look forward to the developments seen in this issue carrying on throughout the rest of the series. That said, let’s move on to my overall point. Much like a good joke, a good narrative fiction will have a series of setups and payoffs. A writer will introduce a concept early on in a story to then use and explore it later on hopefully making their efforts as a writer worth your efforts as a reader. In that vein, if I had to describe this issue as a “Knock-knock” joke, it would go something like this: “Knock Knock.” “Who’s there?” “I don’t know, ask some other guy.” Not too funny right? In fact, some might find it a bit frustrating and “some” might just be me.
Today, Patrick and Shelby are discussing Blue Beetle 0, originally released September 19, 2012. Blue Beetle 0 is part of the line-wide Zero Month.
Patrick: The Blue Beetle series is unique among DC Comics for a lot of different reasons. Jaime Reyes is a normal teenager, who comes from the most convincing (and traditionally complete, I might add) family I’ve read since Animal Man. Most teenage heroes don’t sweat being on their own, but Jaime’s decision to leave home to protect his friends and family is appropriately difficult. He doesn’t know how to use his powers, but mostly he just doesn’t know how to live on his own. His life is scary in ways both totally relateable and completely unimaginable. Jaime’s also one of the only Chicano characters I’m reading – and unlike other half-assed attempts at integrating other cultures into comics, Jaime’s culture actually has a bearing on the thrust of the story: characters speak Spanglish, they attend Quinceañeras, their families are large and close. But the zero issue leaves most of that behind to explore the history of the Scarab on Jaime’s back – this is the story of Khaji-Da.