Page 1 of 2
1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: SEB-standard: Week 17 - Defending my Hero: Me, Megacon, and the Blue Beetle

  1. Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,678
    Post Thanks / Like

    SEB-standard: Week 17 - Defending my Hero: Me, Megacon, and the Blue Beetle

    Heroes are defending the common man (and woman) all the time. It's what they do. It's who they are. It's...well, to be perfectly honest, it's heroic.

    But who defends the heroes? Remember that uplifting, if heavy handed, scene in the first SPIDER-MAN movie? Spidey is holding the kids in one hand, and MJ in the other, and the Green Goblin is circling for the kill....only to be pelted with bricks, bottles, and jeers as hundreds of New Yorkers defend their hero. One thickly NY accented man even proclaiming "You mess with Spidey, you mess with NY," or some-such?

    Well, sometimes our heroes need us to fight for them.

    Case in point. This year's MEGACON.

    Now, it's no secret that my favorite character is Ted Kord: Blue Beetle. Now, I know, there are haters out there.
    Bite Me, Fanboy!! When you get your own column, you can wax poetic on YOUR favorites or you can rant anti-Ted propaganda, but this is MY column (see, it has my name in it) so deal with it!

    Yes, they got carried away with the silly side of Ted, and that's not what I'm talking about. Go, reread the Chartlon issues by Ditko. Read the Len Wein DC series from the 80's. Hell, read BOTH of his Americomics appearances. He was a real hero. He acted like a hero. He was serious, driven, intelligent, and clever. Sure he quipped, but hey, most heroes do. Originally, Ted wasn't even in Peter Parker range on the jokes.

    Done right, Ted Kord is one of the greatest examples of a hero.

    How, you ask? Well, he has NO powers. He does what he does because of a promise he made to Dan Garrett. He is selfless for its own sake. He could have walked away and said "forget it! I don't have scarab powers, so the deal's off," but he doesn't. He pursues what few avenues are available to him. he conditions his body as best he's able. He relies on gadgets he invents and his mind. He invents a non-lethal weapon, capable of taking down an opponent without causing any permanent or serious harm.

    Ted Kord is a mirror that Bruce Wayne doesn't like to look in, because Ted is everything Batman is, but retaining his humanity. batman is all drive and motivation. batman is REAL, while Bruce is the mask. EVERYTHING Batman does is to further his 'mission'. Ted is a rich, inventor, sleuth, is still a part of the society he protects, and that makes him MORE than Batman.
    Batman has stared into the abyss and become the abyss. Ted resists the abyss. Plain and simple.

    So, how did I 'defend my hero'? Well, since Max Lord is a fictional character, and a deceased one at that, I couldn't confront my hero's killer. I could, however, have several run-ins with the man who admittedly keeps Ted in the ground, Dan Didio.

    It started simple. In the DCU panel, during the 'lightning round' I threw the name TED KORD at Dan. He pauses briefly, looks around the room, and zaps me back with "BLACKEST NIGHT," clearly threatening to give a zombie ring to my hero.

    The next day, during the SUNDAY CONVERSATION WITH DAN DIDIO, a raher relaxed an informal back-and-forth between Dan and the fans, I again petition for my hero. Dan asks who are favorite characters are. I inform him that he's killed most of mine. [Yes, I am aware Dan has not personally killed them all, but he is the head guy, so who else can I bitch to?] Dan, without missing a beat, asks "Give me names, I need some more." My turn to pause...."No." We get the laugh from the room.

    I go on to mention Ted. Dan, used to Ted's hangers-on, explains his side. Dan is very charming in person. Face to face, in front of a crowd, Dan Didio is smooth, charismatic, and calm. A far cry from the nervous looking man depicted in NEWSARAMA interviews. Must be camera shy, I guess.
    Anyway, my point is, I don't want this to turn into a Didio-bashing fest. I like the guy. He has his reasons for things and he stands by them. I can respect that. He can discuss things without arguing. By the end of the 3-day con, I felt like I had been having these discussions with him for years. Not the "this-is-taking-forever" way, but in the "comfortable-going-back-and-forth" way. I won't presume to claim he felt the same. I'm most likely another forgettable fanboy in a sea of forgettable fanboys. heck, I've got the PROJECT FANBOY shirt to prove it.

    Anyway, Dan explained his view on Ted's death, citing that if you read the original JLI stories, they were still serious books, that had humor in them. It was around the Kooey-Kooey-Kooey Island story, that it became a joke. And I'm with him on that. He goes on to discuss how COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS brought Ted back to his heroic routes. I agree with him there.

    He continues that Ted's death is an honorable send off.

    I disagree.

    I tell him, that while it was a brave way to go, I thought it was also an insult to the character.

    Dan makes a face, and asks how.

    I tell him. Yes, it's all very flattering, Max credits Ted for figuring it out before Bruce. The true heroism of Ted is discussed, as is his resourcefulness. But, if Ted were truley being written as smart and resourceful, wouldn't he have just thought "go to hell, Max," and said "Yes, Max, I'll work with you," and then found a way to topple him from the inside.

    A few others murmur, some agreeing, some not. Dan says, "No." He feels that Ted's deceit only goes so far. Which I still feel diminishes the character, as it is his own righteous indignation, then, that gets him killed, and not his heroism. Dan also says that Ted made one mistake, he never thought Max would actually shoot him. I could live with this, except for the fact that his thought ballons reveal that he knew DAMN WELL that Max was gonna shoot. He's already wishing his replacement good luck when the bullet rips through. So that argument falls through.

    We actually had about 10 minutes worth of Ted discussion in that panel, not all lead by me. When I asked if they had to re-kill Ted every two years (the everyman story in MANHUNTER and the "I have to die to save the future" story in BOOSTER GOLD), Dan is honest and admits, "...that's actually people trying to bring him back and me stopping them." He says, if you're going to bring Ted back, you have to have a plan, otherwise you just bring him back to be cannon fodder again. I can [begrudgingly] accept that.



    Towards the end, Didio asks what we would do with his job for the day. I refain from answering, as it is obvious to all what I'd do. The guy behind me raises his hand and claims, "I'd bring Ted Kord back."

    Eventually, Dan even accepts that I did not put the guy up to it.

    The one part that I can't believe I let myself do, came after that panel. I was talking to Dan in the main hall. All fo this was filmed by someone with a rather large camera, so god knows where this ends up, anyway, I tell Dan that i had an idea that would restore not only Ted's life, but his sense of purpose, but that I don't want to be one of those fnas that pitches their pipe-dreams at him at a con.

    Dan makes the fatal mistake of saying "that's OK." Before I know it I'm pitching MY Ted Kord restoration. Dan half listens, cutting me off a few times, but I plod on, unstoppable now. Dan shrugs it off with, the painful, but again all-too-honest "I'm not gonna be in charge forever, but while I am, I think Ted is gonna stay where he is."

    Crushed, [and a little humiliated] I accept defeat. I swallow any bitter retorts of how that makes no sense form a business stand-point. The character has a following. The numbers are there for the JLI hardcovers and the I-Can't-believe-it's-not-the-Justice-League Trades. The numbers are there for his manhuter 'appearances' as well as his Booster Gold story. Fans clamor for his return online. Hell, they even used Ted in a flashback episode of the Batman: brave and Bold cartoon. In these economic times, why would anyone deny a character who would clearly sell? BOOSTER GOLD has been on Diamon'd top 100 selling list since the titles launch. That should tell you that a similarly handled Ted Kord series would sell. Jaime Reyes' series was cancelled, leaving the tile BLUE BEETLE open for use.

    ::sigh::

    I just want my hero back.

    Heck, I have a sketchbook full of resurected heroes. Paul pelletier drew Sebastian Faust casting a spell over Ted's grave. Ethan Van Sciver drew Ted's REBIRTH.

    Yeah, BLACKEST NIGHT? A total rip-off of my con-sketchbook!

    Anyway, the end result. Ted's still dead. And Dan Didio is too nice a guy for me to resent over it.

    And me. I can say I went to bat for my hero.

    And Ted...I'm STILL pullin' for ya buddy.



    Last edited by SebastianPiccione; Thursday, March 05, 2009 at 07:10 PM.
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

    CAT. 5



  2. Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,678
    Post Thanks / Like

    Here is a picture of Dan Didio and myself, proving it is possible to like the guy who admits he likes your favorite character as a corpse!
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

    CAT. 5



  3. MattGrant Guest

    Great story! Ted would be proud of you! Seb, you're a true champion!

    And... of course... Nice pic!



  4. Dingo Guest

    So Seb, I'm a Blue Beetle virgin. What story should I read first?



  5. Dingo Guest

    *snip*

    Quote Originally Posted by SebastianPiccione View Post
    Done right, Ted Kord is one of the greatest examples of a hero.

    How, you ask? Well, he has NO powers. He does what he does because of a promise he made to Dan Garrett. He is selfless for its own sake. He could have walked away and said "forget it! I don't have scarab powers, so the deal's off," but he doesn't. He pursues what few avenues are available to him. he conditions his body as best he's able. He relies on gadgets he invents and his mind. He invents a non-lethal weapon, capable of taking down an opponent without causing any permanent or serious harm.

    Ted Kord is a mirror that Bruce Wayne doesn't like to look in, because Ted is everything Batman is, but retaining his humanity. batman is all drive and motivation. batman is REAL, while Bruce is the mask. EVERYTHING Batman does is to further his 'mission'. Ted is a rich, inventor, sleuth, is still a part of the society he protects, and that makes him MORE than Batman.
    Batman has stared into the abyss and become the abyss. Ted resists the abyss. Plain and simple.
    Sorry if this sounds like I'm being negative, I'm not meaning to be, I genuinely want to discuss this...

    Those aspects of Blue Beetle sound just like Nightwing to me. Nightwing has the benefits of being a Batman support character, making a compare/contrast with Batman more pertinent.

    What does he have that Nightwing doesn't have? What is his niche in the DCU that makes him a compelling and necessary character?



  6. Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,678
    Post Thanks / Like

    Matt, Thanks! For the comment and the shirts!

    Dingo, well, the tricky part is, they haven't released a trade for the Len Wein run, and the Charlton series is in a 75 ACTION HEROES hardcover.

    The good news is, if you hit EBAY, you should be able to find the Len Wein DC run for rather non-bank-busting prices. Heck, I bought original Ross Andru art pages from that series for about $20 a page!

    Otherwise, the 1st JLI trade came out this week (they are up to volume 3 in hardcover) and the second BOOSTER GOLD hardcover, BLUE & GOLD, shows Ted at some of his finest.

    Also, find the one shot COUNTDOWN TO INFINITE CRISIS, where Ted dies. Right up to the "Go to hell, Max" and the BLAMM! It has Ted being all that he can be. THey made a zillion printings, so you should be able to find a nice readers copy for not much more than $3.
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

    CAT. 5



  7. Dingo Guest

    I think I'll start with the JLI trade and see how I go. And I don't think I'll have a lot of drama tracking down the Countdown to Infinite Crisis one.

    Living in Australia, I find eBay can hit me with the postage though, so I'll wait and see how I like JLI before I look for the Len Wein stuff.
    Last edited by Dingo; Thursday, March 05, 2009 at 08:06 PM.



  8. Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,678
    Post Thanks / Like

    Sounds like a plan, Dingo. I thik you'll like JLI. It doesn't get overly silly till further in the series.
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

    CAT. 5



  9. spyhawk824 Guest

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh there's Seb fighting the good fight I'm proud of you bro .... If I was there I would have been right with you.... good job.



  10. Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,678
    Post Thanks / Like

    Thanks, Neil! It's good to know I'm not totally crazy as I continue to defend the life of a fictional character!

    Now, all I have to do is become an established writer, get hired by DC, and pitch BLUE BEETLE: REBORN everyday until somebody cracks! :cool::cool:

    Good thing I'm not depressed by a lack of realism!
    "Living Robert Venditti's Plan B!"

    CAT. 5



Page 1 of 2
1 2 LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Archive Forums (For Archive Purposes only): General Comics Discussion, Original Works, It's Clobberin' Time, Respect Threads, P'wned, General Chat, Beat Down, The Champagne Room (Mature), Marvel News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), DC News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), DC News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), Archie News UP TO April 2011 (See the latest news here), Comic Book Vitamins (See the latest columns here), Comics Are For People (See the latest columns here), Comics & Cinema (See the latest columns here), Comics Pro Prep (See the latest columns here), Bolts & Nuts (See the latest columns here), Seb-Standard (See the latest columns here), Webcomics You Should Be Reading (See the latest columns here), Development Hell (See the latest columns here), The Proving Grounds (See the latest columns here), Pixels Per Inch (See the latest columns here), Bargain Bin Gold (See the latest columns here), Dead Tuesday (See the latest columns here), Have You Considered... (See the latest columns here), Comic Book Vitamins (See the latest columns here)
Project Fanboy is now Fanboy Buzz.
Fanboy Buzz is home to Comic Book News, Comic Book Reviews, Comic Book Columns, Comic Book Forums and Comic Book Podcast
Check out some of our past podcast hosts doing podcasts at GonnaGeek.com. Sci-Fi, Tech, Gaming, Comics and More!