Monday, January 26, 2009

Fall of the Blue Beetle!

Season: 1
Episode Number: 8
Season Episode Number: 8
Production Number: 108
Airdate: January 23, 2009

Writer: Jim Krieg
Director: Brandon Vietti

Voices: Diedrich Bader (Batman), Will Friedle (Blue Beetle), Wil Wheaton (Ted Kord, Jarvis Kord), Jason Marsden (Paco), Lex Lang (Dr. Polaris).

Plot: The Blue Beetle goes on a quest to find out why he was chosen to be the new Blue Beetle. The quest leads him to Science Island and history of the previous Blue Beetle, Ted Kord.

Review (Warning! Spoilers!): Since Brave and the Bold focuses on the Silver Age of DC Comics, it was a surprise when we saw the third and most modern Blue Beetle, Jamie Reyes, as the guest star in the premiere episode. Wouldn't have Ted Kord, the Blue Beetle from 1966 to 2005, been a better choice?

I believe that Jamie is the Blue Beetle in this series because they wanted to add a few more teen characters to what would otherwise be an entire adult cast of characters. Robin or Batgirl have always been a part of Batman on television because the studios believe that kids related better to a show when there are teen characters a part of the action.

Aquaman has Aqualad, Super Friends has the Wonder Twins, X-Men has Jubilee and Shadowcat and Superman has Jimmy Olsen. Teen Titans, Batman Beyond, X-Men: Evolution, and Spectacular Spider-Man are all popular shows with a teen cast.

Fall of the Blue Beetle uses Jamie Reyes as a way to give the fans what they wanted, an episode about Ted Kord voiced by Star Trek's Ensign Wesley Crusher, Wil Wheaton!

The teaser, which ties directly into the episode, and a big flashback in the middle tell the story of Batman's relationship with Ted. They are good friends with similar morals, skills and gadgets. They relate to each other, similar to the Blue Beetle's relationship with Booster Gold in the comics. There is some hilarious dialogue coming from the two as they escape death-defying traps together. My favourite line from Batman:

Uppercuts and bodyslams are no substitute for having the proper tools when it comes to crime fighting.

The origin is pretty true to Ted's comic books roots back when Blue Beetle was published by Charlton Comics, not DC in 1966. The story of Ted's Uncle Jarvis trying to exploit the scarab's power so that he can create an army of robots to take over the world is just like it is in the comics, however the ending is different.

In this episode, Ted sacrifices himself to stop his uncle from destroying the world. A heroic death for a character that never got the spotlight. This is a much better way to see the hero go than the unwhelming, non-heroic, cold death that Ted Kord was giving in the comics. Fans of the character may like this bit of rewritten history.

Fall of the Blue Beetle has a fantastic story. it is an episode not to be missed. Plus, there is even a cameo by the Golden Age Blue Beetle, Dan Garrett!

DVD Releases:
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Volume Two

  • Back to Episode Guide


    Rich said...

    Just a quick note -- isn't the Jarvis Kord in the cartoon supposed to be Ted's uncle, like in the comics? I'd have to watch again to be sure, but I think they kept that rather than making him a brother to Ted.

    Dominic said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Dominic said...

    I don't think the use of Jamie has anything to do with teen characters vs. adults or silver age vs. modern. I think DC wants to introduce the kiddies to as many new characters as possible so that they can sell them toys. After all, who's going to buy a B'wana Beast or Kamandi figure if they have no idea who they are? Why would you introduce the kids to two Blue Beetles when you can introduce them to three?

    This might sound like a complaint, but it's not. I'm totally buying three Blue Beetle figures if they make them. Heck, I'd buy a figure of the Blue Beetle form the Electric Company too if could.

    Kurtis said...

    Rich, thanks for pointing out that mistake. Jarvis is Ted's uncle. I have corrected the article.