Thursday, May 14, 2015

Convergence: Blue Beetle #1

Whoopee! I don't have to go two months without Scott Lobdell!

I have never before read a Dan Garrett Blue Beetle comic book (unless I read one in one of those Secret Origins comics DC likes to publish every few years) but I guarantee that this will be the worst one I'll ever read in my life! That's a fact!

No, no! I shouldn't allow Lobdell's previous New 52 train wrecks on the Teen Titans and Superman and Red Hood to bias my reading of this comic book. The whole point of Convergence is to give us all a chance to start over with a slate already muddied and fucked-up by old DC continuity! And I, for one, will not spoil my chance to be reborn! This is Scott Lobdell's day to shine! This is the day that I will laugh at his stupid fucking jokes! I will marvel at his meta-textual use of the word "meta-textual!" I will not read this while constantly thinking, "This is not a Blue Beetle story. This is a story of a protagonist that can be switched with any other hero in the DC Universe and still work! If by 'work' I mean 'not really make a whole lot of sense but is still kind of story-shaped.'"

This issue takes place on Earth-4 in Hub City! And their opponents? The Legion of Super-heroes from 31st Century Metropolis! Is that why Lobdell got the gig? Because he'll be writing teenagers? Who in the comic book field still thinks Scott Lobdell is good at writing teenagers? I think the only people that buy into his teenage characters are below average intelligence thirteen year old boys! No offense, below average intelligence thirteen year old boys!

If there is one demographic that needs more putting down, it's below average intelligence thirteen year old boys! Stop showing your dick to your classmates and read the fucking text book, kid! I get it! School is bullshit! What an observation! Guess what else is bullshit? Your future! Har!

I hope no below average intelligence thirteen year old boys figure out where I live because they can probably beat the crap out of me.

That one in green and yellow stripes isn't a man! I bet they're not all mad either!

Vic Sage doesn't ask one question during his report. I bet since the dome fell, he hasn't been able to ask a single question! He finally stopped ruining every dinner by shouting, "Who am I? Who am I? Who am I?!"

The Madmen have decided to reenact Les Miserables right in the middle of the street and the national guard is not happy about it. Their rendition of "A Little Fall of Rain" was toneless and lacked any sense of heartbreak. "Master of the House" seemed to be played just to emphasize the swearing and the dirty bits. "Empty Chairs at Empty Tables" was upbeat and set to a ragtime tune! It was just a complete travesty and the city just wasn't going to stand it any longer. If only The Question could have reprised his role as Jean Valjean but, alas, his ability to ask that one pertinent question went out with the dome.

The Madmen find the critique harsh and disrespectful, leaving them only one choice.

Maybe the national guard would prefer Godspell?

Nathaniel Adam was the guy who yelled fire. You probably know him better as Captain Atom. Get it? His name is Adam and he's a captain! Vic Sage is the Question and he's a reporter with lots and lots of questions he wants answered! And they're both friends with Ted Kord who is the Blue Beetle. I'm surprised Ted Kord gets to be the Blue Beetle but since I really don't know the history of the Charlton Comics, I probably shouldn't be surprised by anything I read. Or everything, actually! One of those. What I'm trying to say is I'm completely ignorant!

Ted Kord has been busy building, according to his assistant Tracy, "another big expensive nothing-burger." That's snappy clever dialogue that will catch on with all the kids! Unless it already caught on with the kids? Is that something the kids say? Or is that something Scott Lobdell thinks the kids say? I wouldn't know because I say things that come out of my own brain instead of totes using things everybody is already saying. I mean, I can't even. You know what I mean, guys?

This is typical Scott Lobdell dialogue. He thinks he's being clever by twisting an old saying but he just winds up writing dialogue that doesn't make sense. So visionary people do the same thing over and over again and expect different results? Sounds about wrong.

Nat Adams pays Ted Kord a visit. Luckily Kord works on his machines with the news broadcasting on a television in his work space so he can point at the news reporter saying "Massacre at the Barricade!" at just the right moment.

Ted: "You're murdering people, you murderer!"
Nat: "I'm keeping the peace through murder! The people want murder! I mean peace! Via murder!"
Ted: "I'm trying to save everybody from the dome!"
Nat: "I'm saving them with murder!"
Tracy: "You guys need to hug and make up! No amount of murders should ruin a friendship!"

Ted and Nat make up because Ted wants to shoot his laser and Nat wants to feel regret for the murders he committed but that would probably take too many pages so he spends one panel remembering them and then everybody moves past the fact that he murdered a bunch of unhappy poor people.

Ted blasts the dome with a laser and Captain Atom gets his powers back! And his ridiculous fucking costume. Can I blame that on Scott Lobdell too? Please?!

What the fuck, you asshole? You couldn't fly through the big fucking hole in the roof that you just saw the lights through?! I'm more angry at this vandalism than the murders!

The light is being caused by Dr. Spectro because he got his powers back as well.

Let me tell you a little something about Scott Lobdell: he doesn't understand rules. Maybe he couldn't come up with a story that didn't revolve around the superpowered Charlton characters so he came up with this cheat about Ted Kord cracking the dome. Then he probably whined and moaned that it's actually a good character moment because out of all the characters in the DC Universe, which one of them would have the ability to crack the dome even slightly? I mean besides all the ones you'd think of before Ted Kord. Get to Ted Kord already and agree with Scott. But this isn't the only proof of Lobdell not being able to play the game that editorial sets up. Remember Flashpoint? Remember how there was no time travel? Remember who brought fucking Harvest in from the future via time travel? Yep! Scott Lobdell! I think. Maybe it was DeFalco.

Anyway, now the dome is up but a bunch of people with super powers are flying around the city.

Fuck, I hate myself. Now I'm tempted to go back and delete my previous lines about being surprised.

This next panel is a real doozy!

This is one of those stupid jokes he would have wedged into any of his comic books.

First, this comic book should be taking place in a time when the phrase "honest injun" probably wasn't a big deal. Second, Nathaniel Adam is a military man and would hardly care about correcting a villain using an insulting term. Third, Nathaniel Adam was just responsible for murdering a dozen poor people in the streets of Hub City so it seems a little hypocritical to be correcting somebody's use of an offensive phrases.

As Cap and Doc bicker about niceties, some Booster Gold motherfucker appears and asks where he might be. My guess is that it really is Booster Gold because his penis needs to have a good time with Blue Beetle's puckered ass. He must have come from an alternate future reality because remember how Scott Lobdell doesn't remember how those things work and how this dome is out of space and time?

I hope whoever is writing the Booster Gold book isn't somebody whose writing I like because I'm probably going to hate that book too if it's crossing over with this one.

Booster Gold disappears and everybody loses their powers. So maybe Blue Beetle's machine did something other than crack the dome. And whatever it did probably makes sense in a way that will make me feel like an asshole for picking apart the story.

No, it won't. I'll be fine.

Telos arrives and tells everybody about that battling deal. Cap gets his power back and Doctor Spectro probably would get his back if he hadn't shattered every bone in his body falling from the sky when he lost his powers earlier. The Question arrives and they all pack into the Beetle's Bug as the dome disappears. Next issue, more shitty writing! Also a battle against the Legion of Super-heroes!

Convergence: Blue Beetle #1 Rating: Suckity suck. Some people might be charmed by dialogue like "I suspect Telos is an unreliable narrator" or "I accomplished nothing--nothing!" or "the last thing we need right now is your transcendental nihilistic dime store crap" or "why would I possibly care about offending anyone?" or "this is frustrating." But I see it as Scott Lobdell sprinkling his story with unconscious moments where he's openly talking about his own writing. Poor guy. Maybe one day he'll work through his low self-esteem and hit one out of the ballpark!

1 comment:

  1. I actually own this one, guilty as charged. Scott Lobdell wrote this? Explains a lot as I honestly think I skipped seeing his name on the credits and just bought 'cause I'm a sucker for the Charlton Comic characters. Good art though.