Tilly Stratford (tilly_stratford) wrote,
Tilly Stratford
tilly_stratford

Down the rabbit hole, with images

It began when I started reading this series:

Booster_Gold_v.2_1B
(Fun, clever and occasionally heart-rending.)

It was rather continuity heavy (seeing as the plot largely concerned Booster time-traveling through the DC universe setting things right) but nothing I couldn't wing with an occasional peek at Wikipedia. It was a bigger obstacle figuring out its jumping-on-point when I hadn't read 52, which the entire series was a direct continuation of (notice the issue title!).

And so...



I started reading that.

52_7
(Absolutely brilliant)

And then I was fine, because 52, as it went on, got to become fairly self-contained (it was originally just going to explain what the characters of the DC universe did between the end of Infinite Crisis and the beginning of One Year Later, but took on a life of its own). I was satisfied.

I started reading Booster Gold again.

308px-Booster_Gold_Vol_2_0
(Still pretty great.)

Until I reached the arc where Booster goes back in time to meet up with Ted "Blue Beetle" Kord to prevent his murder. I realized I didn't know anything about Ted's murder beyond who did it.

So I went back and read the comic where the murder took place (which was quite an event at the time):

tumblr_mqws404Jl81qcb5c7o1_r1_500
(Dark, heartbreaking and infuriatingly well-written).

It was very upsetting for a Ted fan like me, and made me CRAZY MAD at Batman (and pretty much the entire Justice League). I needed to know if Batman (and the JL) ever had to deal with the consequences of their actions! Of course, Ted was killed in Countdown to Infinite Crisis, and Infinite Crisis was a massive company-wide crossover, so I carefully picked my way through it to find specifically how the fallout affected Batman:

306px-Omac_Project_2
(Middling to fair.)

I only got madder realizing Infinite Crisis seemed to mostly be about killing off the former members of Justice League International. Furthermore the only "consequences" Batman seemed to face for his part in Ted's death was Booster yelling at him for two panels before Superman intervened (Superman: "Blame will be laid later." Booster: "Who're you kidding, no it won't.")

MAYBE if I read more Infinite Crisis comics I would find some closure.

311px-Infinite_Crisis_5B(
Cheap melodrama.)

By the way, finding a good chronology of issues for the entirety of IC is impossible! I'm, like, halfway through four IC crossover miniseries and they're all so bad.

Villains_United_1
(Except this one which seems promising so far.)

Also, IC featured several Blue Beetle villains I'd never heard about before, not to mention it started getting pretty traumatic encountering yet another panel of Ted's brains splattered on the floor every sixth page, so I went even further back, to the eighties:

318px-Blue_Beetle_Vol_1_23
(Bad to mediocre, with way too many subplots.)

It gave me a new appreciation of Countdown to Infinite Crisis, which subtly references important moments of Ted's crimefighting career. Of course, the Blue Beetle eighties comics (known as vol 1) weren't the first comics featuring Ted Kord, they were instead the first comics DC made about him after they purchased him (and a handful other superheroes) from a rival company, Charlton Comics.

Which means once I've finished the eighties' series I'm pretty sure I'm going to head even further back, to the sixties:

316px-Blue_Beetle_(Charlton)_Vol_4_3


And that's where we're at right now. I've yet to finish all of Infinite Crisis, Blue Beetle vol 1, and not to mention Booster Gold vol 2.

When it comes to cape comics I kinda both love and hate the convoluted continuity -- it's so different from the other comics I read. I like how all the characters are connected in some way, even if they've hardly met.

It's actually the only way I can really appreciate DC's heaviest hitter (pun unintended), Superman. I'm loathe to pick up a comic where he's the main character, but I absolutely love seeing him through other characters' eyes.

And while tracking the continuity of these two characters (Beetle and Booster) is hard (Booster debuted in eighties for chrissakes, it's not that long ago), I comfort myself with the knowledge that it's not as complicated as, say, Cyclops or Wolverine.
Tags: comics: blue and/or gold, geekery, graphic novels/comics/whatever
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