Trade Perspectives: Who Would You Rather Have as Blue Beetle?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who would you rather have as Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes or Ted Kord?

And if you answer Jaime Reyes, doesn't that mean that ultimately DC did the right thing in killing off Ted Kord, so as to make way for a fresh interpretation of the character?

(I ask because, given Jaime's inclusion in the upcoming Brave and the Bold television show, I wonder if there's still a contingent out there with sore feelings about the death of Ted Kord, or whether Jaime's popularity has been enough to sweep that under the rug.)

Just curious.
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11 comments:

  1. Who Would You Rather Have as Green Lantern?

    You're arguing a false dichotomy. A preference for one character doesn't imply that you want every other character with the same name and color scheme to be dead.

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  2. Interesting point, but I think that's open to debate. The Green Lantern mythos lends itself to having multiple Green Lanterns operating at once. We have multiple Flashes, but except for the past few years they didn't really operate at once themselves -- Barry was Flash after Jay retired, and Wally was Flash after Barry died.

    As a point of debate (which is really all this is, just a thought experiment) could you really see Ted and Jaime both operating as Blue Beetle at the same time? I don't think it makes Jaime as strong a character -- I think Ted Kord necessarily has to be dead for Jaime to be Blue Beetle.

    You?

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  3. Ted Kord was never even powered by the scarab in the first place. They have no more in common than Earth-1 and Earth-2 Flash or Green Lantern. They could easily operate in separate geographic areas and just happen to have the same name. There'd be name confusion if they both had solo titles at the same time, but Kord's best in a team context in any event.
    They're both successors in a sense to the first Beetle, but they're in such different directions that I can envision no conflict whatsoever in them coexisting beyond naming conventions. If they had different names there'd be no thought of redundancy whatsoever.

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  4. I'm inclined to agree with Anon. If Ted had stuck around to have time-travel adventures with Booster (or, alternatively, never died and stayed with the JLA) while Jaime patrolled El Paso and ran with the Teen Titans, that would have been fine. They didn't have to shared the scarab, after all, and Ted as mentor could be great. See Wildcat and his son Wildcat in JSA, for example.

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  5. Except ... I don't know. I think Team Arrow is kind of a stretch as is; you know there's a writer who'd want to write a Beetle-family team-up, and it just strikes me as too much Beetle-mania.

    I don't necessarily see Ted as a mentor; he'd like Jaime, sure, but making Ted a mentor in a way puts him in the same generation as Jay Garrick, when really Ted's one of Wally West's contemporaries.

    Interesting that no one's willing to take a stand on this -- personally, I wasn't ever a big Hal Jordan fan, but I did start reading Green Lantern with Kyle Rayner. Has Jaime brought anyone to Blue Beetle when before they (perish the thought) didn't like Ted Kord?

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  6. I have no stake in specific Blue Beetles, but I have to agree with anonymous. Not only is it a false dichotomy, but even if you do decide that you can only have one character with the name active at a time, that doesn't follow that the others have to be dead.

    Ted could get depressed and give up heroing.

    He could lose all his gadgets and not be able to replace them.

    He could retire and focus on business.

    etc.

    Killing him makes him a martyr, but it's not a necessary step in setting up a new Blue Beetle.

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  7. I think the question (as I've been thinking about it) was not "Could Ted Kord and Jaime Reyes co-exist?" but rather: given that the death of Ted Kord spawned the popular Jaime Reyes -- that is, DC killed off Ted Kord and then introduced Jaime Reyes, and they indeed don't coexist -- is Jaime Reyes existence as a character worth to you the death of the Ted Kord character?

    Put another way, are you happy enough with Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle that it makes up for the death of Ted Kord, or not so much?

    You could again go the "coexistence" route, that having Jaime Reyes as Blue Beetle doesn't mean Ted Kord couldn't be also, but I think I'm asking something slightly different (even if I'm not articulating it 100%).

    Thanks all for thinking along with me!

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  8. I think Jaime Reyes is a brilliant character but he could have been created without killing Ted Kord.

    I thought Beetle's death story was one of the best ever in comics. Well written, and made you really feel for this guy who knew he wasn't as respected as he probably should have been, but never gave up on doing what he had to do.

    That said, Ted Kord's death would have meant more if Infinite Crisis had paid off better. It started off brilliantly but faded towards the home stretch.

    I like Jaime Reyes now, but I still miss Ted Kord.

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  9. Not many would say that Ted Kord's death was one of the best handled in comics (though I did find it pretty moving myself). Thanks for chiming in.

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  10. I like Jaime ok, but liked Ted alot.

    That said, I liked Ted's death and what surrounded it. Particularly how humbling it was for some of the big names that ignored him at the end.

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  11. I agree; that Ted's death continues to resonate with other characters makes it more than just a throw-away event.

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