Blue Beetle: All you did was flip the tape over.
Marty: It’s a reintroduction. For my readers.
Blue Beetle: There you go assuming people read this again.
Marty: Gee, you are funny.
Blue Beetle: See?
Marty: Well, Mr. Laugh-a-Minute, it’s worth noting that you approached me for this interview. Did Aquaman tell you about me?
Blue Beetle: Aqua--? No. Oracle found your site and knew I was talking about clearing the air. She found it amusing that you got on Batman’s bad side so quickly, and she liked some interview you did with… Princess Powerstone, or something.
Blue Beetle: Excuse me?
Marty: Her name is Amethyst.
Blue Beetle: Oh yeah?
Blue Beetle: Is she, like, a pornstar or something?
Marty: So. That’s a no on Aquaman.
Blue Beetle: No. Aquaman doesn’t talk to our League.
Blue Beetle: Not if we paid him. And we offered. He showed up just long enough to deride us and swim away.
Marty: On Kooie Kooie Kooie?
Blue Beetle: That’s the one.
Marty: But, you’re all League Alumni.
Blue Beetle: (snort) You would think, but there are definite walls at League functions.
Blue Beetle: Sure. There’s the annual Summer Barbecue at some farm in Kansas, and the Christmas party which is usually on the Satellite. With few exceptions you could’ve painted lines through the room.
Marty: How so?
Blue Beetle: Well, the Satellite League doesn’t mingle with the Giffen League for the most part, and nobody talks to the Detroit League. Not even Aquaman, and they’re technically his League.
Marty: That’s a shame. So it’s like High School?
Blue Beetle: It’s not that bad, but it’s close. Like, Supes and Diana play host, so they make the rounds. J’onn has been in every League, so he can’t really be exclusive. Then you’ve got a few crossovers, like Ralph (Elongated Man) and Wally (Flash).
Marty: What about Batman?
Blue Beetle: Batman doesn’t come.
Marty: Of course.
Blue Beetle: I’ll be in Gotham if you need me.
Marty: Hey, that’s pretty good.
Blue Beetle: Everyone who’s ever lived in the shadow of the Bat has a Batman impression.
Marty: Who does it the best?
Blue Beetle: Tough call. Ralph lampoons him the best, but he has no talent for voices. Gardner nails the glower, as much as I hate to admit he does anything right. There’s too many to mention, and they’re all worth seeing.
Marty: What about Booster?
Blue Beetle: No. Booster’s is terrible, which is comedy in it’s own right. Black Canary does a better Bats than Booster.
Marty: That’s wild.
Blue Beetle: Believe it or not, Superman’s is probably the funniest.
Blue Beetle: Yeah, mostly b/c you don’t expect it from him.
Marty: I’ll say. He always seems like such a stick in the mud.
Blue Beetle: He’s not funny often, but when he is, well, he’s super funny.
Marty: Is there anything he can’t do?
Blue Beetle: Not really, no.
Marty: Is that as annoying as it sounds?
Blue Beetle: What?
Marty: That Superman is so… I dunno, super? Don’t you hate that?
Blue Beetle: He can probably hear you.
Marty: I… I hadn’t thought of that.
Blue Beetle: I would.
Marty: Well, it’s already out there. I admit it, I’m a hater.
Blue Beetle: Of Superman? How can you hate Superman?
Marty: I also hate Wolverine, Buster Bunny, Jack from Lost, and popular kids. It’s in my blood. I don’t like infallible.
Blue Beetle: Buster Bunny? From Tiny Toons?
Blue Beetle: That’s deep.
Blue Beetle: … but he’s Superman.
Marty: And that’s not annoying?
Blue Beetle: You know, some of the younger guys seem to hold some resentment. But not really, no. I mean, I’m originally from a different comics company, so when we got here we weren’t sure what the big deal was. That all goes away when you meet him.
Marty: Ugh, really?
Blue Beetle: Yeah. He’s a great guy.
Marty: So, he’s like Jesus? He knows when you’ve been bad or good, and he’s unbearably kind?
Blue Beetle: Isn’t that Santa?
Marty: Maybe. Which is more appropriate?
Blue Beetle: Probably neither, he’s just Superman. Over at Charlton we had my mentor Dan, and Captain Atom as our closest analogs, and –no disrespect meant—they don’t hold a candle to Big Blue.
Marty: That sucks.
Blue Beetle: Man, its Superman!
Marty: I remain unconvinced.
Blue Beetle: If you ever get a chance to meet him, you’ll see.
Marty: Yeah, yeah, I’m sure I’ll be wooed by his super charm. Jerk.
Blue Beetle: He can probably still hear you.
Marty: Right. So, moving on.
Blue Beetle: Sure.
Marty: You brought up something interesting there.
Blue Beetle: I didn’t mean to.
Marty: You’re not from DC comics.
Blue Beetle: Not originally. Charlston, representing.
Marty: You weren’t really brought in until the Crisis on Infinite Earths, right?
Blue Beetle: Yeah, it was a helluva foot to get off on.
Marty: Each Earth seemed to have a primary representative, and in the case of Charlton, that was you, right? That had to be huge.
Blue Beetle: It was a nightmare. A real cluster… screw. But yeah, that was me.
Marty: A nightmare? Well, I guess nothing of that size had ever been attempted, so there were probably all sorts of unique snags, right?
Blue Beetle: Oh, uhm, probably. I’ve heard that. But, no, we didn’t really have an established continuity or anything, so we avoided a lot of those problems, I think.
Marty: How was it a nightmare?
Blue Beetle: Boy, this is going back –and I’ll note that all of this is water under the bridge now. We had just recently been bought up by DC around that time. Right out of the gate we started talking to a young Alan Moore--
Marty: Oh, right, for Watchmen.
Blue Beetle: Yeah, maybe you’ve heard of it?
Marty: There you go being funny again.
Blue Beetle: I try. So, yeah, we’re going back and forth on this whole postmodern commentary on comics as a medium, etc. Everyone knows Watchmen by now, so I won’t rehash the details, but we were all excited about it. It was grown-up work. Pretty early in the process, DC changes their mind, and tapped us for the Crisis instead, which would bring us into the DCU proper.
Marty: I’ve heard that, I think that’s pretty widely distributed.
Blue Beetle: Well, what’s not so widely distributed is that Nate (Captain Atom) was pissed.
Blue Beetle: Beyond livid and out the other side. He saw it as getting jerked around. We were pulled off this high-profile book with this hot talent to be plopped into the middle of an untested ‘event’ book. He was certain it would sink our careers. Pause for ironic laughter.
Marty: How-so, ironic? They both go down in history for changing the industry in their own ways. Wouldn’t either have been good for you?
Blue Beetle: Sure, but consider Watchmen would’ve been the best written epitaph we could ever ask for; the Crisis let another twenty plus years of stories be told about us.
Marty: Heh, gotcha’. So Cap was going to be the Charlton guy?
Blue Beetle: Absolutely, he was our Superman. When Marv approached us about being in the Crisis, Nate told him where to go and what to do with himself when he got there. Evey (Nightshade) tried to reason with him, but Cap is a pretty intense guy –being career military and all. So, it fell to me.
Marty: Still, that had to be exciting, right?
Blue Beetle: Are you out of your mind? It was terrifying was what it was. You’ve got a scene in there where I’m sandwiched between Supermans –Supermen?-, Uncle Sam, Annie Lennox—er, Lady Quark, you know, you’ve got all these heavy hitters, and me. What am I doing there?
Marty: That’s a good question. I remember that scene, it was a little weird.
Blue Beetle: That’s because it’s absolutely supposed to be Cap, who can actually survive standing on a rock in space. It was a logistical nightmare.
Marty: Sounds like it.
Blue Beetle: I was Marv’s second choice, but that was only b/c he was confused. Get this. On my second day of shooting, he asks me to activate the Scarab.
Blue Beetle: Yeah, exactly. I didn’t even have it on me, the darn thing never worked for me. So I had to tell him as much, and you could just see the disappointment in his eyes. He recovered well enough, and suddenly the Monitor is pulling me out of the scene. Man, I was so sure I’d gotten us all canned. I mean, here we are, the new kids on the block and we’ve got Nate throwing a hissy fit, and I’m just some smartass in a flying bug. I really expected we’d find ourselves in the bargain bin marked: “As-Is”, “caveat emptor”. Or our Earth would suddenly be next on the Anti-Monitor’s list. Y’know?
Marty: Well, but it worked out, right? Here you are.
Blue Beetle: It did. It did. Patience prevailed. Nate “got it” by the end, and they kept us around.
Marty: Before we move on, do you have any good or favorite moments from the Crisis?
Blue Beetle: Geez, that’s tough. But, you know what? Sure. There’s a scene where it’s just Evey and me on a rooftop musing about the end of the world. It was a nice scene. Marv was great at bringing the universe ending Crisis down to a manageable level. I think some of that was missing from this latest Crisis. But it’s hard work ending universes.
Marty: Damn, I’m running out of tape again. I wanted to get more into your League days--
Blue Beetle: Fanboy.
Marty: I don’t deny it. But let’s skip ahead 20 years. Your thoughts on the new Blue Beetle?
Blue Beetle: Jaime? Jaime is a good kid. Very respectful. If people aren’t giving him a chance, they should.
Marty: Nice endorsement. So, the legacy endures?
Blue Beetle: Only time will tell, but I hope so. It’s in capable hands.
Marty: Keith’s capable hands that is. Was that a peace offering to the fans do you think?
Blue Beetle: I meant Jaime, but yeah, probably. At least to some degree. If you don’t like the idea of a new Blue Beetle, what if Giffen was involved?
Marty: Worked on me.
Blue Beetle: I hope it works on a lot of people.
Marty: Any thoughts on the recent reveal/rewrite: Scarab as space artifact?
Blue Beetle: NDA.
Blue Beetle: Yeah, I’ve done some consulting work, b/c Keith just likes writing me checks I think. I will say this. Leave it to Keith to take the path less taken. I mean, the original Hawkman was magic, then from space, then both. Short of some rough patches it’s made a lot of good storytelling opportunities. So don’t write it off just b/c you didn’t expect it.
Marty: Fair enough.
Blue Beetle: Personally, I like that they’re paying homage to both us old guys, but are beholden to neither. Let the young buck work.
Marty: Cool. And that’s all the time we have. Thanks a lot, man. This was a real thrill.
Blue Beetle: No problem. Once you stopped drooling it wasn’t so bad.
Marty: Sorry about that and that’s kind of you to say. Will you tell your friends about me?
Blue Beetle: None that have careers left to ruin.
Marty: You’re a riot.
Blue Beetle: That’s what they paid me for. No, but seriously, this was fun. I don’t know why Aquaman keeps talking trash about you.
Marty: But, I thought – (click).
Portions of this interview are paraphrased due to soda spillage. Mr. Henley made every attempt to represent the spirit of any given reply and in no way means to misrepresent Mr. Kord, Kord Industries, DC Comics, or Charlton Comics. He will make any retractions upon request of the above parties.