Hey, hey. How’s it going?
So there’s talk of a Blue Beetle live-action TV series. I don’t know if it’ll happen, but I’m not sure I’m for it. I love the new Blue Beetle for so many reasons, and I just have a hard time imagining they’d do him justice. Especially since they’re apparently hoping to make him a replacement for Smallville. One of those things I loved about BB is that the comic sidesteps a lot of the teen angst and dares to treat all of its characters as if they were sensible human beings instead of whiny self-centered dummies.
Add to this that the new BB is Hispanic and that much of his supporting cast is as well and that the comic actually takes place in El Paso, Texas . . . well . . . there’s just no way I can’t see all of that changing. And while the soul of the character might not be in his ethnicity or his home city, I just don’t know if I can take another ethnic whitewashing in the name of making something more “mainstream”.
It just seems like this can go wrong in about a hundred different ways.
But there is a bright side. A crappy Blue Beetle TV series, even if it was a failure and quickly canceled, would give Jaime Reyes a little bit more exposure and give him a little life insurance in the cutthroat world of DC Comics where secondary characters are eagerly offered up as blood sacrifices to establish a villains…uh…villainy. So a series might just give DC the encouragement to keep the character from fading into obscurity.
That’s what’s annoying about modern comics. A handful of characters dominate the stories while everyone else is disposable. For DC, it’s Batman and Superman. (Really, it’s just Batman, although Superman as an icon is commercial enough to justify keeping him around. Same goes for Wonder Woman.) For Marvel, it’s Spider-Man and Wolverine. That’s pretty much it. If you like those guys, you’re in luck. If you think they’re overexposed…well, you’re right. They are. But there’s really not much to be done about it.
And so we go back to sequels, and why I dislike them. You really don’t have to look much further than comic books, where an industry in steady decline, desperate to hold onto an audience, has found itself trapped in creative stagnation. They continue to throw the same characters forward at the expense of developing any others. While it’s hard to criticize what they’re doing because that’s “what the audience wants”, it’s also hard to stand by and watch so many interesting characters thrown aside because they won’t sell as many comics as well-established heroes.
But how can the comic industry break out of this cycle if it doesn’t take a chance, if it isn’t willing to develop less popular characters into commercially viable possibilities. That’s something everyone tends to forget.
Wolverine started out as a throwaway Hulk foe. Nowadays, he’d be dead by his third appearance.
No one thought Spider-Man was going to be a success. His first appearance was shoved into the back of the last issue of a canceled comic book.
The Fantastic Four were only created because Marvel, adrift for ideas, decided to invent a new kind of superhero team.
I’ll admit that my publishing career has been slower to develop than if I’d just latched onto a series and made it my thing. But I’ve actually done pretty good with some Hollywood stuff, and I’d like to think that I’m forgoing short term gains for long term gains. Who knows? Maybe I’m wrong. Time will tell.
If you asked me why I do this, I could give you a lot of reasons for it. But you really don’t care about those, do you?
But if you really want to know why, it’s because of Blue Beetle. Or Quasar. Or Tigra. Or Gravity. Or the Vision. Or any of a dozen other characters that I love that languish in obscurity. Take your pick. I’ve got dozens of them, really. And, maybe, so do you.
Fighting the good fight, Writing the good write,