The Fall of the Blue Beetle! | Episode 08
Aired: January 23, 2009
Heroes: Batman, Blue Beetle Ted Kord, Blue Beetle Jaime Reyes, and Blue Beetle Dan Garrett
Supporting: Paco Tejas
Villains: Dr. Polaris, Squid Gang, and Jarvis Kord
Objects: Batmobile, Utility Belt, The Bug, BB Gun, Blue Beetle Scarab, and Super Androids
Places: Earth 23, Hub City and Science Island
Written By: Jim Krieg
Directed By: Brandon Vietti
Review By Yojimbo
"The Fall of the Blue Beetle!" was one of the best episodes for me this season. It was a super hero story that addresses two key features of a super hero, identity and choices. If that wasn't enough for you, there are three Blue Beetles and two Kords in the episode.
In addition to the execution of themes in the episode, another reoccurring theme also caught my eye for the same reason I enjoyed "Terror on Dinosaur Island!" so much. Any fan of Lost may understand what I'm talking about. Put at least one flawed character on an island hidden from the world and show us some flashbacks every couple of minutes.
The episode begins two years ago and Batman and Blue Beetle (Ted Kord) infiltrate a compound. You can definitely see two kindred spirits as the pair share thoughts about their arsenal of gadgets (high intensity pan chromatic strobes, faulty knockout pellet casings, and adjusting the wavelength on fluoride lasers). The overarching design of Batman: The Brave and the Bold is a light hearted take on Batman and his team ups. After watching Blue Beetle and Batman together, you get the idea of how Batman chooses allies who bring out the good in him. Otherwise, we'd have the dark and broody Dark Knight we've become accustomed to.
The amount of tie-ins was easy to ignore for new fans but reached out to the older ones and gave extra layers to the episode. A security guard reads a Mystery in Space comic book, Jaime Reyes retells the origin of Green Lantern Hal Jordan, Hub City and Kord Enterprises appear, Jarvis Kord is brought in as a villain who is traditionally tied to Ted Kord's origins, and the touching scene between Dan Garrett and Ted Kord is animated.
Returning to the themes of the episode, Jaime struggles with his identity as Blue Beetle and wonders if he chose or was chosen. In the end, he only wants to make the right choice, the choice a hero would make. An odd contrast was the insane Jarvis Kord who pretends to be his nephew, Ted Kord and envisions himself as ruler of the world. It was a rare time to see Batman choose to hide the truth from Jaime about Ted Kord's fate. It reminded me of "Robin's Reckoning" from Batman: The Animated Series. The fans forget how young heroes like Robin and Blue Beetle are and can they really deal with sacrifice at that age despite what oath they took in the first place? It also shines to the light heartedness of the show and how Batman does develop a fondness for certain allies.
"The Fall of the Blue Beetle!" was one of the best and one of my favorite episodes this season so far. It tells the tale of what a true hero should be prepared to do and how they come to that conviction.