Beetle for the Cowl

January 18th, 2009 by | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

You ever read the Geoff Johns and Jeff Katz run of Booster Gold? It was pretty good stuff. The majority of it dealt with Booster’s personal quest to use time travel to save the life of the 2nd Blue Beetle and Booster’s 1st best friend, Ted Kord. Rip Hunter kept insisting to Booster that this was an impossibility and that it would mess up time something fierce. Booster didn’t listen and with the help of Dan Garrett, Jaime Reyes and the mysterious Black Beetle, saved Ted’s life.

Wouldn’t you know it, everything went wrong. This was all some kind of scheme by Mr. Mind and the present was reduced to Max Lord and his OMACs laying waste to almost all the superheroes. Ted saw that his death had a role in the grand scheme of things and seemingly killed himself in some kind of time travel clusterfuck with the use of Black Beetle’s scarab. Booster was broken up about it, but got over his failings with the help of Batman’s compassion.

Despite Ted’s redeath, we were given a happy ending. But wait… what’s this?

Hey! Ted’s alive after all! Johns himself said so. Good for Ted.

Not all good. What’s he going to do now? Ted Kord is supposed to be dead. Blue Beetle is supposed to be dead. He can’t go back to the blue and lighter blue. Even if you ignore there already being a Blue Beetle around (in a sadly cancelled series), an arc in Manhunter shows that Ted being alive would ruin Wonder Woman’s defense for killing Max Lord. It would make her look even worse in the public eye.

It’s a shame. A young guy like himself given a second chance. He’s rich, he’s brilliant, he’s a gadget wiz, he’s got his own secret hideout and you know he’s just raring to go back to fighting crime. Blame it on the economy, but sometimes a talented guy just can’t find a job.

Wait a minute… Wasn’t there a job opening this week?

(Note: the most badass thing about all of this is the way he’s discarding the gun)

Saaaaay… I heard about this. They’re having auditions for the next few months from what I gather.

Listen. I’m not saying they’re going to make Ted Kord the new Batman. I’m not saying that he’ll be a runner up. I’m not even saying he’ll get namedropped.

All I’m saying is that if I had it my way, he would be. I can’t think of a more perfect guy to take up the Batmantle. Who else could it be? Dick Grayson? Too simple. Tim Drake? Too young. Jason Todd? Bad idea. Jean-Paul Valley? Like they’re pulling that again.

Ted Kord died in Countdown to Infinite Crisis to paint how the DC Universe was getting darker. The big thing for the past couple years has been that Batman’s gotten too dark and needs to be just a little bit friendlier. Watch Batman: the Brave and the Bold, it works. To switch them out like that would work so well.

Then you look at character relationships. Batman has always been the closest hero to the Blue & Gold side of DC. He was their leader in the JLI. He accidentally brought upon the death of Ted thanks to Brother Eye. He’s the only hero to truly respect Booster Gold. He’s become a mentor to Jaime Reyes. On the other side, Ted Kord is in love with Barbara Gordon. Not only that, but Tim Drake looks up to him and wouldn’t put up too much of a fight to be his sidekick. These two superhero families live next door to each other.

If Batman has one disadvantage these days it’s that too many people know him for who he really is. So many other heroes, and even some villains, can call him Bruce to his face. For a character built on being mysterious, there’s no mystery left. Imagine a Batman that has even the superhero community confused. Instead of saying, “I ran into Batman the other day. Looks like Dick took over. Good for him,” they’d be unable to piece it together. After all, a dead man is playing the role of a dead man.

I think it would be a sensible way to both fill in the blank of Batman’s disappearance and rejuvenate a DC property. Sort of like DC’s version of having Danny Rand as Daredevil.

By the way, what the hell was with that panel at the very end of Booster Gold #1? The one where Batman’s leading a Giffen-esque version of the Justice League during Final Crisis with Martian Manhunter there and he tells Booster he has no choice but to join the team?

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20 comments to “Beetle for the Cowl”

  1. As someone who bought through all of their run on BG and got the trades to boot, this would be amazing.

  2. I love this idea. I miss Ted Kord.
    On a related note- I realize it’s several years too late, and probably nit-picky beyond all reason, but the Blue Beetle cowl was supposed to be bulletproof.

  3. @John Foley: And Max, knowing this, wouldn’t use armor-piercing rounds?

    @Gavok: You make a good case and I’d almost wish it were so, but I think DC’s going to go for the safe option. And since the only other “household names” attached to the Bat-franchise are Dick and Barbara, then I suspect Dick will end up in the cowl (no bad thing imo).

    Comic deaths are big news these days after all!

  4. Friggin. YES! That’s what I’m talking about! WOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    You know what I’m thinking. The Blue BeetleS comic. And also, Babs and Ted should give it another shot, since Dick is wandering around banging chicks in New York.

  5. Maybe Booster can use his time travel schtick to go back in time and beat up the DC editor who decided retconning Max Lord into a psychopath was a good idea…

  6. @LurkerWithout: You misspelled “Jean Loring”.

  7. They were going to do this, but now that a blogger has guessed it, they’ll make Hank Hall Batman instead.

  8. I thought that JLI stuff in Booster Gold was the JLI reunion during the Blue and Gold arc?

  9. @MarkPoa: The panel specifically says “The Final Crisis”.

  10. I thought Kord would end up being Owlman in the new Outsiders series.

  11. Wait, that’s supposed to be Ted? Why the villainous laugh?

  12. That’s not a villainous laugh. That’s just how Ted laughed during the Giffen JLI days.

  13. Fuck you, Gavok. Now I’m going to be disappointed no matter what. Even if Bruce Wayne remains Batman, even if Grant Morrison ends up becoming Batman, even if DC starts paying me likeness rights in order to write ME into being Batman, I will still be disappointed.

    At the very least, someone better do an Elseworlds of this.

  14. Awesome theory. I had totally forgotten about that epilogue.

  15. you should write for DC…

    that is just a brilliant Idea

  16. […] In honor of the release of Final Crisis #7, which finally deflated my three-year-old theory that Batman would become the Spectre, I give to you another theory: 4thletter: Beetle for the Cowl. […]

  17. Holy crap, that would be so awesome.

  18. I love you. Best idea ever.

  19. […] is Rip Hunter’s mother, which he said no, but a good guess. I began explaining my harebrained “Ted Kord is the next Batman” theory to Mr. Katz and he surprised me with the revelation that he himself has read that very […]

  20. […] spite of an incredibly decent theory over on 4th Letter, the odds of Ted Kord reappearing in such a high profile position just don’t seem that […]