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READ MY LIBRARY ENTRY 4: More Action Heroes Vol. 2! Blue Beetle #1 & the Question! Captain Atom vs. Firey Icer!

Max continues through Action Heroes Archives Vol. 2 and comes to a real gem: the first issue of Blue Beetle starring Ted Kord and the first appearance of the mysterious Question!  He also faces possibly the WORST issue of the Silver Age Captain Atom! Read all about it, if you dare!

Super-Fly Comics & Games’ plucky sidekick Max Lake has embarked on a journey to read his collection of DC & other comics! Join Max each week every Friday as he takes on his Library! Titles reviewed by this blog do not necessarily reflect what the store has in stock, but you can always email the store to special order something that you’ve seen here at superflycomics@gmail.com. You can also call Super-Fly at (937) 767-1445 or just ask someone at the store next time you’re there for special orders. You can read past entries of the blog here. Any questions or comments for Max should be sent to maxdlake@gmail.com or feel free to comment in the comments section below. Check out @maxdlake to follow Max on Twitter. The things Max writes do not necessarily reflect the views of Super-Fly Comics & Games, and Super-Fly Comics & Games is not responsible for what Max says—especially anything that bugs you.

 

ENTRY 4

Entry Written 1/10/12

Blue Beetle #1 featuring Beetle vs. the Squids and the Question's first appearance

Blue Beetle #1 and the first appearance of the Question! A landmark issue all around!

Made it to the first full issue of Blue Beetle! Blue Beetle takes on a gang of robbers in rubber suits called the Squids—you see, they have suction cups on their arms and uh, swim. This is a great tale with B.B. once again pulling his gun and once again not using it(!) and when this happens, Beetle thinks to himself that the bad guys are too spread out to use it. Seeing Beetle’s acrobatic fisticuffs is very reminiscent to Spider-Man, just Beetle flavored as he mixes it up with his ship. In one of the coolest panels, the Beetle ship rises from the sea with B.B. swinging out to catch the Squid leader. It seems how Ted became the Beetle might be revealed next time.

Blue Beetle closing in on the Squids' leader

Just. Awesome.

Then it’s onto the first appearance of the Question! Vic Sage is a hard hitting journalist working for the broadcast company WWB who’s not afraid to lash out at crime—or his viewers whose vices support it—on the air. All the other people at the TV station hate him, except the boss, Sam Starr, who applauds Sage’s backbone in his reporting. Not to mention, Sage also rubs his viewers the wrong way—especially the crooked ones.

Vic Sage, hard hitting reporter by day, Question by night!

Vic Sage doing the hard hitting reporting

Vic Sage gets mean mad at his viewing public

Vic’s not afraid to lash out at his viewing public…

Vic Sage warns crooks; he will get his man!

…or the local criminals!

Off the air, Vic fights crime as the Question, using a special mask that he can see and speak through but gives him the appearance of having no face. Using a special blend of chemicals and gas, the mask bonds to his face and his hair and clothes change color, giving him a new identity. While engaging in brutal fisticuffs, one thing Question does that I’ve never seen before is exude some kind of gas from his glove that the bad guys are immensely afraid of. The story ends with a WWB staffer being exposed and arrested as a crime boss, which of course, Vic gets on tape and broadcasts during the show. The hate from his co-workers runs thick while a mystery green gliding figure flies silently through the final panel.

The next issue of Captain Atom is lame, lame, lame. He fights a guy called, get this, Firey Icer, whose powers I will leave up to your imagination. Captain Atom looks like he’s totally dumbstruck on the cover, and he acts like it too. “What’s going on? Who are these characters? Where are the security guards?” he’s heard to say a couple times over.

Captain Atom 87 featuring the Firey Icer

Enter the Firey-Icer! Why what could his powers possibly be?!?

He is also weak, as his de-powering has left him without a fighting chance against most foes for more than five minutes, so Firey Icer kicks his ass. This time, the problem is solved by an electric generator that Atom absorbs the power from. Captain Atom’s hater journalist Abby Ladd has been kidnapped and he runs into her in the brink as a depowered Captain Adam. Of course, she thinks he is handsome as Adam.

Captain Atom can't catch a break

Captain Atom? More like Captain Clueless!

The best part of the story has to be when the letterer thought that Firey Icer was actually two people as Captain Atom fights some henchmen and says: “Musn’t waste too much time on these small fish! Have to find Firey, Icer and Abby!” Even Ditko’s art doesn’t save it as it is inked generously over by Rocke Mastroserio. Worst story yet, and there have been some stinkers. I think it’s killed my joy for reading for the rest of the night.

I hate to drag this book out, but it’s taking me time to get through it. Stay tuned!

Past entries of the Read My Library Blog

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