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Justice League Unlimited #5
Justice League Unlimited (comic)
Title: "Monitor Duty"
Original Release: Jan 2005
DC Kids Release: apr 2006
Cover: Ben Caldwell
Writer: Adam Beechen
Penciller: Carlos Barberi
Letters: Phil Balsman
Colors: Heroic Age
Editor:Tom Palmer Jr.
Asst. Editor:Jeanine Schaeffer
Production Order
Justice League Unlimited #4
Justice League Unlimited #6
Canonicity: non-canon

Blue Beetle is all ready to enjoy a relaxing night of monitor duty at the Watchtower, but when chaos erupts across the globe, he realizes he’s the only team member on call. Yikes!





It’s monitor duty night for Blue Beetle, but he’s bored stiff. He spends most of his shift tries to find ways to pass the time, doing everything from counting the buttons on the monitor console, to raiding the fridge, to perhaps most notably, listening the Flash talk about his day. A couple hours later (it seems like the Flash had quite a bit to talk about), Beetle hears a disturbance at the Watchtower: The General, returning from deep space. (It should be noted that he implies that he had been thrown into the depths in a previous Justice League mission.) The General proceeds to attack Blue Beetle, who is forced to flee from the overwhelming brute strength that the villain has. The General even manages to knock out Green Lantern, who had come to the Watchtower to relieve Beetle of his shift.

Blue Beetle realizes that since he can’t beat the General directly, he needs to outsmart him, and goes back to the utility closet where he finds some of Green Arrow’s trick arrows. He takes some flare and screamer arrows and proceeds to fry the General’s brain.

Green Lantern has since recovered and is preparing to take the General into even deeper space. When he asks on how Blue Beetle stopped him, Beetle can simply respond that monitor duty gives him time to think over some new strategies, and he proceeds to go right back to relaxing at the monitor console.

Continuity References[]

This is the first appearance of Blue Beetle in any sort of DCAU-related story. Blue Beetle was one of the noteworthy absences from the JLU roster on the show, and couldn’t appear due to rights issues involving his radio show from decades earlier. He is allowed to appear in the comics, however, and writer Adam Beechen takes full advantage of it, using the trademark lighter personality Blue Beetle has.

The General looks different from his counterpart on the episode “Patriot Act”, but since this issue was published more than a year before the episode aired, the creative team can be forgiven for the discrepancy. The previous battle that he mentioned (where he got sent into space) was a reference to a story from the “JLA” comic published by DC. If one is that concerned about continuity, you can always pretend this issue (and the battle where he got put into outer space) takes place after that episode.

Fashion Sense[]

  • Other than the General looking different, as previously mentioned, nothing noteworthy. The Blue Beetle design looks on-model, and could fit right into the show if he were allowed in. Kudos to the art team for that.
  • Blue Beetle tries on a few outfits owned by other League members…


My favorite issue of the JLU comic, hands down. Perhaps this is because this is one of the few times where the lighter tone of the comics really does work well, but I loved how Beetle went about his night shift. The whole issue was well-written, and any fan of Beetle simply must pick this up!

The art is also great. In addition to Beechen’s writing, the art by Barberi and Wong is probably the best yet in the series. No one looks off-model or atrocious, and this actually feels like a real episode of JLU. Heroic Age also did a nice job with the colors. Even Caldwell’s cartoony cover art doesn’t seem so jarring this time around.

I’m giving this one an A+.

Notable for[]

  • “Animated” Blue Beetle. He reappears many other times after this.
  • the General’s first appearance, although again, the issue was made well before Patriot Act aired. See the notes above.