Awesome story by Joe Haldeman! He seems to be obsessed with the long journey and with vast stretches of time, and I love it. This story was great because it had a political dispute that managed to stay interesting and didn’t weigh the story down, and a post-apocalypse that played only an incidental role. Also it was just plain fun. Good stuff!
Just to let non-comics folk know, the Blue Beetle is still around and probably better than he ever was. Currently owned by DC Comics, he’s run around with the Justice League for the past couple of decades and with Batman on The Brave and The Bold on TV. The character was also the jumping off point for Alan Moore’s Nite Owl II in Watchmen.
Kind of. The radio show is based on the Golden Age Blue Beetle, who is clearly the inspiration for the first Nite Owl. There have then been three more Blue Beetle characters, and the current holder of the name, while an entertaining enough character, has nothing at all to do with the radio show version.