Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Blue Beetle #8 Review and *SPOILERS*



El Paso's A Scary-Ass Place


Written By: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Scott Kolins, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Josh Reed
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: April 26, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

The biggest problem that this series has faced.......... you know, besides for throwing all the continuity we had going from the New 52 away, is that the dialog has felt off and even came across like watching a Gilmore Girls episode while they were on speed.  No one had any real time to talk because the other person in the panel was always interrupting with little quips and jabs at the original person speaking and it went back and forth like this to the point where I wanted to pull my damn hair out.  Yeah, there's been other problems too, but hopefully with J.M. DeMatteis taking over script duties on this title, the dialog won't be the biggest anymore.  When we last left this series, Jaime had the scarab ripped from his back and Ted and him escaped the battle between Doctor Fate and the monster-ed up scarab before the power of that battle could unleash the big bad of this arc, Arion, who's been trapped in a prison beneath El Paso for thousands of years.  Let's jump into this issue and see if Arion has mellowed since Doctor Fate imprisoned him all those years ago or if Jaime losing his powers at this point is the worst thing to ever happen to this Texas city.  Let's check it out.



Explain It!:

Our issue begins with Teri and Ted giving Jaime a little once over with his med lab machines to make sure that he's okay after having the scarab ripped from him....... and you know what?   He's fine.  That's right, even though we were told that the scarab was mutating his skeletal structure and moving throughout Jaime's body, it turns out that none of that mattered at all because Jaime's fit as a fiddle and with that, his mother plans on simply taking him home so that the Reyes' can be a family again.  You know who's not fine though?   Doctor Fate.  It seems that even though Doctor Fate had power to imprison Arion all those centuries ago, now with Arion collecting the scarab and all the power of the battle that released him, the good Doctor is no longer a match for the baddie.......... and even seems to be taken out completely here when Arion severs the Helm of Fate's connection to Kent Nelson back at the Tower of Fate.


Things aren't looking much better on the streets of El Paso either because as Jaime and his mother Blanca are driving home, Jaime sees his friend Kevin Kho (who was briefly mentioned a couple issues ago) walking down the street, seeming to be hurt.  It's crazy having Kevin show up in this issue and also having King Shark show up in Teen Titans this week because besides for seeing a brief adventure with OMAC towards the end of the Justice League United series, we haven't seen Kevin (OMAC) or King Shark since they both fell into Amanda Waller's interdimensional portal, also known as "The Toilet".  Kevin's here though and he's freaking the fuck out because something is after him and he won't stop freaking out long enough for Jaime or Blanca to help him before we get to see that Arion's bug army is after him and now that Jaime has lost his power, he isn't much help in the fight.


In the end, Jaime's mother becomes a monster out of nowhere because of the magic that Arion is pulsing out into the city and Kevin against his wishes is turned into OMAC by Brother Eye and the two almost have themselves a tussle after they're done with the Horde, but thankfully no one is hurt because Jaime believes that OMAC recognized him.......... which he should because back in the New 52, OMAC and Blue Beetle were both accepted into the Justice League International before OMAC flipped out and teleported Jaime to the other side of the Universe, where he was forced to participate in a Running Man type game show and even though Keith Giffen wrote that series called "Threshold", we get none of that here and our issue ends with Jaime doing the only thing he can think of and that's borrowing Ted Kord's old costume so that he can go back down into the caverns beneath El Paso and put a stop to Arion's doings.


That's it for this issue of Blue Beetle and I'll tell ya, the dialog wasn't bad this issue.  Yeah, we still had some of the odd back and forth we've come to know from this title, but all in all it wasn't bad and the thing that ended up disappointing me the most was losing the connection that we had to the New 52 because we could have had this great story between Jaime Reyes and Kevin Kho because of how OMAC screwed Blue Beetle over in the final issue of JLI.  Sadly, that seems to be all gone, but hey........ We get OMAC back and who doesn't love seeing "OMACtivate"?  The art was decent and I got a hell of a smile on my face when at the end Jaime put on Ted's classic Blue Beetle costume....... Yeah, it doesn't make much sense for Jaime to go back down in the caverns wearing it because he has no training in how to deal with monsters without his powers, but it was still fun and I want to see more of what we got here going forward.

Bits and Pieces:

While we lose some great interactions and possible stories from a character introduction here because of the New 52 Blue Beetle being completely omitted from continuity, I have to say that I really enjoyed this issue more than I have previous one now that J.M. DeMatteis is on script duty.  The art was decent as always and we're left with a cliffhanger that just screams fun and gets me to want to see more of this arc.

6.5/10
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