Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Blue Beetle #9 Review and *SPOILERS*

Half Cocked, But Fully Loaded

Written By: Keith Giffen, J.M. DeMatteis
Art By: Scott Kolins, Romulo Fajardo Jr., Josh Reed
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 24, 2017

*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*

Blue Beetle has been a strange title for me to read because it was something that I begged and begged the comic book gods to bestow upon me...... pretty much right after the last series was cancelled in the New 52, but now that I've finally gotten it....... I can't say that I've really enjoyed it at all.  With that being said, I will tell you that I have a bit of renewed faith in the series now that J.M. DeMatteis is on script because he's been a writer that I've enjoyed for years and also, I'm looking for anything I can get right now that might change this series for the better.  In our previous issue, we saw the power of Arion begin to take over El Paso and that power manifested in the form of the townspeople transforming into the insect looking Horde army of the ancient Atlantean Sorcerer.  Yeah, that included Jaime's mother too, but it might not be all bad........... Well, it might, but what I'm getting at is, we saw Kevin Kho show up and turn into OMAC when the Horde started attacking so yeah, we might have OMAC go and kill everyone before Arion does or we might just get the bruiser helping our hero as he takes the fight to Arion so that he can save his town.  Only problem there, he's sans scarab right now and has dawned Ted Kord's old costume to fight.......... which he has no training with.  Let's jump into this issue and see how our heroes plan on winning the day.  Let's check it out.

Explain It!:

Our issue begins with Jaime getting a crash course on how to be a superhero without powers and man do I mean "crash".  Yeah, Jaime's not too agile........ or coordinated, but hopefully the small bit of training he did gave him enough knowledge to keep himself alive when he gets to a real fight........ Which will be sooner rather than later because it's here that we finally see it spelled out completely that Teri (Ted's assistant) is a speedster and in case you don't know, her and Tina are from the Justice League 3000 and 3001 series, where Teri was The Flash and Tina was Batgirl.  So anyway, Teri rushes Jaime off so that they can go find OMAC and hopefully get some brute strength on their side of this fight, since in the previous issue Jaime believed that the monster recognized him and thankfully he was right because with the slight twinge in Kevin's psyche when Jaime confronted him, Brother Eye goes with Jaime's plan to stop Arion because it's curious to see what happens and because two colossal sorcerers like Doctor Fate and Arion fighting may screw up Brother Eye's plan of creating the Future's End world.  

So yeah, we've got Jaime Reyes, Teri Magnus, Ted Kord and OMAC all making their way down into Arion's domain and when they finally get there.......... Yeah, Arion knew they were coming and the element of surprise is totally gone.  Thankfully though, Arion seems to be taking a backseat here and just letting his Horde take care of our heroes, which gives them a fighting chance, but Ted starts to believe all is lost when Teri takes Doctor Fate's Helmet and dashes off, leaving Jaime, Ted and OMAC to the insect monsters.  Turns out though, the helm was beckoning Teri to take it back to the Tower of Fate, where she's supposed to put it back on Kent Nelson........ possibly getting more of our JSA characters in line to return to proper continuity.  

In the end, Jaime is beckoned away from battle like Teri was, but this time it seems that the Scarab is calling out to him and as our issue closes, it seems that the fight may not be futile after all, because once the Helmet is put on Kent Nelson, we see the proper Doctor Fate arise and I couldn't be happier about that.  

That's it for this issue of Blue Beetle and I don't know if my subconscious is just fucking with me because of how much I've wanted to like this series since it began, but I have to say that I think this series is really starting to get better.  We have some real progression here that actually seems to serve the whole of the DCU instead of just this title and since I'm all for the shared Universe feel of a book, I'm happy as hell.  Beyond that though, this issue does a lot to make you care about Jaime Reyes from seeing him trying his damnedest in Ted's non powered suit and also for the sheer determination of taking this threat down even though he's just a regular kid again.  Not to mention the caring he displays for his friend Kevin Kho.  Just everything seems to be flowing better now in this series and I can't say that it's all because of J.M. DeMatteis, but something has certainly changed here and it's all for the better.  The art in this issue continues to be decent and even "wowed" me when we got to the final page and I'm excited to report that this series........ out of nowhere........ just might be something that I can get excited for every month now.  

Bits and Pieces:

Goddamn, did this issue impress the hell out of me with the bounds and strides it's taking to become a proper series that feels like it's just as important as the big hitters of the DCU.  Yeah, it still has a shit ton of characters that don't seem to have much to do, but the dialog is smoother, the emotion is showing and the action scenes are strong as hell.  Keep on doing what you're doing Blue Beetle because you've just got back on my radar.